Ingram Micro: Equipping Women to Challenge the Gender Challenges

Diego Utge,  Senior Vice President & India Chief Executive

Diego Utge

Senior Vice President & India Chief Executive

The Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) has just concluded one of their worst seasons in the Indian PremierLeague(IPL)T20. But despite the disappointing performance, the franchise is all set to introduce a new epoch in cricket by conducting a unique mixed gender T20 exhibition match, featuring star Indian cricketers like Virat Kohli, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Veda Krishnamurthy. While the ‘#Challenge Accepted’campaign is assuredly a revolution in the making, the concept is hardly anything new for the employees of Ingram Micro Inc a global technology & supply chain service provider. Ingram not only conducts mixed gender cricket matches inhouse, but an entire gamut of gender neutral sports & games; thanks to its exemplary culture that’s driven by inclusion & diversity.

“As a company, we are an amalgamation of different cultures, owing to the history of the company in India. Having started as Godrej and subsequently transformed into Tech Pacific before becoming Ingram, we have kept pace with time and moved along, adapting to the market conditions while also being competitive,” asserts Diego Utge, Senior Vice President & India Chief Executive, Ingram Micro Inc. In fact, in this process of evolution, Ingram has moved on from being a conservative organization to reinvent itself as an open & transparent organization. Adjoining further, Diego proclaims, “We have also made diversity and inclusion a major focus area, and over the last three years, we have improved our gender diversity from 15 percent to around 19 percent as of today. In our IT business, the ratio is around 28 percent. It’s a huge leap forward.”

A Great Vision
When we analyze enough to see through Ingram’s vision, it’s evident that the diversity has a lot of underlying, carefully streamlined efforts beneath it, starting right from its hiring & retention strategies. The company always consciously looks for the pool of talent that has a good gender mix and then hires the best from them. Meritocracy is the word. Hence, it has meticulously engendered ‘Hire Great Program’, whereby every hiring manager is trained on hiring based on competency and attitude. As a company, Ingram today finds equilibrium of experience, and innovation & intelligence that the fresh minds bring in. It hires around 30-40 fresher every year.

When it comes to retention, Ingram comprehends the market dynamics completely and ensures going that extra mile beyond the right performance management process and related rewards. Indeed, modern day studies time and again suggest that organizational transparency plays a crucial role in employees’ decision making. But the problem with transparency is that it sounds too much corporate. It’s exemplary the way Ingram infuses transparency with the real
sense of honesty or in other words, complete information sharing. The five to six town hall meetings conducted by Ingram in a year stand as strong testament to this. It's one in every two months! The company is also competitive in terms of compensation packages, in addition to a whole world of benefits including insurance coverage for the entire family, including spouse, children, and parents.

“Our long term strategy, organization values, and the tenets of our success are clearly communicated and reiterated frequently, thereby we savor a guided and positive work environment where we have common goals,” echoes Komal Baruah, Head - IM Consulting & Corporate Strategy, Ingram Micro Inc. Furthermore, it applies significant focus on creating a more collaborative & open work culture, while also catalyzing it through various activities like casual coffee chats with leadership, communication tools like MS Teams & Webex, dozens of employee engagement activities, and robust feedback mechanisms.

Our long term strategy, organization values, and the tenets of our success are clearly communicated and re-iterated frequently

A Protective Environment
Above all, there is a dire need to satisfy the growth aspirations of employees, wherein continuous learning & exposure plays the lead role. Ingram excels in this facet with an array of methodologically structured inhouse training programs, in addition to offering thousands of online courses to enable each employee to complete training at their convenience. “We have recently launched a ‘Women Leadership’ initiative wherein we are identifying Women Leaders across all roles /functions and working on ways to provide them with the right platform to grow and excel,” adjoins Fouzia Siddique, HR Manager.

Ingram also believes that creating women leaders takes not just the training, but also a favorable environment where they can thrive. From having an elaborate & generous maternity leave policy to facilitating baby care for working mothers, providing women employee with healthcare seminars, and having an international committee(POSH) to prevent sexual harassment at workplace, providing this environment is of paramount importance for Ingram.

The One Big Ingram Family
Although even while having the best of working environments, striking a balance between career and personal life can be a challenging prospect for most of the employees. This indeed presents employers with a great opportunity to invest in the family life of their people, and Ingram proudly utilizes this opportunity to create ‘one big Ingram family’. Through its grand Annual Family Day event called ‘Mahasangram’, Ingram gathers the families of its employees at ten convenient locations across the country. A day long event is filled with fun activities, and most importantly, allows the senior management team to meet every family member and embrace them in the family. It’s undoubtedly a great gesture to be proud of.

Key Management:
Diego Utge, Senior Vice President & India Chief Executive
The former Sub Lieutenant of Argentinean Air Force (1988-1992), Diego has more than two decades of industry experience in the profession. Having joined Ingram in 2002 as a regional executive, he stands as one of the greatest examples of internal growth opportunities that Ingram offers.

Quick Facts
•Gobal Headquarter:California
•India Locations:Mumbai & Delhi

•Cloud Products & Services
•Lifecycle Services
•Commerce & Fulfillment
•Technology Solutions

People Talk:
“At Ingram, we just don’t work. We create an environment of fun at work. Our objective is to enable people to enjoy what they do. For women, Ingram is the best place because it’s a company with strong values & ethics and great people management practices in a psychologically & physically safe environment,”~John Kannath, Executive Director, Ingram Micro Inc.