As long as there have been businesses, there have always been startups. However, the way we look at them has now changed. This has to do with the rise of technology and the internet. Many young and audacious internet companies have gone ahead and become more successful than anyone thought possible. This revolution which has its roots in Silicon Valley has now slowly but surely permeated the Indian ecosystem.
According to an Economic Times report, top Indian companies have lost almost 40% of their most talented people to these young fledgling companies. This is a far cry from the times when Indian students and professionals only preferred established and famous companies. What has changed since then for this to happen?
These are some of the reasons:
Fast moving atmosphere:
Modern startups are all about focusing on the job at hand and people working in them do not necessarily care about great compensation packages, facilities and other perks. There is an incredible amount of passion in the startup ecosystem and this is because employees are now free to work on some important problems without having to be stuck in a bureaucracy. Ideas move fast, fail fast and then get improved upon. This happens in a short span of time and thus gives a startup an edge over legacy businesses.
Professionals in India have always revered veteran business gurus and this has merit. However, technology and its associated landscape are changing at such an accelerated pace that veterans may no longer have the upper hand when it comes to business. The generation gap when it comes to being acclimatized to ever changing technology and business principles favors younger and tech-savvier people. As a result, you will see that most Indian startups are filled with young people who have just graduated or are still studying! They can identify with each and are always on the same wavelength. The culture of work is also seeing a shift from the usual 9-5 routine towards more flexible and round the clock work timings. These flexible timings which are demanded by intense work situations are easier on younger people who have the energy and minimal personal responsibilities to go ahead and work at odd hours.
Real world problems:
Startups come up when there are some real world needs which no one is talking about or has anticipated. Once this consumer need is identified, a startup works on bridging this gap by using the latest technologies and processes. Thus with a comparatively small number of people, a startup can add real value to some very big problems. This is largely because such opportunities are not being tackled by bigger players for various reasons. These are perfect conditions for a startup to operate in because they can make some bold moves and create a niche for themselves.
Startups are the best business schools that you could go to. Since the team is small and there is more transparency, employees end up learning about business practices and their validity in an easier and satisfying way. This is no theoretical learning, mind you! This is real and there are real risks involved but that’s the way it works. No risk, no gains. Working in a startup can help you learn about multiple segments such as Marketing, Revenue generation, collaboration, customer support etc., stuff which you would not be exposed to easily in a legacy company. During an early phase of a startup, a small team juggles between all of these segments. It is hectic, no doubt but it also is a source of some great holistic learning. In other words, it is a much better business degree!
Hotbeds for Innovation:
Put all the above reasons together and you have a recipe for innovation. This word is bandied about very casually these days but innovation is a much needed attribute when it comes to dealing with a huge market like India. If you look at Indian startup history since the last few years, you will see how ridiculously small yet ambitious startups have gone on to become huge market players. Flipkart would be a very good example, given how it began its life in a residential apartment. There are many others too.
So, why should you join a startup?
Because, you have a real chance at doing something awesome by working in a startup. You have with you a great avenue for learning. As a student or someone who has recently graduated, you have very little to risk and everything to gain by working with a bunch of young talented people to build something of great value to customers in your country as well as those around the globe.
There are so many opportunities cropping up all over the country. Go ahead, decide what you are good at and choose to work in a startup which matches your passion and your dreams. You will end up having a great ride!
P.S: Switch Idea has some great opening from startups in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Check them out on our website.