India has a history of being a conglomerate-heavy market space. Big corporations, large tenders and bigger workforces were the norm for the formative years of the Indian economy. Indeed, a couple of decades ago, you wouldn’t expect college graduates to work in startups or start their own business, given the ample infrastructure to absorb the incoming workforce.
However, the business landscape of India has definitely changed. Where India had a solitary startup unicorn in 2012, it now boasts a catalogue of 34 startup unicorns that have seen funding in startups go through the roof. In the period between 2014 and 2019, India added 26,000 startup ventures to its burgeoning market, taking the total tally of startups launched in India to 55,000; almost double the numbers that existed in 2014!
What was once considered to be a niche is now revealing itself to be the Queen of the chessboard that is the Indian market- and every measurable metric suggests that this upward trend will only continue as we move forward.
Why Work in Startups?
Work in startups might seem like too much for too less- after all, the amount of effort you put in might seem disproportionate come payday. But make no mistake- many a diamond has been forged in this environment, and some of the best success stories in business are owed to startups.
There are several benefits to finding work in startups. For starters, the impact your effort has is instant and lasting. Startups, by design, have smaller teams which means more responsibilities for each member of the organization. This puts you on the frontlines of the work frontier- you are constantly checking the pulse of the market, coming up with new innovative ways of advancing set targets and goals, and gaining much-needed experience. Moreover, increased responsibilities implies more opportunities, as a startup compels you to consistently add to your repertoire of skills which makes you an asset for your company or any company that you join in the future. The many hats you have to juggle as part of a startup refines you into a well-rounded asset that can complete multiple tasks across the board with ease and expertise. You’ll be instilled with the values of hard work, ownership, and self-sustainability- all things crucial to find even a modicum of success.
Perhaps the greatest perk of getting work in startups is the work culture. Unlike the environment of an MNC, work in startups promotes a culture that is highly inclusive and doesn’t put stock in unnecessary quirks of being “on-the-job”. Work in startups is comparatively laidback, owing to its intimate nature, where team members can bond over their collective successes and failures, and do so in a t-shirt and shorts! The unconventional office spaces, small yet close-knit unit of workers, and a cheerful intimate work culture that builds a competent team of individuals with meaningful relationships is the biggest reason for seeking out work in startups.
Not every person can cope well with the demands of a corporate setup and the work culture in startups affords them the much-needed space and freedom to express their own creative process and bypass doing things “by-the-book” to achieve the same results!
16 Best Startups to Work for in India
India is on its course to becoming the new startup capital of the world. However, not all the criticisms surrounding a startup are unfounded- if you want to learn and grow with the best, you need to actively seek out the best.
The following is a list of 16 such organizations to start work in startups with, which will groom your career and hone its proverbial edge:
OYO Homes & Hotels
Perhaps the epitome of a startup success story: what started as OYO Rooms in 2013 is on track to become the world’s largest hotel chain by the year 2023. This startup company manages more than half a million properties all across India and 9 other countries. In less than a decade of existence, they have already revolutionized the hotel business. It has grown to the extent that it even offers incentives that a handful of Indian brands can afford- competitive market compensation, employee stock options, company-mandated healthcare schemes and much more! There can be no better starting point for you to do work in startups.
If you are even remotely interested in exercise and having a healthy lifestyle, chances are you have heard of Cure.Fit. One of the leading fitness apps in India, Cure.Fit brings together all aspects of a healthy life with them- and this goes beyond just physical and mental wellbeing. Cure.Fit employees are guaranteed exciting perks and privileges, including food allowances, flexible working hours, greater freedom in handling projects, and a structure that champions merit over hierarchy, allowing you to spread your wings as much as you’d like.
A bike-renting app that has paved the way for many others, the way Bounce works is simple- choose the location you want to go to, pick a bike, travel, and you’re done. No time hassles. No unnecessary interactions. Pure deliverance. Employees at Bounce report a fun, productive and learning work environment, with pensions, healthcare as well as mentorship programs.
A company that provides express surface logistics all across the country, Rivigo is one of the most promising organizations to start work in startups with. The company has recently been granted patent rights by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its revolutionary relay truck model. What’s more important are the benefits they offer employees, including healthcare & insurance, employee stock options or equity shares, as well as on-the-job training and tuition- they give you all the tools needed to start work in startups.
A payment gateway that integrates multiple payment modes like debit cards, credit cards, net banking, UPI, and prepaid digital wallets, Razorpay is as good with its employees as it is with keeping your money safe. Flexible working hours, state-of-the-art amenities and secure insurance policies all make Razorpay a good starting point when looking for work in startups.
One of the premier networking platforms for business professionals online, TapChief is a platform where you curate your personal brand. It is one of the best places to work in startups, with employee perks including unlimited vacation days, pet-friendly offices, and regular sessions on skill development.
A data labeling platform that builds and innovates upon machine learning technologies, Playment offers its employees a competitive salary and flexible working hours alongside team-building activities like sporting events and office parties- making it the perfect fun yet competitive working environment to bring out your best.
When finding work in startups, we must assess their potential on the whole. A platform that hones your interviewing skills to perfection, InterviewBit is great not just for the technical knowledge it imparts, but also for the employee benefits they provide, including relaxed working hours, healthcare schemes and insurances to secure your future.
One of the frontrunners in the burgeoning online education sector, upGrad provides its employees with every standard benefit that would otherwise be secured by an MNC and has a work environment second to none. Definitely a good place to begin!
India’s first InsurTech company, ACKO makes buying and using insurance as seamless as the hassle-free work experience you would have with them! Experience gained through work in startups like ACKO will shape you into the perfect asset.
Combining AI with medical consultancy, Mfine is breaking ground in both the world of technology as well as employment. The two-year-old company is expanding rapidly and offers a youthful and dynamic workplace with lucrative incentives.
A delivery app that has gained serious traction over the past couple of years, Dunzo delivers everything- from packages to groceries and medicines. What’s more, they deliver one of the best environments to start work in startups with! Employee perks include medical coverage, parental leaves, wellness camps, and additional incentives via Dunzo cash.
A network-centric business that brings together buyers and sellers from across the country on a single, easy-to-access platform, UDAAN gives you every reason to make it the start of your career. From insurance to pensions to ESOs- work in startups that value you, like UDAAN to make the most of the experience!
Digital Insurance labels itself as “the simplifier” by not just making it easier for their clients to avail proper insurance schemes, but also providing a plethora of incentives for their employees- performance bonuses, coverage of job-related shifting costs, employee discounts; and that’s just scratching the surface!
Perhaps one of the fastest-growing e-commerce platforms in India, Meesho is a place where anyone can resell their belongings with no hesitation. Coverage for various insurance plans, parental leaves as well as work-from-home options are some of the major employee benefits you can avail while working with them.
Paavan is a dharmik app built for Bharat. Devotion and spirituality has always been a focus for a majority of Indian audience but with increasing stress, raging pandemic and poor lifestyle choices, more and more people have started looking inwards to find meaning in their hustle. Paavan is on a mission to help people connect with their inner selves and lead a more meaningful life.
How Can You Find Work in Startups?
Job-hunting can be a tough ordeal, but believe it or not, finding work in startups is a much simpler process. Due to the very nature of a startup, recruitment mostly occurs based on referrals or from online recruitment platforms. Some of the best places to find work in startups online are:
Working with a startup is the perfect way to launch your career in 2022- whether you plan to start your own business eventually, or move onto greener pastures, and the clinching factor is that you always work with a startup and not for them!
Top picks for you: