Yash Birla group, the Rs 3,000-crore diversified conglomerate, has restructured its health, wellness and lifestyle businesses in a move that has resulted in job losses, including those of management staff.

Responding to a query on whether the company had allegedly sacked 200 employees, the company denied it.

Anant Vardhan, President – Corporate Affairs & Communications, Yash Birla Group, said in an e-mail response, “The two companies that are being restructured are Birla Research and Life Sciences (BRLS) and Birla Pacific MedSpa only. Evolve (Evolve MedSpa) is a part of Birla Pacific MedSpa and Birla Kerala Vidyashala (BKV) is a part of BRLS.”

Evolve MedSpa, a part of the listed Birla Pacific MedSpa, is a chain of dermatology and cosmetology clinics.

“Our restructuring is a healthy exercise in proactively staying ahead. It is not a reactive correction as some would like to interpret,” the company official said.

On its retail business, Birla Pacific MedSpa, the company said it learned that demand for ayurvedic products was high in the rural market, while its reach was limited to metros and tier-II cities.

“We, therefore, enriched our business model by incorporating local franchisees and distributors who have empowered and enhanced our market penetration,” Anant Vardhan added, saying it has bought several fragmented businesses under one arm.

JOB LOSSES

The company while denying that there were many job losses, however, admitted “removing few management heads for non-performance”.

“And as is known to happen in the pharma industry, the management heads negotiated with other companies and convinced their entire teams to leave us…,” the company official added that these have resulted in payment inconveniences to our stockists.

With regards to unpaid salaries, the group said it did not have information and data about stockists, their accounts and dues.

“We have, therefore, consciously withheld salaries of a few ex-employees. These will be settled as soon as they co-operate and help us retrieve accounting data that is imperative for us to function as a business unit,” it said.

The group denied shutting down of Evolve MedSpa’s three outlets in Mumbai, but added they had been relocated to prime and strategic areas.

rajesh.kurup@thehindu.co.in

priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 27, 2013)
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