Aditya, Talent Trends and Fake Commutes
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Today’s newsletter has the 1st episode of Season 2 of my podcast Dreamers & Unicorns 2.0 It is available on Apple Podcasts, JioSaavn, Gaana, Spotify and on any podcast app. Every Wednesday you can listen to trailblazers who are unafraid of taking the road less travelled.
1. Aditya Ghosh on his Dreamer to Unicorn journey
How many aeroplanes have you bought? Aditya Ghosh bought 200 of them while at Indigo Airlines. When Indigo started in 2006 it had 8% market share. Aditya ran Indigo for 10 years and grew its market share to 40%. Indigo is the 3rd largest low-cost carrier in the world. They carry 200mn people every year and operate in 60 cities across 8 countries. They have a market cap of $8bn. How did Aditya Ghosh and his team do it?
“Culture is everything.” he says. Culture is shaped by the leader. That culture in turn attracts a certain kind of talent. Talent is a catalyst to spread the culture. How do you prevent the culture of the company from being a patchwork of practices, when the firm grows? Growth means hiring people from other organisations with varying values and norms. Aditya’s answer (listen to it in the podcast below) can be summarised as “everything changes, but nothing changes.”
Making the purpose come alive is what Aditya did at Indigo. Purpose drives people at all levels. Don’t miss the story of the boatman (if you don’t understand Hindi, ask someone to explain it). It was all very good until one day, all hell broke loose with an incident involving a customer and some Indigo employees.
I liked how he suggests we deal with career setbacks during a pandemic.
Click this Follow me on LinkedIn to watch a chat with Aditya Ghosh on 16th Nov 2020 at 8pm for the launch of my new book Dreamers & Unicorns.
Meanwhile listen to the podcast in the player below and tell us how you would have dealt with the crisis differently if you were the CEO of Indigo.
Subscribe to this on HT SmartCast. The next episode of Dreamers & Unicorns, releasing on 11 Nov 2020, features Joy Bhattacharjya - the erstwhile Team Director of Kolkata Knight Riders and someone shaping how we view sports in India.
2. Nurture your homegrown talent
Hiring is going to remain soft for a while. The LinkedIn report says that the job market will remain soft overall. People with cutting-edge skills will continue to find job offers, the rest will not be so lucky. Having a strong personal brand is vital. Recruiters need to view you as a sought after candidate.
Look inside your company for opportunities.
If there are minor gaps, L&D will still prioritise potential and transferable skills, like adaptability and problem-solving, over a candidate’s pedigree and technical knowledge. Partner with HR and the learning team of your firm to work towards your dream role.
Location is not relevant when virtual work is becoming the norm. That should also expand your choices to look for roles in another location that you have not considered before.
The employer’s brand shines when the employer talks about what they have done for employees during Covid-19.
If you think a friend can benefit from this story, share this newsletter by clicking below
3. Trend: People are taking ‘fake commutes’
When I was doing my summer training at Hindustan Unilever in Mumbai, I used to commute in the local train from Churchgate station to Sewri. The train left Churchgate at 8:17am and after a few days of floating around, I managed to get everyone else to accept that the window seat in the last compartment was mine. Regular commuters all have their fixed seats and routines. The predictability of the commute is boring, but also strangely comforting in a world full of uncertainty.
Housebound workers miss their daily commute. Yes, this is the same thing everyone complained about. Is it the ritual of dressing up that people miss? Or is it the ‘me time’ that it offered as people heard podcasts, read a magazine or newspaper or simply caught with their “commute-lover”. It was an opportunity to feel the city’s rhythm. It provided uninterrupted time to connect with people who I would ordinarily not have access to.
To make up for the lack of commute, the latest trend is “fake commute”. People dress up, drive around the block and start the day at home. “When work and home collapse into one, you lose not only the connection to a wider world, but also the mental signposts that signal a beginning and an end to the day. If you can roll out of bed and already be at the office, work never stops.”
The commute is a boundary marker. It gives us time to mentally prepare for the start or winding down of our task or leisure. It signals a clear start and end of the work-day. When we are working from home, clear distinctions are harder to maintain.
4. Market Shapers manage to agile even as they scale
100bn messages per day are sent on WhatsApp. Alphabet revenue was up 20% year on year, Facebook 22% & Amazon's net sales 37% . Amazon has hired 400k people this year, and now employs 1.12m people. These companies surprise us with their speed and agility. That when combined with scale creates a true Market Shaper. But you also see which companies are slipping. This is a ranking done by employees on Glassdoor. Send this post to a friend in these companies and see if they agree with these rankings.
That is all for this edition. If you liked it, do invite your friends to be part of the community. Or if you are not a subscriber yet do consider joining this community. It is a free weekly newsletter. See you at 9:00am next Monday. Till then… Stay curious and yes, please do share your feedback. Thanks!