Heavy petting: Startups woo talent via pet love

  • Himani Chandna
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2016 06:38 IST

NEW DELHI: A few months back, Bangalore-based online advertising startup Inmobi was informed through a tweet that their cat has entered Xiaomi’s office. Xiaomi’s public relations head tweeted: “If anyone knows someone at InMobi please tell them to come get their cat from @ XiaomiIndia HQ.”

A white Persian cat, named Becky, is a regular visitor at Inmobi. Becky belongs to company’s five-year-old employee Rebecca D’leema, a senior manager handling strategy and commerce. “Out of 600 employees, 25 employees almost regularly bring their pets, including cats and dogs, to office,” said Saurabh Deshpande, human resource director at InMobi.

While most companies abroad allow pets, the trend is still in its nascent stage in India. To create pet-friendly office space, companies, such as, Inmobi, Roposo, UrbanClap, Yourdost, Pagalguy, Chumbak allow employees to bring in their pets. Few companies have their own in-house pets and allow employees to play with them during breaks.

According to a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University, employees who brought their dogs to work experienced lower stress levels during the day, reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and had a more positive perception of their employer.

“Pets are an important part of our teams’ families and we allow them in our offices. Pets are also great stress busters and having them around noticeably increases productivity of team members,” said Varun Khaitan, co-founder at app-based service marketplace UrbanClap, which also makes all necessary arrangements for pets, including water, resting space and food.

Mona Thangaraj, head of HR at Roposo, a fashion social network, is looking for new office locations, and one of the factors under consideration is a pet-friendly space. “We used to have a Labrador, Laila, when we started out. Now we need bigger office premises to allow employees to bring in their pets.”

Pets have also earned other designations apart from “the man’s best friend”. At Embibe.com, a startup providing customised learning solutions, a one-year-old labrador dog ‘Data’ is being designated as the chief cuddling officer,” said Aditi Avasthi , CEO at Embibe.com.

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