Tech-Leadership Search Magician
Free Book Preview: Unstoppable
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
With companies moving from offline to the online space, technology has become an integral part of the system, and the businesses are dependent on them. Business roadmaps seem to be converging with tech roadmaps. For a CEO to make a decision regarding the business needs to be taken with the Technology head to ensure effective execution. With business roadmaps being dependent on technology, CTOs are proving to be key strategic leaders in any organization. There has been a gap in the tech leadership and hiring space for a while now.
Roopa Kumar, Founder of Purple Quarter started her journey in operations. Her first stints were at Mphasis and HSBC and in 2004; she joined First Advantage, a background screening company and was the Assistant General Manager of operations. It was when she co-founded MTS consulting in 2010; she understood the difference between hiring someone for your own company and hiring for a client. She joined Anzy as Head of New Business Initiatives in 2016 where she met Deepak, Co-founder and the CEO of Purple Quarter and with their in-sync thought process, like-minded ambitions, they decided to start Purple Quarter. Swiggy was one of Purple Quarter’s biggest clients. She was instrumental in bringing Dale Vaz to Swiggy who was then working for Amazon India as the head of technology and ran Engineering Org at multiple sites with a team of multiple L8s and 800 odd total team size. Dale joined Swiggy as Head of Engineering and Data Science in 2018 and has then gone on to become the CTO of Swiggy establishing its presence in over 550 cities and towns. The valuation of Swiggy has skyrocketed to $3.4 Billion from $730 Million in the said time.
Purple Quarter, a company established in 2017 is solving a niche but real problem of tech-leadership search and is India’s only technology evangelist placement firm focused on placing evangelists across the likes of Swiggy, InMobi, Walmart and MakeMyTrip, Vedantu, MoreRetail, Acko, WhitehatJr and many others. Purple Quarter is a tech executive firm that intends to provide the best match for a company’s needs by proactively understanding the client’s roadmap and the company’s technical and cultural needs. Purple Quarter is said to be the specialist in this space because of their tech leadership hiring. The name Purple Quarter signifies its uniqueness and zeal to search for high-performance leaders. The origins of this story date back to 2016 when a series of tech leaders got in and out of the startup ecosystem very quickly. The team picked a start-up in Bangalore which was an e-commerce company and appointed a leader from the United States who became the CTO for their multiple companies. The stint of this leader was however brief which proved as an example for Tech Leaders in the Bay Area not to move to India as they disregarded the Indian ecosystem’s ability and capability to handle global talent. Purple Quarter researched and found that the search firm was at fault, neither the Tech Leader and nor the founders were at fault. The search firm failed to explain the kind of role and the dynamics of the organization to the tech leader. Purple Quarter took ownership and accountability for the failures. They build a niche platform that will provide insights regarding the role but also would try to understand the company and deep dive into their needs and dynamics of the company. Therefore, Purple Quarter organized over 300 interviews and made a detailed assessment for this specialization. Purple Quarter started with meeting 200+ Tech Leaders who were assessed based on 10 parameters.
THE SUCCESS STORY
When tech-first brands such as InMobi and Swiggy fall short of talent in the technology space they turn to Purple Quarter. Since technology has started occupying an integral role in businesses; the position of Tech Leadership is becoming crucial. Swiggy, Hike, Acko, BrowserStack, UrbanCompany, etc. have all been associated with Purple Quarter. There are Tech Leaders mapped by Purple Quarter in different areas of the World. Purple Quarter has 210 tech leaders in Europe, 330 in South-East Asia, 375 in Singapore, 915 in the United States of America and 4270 in India. The pool of Purple Quarter is distributed in 4 parts that are Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Head of Engineering (HOE), VP Tech and Director of Engineering (DOE). DOE holds 39.69% of their pool whereas VP Tech holds 26.6%, HOE holds 19.32% and CTO holds 14.37%. Recently, WhiteHat Jr.’s search for Tech Leaders was steered by Purple Quarter and Flipkart Tech Veteran Ajay Gondhiya joined Hopscotch, another move led by Purple Quarter. The presence of the company exists in India, The United States, South-East Asia. The company plans to be more active in these areas in 2021 as well as wishes to go after European markets. As a brand, Roopa wants Purple Quarter to stay focused and unfazed by all the distractions. She intends to make Purple Quarter a global brand.
“We have learnt through innumerable past experiences to read people through their body language, expressions, and tone of voice, the search for leadership positions were difficult to accomplish due to virtual meetings and calls. However, we came up with robust interview processes and other mechanisms to fill the gap.”
This particular eye for attention to detail and zeal to solve a novel problem, which can have a massive impact on organizations kept Purple Quarter focused on Tech Hiring. Most people often make the mistake of misinterpreting HR Tech Companies and draw comparisons with recruiting agencies. Search firms are limited by the number of projects that they work with, whereas traditional recruitment firms take mandates in high volumes. A limited number of projects assist to improve the quality of their search. Normal recruitment firms usually do not go after passive candidates who would be ideal for the role but seek only the best candidates in the active pool. The founders recognized this large gap in the tech leadership hiring space and with decades of experience in the tech hiring space, they decided to solve it. We live in a world where technology has been a dominating force in all streams of our lives and businesses to a large extent. Even though there is a large supply of technologists but not all of them are the right fit for every company. Purple Quarter ensures the right fit for technologists and organizations. There is a dire need of understanding behavioral patterns in a technologist according to Purple Quarter, because that reveals one’s ambitions, motivations, which are usually fundamentally different from any other person in any other domain. An in-house product called the Behavioral Matrix Model (BMM) is used to determine the job-candidate fit with a thoroughly vetted process with a clear, understanding of the goals, vision and strategy of both parties. The BMM helps the company to objectively match a company’s requirement to a candidate’s skills which can be leadership or core tech skills.
The landscape has shifted in 2021 with there being 83+ parameters that have formed a part of a Behavioral Matrix Model (BMM) which is an Intellectual Property to Purple Quarter. They now have over 5000 Tech Leaders on their platform, leaders that they have met personally or virtually who are qualified as Purple Quarter Selects. Purple Quarter sits with the stakeholders of the company and gets in-depth knowledge regarding the role and then they make a Purple Quarter deck which is basically a Tech Road Map used to attract Passive or Passive-Active Talent to a company. The information that lies in the Purple Quarter Capsule is not there on any other social media handles and the kind of information Purple Quarter has is exclusive to them which in turn helps them find the Right Leader for the job.
CHALLENGES IMPOSED BY THE PANDEMIC
Changing scenarios have been a routine especially for the year 2020. Covid-19 has posed a threat to a lot of companies as well as impacted the economy a great deal yet Purple Quarter has survived the pandemic. When asked how Covid-19 impacted their company, Roopa Kumar answered, “We have learned through innumerable past experiences to read people through their body language, expressions, and tone of voice, the search for leadership positions were difficult to accomplish due to virtual meetings and calls. However, we came up with robust interview processes and other mechanisms to fill the gap. This resulted in a better response than anticipated.”
ONE FOR THE FUTURE
According to Roopa Kumar, “There is no end to optimism”. They provide a guarantee of replacement for a period of 12 months to ensure client as well as candidate satisfaction. Purple Quarter is fairly confident regarding their search process and can confidently according to them, “Put their money where their mouth is”. Purple Quarter is a cash-rich bootstrapped company that did not rely on external funding has more than 20+ people distributed across sales, delivery, research and marketing teams and even though the company has onboard people like Traxcn Abhishek Goyal and Former Senior Executive at Flipkart Mekin Maheshwari, they are able to grow at a pace that the company is comfortable with circulating their own profits and currently do not have a reason to pick up external funds.