working for a start-up

26 Nov

Many consider that it a bad move to work for a start-up company as your first job. In india, you get instant recognition and elevated status when you are either hand-picked through campus recruitment or directly join well established companies like WIPRO, Infosys, L& T etc. you can almost hear the whispers of your relatives and friends saying “did you know HE joined Infosys?, he will first have 3 months training and then be put up as full time employee with 18k salary”.


Perfect! Nothing wrong, I must tell you. But then if you join an X start-up company which is starry eyed with big ambitions and big innovation plans you can definitely hear this from the same relatives or friends “ did you know HE joined X company?.. Have u ever hear of it? God alone know what his pay his. Anyway, ever heard of this X company?”


… fair enough, recognition and status elevation is definitely not on the cards for a person who joins a start up. Definitely your salary is nothing compared to what the tech/consulting/FMCG behemoth companies offer to their management trainees.


But then working for a start- up company has its own merits.


     A start up organization will never have a hierarchy problem: I can tell you this because I work for one. In my organization one can just walk up to my boss and say “can I talk to you for a sec” and then go right ahead and talk it out. It is a different question if the issue gets sorted out or not but you sure can voice your problems anytime you feel like it.


    You grow lighting fast: this point is very important. I can vouch for it! When you work for a young company you get to do many things which you are never going to be academically equipped with. What I mean to say is that you could have studied Bcom but you will get your chance to recruit people and hence play the role of HR. you would have studied accounts but you will get trained and work in marketing and become an expert at it. I studied BA economics, joined as executive, went on to become an Acquisition Strategist and now slowly being groomed to become a product development expert. You get the picture, don’t u? When you work for a start-up firm you grow up the ladder fast and strong.


          You multi-task a lot: this is an extension of the previous point I made. Start-up companies with relatively low funding are very short of manpower resources, therefore you get to do a lot than what you had bargained for. So, should that be a problem? Absolutely not! In fact, you should rejoice. I say- be super happy! Why? cos you get to burn your fingers in everything and can find out what suits you the best and turn your focus on that and expand your career. You don’t find your dream career, the dream career finds you.


          Start-up is a goldmine: when Google first came into picture no one gave them a rat’s ass to their future. In fact, when Google (then Gogol) was offered to Microsoft, they were rejected. It seems “search technology” had no future then. I am sure the then executives of Microsoft would be cursing themselves today because Google is no longer an idea, no longer a start-up. Google today is probably the most used term in the internet industry. You can be sure that if Lary Page sneezes, the media will get the cold because they would be thinking what he is going to come up with tomorrow. And won’t you love to brag about your friend, who works for Google, to others?


Simple idea: never look down on a start-up company. If the company is working on a great idea with amazing kick ass plans and hard work you will never know when the idea gets converted into billion Dollar Company. Facebook hardly makes 100 million$ as profits, but when Microsoft paid around 250 m $ for it, it gets a value of 15 billion$. Microsoft dint buy facebook, no sir! … they bought the concept of the idea, because they believe in it. Fantastic, isn’t it? That’s is the power of an idea.


Moral of the point: belittle a start-up at your own peril!


All said and done, start-up is a risky venture. You will never know where you will end up if you are in a start-up company. But that’s the exciting part isn’t it? You build something out of nothing. I am not really sure what Sunil MItaal would have had running in his head when he first planned Bharathi Enterprise ,while sitting in his bicycle spare parts workshop, but he sure as hell should have had immense faith in what he planned.


In the end, nothing else matter except the” belief you have on yourself”!



One Response to “working for a start-up”


  1. …More reasons on why it is fun to work for start-ups « fighting dreamer - January 5, 2008

    […] had earlier posted my views on why it is great to work in a start-up firm – here. Clearly, Arun seems to share my opinions as well. see ya […]

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