Sunday, April 26, 2009

No.9 Domino Pizza


Industry: Food services
Employees: 5,620
Workplace locations: 5
Business units: 176
Unique roles: 32

IN MOST organisations, a 106% attrition rate would be alarming. At Domino’s, it’s pizza as usual. That triple-digit rate is at the entry (delivery person) level, populated by 12th pass students who are still finding themselves. At the store manager level, the attrition rate is 21%, much better than the industry average of 40-45%. At the corporate office, it’s almost nil, with several employees having been in the company since it was formed in 1998-99.

The challenge for Domino’s is how to keep its 20-somethings interested, compete as it does with the BPO industry, which offers higher salaries and more perks. Still, people stay. Some even return to a system that empowers them to perform and gives a fair opportunity to the deserving to rise through the ranks. For instance, by clearing four training modules, a delivery boy can become a store manager in five years. Straight out of class 12, Raj Sahi joined as a delivery boy in 1996. Today, the 33-year-old oversees the Western region, and is responsible for a turnover of Rs 100 crore per year. With financial assistance from Domino’s, he also completed his graduation.

Employee education is a stated objective at Domino’s— it spent Rs 45 lakh in 2007-08 on training and will spend Rs 55 lakh this year. The company has tied up with leading institutes for distant education courses (both graduate and post-graduate). It also sends chosen employees for a one-year, residential, customised management course at IMT Ghaziabad. Says Ajay Kaul, Chief Executive Officer, “If they stay with the company for two to three months, they see the benefits flowing.”

Store managers are seen as the CEO of their stores. Says Basab Bordoloi, Vice-President (HR): “They practically run the business, which inculcates an entrepreneurial zeal among them.” Store managers handle their store as a separate business unit. They have the right to question corporate moves that have cost implications on their store. “The sense of responsibility and career growth keeps us motivated,” sums up 25-year-old R Devrajan, who manages six stores in Delhi.

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