Things to Know Before Joining a Startup

Date:   Friday , June 03, 2016

Headquartered in Mumbai, is one of India\'s largest event sponsorship platforms that enable the companies to easily associate with events that are relevant to their business and enhance their BTL activities.

After working as a startup founder for and interacting with innumerable stakeholders, investors, prospective employees, prospective co-founders, clients, vendors et al, I think there is a unique opportunity this \'startup ecosystem\' provides to all. I will focus this note on employment creation and fitment engagement opportunities with startups.

Startups - Perception & Reality

In 2012-2014, there were crazy news about the new age unicorns of India hiring just about anyone with a 2X - 5X on their salary. It felt like the 2000s again. Remember \'Trespassers will be recruited?\'. Unbelievable, but true. Quite a few of them were my friends and juniors from college. The wave saw everything; Reverse brain drain, fancy equity options, riding the startup gravy train. All leading newspapers of the country were filled with reports of people from Googles and Facebooks of the world coming back to join them. But then, 2016 happened...

In a country that produces more than eight lakh engineers every year (and comparable other graduates too), job creation is one huge segment that startups have addressed. But in this rat race for attracting best talent to run the fastest, which startups have actually made the mark?

Let\'s talk Segments

Maybe breaking it up into segments might help a bit. So which are the segments creating a stir? Quite unlike the initial few years of the reign of e-Commerce, it is now a fair mix across all segments, but stays tech heavy. Clearly, tech is the way things are really going. And that\'s because tech (and IoT) are the ones causing real disruption. Even e-Commerce is an example of tech platforms creating a seismic shift, but now attaching the word \'tech\' is the \'in\' thing. So we have food-tech, real-estate-tech, hyperlocal-tech, grocery-tech, events-tech, HR-tech, and of course the tech-tech which are pure social networking platforms. So if you are a techie, you will be in high demand in pretty much any startup these days.

HR Practices?

It is said that pace of the company affects the structure. Agility gets confused with people\'s expectations and the result is massive growth which is unfortunately saddled with weak policies and poor workplace motivation, thereby creating the most dreaded word in companies - \'attrition\'.

However, the ecosystem is comparably mature now. Multiple companies have risen (and failed) and (hence) matured. The work hours have settled in, HR policies have started taking shape (and the shape is not just bell-curved in nature!), the disparity of compensations have started reducing and the dynamics of startups have become less oligarchic and more structured.

So which are the best startups to work for?

The answer still starts with that one person who is most important - You, and cliche, but very important questions such as What kind of person are you? Exactly what motivates you? What is your risk appetite? Finding a startup that challenges you and helps you perform to your fullest without compromising on the basics would be an ideal scenario. Also, perspective may change from a POV of your core area of expertise which I have broken up into Technology, Operations and Sales & Marketing.