Fintech platform MobiKwik on Tuesday said it has promoted Chandan Joshi as the co-founder and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the company's payments business.

Joshi has been part of the MobiKwik leadership team for the last 2.5 years as senior vice president, payments, a statement said.

"This is the first time the company has bestowed the co-founder title on anyone outside the original founding team. The company has kickstarted its IPO 2022 campaign with this major appointment," it added.

Previously, Joshi had founded Paketts, a last-mile logistics service company, and exited the business after Paketts was acquired by Nuvo Logistics (Peppertap) in 2017. Prior to being an entrepreneur, Chandan was a financial trader in global financial markets with Credit Suisse in London and Hong Kong.

MobiKwik co-founder and CEO, Bipin Preet Singh, said:

"Chandan has demonstrated all the right traits that we look for in a business leader – he leads from the front, is invested in his teams, is tenacious in driving business results and in closing large strategic deals. He has been a strong growth driver for MobiKwik and we want him to partner with us as a co-founder in the overall build-out of the company."

In its recently published financial year 2020 annual report, the company had reported net revenue growth of 133 percent year-on-year to Rs 379 crore, and cash EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) loss reduction of 91 percent y-o-y to Rs 8.5 crore.

"My journey with MobiKwik so far has been very fulfilling – I joined in the aftermath of demonetisation and my first assignment was organising the retail payments business, then to run ecommerce payments and finally to grow all of the Payments business…I am confident that together we will be able to profitably grow MobiKwik and take the company public," Joshi said.

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As CEO of the Payments business, Joshi will take on complete ownership of the company's flagship Payments Business which drives 75 percent of the revenues. While he was already driving the business (Sales, Marketing, Product, Engineering) in his existing role, all functions in the payments business unit will now report into him, the statement said.

MobiKwik has two business verticals – payments and fintech (includes credit and insurance).

Bipin Preet Singh is the CEO of the overall business.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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Original Source: yourstory.com

MakeMyTrip Founder Deep Kalra

MakeMyTrip Founder Deep Kalra

Battered by the coronavirus pandemic that crashed its revenues to zero, India’s largest online travel booking company MakeMyTrip was forced to let go of 350 people, which is nearly 10 percent of its staff, in June.

Initially, around March-end when the country entered into the first phase of the lockdown, the company had hoped it would not have to fire any of its employees, having affected pay cuts across the board.

“But then, two months into the pandemic we realised this is going to take longer and we had to take a very tough decision. I think it's fair to say the toughest decision we have ever taken, which was a large scale retrenchment — almost 10 percent of our staff, which was 350 people — we had to ask to go,” MakeMyTrip Founder Deep Kalra said during a recent chat with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma. The company has around 3,200 employees on its rolls.

The layoffs were from businesses which the company thought would not come back in a long time or at least would not be done the same way. These were primarily the retail businesses, which the Nasdaq-listed Gurugram company is in the process of converting into franchises and hopes people will still have gainful employment in these functions when the stores come back in their new avatars.

“But I don’t think we want those (jobs) on our rolls, we were anyway talking about restructuring this (retail business). But it was a tough time. I know for Rajesh (Magow, MakeMyTrip Co-founder and CEO) and myself, we had many sleepless nights. As did our HR, as did every leader, actually. It’s very hard." 

“I think for us, the way we are wired — we are Indian, we don’t have that hire-fire mentality — at least, we certainly don’t. Asking one person to go for (a) reason (that’s) not his or her fault is hard and when you do it mass-scale, it’s very hard,” Deep said.

In March, the World Travel and Tourism Council had warned that 50 million jobs in the travel and tourism industry could be lost worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic. It projected Asia as being the worst affected with the possibility of 30 million job losses in the continent.

deep-kalra-founder-and-ceo-makemytrip

Deep Kalra started MakeMyTrip at the age of 30 in 2000

The 50-year-old founder of one of India’s early internet successes who went on to become a poster boy for the Indian startup ecosystem and the online travel industry, said, the company wanted to ensure the separation process, albeit painful, was made as easy as possible.

“It’s the right thing to do. So we did extend the benefits and perks, whether it was medical insurance till a whole year, we did let them keep the laptops [sic]. For people who had done long service, we did even more, like linked to how long they had served us." 

“And then, even on a personal front, both Rajesh and I wanted to help anyone who had done a long time with us, more than 10 years, which we did. But it’s the worst thing to do and hopefully we never ever have to do that again,” he said.

At the peak of the pandemic, as travelling came to a standstill, MakeMyTrip’s revenues plummeted from $500 million a month revenue run rate to zero. “We did $6 billion gross booking (in) the last year, the last fiscal that we reported and we were suddenly down to zero,” Deep said.

He reflected on the irony that 20 years after the travel company was launched on April 1, 2000, it found itself in a position where on its anniversary there was virtually no travel happening, with everyone locked down inside their homes.

“We had our earnings call for the worst hit quarter, which is April, May and June, which is the first quarter of our fiscal and it’s open knowledge, since we are a public company, we were 95-96 percent down on revenues. So I was half jokingly saying, this should be called a lack of earnings call not an earnings call,” Deep said.

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After assessing the initial damage to the business, the MakeMyTrip management got down to figuring out the things they could control to salvage the situation. “We are in travel, not really diversified. So it’s been great for us for so long. We can sit and mope or fret and get into a panic, but neither of those are going to solve our problems,” Deep said.

The management figured the “only thing” it could do was act on two fronts — cutting costs and keeping employees’ motivation levels up, which became even more critical in the backdrop of the job cuts.

Deep elaborated: “How could we be completely maniacal about cutting down on cost wherever possible? So variable costs were (a) little easier, most of them were related to marketing and sales promotion. Semi-fixed cost, which was outsourced partners for post-sales service, call centres was a little harder, but again we gave notices, we negotiated, and we cut back. And the toughest of all, of course, was when it came down to people-cost.” 

According to the company, it tried to do everything possible to avoid the layoffs, especially through the deep pay cuts at the top, but eventually had to take the tough call of letting people go after an extended phase of little or no business.

 

“So, we took cuts, personal cuts in salaries at all levels, literally starting with managerial level at 10 percent, going all the way up to the top where Rajesh and I are still basically going 100 percent cut [sic] because it was not only symbolic but it was the right thing to do. "

“Our entire leadership team, I think it was creditable (that) they took a 50 percent cut and they continue to do so. And even though travel is coming back and now we have started restoring, it’s been (a) good four-five months of being like that,” Deep said.

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MakeMyTrip started restoring salaries of employees till the senior manager level by July end, once the business started to come back. “Some of our lines of business have definitely started like domestic flights, I think we are back now at 15-20 percent capacity, which is a start,” Deep said. For hotel bookings, demand is at 10-12 percent of the capacity, as is the demand for bus and other inter-city travel modes, he added.

(Edited by Megha Reddy)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

The coronavirus outbreak has not only brought about a global health threat but is also crippling the economy. Several organisations, factories, and businesses are unable to operate normally, forced to cut down their costs by deducting salaries and/or reducing their employee strength. 

According to media reports, 27 million workers within 20-30 lost their jobs in April 2020 amidst national lockdown. 

Paytm job

Paytm is looking to hire more than 1,000 tech and non-tech roles and 50 key senior-level hires. [Image Credit: Shutterstock]

Also ReadHiring in India picks up pace during April to June: LinkedIn

However, Noida-based fintech unicorn Paytm is looking to hire people for 1,000 positions within the next two to three months. Apart from this, the company is also looking to bring in over 50 key senior-level hires for vice president and above positions for tech and business roles.

Speaking with YourStory, Rohit Thakur, Chief Human Resource Officer, Paytm, says, “The ongoing global pandemic has not impacted our hiring plans and we have continued with our interviews, as well as inductions of new joinees through WFH mode even during the lockdown. We believe the hiring process would be complete in the next two to three months.”Growth and expansion amidst crisis

According to Rohit, Paytm and its other group businesses — lending, insurance, wealth management, and offline payments — have been expanding operations, creating the need to hire people for both tech and non-tech roles. 

“This team expansion would play an essential role in launching innovative financial services and technology to fuel Paytm’s growth journey and digitally serve the residents of the country in the troubled times of COVID 2019,” he adds. 

