Research and Development Solutions?Lead

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Rakshet?Sachdev joined RB in 2014. In January 2019,?he?began a new role?as?Research and Development Solutions?Lead?with?the team in charge?of?designing global solution for product?lifecycle management.?

Based in Thailand, he’s a strong?believer that?you?need?to make waves to be heard.?

As a society,?we hear people more than we actually listen to them.?My job is to listen, find solutions and give support.???

We’re creating a new system to?manage all?of?our product data globally.?This will be a single source of information for every product we make?–?from supply information to safety and compliance documents.??It?is a standardised system to simplify how people work in a global company. So if you’re based in China and move around the world, you won’t need to master a different system.??It piloted in Thailand in 2018,?with more sites?due to?go live in the next few years.???

I’m working within the core design team, focusing on?the research and development sites that are part of the new system’s pilot launch.?My role involves?building?relationships with?all those?who will be affected at?every?level of the company. I try to understand what they need and then offer solutions. This system represents a massive change and we need to ensure that everyone is included in?the?decision-making process.??

In my previous role?[in research and development for Durex]?it was easier to see what impact?my?work had.?I could look at supermarket shelves and think:?“I created that”. With?my current?project??I’m aware?there?might not?be?tangible results?–?but?I think?you have to look longer term and at the bigger picture. I feel I’m doing the right thing for the whole business.??

When I first joined RB,?I was so keen to prove myself worthy of a job,?but?I was?also?too scared to ask questions.?My?manager told me?if?I?don’t make mistakes?I?can’t grow?–?that hit home. I realised I shouldn’t be scared to take bigger steps and learn from them; the?company would be there to support me.???

Inspiration?struck?me when I attended?the?One Young World (OYW)?Summit in 2018.?I saw young people getting together to fight sexual violence and harassment, climate change and other world issues,?and?that?motivated me. I may not be developing a new product,?but I’m trying to be entrepreneurial?and?to?create change.??

I’m on a mission to make RB more diverse and inclusive,?to change?mindsets?across the company.??I?pitched?an idea?to our CEO?and the head of HR.?It’s?called Project?Rak?–?chosen because?Rak?in?Thai means love and?Raksh?in?Hindi means to protect,?which together fully encompass?what inclusivity means?to me.??

The initiative?– which?builds?on?the amazing work Project Dare has done over the?past few years?–?would initially?focus on?LGBTQ+ inclusivity?at RB, drawing on?global standards?for inspiration.??

Purpose is what wakes you up in the morning and drives you to work.?OYW?has renewed my?sense of purpose. Without?that, a lot of work is monotonous and you can get lost in the mundane day-to-day. If you’re motivated, you push yourself.??

I’ve?been inspired by?others pursuing?what they believe in.??For example, a?colleague who?is passionate about sustainability persuaded?our?Bang?Pakong?factory site?in Thailand?to remove all plastic?cups, straws and boxes from the canteen, and?to?replace?the?plastic cups with reusable water bottles.???

I’ve pushed back when I’ve believed it?was the right thing to do.?I was once charged with picking up a consumer project halfway through?the process?and I was under pressure to get the documentation ready. It was tedious work?involving?lots of translations,?but I didn’t want to miss anything?so?I demanded more time despite the deadlines.??

You might have amazing technical skills,?but if you don’t put yourself forward?you?risk being?overlooked.?That’s how I’ve won opportunities,?by making an active effort to be seen by?management and by entering a competition to get to OYW. The year before, I?also?asked to attend a hackathon?and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity off?the back of winning another company competition. Once people hear of you, you get more support,?which?helps?your personal development.??

I think as a company we’re getting better at team building.??In my current role, we’re making a?big?effort to work as a group and support each other.??

I’ve been lucky enough to visit RB?offices?around the world and?experience?the different cultures in China, the UK and the US.??As a global company, RB offers so many opportunities to?get involved with?different markets and areas of business?– it’s?a real benefit of working?here.?