Title: Managing people in the world's largest commercial employer: an exploratory study on Indian Railways

Authors: Vijay Pereira

Addresses: Department of Organisational Studies and Human Resource, University of Portsmouth Business School, Richmond Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3DE, UK

Abstract: The 21st century has witnessed India undergo sweeping economic changes. Riding on a host of factors, India today stands at the cusp of becoming one of the top four economies in the world. A growth rate of over 8%, prior to the slowdown, was obtained despite the inadequacies of infrastructure. Yet, one organisation, which has shouldered the infrastructural burden of the transportation sector in Indias growth story, is the 160 year old Indian Railways (IR). IRs profits - $5 billion over the last four years - are a far cry from its loss making days, which tempted the Government of India to consider privatisation in 2001. The transformational turnaround would not have been possible but for IRs employees who are its true assets. The objective, therefore, was to understand the 'people side' of IR - the world's largest commercial employer. The study, while looking to increase awareness of contemporary HR challenges in India, is an attempt to first study the HR practices in the Indian Railways and second, to investigate changes in its HR practices and the role of HR in its turnaround strategies.

Keywords: Indian Railways; public sector; large employers; people management; human resource management; HRM; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICBM.2015.068161

International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 2015 Vol.10 No.2, pp.136 - 156

Received: 09 Aug 2013
Accepted: 14 Oct 2013

Published online: 18 Feb 2015 *

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