Why You Should Work in a Start-up Before Starting Up

Working in the agile world of start-ups, helps one understand the ecosystem better

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There was a time when students graduating from colleges scampered around campus when a big IT company came calling for placements. Today, the same kind of excitement is seen when start-ups come for campus placements. More and more students are looking at working in a start-up mainly because they want to embark on their own entrepreneurial journey, but before they do so, they want to learn from the best in the business.


Working in the agile world of start-ups, helps one understand the ecosystem better. Entrepreneur India spoke to founders, who earlier worked in a start-up, as they shared what you learn while working in a start-up as opposed to working in a Multi National Company.

Expand Your Horizon

For anyone who has entrepreneurial dreams, working in a start-up is critical. The agility of the start-up world helps one work in a fast-paced environment while actually being in-charge of major decisions. Akash Gupta, founder, Mobycy, worked with Dell and Airtel for six and a half years, before shifting to work with Snapdeal. For him, he had hardly ever imagined that he will start up on his own. "It was a far off dream," said Gupta. But his transition to working with Snapdeal, changed a lot of things for him. "You get to work on solving problems. You are no more a small fish in a big ocean. While working with corporates, you solve a very small piece of a big puzzle but with start-ups, you get to expand your horizon," said Gupta.

From Snapdeal, Gupta went on to work with Mobikwik, where he learnt to deal with people, manage teams. Even though it was a smaller setup back then, it gave him great exposure. "You are solving the chaos on the ground, that learning is very important," he said.

You Know How to Build From Scratch

While starting up, an entrepreneur is often confused about how to go about it - what are the aspects that need immediate attention, what step needs to be taken first etc. But if he/she has worked in a start-up before, more specifically the founding team, the understanding is a much easier process. Vasanth Kamath, founder of smallcase, was the first hire at Tracxn, where he got to see how things start from scratch. "Be it building the team or the product or creating revenue, you are constantly in touch with reality and get the exact know how of how to build a start-up," said Kamath.

Build Fast, Fail Fast, Fix Fast

That's the mantra Prabhakar Chaudhary, MD of HAL Robotics, learnt from his experience of working with startups like TransOrg Analytics and BankSmarts. Chaudhary believes that speed at which a solution can be customized in a start-up is extraordinary and isn't something you learn easily, otherwise. "If you look at it from a customer's adaptability perspective, start-ups are great to work on their products to suit customer's needs," he said.

Working in a start-up, the mindset is also different. Agreeing with Gupta, Chaudhary said that in a start-up, you have complete ownership. "If not in terms of equity, when it comes to the sharing the spirit of the company, it's almost like every employee is a co-founder. That quality is important - where everyone is working towards one goal," he said.

For Chaudhary, there was another learning. While working in a start-up, your product is never finished, you are constantly evolving and building the product to make it better for your consumers.

Sanchita Dash

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

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