We’re constantly evolving: Gozoop Online CEO Ahmed Naqvi
Mumbai: Leaves for women having their period, shutdown at 3pm on Valentine’s Day and New Year’s eve; official career breaks and sabbaticals; special allowances for taking parents out for dinner or even a vacation part-financed by the firm—just a few of the steps that Gozoop Online Pvt. Ltd has taken, which got the digital agency a spot among the top ten in the Great Places to Work Institute from a list of 250 companies. “The company is constantly evolving and diversifying,” says Ahmed Naqvi, 32, one of its three co-founders in an interview. Edited excerpts:
You have been chosen out of the shortlisted companies in the report. What according to you sets the company apart?
From day one, all three of us co-founders felt that we have to work for something beyond profits and with passion. As leaders, our role is to make sure each one finds their potential. Even when we were very small, at the garage, even when we didn’t have money, we were all about people. People want to be heard. They want us to be their partner in their growth and if we can do that, then everything conspires for the best.
How has this helped you as a company?
You know as a company, what we do will keep changing. Three years ago, we were a digital agency. Now we have gone beyond to offer offline; we are an integrated marketing company and tomorrow we may be something beyond that but our core is constant, that is our culture. That is how I am able to attract talent from bigger agencies. It’s because of the growth potential they see here.
This also helps us to retain them. Also our learning has been that every time we listen to our employees, our productivity has improved. It has had a positive impact us.
The average age of the three co-founders is 30-32 and that of the workforce is even younger at 24-25 years. What do you do to keep these youngsters motivated?
We have enabled a lot of measures to understand each of our employees’ aspirations and align ourselves to their goals. For instance, we have a programme called Gozoop Emerging Leaders Programme (ELP) in which participants can nominate themselves and go through a selection process to work on an eight-week programme which helps them to accelerate in their careers.
The programme is beyond career as it sets goals across personal and even giving back to society. We tell our people to treat Gozoop as a friend and leave their inhibitions outside and then we work together. Then we have GZSparks, which fosters intrapreneurship. We cater to diverse industries and each of these industries has separate teams, whose heads are called SBU (strategic business unit) heads and they act as mini CEOs responsible for the profit and loss of the unit, training programmes and team hiring, building. They have a lot of independence. This culture is taken out in GZsparks where people can recommend new service or products or process which can help us. Some of the best ideas come from these programmes.