The CEO & Managing Director of InfoEdge, an INR 800-crore company listed on the Indian stock exchange, says one’s position in the company depends on their state of mind.
“When I joined InfoEdge as a partner 20 years ago, I asked my previous boss at Hindustan Unilever what must I do at InfoEdge. He said do what you have done if it was your company,” recalls Hitesh Oberoi who runs four successful internet business portfolios, one being the famous recruitment arm Naukri.com.
From the beginning, I used take decisions like it was my business.
Oberoi says there are people who could work for a company for twenty years and feel like it’s not their company and people who could be working for two months and work like it’s their company.
It’s about the culture you create inside the organization, when employees feel it’s something they own, they behave accordingly.
I think people want be in a job which challenges them, where they want to learn, where they can make an impact. They want to be in jobs where they can make a difference. If you, as a company, are able to give them these opportunities, they’ll stay.
If you, as a company, make them do the same thing day in and day out, they stop learning, they stop making an impact, then they get bored and look for other opportunities.
In our company, people who joined us in 2001, a lot of them still are because they grew with the company. As the company grew, they got challenging things to do. Somebody who joined as a sales executive became a sales manager, post that became a regional manager. So people stayed because they got more opportunity, they got growth, they got to deal with challenges, for them the job was new every two years.
But now if your company is not growing, if you are in a company that is in trouble, if you are a company where people are not empowered, where culture is not amicable enough, people leave.
It makes sense to work for a company before becoming an entrepreneur
People come from different backgrounds, they have different responsibilities. Enough people want to learn before they start something. It’s not that everybody wants to start their own company without six months of passing out of college. There could be some cases of drop-outs, entrepreneurs.
My sense is 950 out of 1000 must be working somewhere says Oberoi.
Unless you have a great idea which cannot wait, it actually makes sense to work for a company, to pick up some skills, to learn the ropes of running a business and therefore you may be better off working for a startup or even a mid-size company for a few years before you start your own. Chances of success increase.
No right time or wrong time to become start an online business
Most internet businesses can continue to grow at 40 – 50 percent for years and years. So, we are just at the start of many categories. The newer categories, I don’t see any reason why if entrepreneurs execute well, they can’t reach a growth of 40 – 50 per cent for years to come.
There is no right time or wrong time to become an entrepreneur. It’s about meeting the right people, the right idea, sometimes it’s about the opportunity coming your way, and it’s about the necessity.
I advise people to get some experience under their belt unless you have an idea. Try and get different kinds of experience. When you start a company, it actually comes handy.
Changes India has seen in online services
At a very macro-level many things have changed over last 15-20 years. You have a much larger base of users to target as a business than was the case 15 years ago.
Therefore, many more businesses have become viable now. And many more services have become viable which was not the case 15 years ago.
The second change is the speed of access. When we started Naukri, people were using modems. Today there is no limit to speeds.
Mobile is the biggest change. Earlier people could access internet only on desktops. People have now spending half a day on the internet. Users, usage and the speed of access have changed dramatically.