THE NASDAQ-LISTED MakeMyTrip, an online travel solutions provider, helps clients make happy memories. It also extends this to its women employees who have to travel for work — among its several initiatives is travel allowance for children of women employees.

“MakeMyTrip has a lot of young mothers. We have introduced this policy to ensure that they can work and take care of the child during business travel. If the child is up to five years, one can travel with the child. The payment covers (expenses for) domestic help, too. We introduced this two years back,” says Yuvaraj Srivastava, group chief human resource officer, MakeMyTrip.

After all, it is on the strength of its employees that the company, founded in 2000 with the idea of instant travel bookings in India-U.S. segment, has been able to metamorphose into a comprehensive travel solutions provider with top brands such as goibibo and redBus, apart from a network of 34,000 registered travel agents. Gross bookings doubled to $3.18 billion in FY22 compared with $1.63 billion in FY21. The company credits the post-pandemic rebound in growth to spirit of employees, who are considered as ambassadors of the organisation.

The company aligns its policies around the overarching philosophy of “customisation and uniqueness of employee value proposition.” Some other unique human resource policies that have helped MakeMyTrip stand out as an employer of the future include uncapped leave policy, encouragement of e-mobility and wealth creation opportunities through attractive stock options.

“Leaves are not defined by numbers. There is no embargo. We have a young workforce. Tending to ailing parents or marriage or maternity cannot be defined in numbers,” says Srivastava. He says the number of leaves required can be arrived at between the employee and his manager. “We have people going on leave for more than 30-35 days. You will, however, realise that all those cases are genuine,” he adds.

Some other initiatives include a policy to encourage employees to buy green vehicles — the company pays registration and first-year insurance charges.

It also provides an environment where every individual in the organisation is respected. “We believe that as a good employer, you need to work on the employee value proposition. We offer the prospective candidate an opportunity to work with the best talent. Learning happens when you work with the best people. We hire from across industries and campuses and try to create a diversified workforce,” says Srivastava. Key company values are care, creativity and curiosity, he says.

Yuvaraj says the company believes in offering employees wealth creation opportunities and has aligned its stock option plans accordingly. “Around 90% senior management owns shares. Mid-level upwards, the number is 60-70%.Our stock plans are lucrative and aim at helping employees create wealth for their future. That makes a lot of difference to people’s lives,” he says.

With firm belief that India is a travel hungry market where demand for its services is set to rise, the company is focusing on identifying and nurturing future leaders. “We have also created a plan to ensure retention of mid-level employees who can be groomed as future leaders. This involves providing differentiated learning opportunities, projects, stock option plans and one-on-one coaching. We have created a pool of leaders to be groomed by CEO and CXO,” he says. For these initiatives to reach fruition, all verticals have to grow. For this, the company is tapping opportunities in the corporate travel sector, expanding internationally and onboarding travel agents. “Corporate travel has huge potential. Our solution for corporate travel was launched three-four years back and has now started showing huge promise. Similarly, in smaller cities, many people are comfortable booking through travel agents. After Covid-19, an effort was launched to on-board travel agents. It has started doing extremely well. It is an opportunity to get offline travellers to come online,” he says.

“We are also expanding our footprint in the B2C market, especially GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. We launched in UAE in 2020 and have made good progress in last two to three years,” he says.

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