Start-ups are More Than Just Launchpads for its Employees A recent study by JobBuzz stated that 9 out of 10 employees in a start-up wish to leave their jobs to move on to bigger corporates

By Sanchita Dash

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


When we talk of college passouts joining a startup, we think of the chivalrous nature and the act of challenging the whole world by a millennial. But things are not as glossy as they appear to be, as very truly said that a coin has two faces. Entrepreneur india is going to find out if joining a start up is a choice or an act of desperation.

There was a time when placements at colleges meant only the big MNCs are going to come knocking and the ones who got through were the winners. But in a start-up driven world today, things are changing. Students are looking at start-ups as their go-to placement preference. Start-up founders in their shorts are seated next to the MNCs in their suits, offering freshers a better learning experience and often, a better pay.

However, there's a twist to the story. Many believe that start-ups are only looked at as a launchpad. Fresh graduates join start-ups for a good work experience before they move to a corporate, where they can demand a higher pay because of the prior start-up experience. A recent study by JobBuzz stated that 9 out of 10 employees in a start-up wish to leave their jobs to move on to MNCs.

But, the perks of working in a start-up are no less. From flexible working hours to a culture that encourages an individual's growth along with the company's, start-ups look at helping

We spoke to start-up professionals and experts about what start-ups have to offer and what makes employees transition to corporates.

Why Freshers Opt for Start-ups

Working in a start-up vis-a-vis an established organization both have its own pros and cons, believes Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice President, Teamlease. Sharma added that working with a start-up could be a good experience for freshers as most start-ups have very small teams, yet to be established processes & systems and hence the canvas for learning is huge. "Freshers are able to learn not only on their area of work, but also other areas such as operations, sales, administration, finance etc as at the initial stages of any organization, almost everyone gets an exposure across board and is then left on the individual on how much they learn from this experience," she said.

Meanwhile, Sri Charan Lakkaraju, founder and CEO of Stumagz, said that many fresh college graduates often turn to start-ups for experience before they proceed for further education. "Lot of times, when students want to pursue an MBA, the start-up experience makes their application look better," he said.

Perks of Working in a Start-up

Rahul Bansal left his job with one of the world's largest consulting firm to join the growing ed-tech start-up Leverage and he considers it as one of the best decisions of my life. He believes that working at a start-up allows you to define a bigger purpose in your life. "You see a complete turnaround in your mindset, from an employee who starts his week on Monday waiting for a Friday to becoming a person who is more inclined towards impacting human lives-at large, solving a problem by investing himself totally in it," he said.

While working in a startup, Bansal believes that you become a part of the process of building an organisation brick by brick. "You work like a man possessed with only one thing in mind, that one day you with your team will build the tallest building in the city. The process might take every ounce of your blood and sweat, but deep down in your heart you know it will be worth it," he said.

Another advantage according to Bansal is that an individual can decide his/her own growth curve at a start-up. Sharma too believes that at start-ups employees are included in creative brainstorming sessions which may not be the case in established organizations for all employees.

Corporates Offer Stability to Employees

Ultimately, the Indian talent pool remains the same, but there are two contenders now – the corporates with a legacy of running successful businesses and start-ups, who are bringing in a new thought leadership and exciting ideas.

Talking about how corporates are preferring candidates with prior start-up experience, Sharma simply puts the reason as a job is better than no job and a candidate with some experience is better than a fresher. "If a fresher has worked with a startup, it is considered as an experience and does get the candidate ahead of many others in the queue," she said.

Corporates offer higher pay and stability to their employees. With start-ups there is a risk involved about whether the company will actually be able to achieve success. It's this instability that comes with start-ups which makes many turn to corporates.

"Most start ups do not/cannot compete with larger established players. They give some sort of stock option to their employees and with the fast paced environment of a startup, employees can grow to the top if they spend time learning , growing and adding value to the company," said Sharma.

However, start-ups win the race when it comes to the culture. Presenting a new thought leadership, they entice employees with their flexible working hours, "cooler" work environment etc. Lakkaraju believes that even though some start-up employees transition to corporates, the work culture doesn't fit right with them. "Everyone is aiming to climb up the ladder. It's not just corporates but employees also want to move from working at a smaller start-up to the bigger ones like Flipkart," he said.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

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). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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