MakeMyTrip.com (MMT) is one of India’s leading online travel companies. It has ranked among the top 10 Great Places to Work for in India by the Great Place to Work (GPTW) Institute for four years in a row. It has also ranked #1 in the Professional Services category since 2011. (MMT also won the Best Travel Innovator award at the Travel Distribution World Asia 2012 awards). MMT believes that happy employees create happy customers, and strives to create a rewarding and fun work environment for its employees.
MMT was founded in 2000 by Deep Kalra in the US. It was created to empower the overseas Indian traveller with instant booking and comprehensive choices. It launched its India operations in 2005.
Culture – the Key differentiator
MMT goes that extra mile to create the perfect culture for its employees, with special events like Hackathons and Hotelathons, and general events like themed-days, Rock Band parties, Table Tennis Tournaments, wine tastings and tug of war competitions.
Poonam Thakur, Manager-PR & Corporate Communication at MakeMyTrip.com, commented that a unique and fun culture helps them stand out in a crowded market:
“In an era of a hyper-competitive market-place, being an Employer-of-Choice definitely serves as differentiator. When all things are equal (compensation, designation, perks) and even when they’re not, an employee would be more inclined to stay in or join an organization where they feel engaged and valued. There are surveys a-plenty which demonstrate that ‘Empowerment’/ ‘Engagement’/ ‘Culture’ are values that serve as higher gate-keepers than Compensation & Benefits, and even brand-value.”
Thakur also shared three strategies that drive engagement at MMT:
“We have three key motivational strategies for our workforce. The first is freedom at work. We create challenging jobs and empower Trippers (as we call our employees) to take risks and make decisions.
“The second is fun at work. This is about having an engaging work experience by creating real friendships at work and making MakeMyTrip a second home.
“The third is triumph beyond work. This strategy focuses on moving beyond job descriptions and achieving personal satisfaction from innovating and raising the bar.”
10 Core Values
MMT’s culture is built on a strong foundation of 10 core values, intended to empower employees
- Passion for winning
- Customer centricity
- Respect for people
Here are 5 MMT activities which are popular amongst employees:
A Hotelathon is a 24-hour non-stop brainstorming event. It is mainly organised to kickstart new innovative projects and to complete older accumulated projects. The day generally consists of focused discussions, innovation, hard work and lots of fun. These 24-hour long events are very productive and bring out the best of the employees.
(For more about 24 hour non-stop sessions, read the comments in response to Aaron Hurst’s post Is it ever worth pulling an All-Nighter on LinkedIn)
2. Inductions in the “Gaming Zone”
MMT’s new employee induction program does not consist of a classroom or presentations; it is done in a gaming zone. Armed with iPads, new Trippers acquire information about the company and learn by undertaking an MMT journey and competing on a social network. New recruits put up a talent show for the entire company, and the weeks of rehearsing build strong networks and friendship, which no traditional orientation could provide.
3. The Virtual Tripper Villa intranet
MMT’s intranet is called the Virtual Tripper Villa. It is the in-house communication powerhouse and contains everything from gossip and candid pictures to product launches and awards. MMT’s open social media policies allow all trippers to be on the intranet and maintain contacts and updates.
To encourage innovation among the employees, MMT organised a Hackathon in 2012. Participants were given a brief to create at least 1 app and make it live in 24 hours. The Hackathon witnessed 21 live apps with Tomcat configurations, 87 deployments &11,436 lines of code generated.
The MMT offices are always abuzz, and they get even livelier during festivals and other important days. For example, on Independence Day, MMT organized an MMT Janta Vote (public vote) for the best-dressed male and female, an Azadi (freedom) Jukebox in the cafeteria for the trippers to play patriotic songs, and quizzes on the India Quotient of today’s free generation. Trippers were also asked to share their vision for India and a better tomorrow.
MMT also organizes social events such as Green Days and interactions with a non-profit for children and women.
Green Day – the Expedition
MMT observes Green Day to pursue its on-going commitment to a greener Gurgaon. Employees went on an expedition to the Aravalli Biodiversity Park. Many volunteered and took part in the sapling planting sapling initiative.
Interactions with non-profit Udayan Care
MMT regularly engages with children from Udayan Care, an NGO that works to empower vulnerable children, women and youth. In 2012, the children were invited to MMT’s Gurgaon office for festive fun with Trippers on Diwali. The day included arts & crafts, fun games & competitions, and of course lunch and snacks during the day. The MMT family has supported Udayan Care for over a decade.
The Man behind MMT
Deep Kalra the CEO of MMT has played an active role in making MMT what it is today. His focus has always been on people. According to the Economic Times, while most companies close the training tap in a downturn, MMT has increased spend on training by over 100% and it now stands at 0.5% of revenues.
When MMT made it to the 4th spot on the Great Places to Work for in India list in 2012, Deep Kalra commented:
“We believe that happy trippers create happy customers, a belief well proven by the fact that we enjoy a high repeat purchase rate and millions of delighted customers continue to draw benefits from our services. This recognition is a result of constant feedback shared by trippers over the years and has helped us evolve into one of the best places to work in India”.
Of all the MMT reviews on Glassdoor, 77% of employees recommend the company and 100 % have approved of CEO Deep Kalra.
Relevance to Gen Y
The MMT culture is all about freedom, openness and transparency. This culture keeps Gen Y engaged and motivated.
Hitesh Malhotra, Account Director, Social Hive India, MSLGROUP, commented:
“MMT understands that Gen Y is not an easy one to deal with, when it comes to maintaining excitement levels. They need this constant element of ‘challenge & fun’.
“Hence idea sourcing events like ‘Hackathon’ come in very handy. All employees are given an opportunity to come up with path breaking ideas that can impact the business positively.
“To keep the fun@work factor alive, these events are usually organised during offsites where the atmosphere is more informal and engaging. The Employee Engagement teams play a very active role in ensuring that such outings are organised at a regular intervals for all lines of business.”
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