While the customer was, is, and will always remain king but arguably behind every happy customer is a happy employee. In other words, it is tough to have happy customers without having happy employees. And it seems that India’s large internet ventures right from Flipkart, Amazon, OYO to Paytm, Uber, Swiggy have such happy employees central to their philosophy of building a loyal customer base in discount-driven hyper-competitive online markets.
Importantly, as per LinkedIn’s this year country-wise global survey of best companies to work for, Flipkart, Amazon, OYO, Paytm, Uber, Swiggy were the top six companies to work for in India. Among the top 10, TCS and Reliance were the only two companies from non-internet or traditional sectors placed at number 7 and 10 respectively. So what makes these online businesses the top go-to employers?
“The opportunities to learn and lead the charge in new-age tech companies on solving complex problems is a big draw for the job-seekers. You are in a position to set the tone for your function, and through trial and error, find the best solution for the dynamic marketplace we are a part of – this diversity of work is enterprising and exciting for an employee,” Adith Charlie, India Managing Editor at LinkedIn told Financial Express Online.
Moreover, a job for today’s talent is an investment of time in exchange for a payoff in the near future. “There’s a growing realization that a few years at Flipkart, Ola or OYO can prime you for an entrepreneurial journey,” said Charlie. Much like PayPal mafia, Indian online ventures have also given birth to a ‘mafia’ of entrepreneurs.
For instance, Flipkart’s former employees have launched companies like CureFit, PhonePe, Suki, Udaan etc.
What Charlie has been referring to is ownership of work and allowing employees to contribute to solving problems that are unique to India.
“Early leadership exposure across domains — business, technology, supply chain etc., challenging work, and the ability to make an impact, leads to exceptional careers at Flipkart. We have built a culture that makes each employee feel valued and respected, allowing them to voice their viewpoints openly,” said Smriti K Singh, Chief Human Resources Officer at Flipkart.
Market expert also echoes the empowering roles given to talent at such organisations. “Companies like Flipkart, OYO are the obvious choice because at a young age you get an opportunity to work on larger strategic projects and these companies are not afraid of experimenting in that. That’s huge learning space for any youngster unlike in large companies that move much slower,” said Siddhartha Gupta, CEO, Mercer Mettl.
Culture does go hand-in-hand with getting the best out of an employee. These organizations are fostering cultures that make people want to join and stay by deploying employee-first initiatives such as informal work culture and fairness of working conditions and wages.
For instance, Paytm has done away with the concept of work appointments. “Employees are free to have impromptu meetings and occupy available rooms without blocking calendars at Paytm,” said Charlie.
Then there are women-focused policies that also gives confidence to employees in joining such companies. For example, Flipkart’s formal mentoring program called Mom On Board — a 24-month program for women employees that serves to create an ecosystem to support women in their careers through their maternity journeys, said Singh.
Amazon didn’t comment on this story.
Coming to the diversity aspect of work culture is what these companies are also looking at. Freshworks, for instance, has an eye for people with alternate career interests as it looks to employ marketers who host podcasts, engineers who are full-time musicians, and even social activists.
Also, the corporate culture has undergone a massive change from cubicles and cabins to open offices and desks where accessibility to the management is not behind walls and glass doors.
“The message is loud and clear even across established companies that people want to express themselves freely where there are no hierarchies and one can openly reach out to top management. These are now basic hygiene measures. You have to give them access to the talent and share your vision with them,” added Gupta.
But that doesn’t mean that traditional enterprises aren’t doing their bit. The presence of Reliance Industries, IBM, and PwC (in the top 25 list by LinkedIn) indicates that they too are employers of choice for many job seekers.
For instance, at ICICI designations such as assistant general manager, deputy general manager and general manager could soon be a thing of the past as it seeks to cut hierarchy and boost accountability, said Charlie. Similarly, PwC India is moving from its monopoly of chartered accountants and tax professionals by “hiring employees from diverse backgrounds such as journalists, doctors, design thinkers, data scientists and environmentalists,” he added.