Company-Employee Cooperation Vital To Survive Post Pandemic Economic Challenges, Say Startup Founders

In the new normal, startups are expecting employees to pull up their socks to survive a confluence of difficult circumstances: a funding winter, an ailing economy, and a post-pandemic business world

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As chatter around the current funding winter grows week on week, startup founders are targeting their efforts at building sound resilience in the human resource as well as the business models which power their enterprises. Survival in these tough times, especially in the post-pandemic world, relies strongly on cooperation between the company and its employees, according to Upasana Taku, co-founder, Mobikwik.

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Speaking at the India Internet Day event organised by TiE Delhi NCR on Friday, Taku highlighted how in the new normal, one needs to embrace changes as they come: from working exclusively at the office (prior to the COVID-19 outbreak) to exclusively working from home (during the peak of the pandemic) to giving up the conveniences of working remotely to return to the office full or half time (post the lifting up of the pandemic-induced restrictions). "While there definitely is efficiency when people work remotely, we have noticed that there's so much more innovation and collaboration when people work together," said Taku. "We have striven to lend greater support to the employees since the pandemic; we resolved to provide everyone with health insurance and resist firing any employee during this funding crunch. But now we also expect the employees to be flexible and return to the office," she added.

Harsimarbir Singh, co-founder, Pristyn Care, threw further light on the benefits resulting from a healthy company-employee partnership: namely, in the form of building a sound corporate culture. "As a young leader, I do not have all the answers and often also make mistakes with respect to hiring and retaining talent, but I still lay down the fundamentals of the 'culture' we are trying to build at Pristyn, which may or may not be acceptable to all potential employees: six-day work weeks, for instance," he said. Moreover, as a consequence of the funding slump in 2022, fewer individuals are approaching companies for employment while demanding major hikes on their previous salaries—a development that Singh views rather positively.

From the looks of it, startups are now expecting employees to pull up their socks to survive the currently unfolding confluence of difficult circumstances: a funding winter, an ailing economy, a new normal post the pandemic. Apparently, this is a period of Dickensian 'Hard Times' of sorts in the business world!