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May - 2007 - issue > Editor's Desk
The Unheard Companies
Pradeep Shankar
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Emerging technology companies face a special challenge when trying to move their offering from the small, early adopter market to the profitable mass market. Unlike the early adopters of technology, those in the mass market are pragmatists. They want references before purchasing what they consider to be “proven solutions.”

The same is true when it comes to attracting quality talent. The mentality of tech professionals is such that “if IBM or Infosys is paying me the same salary, then why do I need to work for a smaller brand?”

For last three months, our editorial staff has spoken to over 200 startups across India to bring you this special issue. All of them concur that it is a humungous task to sell their brand and vision to prospective candidates. Before our jury— panel of analysts, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and our editorial team—sat to freeze on the 25 companies for this year, we did a random survey to gauge the brand awareness of these startups. Guess what, only one out of every 100 people could recollect at least one name from this list.

While attracting talent has been a challenge, retaining talent is a bigger challenge. Several of the startups we spoke to focused on ‘internal image’ of their organization. They expressed how building a strong brand image mattered, and had a direct impact on employees. The internal branding exercise would pay off in terms of lower cost of hiring and employee turnover, while increasing employee productivity.

The reality is that it’s a candidate’s market right now; the good news is that if companies can play to their strengths, and invest time to hire top performers then retaining quality talent would be a lot easier.

Please do send us your thoughts on the brand image of your organization. How has it helped you in your career?

Pradeep Shankar

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