Company Trek: Philips in Russia

By Vineet Sahaya, Global MBA student

What name comes to  mind when we think of reputed and renowned electronics companies in the world??

Philips would probably be the first.

Philips is a 121 year old Dutch multinational electronics company headquartered in Amsterdam. It was founded in Eindhoven (Holland) in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik. Philips is a colossal giant in the electronics business with Euro 22.6 Billion in revenue and  117,000 employees across the world.

During our field trip to Russia, we were invited to visit the Philips Moscow office to get an inside view of the company to understand what helps it to be recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the Electronics business.

As we made our way in the evening for a trek to the Philips Moscow office, we wondered how the visit would turn out. We were in for a pleasant surprise.

We were welcomed by the Customer Experience Leader and the HR Recruitment specialist at the Philips office. Our trek began with a visit to the customer welcome lounge. The lounge resembled more a drawing room of a house, with all equipment manufactured by Philips installed, to give us an idea about how the company is involved in everything that touches our day to day life. It was an innovative approach to welcoming people.

Next to follow was a floor walk. While being led around the company floor, we observed a few things that struck us. People were working in a very open environment where anybody could sit at any place. This was a little odd for us till we were introduced to the Philips Workspace Innovation program. The Workplace Innovation Program is a corporate initiative which provides Philips employees guidance and tools to support a new way of working. The Workplace Innovation Program establishes a new era for Philips, enabling employees to work in ways and in locations which best suit their business needs and most importantly demonstrate to Philips customers that Philips is an innovative company with advanced real estate and technology solutions. Employees are encouraged to work in a more collaborative manner within a more innovative environment, 'choosing' where they want to work and what 'type of workspace' they work in, according to their daily requirements. The company also had multiple breakaway areas designed like coffee shops or a lounge, with each of them representing different themes, reflecting a freshness rarely seen at companies. The breakaway area looked more like the inside of a sports bar than an office. The energy of the office environment was infectious.

A presentation about Philips and its history followed next. It was interesting to know that Philips is #1 globally in 10 product lines with over 1 million customers served. It is also the largest manufacturer of lighting in the world with 25 % of lamps used in the world belonging to the Philips brand. We were given an overview of the business and its three main divisions; Philips Consumer Lifestyle (formerly Philips Consumer Electronics and Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care), Philips Healthcare (formerlyPhilips Medical Systems) and Philips Lighting. This was followed by a Q&A session. All our queries
ranging from its overall practices and strategy to its experience of doing business in an emerging market like Russia were answered to satisfaction.

Finally, the presentation was over and it was time for an informal chat. Our two Hosts joined us for a free-flowing conversation over coffee and made us feel at home. It was a chance for networking and exploring opportunities. The Client Relationship Leader and the HR Recruitment specialist expressed their happiness to host the ESSEC Global MBA program. We were invited to connect with them and discuss future career opportunities. We thanked our hosts for their time and bid them goodbye.

As we made our way back to the hotel, we could not hide our happiness at having had such an excellent opportunity to get an insight into a company culture which breeds innovation.

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