One of India’s biggest online retailers, Flipkart.com is growing at a phenomenal pace. From 2 employees (the founders) in 2007, to 30,000 employees in 2015, the company had come a really long way. They were hiring at a large scale and new employees were joining the company across all divisions on a weekly basis. New employees consisted of an even mix of freshers and lateral hires.
Rezonant’s task was to create a seamless on-boarding procedure which informed new employees about the values, culture, goals and the vision of the company. We also had to create a ‘goodie bag’ of sorts which would be given to new hires and further inform them about the history of the company. To cut to the chase, we wanted to excite and motivate the Flipster (Flipkart employees are called Flipsters) on his/her first day at work.
There were two major hurdles that needed to be overcome.
1. The sheer size and structure of the company and its operations were immense. We had to immerse ourselves in the eco-system and talk to multiple stakeholders across departments and decipher their functions. We spoke to over 200 employees which included almost everyone from the founders to the senior employees and vice presidents to the freshers and the young blood of the company. This entire procedure took a good 5-6 months of a ‘super deep dive’ into Flipkart. Team Rezonant was almost living at the Flipkart office.
2. The number of people that were joining the company were of diverse backgrounds and in large numbers. At that time, each Thursday, the HR team was inducting 50-70 new employees on an average. The employees’ ages ranged from 21 to around 40-45 years. We had to find a way to create an output that would have a universal appeal.
After our research, we realized that whatever we create had to address the following points:
New employees must feel valued and part of the company.
They should be motivated and excited.
They should get a sense of the history and journey of the company.
They should get a good grasp on the goals and vision of the company.
Flipkart also had a lot of people talking about the company on the outside with a lot of random articles, blog posts and stories doing the rounds. We felt that our on-boarding communication should also address the real issues and give new employees a sense of the true picture of life and work at Flipkart.
We decided to shoot a series of videos that highlighted the history and culture of the company, the growth at Flipkart, the vibe, the work that happens and also what the people at the company are like. We realized that the videos would be most effective if they came from senior Flipsters themselves. So, we had the founders, the HR head, all the old employees and most of the senior management deliver a piece close to their heart and their function on a video.
To make sure the employees felt welcome and understand the growth process within the organization, the video we shot had the HR head for Flipkart fit a GoPro camera on his head and go around the various offices of the company, talking to different kinds of achievers within the organization. This video also emphasized on the familial, nonhierarchical atmosphere at Flipkart. The other videos included a welcome message and a short history of Flipkart by the founders, a young Flipster tells the new employees how is the work culture at Flipkart and snippets of people, work and life at the company. All these videos have cameos of sorts from senior directors, VPs and early employees who motivate and encourage the new employees to strive to do their best.
Each video was scripted and shot by us based on our research and the time that we spent with the various stakeholders. There was little to no rehearsal before the shoots as all the major stakeholders were extremely busy and traveling constantly.
The goodie bag that we designed for each employee had the following components
The goodie ‘bag’ itself
A set of coasters
A gift voucher
The goodie bag that we designed for Flipkart had a recurring pattern on it. It was made up of the different items that were for sale on the Flipkart website. We took inspiration from the actual pattern that can be found on a Flipkart delivery and asked our artist to create a similar effect.
Specially designed goodie bag for Flipkart
Even though, we had already shown a bit of the history of the company in the videos, we were doubtful about whether people would be able to retain so much information in just a single day or sitting. Hence, the diary that we created traced the path and the growth of Flipkart from 2007 to 2015.
Custom made, hand drawn illustrations were created for each year tracing milestones and memories for new employees to see and understand for themselves. The diary itself was designed to look like an actual Flipkart delivery.
Custom made, hand drawn illustrations for the Flipkart diary
We designed it to be made from re-cycled paper and cardboard and after much hunting, we found a vendor who could execute our design perfectly.
Specailly made Flipkart diaries from re-cycled paper and cardboard
During our research, we observed something fun. We saw that every Flipster had spent some time decorating and making his/her own personal work space extremely vibrant. The company had given them a soft board for their workspace where they had pinned-up various items like badges, band posters, pictures and a lot of other interesting knick-knacks. Our idea was to give them a poster that could be displayed in this setting. The poster that was created was an amalgamation of all the illustrations in the diary. It was a timeline of sorts where all the illustrations came together and painted the picture of how two people formed a multi-billion dollar company that changed the face of how we shop.
Happy Flipkart employee displaying the poster designed by Team Rezonant
The coasters that we created were a spoof of traditional Chinese calendars which had highlights named, ‘the year of the dog’ and such. We used the same theme with highlights from the milestones of the company. For example: “The year of next day delivery”. This coaster highlighted the important milestone which pushed Flipkart miles ahead of their competition. The copy/caption was supported by an illustrated visual.
Coasters highlighting the important milestones of Flipkart
We created vouchers for new employees so that they could go to the in-office store and purchase something for themselves. Since we knew that Flipsters as a whole were pretty big on books and movies like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc, we themed the vouchers on a famous line from The Lord of the Rings.
Vouchers themed on a famous line from The Lord of the Rings
Flipkart has been growing from strength to strength and is continuing to hire massively. We’ve been told that each and every new employee goes through this on-boarding procedure that we designed and crafted and gets a lot of clarity on the mission and milestones of his/her new company.
The knowledge and the insight that we gained working on this project has helped us understand the start-up eco-system from the inside and has helped us work smoothly with other clients from the same eco-system.