LinkedIn Top Companies 2018: Where India wants to work now

From Directi to Daimler AG, the 2018 LinkedIn Top Companies represent the companies where professionals most want to work across India — based on the actions of LinkedIn’s more than 546 million professionals (over 47 million in India alone). They are respected brands and innovators, and all attract outsize attention by jobseekers.

The Top Companies list is based on the billions of actions taken by LinkedIn members and looks at four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention.
Join the conversation about this year’s list using #LinkedInTopCompanies.

Here are this year's top 25 companies in India. 


1. Directi Group

Cherry-picking talent: The Directi umbrella houses names like domain portfolio registry Radix, voice-calling app Ringo, enterprise messaging tool Flock and digital meal voucher Zeta, all of which, the company says, are “among the top five globally in their space”. But getting a foot in the door isn’t easy — even CEO Bhavin Turakhia once remarked he “may not get through”. The unconventional hiring process includes case studies, tasks like app development and solving the Rubik’s cube, and questions like “How many diapers are sold in Mumbai every day?”
Global headcount: More than 1,500
Busting stress: New employees get a complimentary Kindle as part of their welcome kit. Once they settle in, the Xbox, foosball and table tennis ensure stress is kept at bay.

2. Flipkart

New-found vigour: The homegrown e-tailer has had a banner year — it raised a whopping $2.5 billion, provided partial exits to some of its investors and, most importantly, rediscovered the mojo to take on rival Amazon. The only blip? A protracted buyout discussion with Snapdeal fell through after the beleaguered e-tailer decided to go it solo.
Flipkart aims to recruit over 800 employees this year spanning data science, analytics and HR, among other specialisations.
Global headcount: 8,000
Warm welcome: New joiners set off on a treasure hunt to help them explore the office and interact with fellow “Flipsters”.

3. One97 Communications


Locked and loaded: When Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma looks back, he might see 2017 as a watershed for his digital payments enterprise. We aren’t just referring to its elevated status as India’s second decacorn after Flipkart. Last year, it launched a payments bank; deepened its financial services play with products like Paytm Gold and lending; and achieved $3 billion in gross merchandise value at its e-commerce arm Paytm Mall. These efforts point in the direction of creating an e-commerce ecosystem that keeps customers within its confines. But there are challenges, too — its bread-and-butter wallet business faces stiff competition from the massively popular WhatsApp and Google Tez.
Global headcount: 17,000
ESOP fables: The company offers stock plans to top performers, aside from an annual bonus. More than 20 Paytm employees recently became dollar millionaires via a secondary sale of stock options.

4. Amazon


Never back down: Seattle-based Amazon is doubling down on its India plans – it has so far poured $1.3 billion into its local arm this fiscal, and may soon surpass the $5 billion investment CEO Jeff Bezos announced for the country. The e-tailer’s annual subscription service Prime, which bundles faster delivery and unlimited video streaming, continues to be a cornerstone of its strategy. “More members joined India's Prime programme in the first year than we've seen in any other country," CFO Brian Olsavsky said. That’s not all — it has introduced Alexa, Echo speakers and the Fire TV Stick here already, and will soon launch its audiobook business Audible.
Global headcount: 566,000
Human touch: Employees can give six weeks’ paid leave to a partner who isn’t eligible for parental leave at their employer. Besides, Amazon’s Ramp Back programme offers new parents eight weeks of flexibility and partial work hours so they can acclimatise to their new schedules.

 5. Anheuser-Busch InBev


Beer review: If you are a beer person, chances are you recently downed a pint that came out of an AB InBev facility. The company, whose line-up includes names like Budweiser, Corona, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois, sells 500 beer brands in more than 150 countries. “We believe India is one of the most important markets for the brand, with 20 million people turning 21 every year,” Kartikeya Sharma, India and Southeast Asia marketing director of AB InBev, said recently.
Global headcount: 200,000
Entry barriers: Getting into this beverage giant — which produces one in four beers around the world — is no mean feat. “The admission hurdles get progressively higher with up to seven interviews and exercises, including a final stage in which candidates might be asked to judge which of their interviewers they would select,” a Financial Times report said.


