Mondelez Kinh Do focuses on growth culture

December 27, 2023 | 14:00
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In the ever-shifting Vietnamese business landscape, good leadership and a culture of winning can be vital for sustained success. Anil Viswanathan, managing director of Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam, spoke to VIR’s Bich Ngoc about the company's culture and leadership.

Mondelez Kinh Do has made significant achievements in terms of business and employer branding. Can you share your insights into what makes the company stand out?

We are very proud of the significant progress we have made so far. We claimed eighth position in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods category and secured the 22nd spot in the overall Top 100 Best Places to Work in Vietnam, specifically within the rankings of large enterprises. Additionally, Mondelez Kinh Do is being recognised as second place in the Top 10 Prestigious Brands, according to Vietnam Report.

Mondelez Kinh Do focuses on growth culture
Anil Viswanathan, managing director of Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam

Within only eight years, we’ve boasted a robust portfolio and proudly now hold the top position as the leading snack company. Our consistent business track record reflects a clear and effective approach.

What makes us unique in Vietnam is what we call, "the best of both." As a global company, we use the knowledge and experience we have accumulated over many years to build a large-scale operation with an efficient sales and marketing strategy. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, we have a local-first approach.

The strength of our people and our culture is pivotal to our success, embodying the evolution of the best of both philosophy. This involves harnessing strong global capabilities and knowledge alongside local talent. Our culture is a dynamic blend of agility and market focus, dedicated to winning each day. This unique combination defines Mondelez in Vietnam, and it's the story we want to share with everyone.

What is Mondelez Kinh Do’s talent strategy?

Our talent strategy focuses on nurturing local talent while enriching them with world-class capabilities. The first thing we did was recruit talented individuals, both locally and internationally, who are suitable for the job. We prioritise diversity, hiring across various cohorts and generations, and infusing expertise in terms of technology, digital tools, sales, marketing, and manufacturing into our local workforce.

This unique approach emphasises a local-first mindset with a focus on diverse, local talent infused with global excellence. Furthermore, Vietnamese colleagues can be sent to work at other global facilities and come back after a certain period of time. This diversifies skills and narrows the gap between global and local human resources.

Our approach to building capability is guided by a clear 70-20-10 model: 70 per cent on the job, 20 per cent coaching or mentoring, and 10 per cent personalised training programmes or intervention. This framework is integral to our commitment to developing regular employees within the organisation. Recognising the significance of capability-building, employees perceive us as a great company to work for, contributing to their long-term commitment.

What have been some of the key initiatives Mondelez Kinh Do has implemented that have defined the company's business culture?

We recognise that each employee plays a crucial role in shaping our distinctive culture, with the value “Grow every day.” Our strategy to foster a highly engaged culture begins with prioritising the wellbeing of our employees, investing in learning and development, and offering a flexible working environment, together with a robust recognition and rewards programme.

Mondelez Kinh Do focuses on growth culture
Mondelez Kinh Do's talent strategy focuses on nurturing local talent while enriching them with world-class capabilities

The employee wellbeing initiative offers comprehensive policies and benefits, including mental and physical health support. Our strong engagement initiative fosters motivation and alignment with company goals, addressing barriers to ensure our talented workforce excels. The goal is to empower employees to bring their best to work, creating a successful and engaged company.

We promote physical health through the Right Body scheme and health talks, and address mental wellbeing through counselling services, mindfulness programmes, and flexible working policies. Regular check-ins, surveys, and focus groups encourage open communication so we can understand and meet employees' needs.

We invest in the learning and development of our staff through various initiatives. We've implemented digital training approaches for sales, marketing, and supply chain, ensuring digitalisation throughout our business. Recognising the digital savvy younger talent, particularly Gen Z, we focus on training and leveraging their skills to prepare them for the future. Our global strength lies in a well-defined onboarding and training structure for all employees.

Operating like an ongoing college programme, our virtual Mondelez International University offers clear and comprehensive curricula for each function. Whether in sales, marketing, or other areas, employees engage in a continuous series of modules tailored to their levels, fostering ongoing training and capability building.

We offer a flexible working environment that allows every individual can thrive. We've embraced the concept of gig workers within the gig economy, a term well-suited for the new generation. Unlike traditional long-term assignments, gig workers engage in short stints, ranging from two to three months, matching specific project needs worldwide. This approach offers flexibility for individuals committed to family obligations or those seeking diverse experiences without the constraints of lengthy commitments.

Importantly, we have a robust recognition and rewards offering in place to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and contributions of our team members. This fosters a culture of appreciation, motivation, and healthy competition.

How does Mondelez Kinh Do incorporate sustainability into its growth strategy?

Our mission is to empower people with the right snack, at the right moment, made the right way. The future of snacking is changing rapidly. If we don't adapt, then we'll be left behind. Being at the vanguard of the industry is paramount. We spend a lot of time listening and understanding our consumers, and then shaping our brand portfolio to reflect what we hear.

Our commitment to sustainability revolves around three key elements, namely sustainable ingredients, sustainable packaging, and sustainable environmental initiatives. In minimising packaging consumption, we want to recycle everything that we consume and work closely with the government to ensure that we pick up all the packaging. To address the sourcing of ingredients, we're transitioning to cage-free eggs, ensuring a more humane and better-quality product. We've introduced a range of cakes made exclusively with cage-free eggs, anticipating future preferences.

We're investing in capabilities, knowledge, and training our workforce, including initiatives like utilising solar energy. Our culture is geared towards leading the future, growing every day, and synergising the strengths of both global and local perspectives.

What does the future hold for Mondelez Kinh Do's global ambitions?

We've set a bold vision for 2030, comprising four key pillars of growth, execution, culture, and sustainability. Our focus is on the long term, recognising the transformative impact of taking larger strides.

Mondelez Kinh Do focuses on growth culture
Mondelez Kinh Do has built a long-term strategic development vision for 2030 to become a leader in the snack industry

The growth aspect involves leading the future of snacking, while execution focuses on achieving excellence and undergoing transformation. A digital culture ensures future-ready capabilities and a culture of continuous learning, while sustainability encompasses ingredients, packaging, and the environment.

Our vision is clear, we aim to be the global leaders in snacking and lead the future of this evolving industry. Considering the dynamic changes in consumer behaviour, especially in regions like Vietnam, India, China, and Southeast Asia, we want to preserve our cultural roots while integrating global elements, envisioning a future where our company is at the forefront of snacking innovation.

Mondelez Kinh Do provides defensive driver training to ensure employees’ safety Mondelez Kinh Do provides defensive driver training to ensure employees’ safety

As one of the leading enterprises in the food industry, Mondelez Kinh Do always puts people at the heart of its business. The company ensures employees’ health and safety are integrated into all aspects of its business by offering a balanced, safe, and healthy working environment to all staff members through various practical activities.

Mondelez Kinh Do launches solar energy projects Mondelez Kinh Do launches solar energy projects

In line with its target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam has announced solar energy projects for its Hung Yen and Binh Duong manufacturing centres, marking a bold step towards being a more sustainable food and beverage company. The projects are expected to reduce the CO2 equivalent of planting 7 million trees.

Mondelez Kinh Do donates 27,000 boxes of confectionery via Vietnam Food Bank network Mondelez Kinh Do donates 27,000 boxes of confectionery via Vietnam Food Bank network

Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam implements a variety of community support initiatives, delivering tangible value to both the local community and society at large.

By Bich Ngoc

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