Hiring in Startups

April 04, 2011  —

Startup ecosystem in India is almost growing like a hockey stick curve. The number of startup events happening here in Bangalore in a month and the number of incubator (companies) mushrooming is a clear indication of that. Though a lot of companies are starting, a lot of people are becoming entrepreneurs, a lot of people are willing to be angels, one aspect of this ecosystem which is not growing at the same rate is hiring. For a successful startup besides good entrepreneurs, execution and money, you also need a good set of guys who give shape to the product.

Hiring in Startups

Almost every entrepreneur I have met in last couple of months have voiced this exact concern. Coincidence? Essentially with regards to Hiring in startups it is a buyers market. I was amazed to see in a recent startup camp I attended, almost everyone I bumped into was looking to hire. A lot of startups want to hire, but too little talent out there. Traditional HR firms and sites like monster and naukri fail miserably in connecting startups with the motivated guys. Some sites which I think help to such extent are linkedin, pluggdin and hasgeek (there may be others). But all these sites are at best facilitators. We need a lot of motivated guys who are willing to let go of their lucrative salaries and take the so called plunge.

To present things from a personal perspective, I know a number of startups who have the potential to be successful if only they could find right guys to help build their product. One is a VC funded company and can match market salaries to the hires. Another is tinkering with an integrated Sales & Distribution product in retail space who have already bagged a proto with a top retail company looking for partner as a CTO. Another bunch of guys who have signed Dropbox as one of their beta customer for their SaaS offering. Couple of enthu guys in micro-finance space who have already run a successful pilot with a leading MFI. And of-course at Onze where I work we are looking for people to execute our product roadmap. Given different circumstances or time in life, I would have loved to be part of one of these startups. I personally believe all these guys will be successful. All of them are at an advanced stage and have done customer-validations. But still all suffer from inability to hire good guys.

There are many reasons why it is so difficult to hire in India. some of them (not necessarily mine) being

There seems to be a lot more guys taking the proverbial plunge at the higher end of the risk spectrum (starting a startup) than at the lower end (joining a startup). Not really a bad thing, but it may take some time for the balance to strike.

There may be a lot of pessimism around hiring, but if you look at it in totality you will see it as a sign of evolution. We are at the cusp of having a startup revolution in one sense. Silicon valley has shown that it takes almost a generation (25 years) for a startup ecosystem to fully evolve. Expecting to replicate that in a decade or so in India would be asking for too much.

So if you are an entrepreneur facing this pain, ease out. It’s a sign of better days to come. And if you are happily working in a high paying job, jump the ship now. This is your time and opportunities are huge to chose from.

[Image source :]

blog comments powered by Disqus