How MakeMyTrip paid back its employees who had taken voluntary pay cuts

During the first wave of the pandemic, MakeMyTrips revenues had plummeted to zero. That’s when a number of employees had come forward to help by taking voluntary pay cuts.
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During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, when India first went into lockdown in March last year, the travel and hospitality industry came to a screeching halt. Soon after, India’s largest travel booking company, MakeMyTrip’s (MMT) revenues plummeted to zero, amidst the countrywide lockdown.

To support the company in this time of need, several of the Gurugram unicorn’s employees stepped forward and volunteered to let go of a portion of their take-home salary.

“We were very grateful for that because we had too many volunteers who had come forward when suddenly the revenues dropped...post the first wave country lockdown [sic]. And when we were getting together trying to put some cost optimisation effort, the people had come forward and said they were ready to contribute etc,” MakeMyTrip Group CEO Rajesh Magow said while appearing on YourStory’s new show, Human Beyond Resources.

Rajesh Magow

MMT Group CEO Rajesh Magow believes that the Gurugram unicorn has managed to build a culture that is 'humane'

MMT, which has tided over several global crises in the past including 9/11 and the great recession has managed to build a culture that is “humane”, where people come together and help each other out, voluntarily step up every time there is any issue at the organisation, he added.

As travel picked up over two quarters, just before the second wave hit this year, MakeMyTrip paid back all these employees in entirety, even though it knew that the crisis for the industry was far from over.

“Our thought process behind not only restoration of their salaries, as the business started recovering, but as part of this whole annual appraisal exercise we thought that it could be sort of a great gesture from our side, while there may not be actually expectation. After we released that everybody felt really good about it.

“More than the money, to be honest I think the gesture was very well received. It's the only fair thing to do, that's what we thought. We've over the years believed in having very fair people practices and the first opportunity we got when we started seeing the business recovery happening, we paid this money as ex-gratia, even when the crisis was going on,” explained Rajesh.