This is what really unfolds inside the office of every Startup as it evolves into a Bigger Company

This is what really unfolds inside the office of every Startup as it evolves into a Bigger CompanyIn my various interactions with experts from the startup industry over the years, if there’s one crucial point I have come across time and again, it’s that finding and hiring a great team and instilling a strong company culture from day one is critical for the success of a startup.

But it’s not really that easy to pull together a strong team, in fact it’s a tricky situation every startup reels in during their early stages because they need great talent but it comes at a heavy price, and when everything is running on an inch of a budget, they cannot afford expensive resources. This brings me to that one question I have found plaguing the minds of young aspiring entrepreneurs and that is - how will I build a great team when I am running on a shoe-string budget? One never gets the right answer as they set out. There’s just confusion all around.

Everyone who is beginning a company applies permutation and combination, but the fact that 18 out of 20 startups fail is testimony to the fact that it’s only the smarter in the race who get it right while others fall out on their way.

“The startup culture is fairly aggressive, and at the same time there is lot of ambiguity for employees because a lot of times what startups are trying to solve are hypotheses. Those who join from structured fields like IT feel the heat more than others,” says Rishi Das.

Rishi has played an active role in the area of recruitment in India for decades through HirePro, a recruitment process outsourcing company. He explains to us the hiring culture that has taken shape in the startup industry – “Startups are more centered on founders initially. In the early phase, good talent joins the company only because one of the founders happens to know a resource they need. Others hired for different profiles, are people with average backgrounds who act like extra hands for the startup.”


At this stage, there is a lot of excitement around solving things that have not been done before. Rishi tells us further - “When they raise series A or B funding, there’s a shift from the way things have been working in the company. Because the brand is now becoming more recognized and more money is being pumped in, more professionals of reasonable caliber start joining the company.”

Say for example, in finance function, there were managers before but after funding, senior finance members from renowned companies have joined in.

“At this time, a lot of people who were working with the founders since the beginning days now start working with people who have been hired later, and a healthy conflict ensues where lot of adjustments have to happen because the organization goes through metamorphosis,” says Rishi.

As the startup grows further to a size of a Flipkart or Snapdeal, functional heads in departments like Finance, HR, Operations, Technology start joining in. Since, this lot comes from very structural environments for a long period of time, they start bringing very significant changes to the company. This leads to a cultural change, work is now more structured, and the environment turns more professional.

Concluding his point, Rishi tells us the inevitable that every startup founder in the country must know and has to undergo – “When startups are mid-sized or small, they have to do everything on their own to gain competitive edge. For instance, Flipkart did logistics in-house but as they are growing e-cards, it may now take off as a different venture. Lots of changes start happening in terms of enhanced processes, systems, policies. Those who adapt fast stay, those who don't move out. A lot of outsourcing happens as the organization becomes mature to work with a set of external partners.”

IT industry has already gone through this to be where it is today, and it took this sector more than a decade to evolve, whereas startups are undergoing the same curve except that they have moved faster, thanks to the money being pumped into the sector. As things are moving, it seems like the Indian startup industry is very much here to stay!