a good pay, promotions, leadership role or high level of responsibility. Bigger portfolios were all guaranteed, but that is not the case anymore. The IT industry is now less like the boom industry it was and more and more like a traditional industry,” said Subinder Khurana, founder and CEO, BankSmarts Solutions, a startup in the analytics space.
Startups that have got Series-A funding are looking at people for their product management functions or to ramp up their product base.
Ashutosh Khanna, co-founder and director of WalkWater Talent Advisors, a Bangalore-based leadership headhunter focussed on start-ups, points out that many employees are getting ESOPs over the last few years as some exits, second or third round of funding by venture capitalists (VCs) and M&A have happened in the sector.
“This has created awareness about ESOPs and lot more people are willing to see that as part of their compensation. There was an employee who was getting paid Rs 1.2 crore and then joined a startup with Rs 35 lakh package and stock options. We are starting to see this trend gaining strength,” adds Khanna.
Karthik Reddy, managing partner of the R100-crore seed funding firm Blume Ventures, feels that series A-funded companies are in a better position to hire experienced candidates as they don’t have much of a cash constraint.
“Such startups don’t have a problem pricing ESOPs and there are bigger VC brands associated to make them more confident about joining start-ups.” Among Blume's portfolio of around 55 companies, only a few companies such as Mettl, ZipDial or MobStac can afford to hire at market rates.
“Today we don't find it that difficult or challenging to sell a startup company to a candidate. There is a maturity in candidate pool and openness," said Mathur-Gandhi.