Professionals struggle with letting people go, but entrepreneurs don't as much, says Shaadi.com's Anupam Mittal
When you are hiring someone, they should basically understand the culture of your organisation, says Shaadi.com's Anupam Mittal.
"When I started out in 2001, no one wanted to join an internet company, especially after the dot com bust. An internet startup wanted people like product managers and designers, but there was very little talent available in the country. There was very little to choose from and whoever was left wanted a safe job after 2001. So, until 2006, our hiring policy was 'if you are willing to join us we will hire you.' I didn't have much of a choice. Once we raised external funding we were mostly relying on referrals and a little help from head hunters from around 2007 to 2010. Many of our top guys have joined us in different roles and moved to other roles and grown with the company.
A journalist had come to interview me, I turned it around into a job offer. He turned out to be a good product manager for us. And I turned a business development guy to be my PR person. We have taken a consultant and turned him into an online marketing head, we have taken a CFO and made him into a CEO, turned an HR person into a market development head. We do this quite a bit. We don't box people. If someone wants to try something different, we are for it. There were three office attendants with us and two of them are web engineers now. So, we are always challenging people to expand their horizons. But you wouldn't want to make a finance guy your CTO.
We didn't have much money to pay our employees initially. I was trying to sell a dream to them. There were some people who you could connect with. Those days nobody knew what an ESOP is. Everyone wanted cash.
When you are hiring someone, they should basically understand the culture of your organisation. That doesn't mean that they should have the same views. You want people with different opinions than yours, for sure. Two major things that one should look at are attitude and learning agility. Sometimes, when people have too much experience, it can be dangerous.
And when it comes to letting go of people, generally in India, professionals struggle with it but entrepreneurs don't as much. I see professionals in my company hold on to it, when they have to take tough decisions, for months. It damages everything – not only the company but that individual's performance too. It may not be his fault. May be your environment is not suitable for him. Sometimes, it is good for him if you let go."