Press "Enter" to skip to content

World Cup: A field trip for corporate India

image

Startup bosses are leading the charge among corporate highf liers travelling to England to cheer for team India at the Cricket World Cup starting on May 30. And one match most of them will watch is the India-Pakistan clash at Old Trafford on June 16.

At least two unicorn founders — Naveen Tewari of mobile marketing platform InMobi and Byju Raveendran of learning app Byju’s — are among the many startup honchos who have confirmed they are going to catch the cricketing action up close. Others in the list include InMobi cofounder Abhay Singhal, Byju’s chief operating officer Mrinal Mohit, coworking space provider GoWork CEO Sudeep Singh, healthcare technology company Care24 founder Vipin Pathak, and augmented reality app Scanta founder Chaitanya Hiremath.

While most corporate honchos plan to travel with family and friends, some are sending their top performers on all expenses-paid trip to England, using the World Cup to build loyalty and team spirit.

Byju’s, for example, is taking a group of 100 top performers on a four-day fully funded trip to London and Manchester that will include watching the India-Pakistan match at Old Trafford.

Almost 70% of the employees headed for London are under 25, said Pravin Prakash, chief people officer at Byju’s – The Learning App. “So far we have organised three international trips for our top performers as it has a long-term and strong impact on their motivation,” he said. Rival learning app Toppr is also sending its top performer to the World Cup. Hiremath of Scanta, an avid cricket fan, said he too is mulling the idea of sending employees for matches. “I am super excited to watch the semi-finals and finals,” he said. “If India gets to the finals it will be worth it.”

Tewari of InMobi, whose love for cricket is well known, will travel with his wife Aditi and company cofounder Singhal. Besides the high-stakes India–Pakistan match, they have also booked tickets for the semi-finals and the finals.

Singh of GoWork will also be at Old Trafford on June 16 along with his family as an extension of their annual summer break.

CONSUMER COMPANIES ACTIVE

Consumer companies, especially those associated with the event as sponsors, too, will continue to send high performers to the World Cup. Coca Cola, Nissan, Britannia and Bira 91 are among firms that will send their top performers on fully funded trip to the World Cup as part of their rewards and recognition initiatives.

Such incentive trips are used to not just reward high performers, but also to promote loyalty, reduce attrition and motivate employees, company insiders said.

At craft beer brand Bira 91, for instance, employees exhibiting high performance in first quarter will get an all-expense paid trip to watch one key match in England. “This programme is being run across sales, central functions and our plants,” said Swayampriya Shah, vice-president, HR and administration, at Birla 91.

Biscuits maker Britannia is organising a contest for its sales team, winners of which will travel on an all-expenses paid trip to the World Cup.

Three employees at carmaker Nissan, too, will win tickets for the final match with a fully-paid three day-two night package tour of London as part of the company’s global partnership with ICC. Coca Cola has gone a step further, and will f ly all 200 employees in its business unit to England to watch the various teams battle it out in the cricketing arena.

Shiv Agrawal, managing director at recruitment service firm ABC Consultants, and R Suresh, founder of boutique search and consulting firm INSIST Executive Search, too are headed for the World Cup.

TRAVEL COMPANIES UPBEAT

Travel companies are reporting a surge in bookings, with the India-Pakistan match being a mandatory inclusion. Other sought-after matches include India-South Africa at Southampton, India-England at Birmingham, India-Australia at the Oval, London, and India-Sri Lanka at Leeds.

“For most Indians, cricket is a passion, if not a religion,” said Rajeev Kale, president at Thomas Cook (India). “Cricket has always been a significantly powerful driver across our travel businesses. This year, too, we have seen a strong growth, with our sales teams reporting a 36% increase in demand in comparison to the previous year.”

Corporate India is contributing over 50% of the bookings, Kale said.

Source: Economic Times