Bangaluru, India, July 2016
At Dhruva, the facilities don’t have much in common with the previous companies we have visited in India. A garden, at the entrance, enables the employees to relax and enjoy the fresh air, as fresh as it can be in this monsoon period. We come in a building well decorated, where you can see Drhuva’s achievements all over the walls. Dhruva’s business is to provide Art Services for video games. According to Dhruva’s people that welcomed us, their employer is one of the oldest Indian firms present in this Industry.
Anvesh, Human Resources Manager and Jagadish, Talents acquisition Manager, who is here since the beginning of Dhruva, are the two persons that introduced us to the company. They explain that one of the important thing in the firm is to share knowledge.
That is why the teams are organized by projects, and constituted depending on the member’s experience. The artists – that’s how they call they employees there – are defined according to their level of experience: Junior Game Artist, Game Artist, or Senior Game artist. Forming mixed teams allows employees to share their knowledge, and skills. Anvesh tells us that one year of experience at Dhruva is similar to two or three years elsewhere. Finally, everyone call everyone else by their name and there is no formal hierarchy.
As for most of the companies we have visited, there is no fixed hours when employees get to work. It is up to everybody to come to work whenever they want as long as they understand they are responsible for the job they have to deliver in this company, which is strict about the quality of work delivered, it seems that every employee is engaged and is aware how important is his individual work for the team.
The promotion and salary rise schemes are organized in such a way that everyone is responsible for themselves. The individual performance is the key criteria of that promotion. Indeed, as the project delivered has to be approved by the customers, the quality is not an option. Consequently, it is the quantity of work done that will be taken into account for the promotion and salary rise to come. That is why junior and game artists have all interest to learn from the more experienced and to be highly productive.
“At Drhuva, the more work you complete, the more money you get”
In India, we noticed that it was very complex to retain the employees more than a year and a half, and even especially in the NTIC sector. In order to prevent the employees from leaving towards the competitors, Dhruva seems to have found good reasons to make them stay:
- First of all, the salaries are in average higher than those of the market, even more if you think that any employee can get up to 3 months extra of salary as incentive, depending on his performance.
- Secondly, the projects on which the teams are working on are very challenging, and offer a wide scope of tasks. They work on it from the beginning to the end and to have the satisfaction of contemplating a well done job. Dhruva worked on some of the best & popular games across various genres
- Finally, the organizational model in Dhruva is unique. In an Indian culture where the social position is extremely important, the transparency allows all collaborators to know why they are in their position, how they can hope to evolve in the firm. The criterias for bi-anual evaluation are clear and known by everyone, which enables the employees to adapt and act consequently. Everyone has the opportunity to come back after the evaluation to discuss its results and understand them.
The Dhruva Academy, Game Art Professional Programme (GAPP)
For us, French students, none of the previous elements seem to be exceptional in comparison with what we can see back in France. However, there is this key innovation at Dhruva that “reinvents the organization”. Dhruva decided to create the Dhruva Academy. That permits to the company to train loyal employees, to make sure they will have a good formation, and that they will be smoothly integrated to the company.
“In these past 4 months in the Dhruva Academy, the amount that I’ve learnt is much more than what I learnt during the 3 years in my earlier institute.”
At the Dhruva Academy, the formation lasts a year in total. Firstly, you apply online, and if you’re selected, you spend three months with senior artists teaching you the theoretical practices of the job. Once you get this basic knowledge, you have to sit a test.
If you pass the test, you will then go for three months in different teams and assist some projects at different development stages. It enables the trainees to see what they will actually do, and to know more about the team’s organization.
At last, the trainees will integrate a team for an entire project. Consequently, they will learn to find their place/role in the teams, integrate, and that is the best formation they can get.
The first promotion that integrated in the Drhuva Academy is today at its last stage of their formation. The outcome of such a program makes Dhruva’s collaborators think that this program will know a great future. The final objective is to form a partnership with a graduate school that will give the Academy an official diploma.
We had the opportunity to see another company that trains its own employees by creating its own Academy : The Genae Club, in France. In conclusion, it seems that this model can be adapted to different companies, industries, cultures.. Also, it serves greatly the infusion of the culture, the integration, and its a proof of expertise.
Here’s more about the Drhuva Academy : http://www.dhruva.com/academy-new.php