Wrigley India, an arm of Mars Inc, the US-headquartered over $33 billion global leader in confectionary, pet food and other food products, is laying utmost thrust on Mars Ambassador Program (MAP) to allow its associates – full time and part time – to develop skills which they can’t develop in their day to day job. The whole initiative aims at allowing its associates to use their skill-set in a different environment, which makes MAP assignments a ‘development journey’ even for experts. And line managers play a critical role in an associate’s development and achieving our talent ambitions. Interestingly, all MAP assignments focus on key issues that are important to our business including: cocoa sustainability, coffee and tea sustainability, rice sustainability, mint sustainability, health & nutrition, information systems support, oral health promotion, conservation and animal welfare.
Significantly, some of the top brands from Mars Inc’s stable include Pedigree, Royal Canin, Whiskas, Banfield, Pet Hospital, Cesar, Nutro, Sheba, Dreamies, Smickens, m&m, Skittles, Twix, Whiskas, Uncle Ben’s, Orbit, Milky Way, among others.
“In 2008, four associates blazed the first trail for the programme as they ventured off across the globe to work with three of our partners on cocoa sustainability. Since then the initiative has come a long way. Now as many as 606 associates from 50 countries have volunteered more than 36,520 hours to support organisations and communities across our value chain. In 2017 alone, we have offered a total of 11 individual assignments across segments and 15 group assignments across segments. MAP is fast becoming a great way to give back and to help develop leadership and professional skills,” said Meenal Bahirwani, corporate affairs lead at Wrigley India.
MAP assignments take place from May through December each year. Associates can apply to participate in either individual or group assignments. Individual assignments are segment specific. Associates can apply for individual assignments within their own segments and for general assignments. Individual assignments last for two to six weeks and require an online recommendation from Line Managers to be submitted as part of the application process.
“For individual assignments, we always look for associates with specific skill-sets. It is crucial that applicants can be regarded as ‘experts’ in their areas. Associates are allowed to apply for every group assignment. Group assignments consist of a small group of Associates and last for one week. Group assignments require online line manager’s approval. Each segment group assignment has three spots open for other segments to apply for. They still need to meet the desired profile of the ambassador to have a chance of being chosen,” she said.