6. Mckinsey & Company


Career launch pad: If a company boasts alumni like Myntra’s Ananth Narayanan, Ola's Saikiran Krishnamurthy and Treebo Hotels’ Sidharth Gupta and Rahul Chaudhary, it’s worth a closer look. As a McKinsey employee you would get to rub shoulders with some of the sharpest minds and influential executives in the world of business. By the company’s own admission, this “dynamic network is a lasting benefit of a McKinsey career.”
Global headcount: 25,000
Decompress: Under ‘Take Time’, employees can take five to 10 extra weeks off to pursue their passion – get a pilot’s license, write a book – or attend to family matters. McKinsey says several of its employees ‘Take Time’ more than once during their stay at the company.


7. Alphabet


The behemoth: Few companies carry the reach of Google, the largest Alphabet division. The company controls the market for search and, with Facebook, much of digital advertising, too.
Gourmet meals, fitness facilities, generous parental leave and on-site childcare — there's probably a perk for every letter at Alphabet. But what also keeps employees glued is the variety of challenges on offer, whether it's making Tez India's most popular UPI app in four months flat or expanding the company's free public Wi-Fi programme.
Global headcount: 80,110
Out of the box: Should you land an interview, expect questions like, "Estimate the number of tennis balls that can fit into a plane", and "Which do you think has more advertising potential in Boston — a flower shop or funeral home"?

8. KPMG India


Charting growth: KPMG India will be celebrating its silver jubilee this September. In these 25 years, the Big Four professional services firm has amassed over 2,700 clients who depend on it for all things audit- and tax-related. Servicing this galaxy of clients takes some doing — and a huge workforce. Year after year, KPMG hires in droves from India’s top B-schools. Good grades and technical skills don’t guarantee a job — KPMG says it prizes agility in candidates, looking for those who can connect “issues that may not have been obvious before.”
Global headcount: 197,263
Regional reach: KPMG India has offices in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.

9.  EY


Growth spurt: The Big Four accounting firm is looking to get bigger — it plans to hire 80,000 people (including 20,000 interns) globally this year. A leading provider of tax, transactions and assurance services, it also advises the government on tricky areas like infrastructure development and public-private partnerships. EY is looking for candidates with unconventional (read: non-financial) backgrounds, including those with data analytics and A.I. chops.
Global headcount: 250,000
Parent company: EY offers 16 weeks of parental leave to employees who have welcomed a child through birth, adoption, foster care or legal guardianship.

10. OYO


Onwards and upwards: Budget hotel aggregator OYO previously received flak on two fronts: high cash burn and a lack of quality control partly due to its aggregation model. It alleviated those concerns somewhat in 2017 — not only did it pare losses and inch closer to its goal of deriving all its revenue from exclusive hotels, but it also closed a $250-million funding round that brought it within striking distance of the hallowed unicorn club. OYO is now looking to put pedal to the metal, and it plans to hire over 2,000 employees this year.
Global headcount: 2,700
Office ours: OYO crowdsources ideas for designing its five-floor office from employees. So whether it’s pictures of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk adorning the walls or London-style telephone booths, employees have a say in shaping their surroundings.

11. Daimler AG


In the fast lane: Stuttgart, Germany-headquartered Daimler is arguably the most venerable name in the automobile business, with marquee brands like Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Trucks. The luxury car division has seen strong uptake in India, doubling sales in the past five years. Daimler's key manufacturing units are based in Chennai and Pune, and its Bangalore R&D centre is the largest outside Germany.
Global headcount: 289,321
Retention is key: Daimler employees stick around for a staggering 7.8 years on average, LinkedIn data shows. So when it says, "We want that the job is flexible enough to accommodate your other needs. Not the other way around," you know it isn't corporate platitude.
 

12. Adobe


Level paying field: Adobe made headlines in January when it announced it had achieved gender pay parity in India, a month after it reached the milestone in the U.S. Business is brisk for the maker of software like Acrobat and Photoshop — it clocked a record $2 billion in revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 1, vindicating the switch to a cloud-based subscription model. Adobe’s workforce, too, gets its share of the spoils with two in three employees enrolled in its stock option plans.
Global headcount: 18,000
Time off: From a 26-week maternity and a 16-week parental leave to 20 days’ bereavement leave (all fully-paid), Adobe ensures employees get enough time to recover, both physically and mentally, before they resume work after major life events.

