How about being CEO for a day?


Nearbuy, erstwhile GroupOn, has launched an initiative allowing a chosen employee to play the role of a CXO of their choice for a day. 

Getting the corner office or taking up the top slot is always a desire for most employees. But there can be only one person at the top.

New-age companies and startups are known for disrupting age-old practices and beliefs. Nearbuy, a local commerce company, which was previously known as the daily deals company, Groupon, has been making this dream a reality.

In October 2015, it launched an initiative, wherein one chosen employee from the organisation gets to play the role of a CXO of their choice for a whole day. The role could be that of CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO or chief of local services.

The practice is not just notional as the real CXO shadows the chosen employee on that day and only offers inputs when required. The chosen candidate also gets to attend all the CXOs meetings for the day, and enjoys unlimited access to his/ her e-mails and phone calls for the day. For instance, Jaideep Banerjee, travel head for North India was chosen to play the CXO for a day.

The objective was to showcase complete transparency and Nearbuy’s open door policy, offering employees across all departments an insight into the day of a CXO.

Ankur Warikoo, CEO & co-founder, Nearbuy, says, “We have been trying to get a new wave into the company culture post our rebranding. But frankly, we also found it quite challenging to seed in the thought.”

The company has doubled its staff strength in the last five months, and has been making some serious efforts to keep its employees engaged, committed and happy.

To promote its open culture, the company has another ongoing activity wherein the CEO has a one-on-one lunch session with a person of the organisation every week. The chosen employee could be an executive, peon or a manager. It includes employees across levels, departments and even cities.

Those located outside of the company’s headquarters in Delhi engage with the CEO in a lunch session over Skype or videoconferencing. For instance, recently the CEO had lunch with an employee from the Nagpur office. The discussion between the two is not just restricted to work profile but goes beyond, to discuss the individual’s journey and interests in life.

The openness of the culture is a continuous effort on the part of the organisation. It tries to maintain parity even during official outings. For instance, during the annual offsite each year, the company ensures that some of the best rooms are booked for the office boys.

Moreover, employees are made to pick rooming partners through a chit system. The company claims that the CEO roomed with an office boy at the last offsite.


  1. Oh..what a funny concept…
    Borrowed from Indian political history?
    Instead of 3650 days (10 years) one can feel that he is a king maker just for a day.
    There are many stories in the corporate world proving that
    CEOs don’t really mean what they say…

    Let the top heads usher a good working culture for a better INDIA in the long run…

  2. It indeed is a good way of letting an employee know the responsibility of a chief.
    I as heading the administrtion of a Hospital for about 18 years right from its inception At one stage , we have evolved a system of making one of the executives the Administrator on duty ( AOD) who would look into every aspect of Hospital maangement for that day .This would be on rotation for the execitive team . Beleive me it worked wonders , for the reason they learnt the nuisances of over all administration and I would get som respite to concentrate on other developmental actiivites ..
    It can be experimented in every industry , I suppose .

  3. Something is better than Nothing in HR, it looks.
    Sharing-one to one -lunch with C.E.O….Office boy is roomed with C.E.O Etc are ‘Tax less Incentives’…definetly a ‘positive begining’…Should not remain as ‘Janakarshana Schemes’… or as mere ‘Hygiene Factors’ of Hezberg …HR Buzz word,a potential energy,should be converted as HR(BUZZ)Activity..across corporates in letter and and spirit by C.E.Owith as much passion as C.E.O has for achieving Cutting Edge for his organisation . over’ his ‘ competators’. ..Then Every HRintiative becomes Sustaining ‘Motivator’ (Hezberg)….

  4. A fantastic initiative to seed in the thought ” If it is to be , its up to Me”.

    Innovative and Excellent Initiative.

    Cheers & God Bless
    Stephen Moras
    ( Soft Skills Trainer & Leadership Coach)

  5. It will be a practical challenge as being CEO for a day is like playing a teacher on Teachers day. It neither adds value nor the seriousness of the chair for a day. I personally how an employee is treated on day to day basis is the biggest and best motivation. Treat with empathy and fairness. All other things are icing on the cake

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