Info-tech

Directi takes on Google in pampering employees

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018




Bhavin Turakhia sits relaxed in his plush Andheri office, wearing parrot-green Adidas track pants and a grey T-shirt on a weekday. The 32-year-old head of Directi, the Web products development company he founded in 1998, is rarely seen in formals, not even when meeting marquee clients.

“Nobody comes to us for what we wear… . They come to us for what we are and for the quality of our products,” said Turakhia, who is also chairman and CEO.

The company’s office in the Mumbai suburbs is much like a college, swarming with teenagers in jeans and T-shirts, some even in Bermudas paired with matching sandals.

Directi pampers its employees with flexible working hours, free food, a gym and play areas (ping-pong tables and gaming consoles), bean bags, and salsa and music classes. Trekking, photography clubs and cricket tournaments are also organised.

Staffers don’t need to display ID cards, and the average age of an employee is 23 years. Directi employs more than 1,000 personnel across its offices in Bangalore, Delhi, the UAE, the US and China.

“We can swipe-in at any time, timings do not matter, only the output matters,” said Nikhil Mangal, a developer with the company since 2009.

Directi, which was started with a capital of just Rs 25,000, now has a net worth of $350 million, according to an internal audit. It owns BigRock.com (a Web hosting company), Logicboxes and ResellerClub (domain registrars), Skenzo (Internet traffic monetisation business) and Radix (registry business).

This draws a lot of parallels with Google (ranked as the world’s best company to work with), which has bocce courts, bowling alleys and food, all gratis. Faceboook and Yahoo similarly pamper staff.

Directi’s employee referral plan takes the cake. The staffer who refers a candidate has to conduct the first interview. And if the candidate gets the job, the employee is rewarded with a car (Honda Brio) or cash equivalent.

With salaries of Rs 20 lakh a year for an engineer just out of college, Directi is a good paymaster too. The firm recruits just 35 freshers every year, after interviewing at least 6,000 applicants.

rajesh.kurup@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 17, 2012

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