What it does: Exterior and interior paint, wood and metal, industrial and textile paints, adhesives and construction chemicals.
Best known for: Berger Paints claims to be the second-largest paint company in India. They also operate in Bangladesh, Poland and Russia.
Staff stats: More than 3,400 employees.
The good bits: The company offers a comprehensive compensation structure. In Bangladesh, the benefits include three kinds of bonuses, stock options, allowances, meal subsidies and provident fund.
The not so good bits: The company still follows a traditional management style that doesn’t seem to encourage new ideas. Some applicants also shared an unpleasant experience during the interview process.
The company traces its heritage from German national Louis Berger’s dye and pigment business in England in 1760. Berger Paints is among the oldest paint companies in India since 1923 when it was known as Hadfield's (India) Ltd. The company only adopted its current name in 1983.
Their consolidated revenue has reached more than INR60 billion as of the first quarter of 2019 from an annual turnover of INR2.5 million. The high turnover partly arose from Berger Paints’ international operations in Bangladesh, Poland and Russia. The company has 16 manufacturing facilities in India, one in Poland and another one in Russia.
Applicants can apply online for internships and full-time roles at Berger Paints, although the company normally conducts campus job fairs to recruit individuals for entry-level roles. These include engineers, Graduate Engineer Trainees (GET) and management graduates.
The hiring process may take up to four weeks. If you apply as an assistant officer, there might be a written exam to test your English, Math, analytical and IQ skills. Shortlisted candidates will move on to a panel interview that may ask about industry-relevant current events.
Prospective territory managers may undergo a one-day assessment that includes a case study, role-playing tests, single and panel interviews. There might be subsequent interviews with the general manager and senior general manager. Interview questions may focus on a candidate’s personal life and their salary expectations.
GET applicants may also wait up to four weeks to know the results. Candidates should pass an online exam before moving on to a video interview. In-person interviews may consist of technical and basic questions. You should expect to share details about yourself, relevant skills and reason for joining the company. Berger Paints also recruits within their workforce for senior roles before considering third-party applicants.
Be prepared to encounter a difficult final interview for the GET programme. Some applicants expressed an unpleasant experience with their interviewers, who were mostly from the higher management group. This might be a test to know how you handle stress and pressure in certain situations.
The company’s line structure in Bangladesh comprises four levels: contract officers, officers, managers and senior managers. Each level may have a subcategory (eg assistant officers, assistant managers). Graduates of chemical or mechanical engineering can join the company as territory managers. Berger Paints doesn’t require experience for this role, but an MBA and at least one year of work experience will be helpful.
An officer for the quality assurance or IT development units must have at least three years of relevant experience. Assistant managers usually have between four and five years of experience. Further education such as a master’s degree will be an advantage.
In India, the company has two training and development programs for employees. The ‘BANDHAN PROGRAM’ involves job rotations for management trainees and GET participants. On-the-job learning and execution will occur before they can choose their area of specialisation at the company.
The career-related programme focuses on an employee’s competencies, knowledge and skills to advance in a higher role. Employees take the lead in evaluating their career progression with the help of their immediate supervisor. The company may support an employee’s professional development through local programmes or overseas training sessions.
The company’s average salary in India is approximately INR444,000 per year. Management trainees earn around INR62,700 per month on average. Sales officer trainees’ monthly average salaries reach up to INR30,000. Interns earn between INR17,000 and INR19,000 per month on average.
Employees say that they are eligible for health insurance from their first day of joining the company. Sales officers earn commissions based on an incentive scheme. Other general benefits include pension plans, performance bonuses, vacation and sick leave, free lunch or snacks, and tuition assistance.
Berger Paints uses a skill-based system for employment compensation in Bangladesh. Those with in-demand skills, technical expertise or management experience typically earn more. The company provides permanent employees with discounted prices on shares, as well as a 25 per cent discount on paint products each year. Company executives are entitled to free house paint every three years.
Bonuses comprise of profit, target and festival incentives. Employees receive profit and target bonuses after being determined during the annual general meeting and by the company management. Festival bonuses include Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and Durga Puja. The amount is usually four times an employee’s basic salary. Meal subsidies, provident funds, group life and medical insurance are also available for employees.
The company has a high retention rate among employees primarily because of its competitive benefits and compensation structure. Entry-level workers like territory managers can expect a friendly work environment. Category managers also have the autonomy to make decisions and lead projects.
Some employees believe that the company can improve its stance on adopting change. Berger Paints seems reluctant to implement new policies and business strategies, which can be attributed to a decades-old management style.
Some of Berger Paints’ local and foreign competitors in India include Akzo Nobel India Ltd, Asian Paints Ltd, Kansai Nerolac Paint Ltd, Kansai Nerolac Paint Ltd and Shalimar Paints Ltd.
Berger Paints’ corporate social responsibility policy focuses on several advocacies including education, healthcare, poverty eradication and the promotion of cultural and sporting activities. The company organises a Young Painters’ Art Competition for promising artists in Bangladesh to showcase their work. Berger Paints has recognised prominent individuals in the country’s art sector with Lifetime Achievement Awards, while the Young Architects’ and Excellence in Architecture Award honours the best designers every year.
Graduates who are not in a hurry to be promoted can be satisfied in their roles at Berger Paints. The company remains a good choice simply because of its comprehensive compensation structure. You should take note that new concepts or ideas may be unwelcome due to a conventional style of doing business.