Paytm is not only building solutions to survive and sustain its business amidst the pandemic but is also aiming to empower the citizens to deal with the crisis. Riding on the accelerated digitisation wave, the fintech unicorn claims to have grown by 35 percent combining offline and online transactions, while its Gross Transaction Value (GTV) has grown by 50 percent over the last few months. 

The company’s offline merchant transactions and P2P transactions have increased by 122 percent and 50 percent, respectively amidst the pandemic situation. 

The fear of contacting COVID-19 through currency notes has forced people to shift to online transactions. Transactions through Paytm Payments Gateway have also increased, especially for gaming, OTT, and essential services. 

Paytm, jobs, hiring

Paytm and its other group businesses have been expanding operations thus creating the need to hire people. [Image Credit: Shutterstock]

Also ReadHow Paytm’s Rs 250 Cr ESOP policy will help the fintech giant drive growthEnsuring wellbeing, financial security of employees

To ensure the physical and mental wellbeing and financial security of the employees, the fintech unicorn made efforts to not opt for salary cuts or layoffs. This also ensured that employees gave their undivided attention towards innovating new solutions rather than worrying about their jobs.

“We have cut down on a lot of overhead costs, streamlined our operations and real estate, and managed to save on resources in other areas. We have ensured that all levels and categories of staff remain safe, motivated, and energised as earlier with minimal impact,” says Rohit.

The company is giving up leases of 19 facilities across the country that can help Paytm save over Rs 40 crore yearly in rent, maintenance, and other operating expenses. According to Paytm, this money will be utilised for tech development, employee, and other initiatives. 

Further, to maintain the productivity of the employees, senior managers and team leads try to stay connected with teammates and support them in completing their daily tasks. The company has also joined hands with professionals to organise mental health webinars, online yoga classes, and other workshops to ensure the health of its employees.

“Every week our founder [Vijay Shekhar Sharma] addresses a video-townhall meet with a large number of colleagues to keep everyone informed about all the latest developments in the company. Throughout the week, the HR touches base with various teams to hear out their concerns and address any work-related issues that they might have,” he adds.

When asked about the appraisal plans, Rohit reveals that Paytm is looking to opt for an ESOP-based appraisal plan, which will be applicable for all the new joinees and existing employees, who were given ESOPs 2019 onwards. This new process has been linked with individual goals, which are reviewed and approved by the HoD or business head.

“Linking it to the performance of our colleagues helps us get the best out of them and also sets the benchmark for goal setting. We follow a point-based performance structure that is transparent and done purely on the basis of achieving the set goals and targets. The higher the points scored in each assessment, the more percentage of ESOPs the employee gets allocated,” he says.

New business opportunities 

Paytm has launched several new products and services such as Paytm Postpaid, Scan to Order, contactless ticketing service, COVID-19 insurance, Recharge Saathi programme, credit shell for flight tickets, and free cancellation of bus tickets, among others. 

“Early on, we understood that social distancing norms and safety measures would have a lasting impact on the movement of migrant workers across the country. Things that they were able to do earlier, including standing in a queue to pay utility bills, going for shopping, and even touching currency notes would become difficult. Keeping all these things in mind, our team worked dedicatedly to revamp the Paytm app UI with a ‘Stay at home essential payments’ section to include Mobile and DTH Recharge, electricity, water, gas, credit card, and insurance premium payment among others,” Rohit says.

This offering led to over 50 percent increase in mobile recharges, 60 percent increase in DTH payments, and over 200 percent increase in broadband bill payments, claims the company.

To cater to the growing need for contactless services, the fintech unicorn launched the ‘Scan to Order’ feature to promote safe dining and hygienic food ordering experience. It also developed a unique QR to be displayed at restaurants, which can be scanned by users to browse the menu and place orders using their mobile phones. 

Paytm also launched a contactless ticketing service for state-run local transport buses, which will benefit state transport corporations such as DTC, BEST, Punjab Roadways, CTU, OSRTC, and KSRTC, among others.

“We are already in talks with 20 state transport departments to ensure that citizens are able to travel safely within cities following all social distancing norms. We are targeting to enable a contactless ticket-buying experience in over 20,000 state-run busses in the first phase of going live with this service,” adds Rohit.

