IKCO, generally speaking, recruits and hires the best engineers from Iranian universities. In addition to that, we have also many Iranian employees having degrees from international universities with high rankings. At IKCO we cultivate expertise in different fields through different subsidies in each area. For instance, we have a department called new product development. In this department we have different experts for the design of passenger cars, and for styling and engineering. We further develop such expertise through training in this department. We have another major company called SAPCO that is responsible for the management of our supply chain. It supervises the 500 or so suppliers who work for IKCO and provides us with the components required for production. Around 5 million parts per day should be fed into this production system. In order to be able to do the logistics function required for such a big system, we need expert and qualified engineers, which we prefer to cultivate internally.
HOJJATOLLAH AMANI DOWLATSARA
I think the secret behind the success of my company is its management model, which also includes human resources management. We have a high retention rate when it comes to personnel. We put an effort into cultivating expertise and then keeping it. Behran is very attractive to young employees, and we are able to keep talented people in the company for a long time. Most of our employees are university graduates, and there is a lot of camaraderie in our company, a lot of friendship. We offer job security, respect and good career prospects. We also offer an attractive package of salary and allowances. This is how we keep talented experts in our company.
DR. S.H. MOSTAFAVI
The skill level of employees in the pharmaceutical sector is very good, but we need more education in the managerial aspect of the industry. Hopefully, the holding company and also Exir have started to enroll some employees in MBA courses. This has helped them become educated in different aspects of the industry; not just pharmaceuticals but also marketing and finance, and strategic aspects. Also, some other fields, for example pharmacoeconomics, pharmcoepidemiology, and regulatory sciences. These are what we need more than just knowledge specific to pharmaceuticals.
Training is the key and one of our core focuses. That is why we only recruit university graduates, the brightest coming from the University of Tehran, Sharif, Allameh, and Shahid Beheshti. We place a great care on the continuous professional development of our employees. In fact we grouped with a number of high caliber academics to form and found the Iranian Business School, which is going to be established in Iran. Thus, we will provide MBA-style, executive training for our management. We did a lot of staff training abroad, sending them to Dubai and Istanbul. As I said, we value our employees a lot and having a low staff turnover is key to our operational consistency.
We also put special emphasis on employing more women, mainly as a result of the changing trend in Iran over the last 10 years. There are more women going to universities than boys and they do very well at our entrance exam, much better than the men I must admit. Men have to do two years of military service; that’s why there is a lag between them, and when they come out they want to work for themselves, they do not want to work for someone else. The demand for working for a bank is greater among women and it is treated as a prestigious, more secure and safer job for them, and that is why they apply.
SEYEDEH FATEMEH MOGHIMI
I am not satisfied with the position of women in business in Iran, but it is better than before. We believe that the main point for the woman in our culture, as Muslims, is that a woman has to protect her family. On the other hand, as the government, when you are going to spend money on their education and during these last years more than 65% of university entrants are women, they have to pay this debt back to society. We sometimes see that women lose their enthusiasm about their job after they get married. We have to change this mentality. What we need is more entrepreneurship by women, therefore I am teaching a course on female entrepreneurship.
To create entrepreneurs we have to let women run their businesses by themselves. Maybe they need some capital, of course, but they can do it together with three, four, or five people. Maybe one person has the idea and another person has the capital. They have to come together. As the Women in Business Initiative under the Tehran Chamber of Commerce we have some advisory meetings here to inform them when they want to start a corporation together.
In 1991 and 1992 when the first tourist groups started to flock into the country, we didn’t even have properly trained tour guides because there were no schools or universities with any courses to teach them. It was at that time that I established a research center in Pasargad, which was a kind of tour guide school to educate those interested in tour guiding. Later, with the help of the government, we opened training schools for tour guides and trained more people in order to promote tourism in Iran. In the course of all these educational efforts two of the universities in Tehran also began teaching tourism management, and smaller training schools now cover hotel management and other services. The current average skill level of people working in the tourism industry is adequate and is improving day by day in parallel with the universities training highly educated academic instructors. With the increase in hotels being built and the increasing number of tourists showing interest in coming to Iran, there is higher demand for tourism courses. Even the younger generation are becoming more interested in the tourism industry and want to participate in the sector. It is the hotel sector that is now in need of training in order to improve standards.
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