Pushing the boundaries with Swiggy Premier League

July 18, 2023

Here’s what you need to know about Swiggy’s sales competition.

After several months of competing to be the best sales team, Swiggy’s pan-India sales competition — Swiggy Premier League (SPL) — concluded its first season with winners going on a trip to Thailand

Sidharth Bhakoo, VP, National Business Head  and Rohit Kapoor, CEO Food Marketplace Swiggy talk about SPL, the hits, the misses and how they are excited about season 2.

Excerpts from the interview:

Swiggy recently concluded the first edition of its pan-India sales competition – the Swiggy Premier League and it’s been a smashing hit. Walk us through the entire programme and the idea behind that. 

Sidharth Bhakoo: We have city teams that are actually on the frontline in the market, delivering stretch goals all the time. We wanted to create an aspirational roadmap for them, where they can buy into the goals, get recognised and feel special. The Swiggy Premier League was the genesis of that. We wanted to create healthy competition among the city teams, where they aspire to deliver stretched goals. We worked on how we could ensure that we reward and recognise consistently good performance over a period of time. Previously, we didn’t have these kinds of programmes which rewarded employees for longitudinal performances across the board. That’s when the idea came into existence. SPL has been able to deliver these objectives.

The winners recently returned from their Thailand trip. Give us a little behind-the-scenes of what went into it. 

We wanted to make every individual feel special, because we promised that if they delivered goals that were marked for H2 last year, they were in for a fun ride. We went about the entire planning to create experiences that employees remember, something they would be able to share with their families and I think we were able to pepper that through the itinerary. Going by the feedback, people are feeling special, and they’ve all already given me a commitment that they will be winners for the next SPL as well!

What were the key learnings from this season of SPL, and what is Swiggy taking forward for the next year?

Sidharth Bhakoo: We realised all of this is dependent on the city leader and how they create a vision for their team. How do they get the buy-in from the team and then really go at it to deliver these goals. Some of the leaders who’ve been able to do it consistently over the last six months are actually the ones who’ve won it.  It’s very important for the leader to define the vision, and that’s one of the key learnings. Some of the leaders have done that in parts, but may not have done it consistently. That is another learning for city teams to say that, ‘This is a longitudinal programme. Even though you have quarterly goals, how do you sustain that performance quarter on quarter?’ 

The other learning is how do you keep upping the game. I think we’ve already set the bar fairly high with this SPL, and the objective is how we can make it even better in the next edition.

There’s been an increased focus on tier two and three cities. Where does Swiggy stand with that right now?

Rohit Kapoor: Rather than answer that from a Swiggy context, let me explain it this way. I travel a lot, I’ve been to about 30-40 cities myself. I do feel that while we may classify them as metro, tier one, two, three and four cities, the digital equalisation of India has happened. The Instagram reel somebody sees in South Delhi is the same that somebody in Trichy, in Silchar and Bhilai sees. People are already aware of what is out there; they’re ready to consume. It’s our job to get the supply to these areas. I think each of these markets will mature  as India progresses towards a 10 trillion GDP number. The GDP per capita for all these towns will increase over time. So, we have absolutely doubled down our focus on these markets. 

I also want to congratulate the India Next Team on a very sharp show in H2. I encourage everyone to move out of Bangalore and travel to these cities. You’ll start to see our consumers, partners, and delivery partners in a very different light.

The SPL programme targets balancing growth and revenue on a daily level while also focussing on 4 key drivers. What kind of profits did the teams bring in? Give us an insight into that. 

Sidharth Bhakoo: When we had designed SPL, we were at a certain trajectory in our overall business where we had to change gears. After looking at our Annual Operating Plan (AOP), we realised it wasn’t enough and we had to go way beyond. That’s when we set a goal to EBITDA breakeven at the end of the year. In order to grow the revenue, we had to generate per order and also reduce our costs overall. I think these goals were then aligned in SPL in a way to make them achievable. That’s how it all tied in together, and I’m happy to say that the team was able to deliver the big goal we were gunning for.

So what does the future of the programme look like? Where is SPL-2 heading?

Sidharth Bhakoo: We want to make it even bigger and special for the teams. So the targets will definitely continue to be more aggressive. Given the benchmark that we’ve set in the first round, we could be going to a better destination this time, and we could also be giving them new experiences that they’ve probably never been a part of. We are also looking at how some cities who fall back in the beginning can get an opportunity to pick up pace in the later part of the programme. Those are some of the learnings that we’ve baked in. But again, our promise to the team is that we will make it even bigger than what it was!

Author Bio

Priyanka Praveen leads content for Swiggy's Employer and Talent Branding team. She comes with 11 years of writing experience having worked for Indian and International news organisations. She loves story-telling, is an avid embroidery artist and a wannabe baker.

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