India’s Best Companies to Work For (2013) – What they do differently?


The “India’s best companies to work for (2013)” is released this week by The Economic Times magazine and the companies that made top 10 are Google, Intel  Technology, American Express, NIIT, Forbes Marshall, NTPC, Ujjivan Financial Services, MakeMyTrip, Marriott Hotels and Blue Dart Express. Though the presence of Google, Intel, American Express, Marriott etc. is not surprising, I am definitely surprised by the presence of public sector organization like NTPC (looks like they are consistently there in top 10 for many years) and other not so well known names like Forbes Marshall and Ujjivan Financial Services. I am equally surprised by absence of the top 10 IT Services Organization in the above list

The study conducted by Great Places to Work says the key differentiators that made these companies to top 10 are like

  • Genuine Caring of Employees
  • Willingness to share wealth
  • Equally opportunity for recognition (Everyone gets some opportunity or other to get recognized)
  • Candid communication (A two way communication than a top down approach)
  • Reliability of their managers (Managers keep up their promises)
  • Collaboration with employees (Actively seeks and responds to employees suggestions) and
  • Impartiality

What sounded interesting for me was some of the facilitating policies / practices these organizations have implemented to create a difference. I have put down here some of the interesting ones that I read.

Many of us would have read about Google’s 20% time program where employees have flexibility to work for 20% on programs / projects that are completely unrelated to their regular work, “Airport Test” administered by Google to ensure every employee has a hobby to pursue, flat organization structure, collaborative decision taking etc but what caught my attention was the experience of a woman employee who by merit got promoted when she was about to take a 5 months maternity leave. Are there any better ways to demonstrate practice of Impartiality in an Organization?

The other one that sounded interesting was employees can simply drop an email in the morning to his manager with just only a subject line “WFH” and getting a response from his manager “Cool Tcre”. How many Organizations have guts to trust and implement such policies?

In Intel there are quoted incidences in the report which talks about managers taking personal care to ensure that employees personal life is not affected by project deadlines at any cost and the personal touch exhibited by the managers to demonstrate the genuine care they have on their people when they go through challenging times in their personal lives.

In American Express,  rather than just cribbing on employees disciplinary issues, the way they go one step ahead to identify the root cause and putting in place some policies / programs to assist employees in fixing these issues was definitely interesting.

Some of the interesting ones are ‘AHA Kids’ program that was centered around promoting active lifestyle around children, ‘Parents@Amex’ to teach them guilt free parenting, ‘Dil Se’ program covering employees’ parents under medical insurance, ‘Fit Hi Hit Hi’ program to improve physical fitness and ‘elevation zone’ where employees can relax with Nintendo, Xbox, iPods etc

In NIIT, the program “Chairman’s Quality Club” sounds interesting where they identify the cream talents passing through stringent measures, put them under direct mentorship of the Chairman of the company and deputed in special projects that is of strategic importance to the Organization.

NTPC the only public sector organization that featured under the top 10 has interesting programs like PUPS (Providing urban facilities at projects site) under which employees working in offsite remote project sites are provided with all facilities of urban lifestyle, DAD (directors at your door) where senior managers meet employees at regular intervals and “Meet the CMD” program which allows anyone to apply for a timeslot with Chairman and Managing Director of the company

MakeMyTrip “Leaders vs. Rookies” where they handle the first 60 days of a new employee joining the Organization in an interesting manner. These new recruits (rookies) have to introduce themselves to the leadership team in innovative ways (sing a poem etc.) apart from playing games like Ping Pong etc. to break the ice. The rookie also has to do a research of comparing MakeMytrip website with any three national / international travel portals and come up with suggestions / recommendations to improve MakeMyTrip. They also have to go through the process of listening to at-least 100 customer calls in the support centre to get an insight on customer behaviour. Wonderful ways to induct the new comers into the Organization ….

At Marriott even Junior associates are provided with an option to stay for one night in a Marriott hotel on their birthdays with their families and finally Blue dart takes pride in retaining most of the managerial level talents in the Organization with an average experience in the company for 11 years and 96% of senior management have grown from within the ranks including people moving from Staff category to Vice President role.

The one thing that I found interesting among the top 10 is rather than being a Copy Cat, most of the Organizations have come up with something interesting / different / relevant to their context to create a difference. I believe the crux of success lies in identifying such policies / programs as well as effective implementation of these policies in practice. The results would take its own time…It is also empirically established by Great Place to Work that Top 50 listed companies that figured in their reports outperform market indices by factor of 3 ….Make a note if your Organization wants to be one in that list ….

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5 thoughts on “India’s Best Companies to Work For (2013) – What they do differently?

  1. This seems to be focussing more on western work culture & business environment.Our Indian work force needs more regulation,periodical eavluation & monitoring.We do not seem to have reached such a matured stage of work culture.We still lurk in evasion of work if we can.I do not generalise.We are in a transition mode.

  2. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the excellent work.

  3. I fully agree with the blog content. If we treat employees like kids they will remain one. We cant blame culture as we are part of it not allowing it to change. In western culture they are more disciplined and accountable. We shouldn’t enforce what we don’t or needn’t practice. I have always seen highest level of performance/ innovation comes under highest level of freedom. Else jails would have become the most productive houses.

  4. ‘Thank you for this blog. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something thats eye opening and important. You clearly know so much about the subject, youve covered so many bases. Great stuff from this part of the internet. Again, thank you for this blog.”

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