The last few years have been the start up years in India. Young Indians have actively taken a part in this culture by either working in a startup or developing their own idea. But there are a few young graduates who have to make a choice between joining a reputed firm and an early stage start up, and are confused because they want to be stable but the idea of instability still attracts them. I was one of those guys. I had the same decision to make and was in the same dilemma and I joined a start up.
So, did it work out? Yes it did.
As soon as I joined the start up in early June last year, I knew that it was the beginning of something new and something different. And my feeling came true, when my learning curve and my confidence grew at the same pace and became very steep.
My learning has been immense, I was doing a job that a guy with at least a 5 years of work experience would have been doing in a big corporate firm. A diversified role and that extra bit of trust from my boss, did not only make me believe in myself and enhance my knowledge but also got me through one of the most prestigious B schools in India (Indian School of Business Hyderabad).

But not everything is all joyous and happy, people in start ups get fired at a different pace altogether – for lack of efficiency, under-performance, size cutting to cut the expenditure and all that. I’ve seen most of my colleagues get fired due to one of the reasons mentioned above.
So, I know big firms as well where teams have gotten dissolved, but they’re still given some time and more money is put into them since a heavyweight Corporate firm can afford it. But I’ve seen overnight dissolution of a whole team in my start up and its devastating. People think that start up always means transparency within the organization. No, it does not always mean that. So, don’t be shocked if you don’t get to know what’s happening within the firm, cause this situation might arise.
But yes the major point being, what I learned in a start up in one year, I couldn’t have learned and experienced the same in an established workplace in that less a time.
So, Yes, I have experienced what I’m saying is not all joyous. I am a bit emotional about it as well as I’ve been working in it when it was just formed, from scratch. But as someone has rightly said, “Love your job, but never love your company.”

But then comes another thought : “Will I join a start up after my MBA from ISB as well?”. Well, I’m still waiting for the answer, and for the right place and the right time when I’ll get the right answer, I’ll take the right decision. But the answer that I have in my mind right now is- I’ll rather work on my own idea and develop it further by starting a start up of my own, a few years after my MBA, and make sure that whatever I’ve learned from my start up experiences are rightly implemented in my own start up as well, and hope that I do not make the same mistakes as I’ve seen other start ups make.

I’ll end with a note to all those who have the same choice as I had or are scared to join a start up. – Don’t be scared, take a leap of faith in the company and in yourself, because we are young, and we can afford to take risks. Make sure you learn well and you learn more. Yes, you might get paid a little lesser than your friends, but the ride is worth it, the experience is worth it, the feeling is worth it. And I’m sure you’ll come out as a much more confident version of yourself.


Sarthak Pandey
      Sarthak Pandey