13. Expedia

Going full throttle: Expedia — which owns Hotels.com and HomeAway, apart from its eponymous brand — splashed out a record $5.3 billion on marketing in 2017. And the online travel company plans to spend more this year for cornering a bigger share of the short-term home rental market and switching to cloud-based infrastructure. Though the stock has taken a beating after Expedia's quarterly numbers trailed expectations, investment analyst firm Jefferies says it is a "painful but necessary transition" to higher earnings growth.
Global headcount: Over 20,000
Ratings are out: Expedia has scrapped performance ratings to focus on providing employees with ongoing feedback.

14. Morgan Stanley


Opportunity knocks: Financial services firm Morgan Stanley is coming off a bumper year — it saw pre-tax earnings rise 18% and revenue 10%. But its thirst for talent remains unslaked. Each year, the company fills some 6,500 roles globally, from investment banking to marketing to IT.
In India, the company has over 3,000 employees serving its institutional securities platform, including capital markets, equities and fixed income products.
Global headcount: 57,000
Sticking around: Professionals at Morgan Stanley tend to stay with the firm. The average tenure for employees is 7.6 years, according to LinkedIn data, significantly longer than the average tenure among this year’s Top Companies.

15. DBS Bank


Lean banking: Southeast Asia's largest bank by assets, DBS is a proponent of the “less is more” philosophy — it is India’s first paperless, branchless, signature-less and mobile-only bank. In its two years in India, DBS claims to have attracted about 2 million customers though it’s yet to reach profitability. That said, it looks poised to hit the demographic sweet spot — 80% of its customers are under 30, male, salaried, and live in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. DBS takes unconventional paths to cherry-picking talent — last year, it hired as many as 150 techies through hackathons.
Global headcount: 24,000
Health focus: Employees can access a dedicated wellness portal online to consult with doctors. The company also organises health camps for lifestyle conditions like back pain and cardiovascular issues.

 16. OLA


Pedal to the metal: Racing against the world’s most valuable startup requires strategy and execution but, first of all, wads of cash. Ola tanked up in October with a massive $1.1 billion infusion, enough fuel to widen the gap with Uber. The 8-year-old unicorn is spreading its bets across businesses and geographies. It has forayed into food delivery with the acquisition of Foodpanda’s India unit and gone international by entering the Australian market. Ola also carefully recalibrated its portfolio — it decided to close its bus service, Shuttle, after growth in cab and auto rides impacted the service.
Global headcount: 6,000
More play at work: Ola has multiple clubs, for activities ranging from music to sports, where employees can mingle with other teams.

17. GE

Playing to its strengths: GE is investing heavily in its core businesses of aviation, power and healthcare — and India is no exception. GE has come from behind to clock $5 billion in sales in the country. Little surprise, then, that India will be insulated from the 12,000 layoffs that the conglomerate recently announced. “We are adding people in India right now,” CEO John L Flannery said. GE employs 14,500 people across the country, of which more than 5,000 are engaged in research and development.
Global headcount: 295,000
Leadership training: GE runs eight different leadership programmes, giving recent graduates hands-on experience and training in a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, human resources, operations and finance. Some 25% of GE senior management graduated from a GE leadership programme.

18. MakeMyTrip

Flying high: Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip, which merged with rival Ibibo in 2016, is India’s largest online travel agency with a 75% market share. it doubled its revenue in the third quarter of this fiscal year, with the flagship hotels and packages business witnessing steep growth. But it’s not all work and no play — from sports clubs and yoga classes to foosball challenges and bowling competitions, the ways to beat stress are many.
Global headcount: 3,200
Learning matters: MakeMyTrip offers a bevy of free courses for its employees, ranging from customised behavioural programmes to study tours to Europe and Southeast Asia. There’s also a book club to stimulate the bibliophile in you.