He adds that a deep understanding of user needs, along with the capability to develop innovative solutions helped the company find new opportunities during these turbulent times.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

Walmart-owned Flipkart said it has enabled more than 90 percent of its sellers to resume business on the platform since April. The ecommerce major also noted that it has seen a 125 percent increase in new sellers signing up on the platform in comparison to its existing seller base for a period of April-June 2020.

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"The impact of the pandemic has urged businesses across the country to re-think their usual mode of operating, and identify newer ways to function. Local MSMEs across the nation have realised the true value of ecommerce that enables them to stay connected with millions of customers," Flipkart said in a statement.

"Since April 2020, Flipkart has enabled more than 90 percent of its sellers to resume business on the platform. Sellers on Flipkart are able to leverage the benefits of nationwide market access along with an efficient, transparent, and truly democratic functioning of their marketplace business," it said.

Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu were the top states where local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have shown maximum interest in taking their businesses online.

These sellers operate in various categories, ranging from women's clothing, personal care, food and nutrition, home improvement tools, and baby-care products, it added.

To help MSMEs and sellers through this pandemic, Flipkart had introduced a health insurance plan specific to COVID-19 to cover the sellers along with their families and employees at a special rate with a coverage, ranging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 3 lakh per individual with annual premiums starting at Rs 369.

It also ran a special offer on loans through Flipkart's Growth Capital programme to address the sellers' need for working capital.

"As a homegrown platform, Flipkart has a huge emphasis on enabling the local MSME industry of the country by making them more digital and transforming their business journey. By allowing MSMEs, artisans, and smaller traders in India to bring greater efficiencies in their operations with a strong market reach, ecommerce is further empowering these businesses to generate livelihood opportunities," Flipkart said.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

Hiring activities declined by 61 percent in May due to the nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report.

This is the second consecutive month of more than 60 percent decline in hiring activities.

Recruitment declined 61 percent to 910 job postings in May as compared to 2,346 in the same month last year, according to NaukriJobSpeak Index.naukri.comAlso ReadMeet the unicorn still hiring despite industry-wide layoffs and salary cuts

NaukriJobSpeak is a monthly index, which calculates and records hiring activities based on the job listings on Naukri.com.

The report further revealed that the May decline in hiring is led by industries like hotel, restaurant, travel, airlines (91 percent), retail (87 percent), auto, ancillary (76 percent), and BFSI (70 percent).

The job market across cities registered a double-digit dip of more than 50 percent, it added.

In metros, Kolkata declined by 68 percent, followed by Delhi (67 percent) and Mumbai (67 percent).

Decline in recruitment activities in Kolkata was mainly led by auto and ancillary (98 percent) and hospitality (94 percent) sectors.

All experience bands recorded a negative growth and the demand for professionals in the hospitality and accounting sectors saw a decline of 96 percent and 84 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile in Delhi and NCR, hiring activities in the hospitality and accounting industries saw a dip by 94 percent and 81 percent, respectively.

Recruitment activities across all experience levels saw a negative double-digit growth, it added.

In Mumbai, hiring in the hospitality and auto sectors slipped 93 percent and 80 percent, respectively, the report said.

The recruitment activity across experience levels witnessed a fall of an average 64 percent, it added.

The entry-level experience bands (0 to 3 years) saw the sharpest decline of 66 percent.

The hiring for senior-level executives (4-7 years) fell 62 percent, while in middle management (8-12 years) roles it declined by 55 percent, senior management (13-16 years) by 50 percent and leadership roles (over 16 years) by 48 percent, it added.

Even as the hiring activities are down, more than 50 percent of job seekers are utilising the time at hand due to the lockdown for self-development and career advancement, as per the latest Naukri survey conducted with 50,000 job seekers.

Data science and analytics courses at 22 percent, followed by digital marketing (20 percent), and finance and risk management (16 percent) were among the top courses being picked up by job seekers to up-skill themselves, it added.

"The extension of the lockdown has resulted in a continued decline in hiring activities for the third consecutive month. In a recently conducted survey with recruiters and HR heads, about 39 percent said critical hiring is still taking place and we are seeing the same on the site with industries like pharmaceuticals, healthcare, insurance, and IT-software posting jobs during the lockdown," Naukri.com Chief Business Officer Pawan Goyal added.

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

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