PEOPLE POWER

People make a company and with the pandemic, things simply turned on their heads. Now that things are getting back to normal, what are the challenges start-ups are facing with manpower? We asked a few start-up founders and this is what they have to say:

Sudin Baraokar

Sudin Baraokar – Global IT & Innovation Advisor, CEO & CIO, AIOTF and BankChain

As a start-up founder, it is important that I offer my customers products that are transformational and innovative. And for that, I need people who have those kinds of skill sets. People who are masters in emerging technologies like AI, Cloud, etc. But unfortunately, it is getting difficult for me to find people with those skill sets. So, I plan to tackle this by upgrading the skills of my existing team, and getting them to learn new technologies. Along with this, I also plan to use some amount of automation that can deliver on our transformational innovation promise.

Rohan Patwardhan

Rohan Patwardhan

Rohan Patwardhan – Founder, LexRobe Legal

As a practising lawyer, it is part of my job to deal with humans. As an employer, I feel there is a lack of seriousness, ethics, and logic in the workforce today. For example, they will post a CV without stating which post they are applying for?! No cover letter, nothing. If selected, they may not turn up on time because they have not read the mail! The list goes on. They have an attitude problem, over expectations…I can go on. So what I now do is hire from references. Then I look for conviction, not ambition. And more importantly, in the legal field, I prefer to hire an ethical person over a clever one.

Jayesh Kitukale

Jayesh Kitukale

Jayesh Kitukale – CEO, Axonator

Post Covid, I have noticed that people are running after money. And the unfortunate part for small start-ups like mine is that the candidates want a high pay package and do not want to join smaller companies. This is making things difficult for start-ups like mine. So I am doing the best I can with a lean team. Earlier we were 54 employees now we are down to 48. But our people are intelligent and focused. Of course, it goes without saying that I have to pay them high salaries. Is this impacting efficiency? Most certainly! And we have yet to execute some decisions to cut off some inefficient resources. Getting work done is proving to be a challenge with high cost, and low proficiency resources.
Sameer Anja

Sameer Anja

Sameer Anja – Co-founder, Arrka

Covid has been a long journey, and as it looks to be winding down or deviating, we do face people-related issues and need to tackle them. Our key issue now is to ensure our employees get the relief they need, and we are able to give them the flexibility to work from anywhere. Employees who have met each other before, are good with the current arrangement and are not looking to return to the office full time. Many of our employees, who joined us during the COVID-times, want to get a feel of the office atmosphere. They want to come, and since our employees are scattered across; we are finding this tough – to bring them under one roof. Wanting to be in an office and work is on a wish-list for some of them, and so we end up trying to balance this concern and give them something to have, sort of like a water cooler conversation.

However, we are doing our best to manage the situation. We do a lot more video calls now. This way, people are able to put a name to their faces. Apart from regular get-togethers etc, we encourage people to do one-on-ones, have coffee meetings, and have non-biz sessions/conversations as well. Engaging with people and giving them different spaces to work is one of the things we do to manage. Apart from this, we are evaluating getting them to an office where other people are there so that they get a feel of the office atmosphere as well. Though this is still a work in progress, we feel it will get them to experience an ‘office’ for some time and give them a choice as well. Should help, I think.

 Contact us if you have a story to tell: rashmi.ghosh@tiepune.org

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