MSD in India took a significant step in strengthening its commitment to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) by expanding its focus to persons with disabilities in May 2019.
This journey for MSD India began when Don Watson (Global VP-GWES Facilities and Global Executive Sponsor of the Disability & Inclusion Employee Business Resource Group, known as the MSD capABILITY Network), nominated Rajesh Pillay (Associate Director – Facilities Management – India), to champion support at MSD India for the inclusion of people with disabilities. Subsequently, Rajesh attended the launch of the India Business Disability Network (IBDN) at the National Conference on Mainstreaming Inclusivity & Accessibility – Enabling Industry by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Rajesh worked with local leadership to develop a strategy and engagement plan to champion equal opportunities. The three-pronged approach evolved in consultation with the MSD India Leadership Team and consisted of
Audit and adaptation of the premise for D&I suitability,
Sensitization of the existing workforce and;
Recruitment of persons with disabilities.
Rajesh and his team partnered with V-Shesh, an organisation committed to assisting persons with disabilities reach their full potential through meaningful employment. V-Shesh conducted an audit of the MSD Mumbai Head Office with the goal of adapting the existing workplace to be inclusive for all.
On the eve of World Diversity Day (21 May), the MSD capABILITY Network was launched nationwide by MSD India Managing Director, Vivek Kamath and the India Animal Health Managing Director, Dr Yash Goyal. These senior leaders reflected on the link between diversity and business strategy at MSD India. Aparna Vishwasrao, HR – Diversity &Inclusion lead for MSD India, introduced the EBRG concept and explained its local and global relevance. Rajesh presented the case for disability inclusion and the programme for India for this year and 2020. Radhika Agarwal from V-Shesh ran an elaborate sensitization programme for all colleagues.
The next phases of the disability inclusion strategy include: implementing change to enhance disability access to relevant areas within the site; recruitment of candidates into identified roles; placement of candidates into job roles; and providing training to the manager, their team, and the new employee to ensure a successful outcome. MSD India is proud that their inclusion journey is continuing with renewed vigor.