19. PwC

Everyone's a winner: With a client list that includes 419 of the global Fortune 500 companies and a history that stretches back to when Charles Dickens ruled the bestseller list, PwC stands out among the Big Four firms — also when it comes to perks. From Flexible Fridays and Go Do It days (to address urgent personal matters) to preferential cabs for expecting mothers, the company makes sure employees’ needs aren't put on the back burner.
Global headcount: 236,235
Young guns: PwC's NextGen Sounding Board comprises 200 millennial employees who participate in policy creation for the company. All new and revised people policies are first taken to this group.

 20. Goldman Sachs

Hallowed corridors: The glamorous investment bank is betting big on India — its new $250-million Bangalore campus, with a capacity to seat 9,000 people, would be the biggest office outside New York. Goldman, famously, takes care of its employees, with perks that range from onsite pilates to a Tai Chi club and 16 weeks of maternity leave.
Global headcount: 35,623
Cause and effect: Every year, Goldman Sachs analysts and associates compete to identify and secure grants for non-governmental organisations. Those with marathon muscles can participate in the Oxfam 100-km race, which raises funds for marginalised communities around the world.

 21. Shell

Energising growth: Royal Dutch Shell is well-positioned to benefit from the oil industry’s recovery after a three-year downturn. It more than doubled its profit in the December quarter. Shell employs as many as 6,000 people across a tech hub in Bangalore, a business operations centre and an in-house IT centre. It also holds a 32.5% stake in Mahanagar Gas, which operates Mumbai’s natural gas distribution network.
Global headcount: 92,000
Funding innovation: The oil major has launched a pan-India accelerator for energy startups, where it will provide technical and commercial mentorship and an investment of up to $20,000 to promising early-stage ventures.

22. JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Banking on great tech: JPMorgan Chase & Co., a leading banking and financial services firm, has delivered record results seven of the last eight years. CEO Jamie Dimon attributes the company's success to key investments in "people, systems and products". The firm spends billions of dollars each year maintaining and upgrading its technology; so while it needs to hire bankers, accountants and salespeople, it also has many openings for infrastructure engineers, mobile UX designers and data analysts.
Global headcount: 240,000
Rewarding stakeholders: Employees stick around for seven years on average, according to LinkedIn data. The reasons are many, including perks such as back-up child care services and discounts on banking services, electronics and travel.

23. Unilever

Top of the pile: Few companies can match the ubiquity of Unilever products. They are in your kitchen (Lipton and Kisan), bathroom (Dove and Axe) and dressing table (Elle 18, Brylcreem). Hindustan Unilever Ltd, the local subsidiary, exerts similar dominance — it claims to sell nine out of 10 products that Indian households use. Ensuring the company doesn’t lose this primary position requires agility and decision-making ability at all layers, which is why Unilever’s ‘Future Leaders Programme’ takes entry-level employees and trains them to become managers in two to three years.
Global headcount: 169,000
Incentives galore: If Unilever claims to be the “top FMCG employer of choice in 34 of the 60 countries it recruits from”, that’s also because of incentives like mediclaim, meditation and yoga classes and low-cost quality education for employees' children.

24. Reliance Industries

Refining its focus: For a legacy organisation founded four decades ago, Reliance isn’t falling behind. Take, for example, the Jio office in Navi Mumbai – a company full of people in their 20s and 30s disrupting every part of the telco’s operations. With the refinery and petchem business going strong and Jio continuing to wrest market share from incumbents, chairman Mukesh Ambani and team have room to explore the new – whether it’s foraying into the crypto world, accelerating startups through GenNext Hub or investing in early-stage ventures.
Global headcount: 34,120
Break a sweat: Reliance’s offices house football and cricket stadiums with floodlights, LED scoreboards and arena seating, as well as other outdoor sports like tennis and basketball.

25. Deloitte India

Great DNA: William Deloitte was the first accountant ever appointed as an independent auditor of a public company (Britain's Great Western Railway in 1849). Today, this Big Four firm does so much more than audits — including A.I., M&As and cybersecurity. This year, Deloitte plans to make 70,000 hires across the 150 countries and territories it operates in.
Global headcount: 263,900
Family first: Deloitte has a 16-week family leave option that can be tapped into when employees have a child, need to care for an ailing spouse or partner, or look after a parent. (Via Linkedin)