Working Culture at makemytrip (Source-


Best Companies To Work For 2011: Autonomy is the fulcrum that steers the ship at


Ownership is what people get when they jump ship to embark on a voyage on At the 11-year-old online travel portal, the top management never loses sight of an opportunity to toss up the ownership card to its employees. When the company listed on Nasdaq last year, there were 150 ‘Trippers’ with stock options, about 20% of the 700-odd workforce then.

“But as soon as appraisals are over in a month, we intend to cover about 70% of the workforce with ESOPs,” says Founder-CEO Deep Kalra. Again, when KRAs are set every February, the business plan for the company is outlined bottom-up.

So a line of business heads come up with revenue projections for the subsequent year, which is then given to finance for compilation and vetting. “This ensures a lot of ownership of KRAs,” points out Rohit Hasteer, Head of HR at the Rs 274.50-crore travel node.

And ownership, as Kalra firmly believes, cannot happen without fun at work. “If you’re having fun, you’ll give more,” he says, rattling off a clutch of fun-filled activities in the company that makes it a buoyant workplace, ranked third in this year’s ETGPTW Survey.

Even the bi-annual Town Hall meet is not a formal suit-and-tie sit down. There are themes-such as ‘ghost town’ or ‘Michael Jackson’, which new recruits have to play out before the organization, that many in the management feel help in bonding.

But ownership doesn’t come cheap. Autonomy is the fulcrum that steers the ship at makemytrip. Take the case of the 32-year-old Venkatesh Chennaraj. He was among the three to sign up with the company from the Indian School of Business this year, having worked for seven straight years in consulting in the US.

While evaluating companies like Google and Amazon, he also kept his eyes open for makemytrip. So what made him choose the travel portal? “At Google, I would be just selling search ads but at makemytrip , I’m an entrepreneur managing a Rs 20 crore business without any interference,” he says.

Now that’s a point echoed across the organization. With a $4 million acquisition in Singapore and more in the pipeline, the company is also flanking itself out, empowering its workforce to manage such centers.

“We want to stay focused in providing stellar experience to our customers, sustain the market leadership position and grow our non-air side of the business by doing strategic acquisitions,” says Rajesh Magow, Cofounder and CFO.

The overall growth (makemytrip is growing by 50% p.a. as against the 28% online travel trade in the country) translates into opportunities for people.

“Not very many websites do 2,000 transactions a day and in the online product space, it is rare for a 20-something to run the business, which happens only here,” points out Chief Products Officer Amit Somani, who landed up in the company from Google. Besides, being a B2C platform helps.

“Here you have a direct impact on what you do with customers,” adds Chief Innovation Officer Rajnish Kapur. Why just online? Take the offline model of the company, which is barely four-year-old.

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About manishankarscribbles

A management trainer, consultant and faculty with experiences in South Asia, Middle East and Australasia. I am also present in and apart from .
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