We arrived under the suffocating heat of Dubai and headed straight for Business Bay, an emblematic place of the country’s growing economic dynamics. We walk into the Regal Tower building situated on Happiness Street. Coincidence? We think not. We arrived at the 24th floor and enter the Gozoop office at 2408.
Gozoop, an Indian company specializing in digital marketing, was visited last year by our 2016 Baroudeurs, François and Léo (read their article). There, they had discovered many interesting practices and so, we wanted to know how Gozoop’s style of management had been adapted to another market and another culture. Dushyant, one of the co-founders, kindly accepted to receive us.
We enter an open-space where about 20 people are seated at their respective work stations. Beginning the discussion with Dushyant, we ask him the reasons that pushed him to launch Gozoop Dubai. He tells us that he grew up in Dubai before going to India. Therefore, after the Indian success of Gozoop, he wanted to come back to the United Arab Emirates to “test the market”. Even though the beginnings were complicated with difficulties in getting appointments with potential clients, the company had quickly found its place.
Currently the office hosts about 20 people and a part of Gozoop India is helping as a backoffice team. As we start the conversation, Dushyant tells us that about 40% of Dubai’s inhabitants are from India. Thus, the company is working in a context that is not entirely unknown. When we start talking about management and human resources, the notion of loyalty came out very strongly. Most of Gozoop’s employees are here for a long time. That loyalty contrasts with the important employee turnover that Dubai experiences. Another significant value for the company is respect. For the founder, team leaders and managers must acquire respect from their teams by being a right person and an example of involvement. First and foremost, they must be mentors for their people. Anyway, he has a mission to make sure that its employees are happy because, as our host asserts: “if people are happy, money will come”. Thus, Gozoop’s special corporate culture plays a key role in its economic performance. This is why, few weeks before our visit, they hired a Chief Happiness Officer. In addition to its HR responsibilities, she looks after the employees and ensures their well-being. Moreover, once a month she organizes a secret activity for all the teams and even a dinner surprise. These events provide an opportunity to discuss problems, if any and aid in the overall improvement of the company. Also, just as Gozoop India does, its Dubai counterpart frequently reimburses activities and hobbies. We felt the “Gozoop spirit” when we talked to Yamini. She is pleased with the climate of security and trust within the company. This allows her to flourish and share ideas every day at work.
Recently, Gozoop distinguished itself by implementing a measure in favor of women. Listening to the requests of its employees, the company decided to create a paid “menstrual leave” to all the women employed. Thus, if they don’t feel well on the first day of their period, they can take a day off. If the announcement of this measure on social networks has provoked strong reactions, both for and against, however it was not the same among the employees. This measure appeared natural for Dushyant who explains to us that it is logical not going to work when you don’t feel good. Male employees did not feel wronged by this measure but more concerned about the well-being of their colleagues. Since then, women do not hesitate to use this paid leave when they need to stay home, to work or not. In France where this question still remains a taboo, it is interesting to see that in a country not famous for special measures in favor of women, Gozoop does not hesitate to take the lead and improve its employees’ work life.
Undeniably, the proximity that Dushyant has with his employees as a CEO is what retained our attention the most. We understood how strong the relationship of trust was when he explained to us that once a month he offers his help to his employees to manage their money. He started offering help to plan their expenses after he understood that some of his employees had difficulties with their personal budgets. Thanks to his financial experience of two years at JP Morgan, he sets an indicative schedule to help them allocate their expenses and save money. He also encourages Gozoopers to travel so that they can increase their open-mindedness and creativity. These are two important factors in a marketing business. This is impressive indeed! It is difficult for us to imagine a French employee confessing to the boss that he or she needs some help to manage personal expenses. However, employees should not become dependent on the boss, and must be given appropriate training.
After having collected all these interesting bits of information, it’s time for us to leave. But just before that, we take a picture with everyone – the whole Gozoop Dubai family.