There is a stark difference between startups and business.

While Businesses follow the conventional route to growth following tried and tested methods, startups follow the unconventional methods like growth hacking, etc to disrupt existing market.

Businesses are predictable. Startups are unpredictable.

Businesses grow at their own pace. Startups either grow fast or fail faster.

Startups are VC’s favourite child as they offer “profitable exit”. Businesses rely on old methods of raising money (read: banks).

The arrival of startups:

A few years back, Outsourcing made the world took notice of Indian companies.

Foreigners respected us for our “techie” brains.

We were no more from the land of snake charmers and farmers.

The wave changed the landscape of some of the sleeping cities like Gurgaon overnight. The likes of Gurgaon were now the satellite cities of the country.

The sprawling farmlands had made way for swanky glass buildings.

It was around 2011, India saw for the first time – ad of an e-commerce website on TV.

E-commerce, which was already a successful trend had entered the Indian market with a big bang.

Flipkart was noticed by industry leaders.

The year will go down in the history of Indian businesses as a year when the word startup caught up with everyone’s imagination.

This was no ordinary year.

The landscape of Indian Business scene was about to change.

The startups who would not classify themselves as one of the existing businesses were planning to change how things were done in businesses.

Words like stability, conventional were to be replaced with “Innovations, disruptions, challenges” in a very plain yet powerful way.

Talent drain from MNCs to Startups:

When I passed out from college around 10 years back (yes. I am the old guy now 🙂 ), the only way out of the misery of not running around in the market with your résumé tucked under your smelly armpit was to get a job in a Software MNC.

They were the only ones, who made all the colleges dance to their tunes.

Mechanical, civil, electrical and obviously, computer science. Every “engineer” worth his salt wanted to live the great Indian IT dream.

Suddenly the dream job was no more in demand. The average insecure joe, who prayed in front of the god from morning to evening, just to get an interview call from the leading IT Companies was now looking to start a startup or work for one.

Why slog your day working in an MNC on mundane daily tasks hoping to get an onsite chance, when you can work with a cool startup and fetch the same amount of money working in a startup.

And the talent from MNCs suddenly looked at startups as the new oracle who would lead the business scene in a few years.

The job security in job seekers had made way for daring attitude.

And the money wasn’t bad.

Startups were offering packages higher than what conventional business like IT industry could offer.

And the charm of working with a company which was bending the rules of business was too good an offer to resist.

A job at a startup had no horizons. It taught hands-on multi-tasking.

At days, you are the tech lead and at days, you are the sales guy pitching your “cool” product to customers.

“Startups had arrived.”

Startups get a reality check

The first wave of startups was riding on the back of VCs. The VCs who were loaded with money to splurge on creative ideas.

The money was given on a platter to every new idea which promised to disrupt the market.

Fast forward today, the market is more realistic.

The startups in pursuit of showing unrealistic growth spent money senselessly. The last few months have been turbulent for the startups in India.

The founders of Flipkart have been asked to take a back seat.

Snapdeal after announcing a huge layoff finally accepted their mistake of working on an unrealistic business model.

Last week saw the closure of stayzilla.

Suddenly, startups are just not starting. Am I the Nostradamus who predicted the doom’s day years back? (just kidding 😉 )

MNCs which had nonchalantly settled for number two slot in the job market are back in the game.

The sheen they had lost after the arrival of startups is back.

Despite Mr. Trump’s best effort to kill “the onsite” dreams of our fellow countrymen, The “on-site” charm is back making the job seeker janta of our country dance.

(note: I will stay apolitical by not dragging Trump into the debate.  He is Mr. President. First time in my life I do not envy the yanks. Our politicians seriously have someone to look up…Oops I mean down to)

Startup or MNC (big companies)?

Let me help you overcome the dilemma.

Why work for a startup?

Startups are jazzy. They are cool. They are the ”in thing”- The new kid on the block who has all the best toys.

They one with chaos and risk.

But why worry? As they say, “No risk – No Gain”.

Startups are a work in progress. You would love them if you are you a risk taker.

You will want to join a startup if you are someone who hates to so what you were educated to do.

And if multitasking, working on new challenges on daily basis your thing – you are going to love working for a startup.

You must understand, startups will have new challenges every day from raising funds to figuring out how to hire for their startup.

You will be a part of the challenges and will be working with a small team finding solutions to these issues.

Let me ask you a question “Are you comfortable handling marketing, development, HR, etc, etc? – everything to anything your startup asks you to do?”

Well. If you are – Then, my friend, you can join a startup. Even if the startup fails, you will come out as a person who would have discovered by now what you love.

I can write this with confidence as I am a trained software engineer who discovered his real forte by working in my startup.

Before i end, here is another carrot to join a startup- there is no dress code 🙂

The rest of you can very well follow your dream of working in an MNC wearing formals and living your dream.

Why work for an MNC(Big Business)?

There is no harm in working for a good brand with less job risk.

The growth chart is steady. The business model is tried and tested.

Money is good. Growth is decent and the Career is secure.

Why take a risk by working in a startup when all you wanted was a simple life with a steady job?

MNC or big businesses are for you when you are looking for stability.

By the way, if you are someone who hates risk and still wants that supersonic growth in your career – I have another option for you.

Join a Govt Job.

Why work in a government job?

To start with, timings are strictly 9 to 5. In 9 to 5 time, you get the longest lunch and tea breaks.

They have in-house entertainment too. Every time you feel bored, you can play solitaire or discuss family or you can ask one of the vendors to perform a dance for you.

And you get all the perks in the world for you and your family.

Free holidays, subsidized tickets, etc, etc. You are a sarkari damaad!

Also, the money is not bad either. Every time you feel you are not being paid enough, you can ask govt to bring another pay commission change and you will soon be getting paid at par with your harassed corporate friends.

I also have a secret to tell you.

Promise me, you will not tell it to anyone.

I know you won’t 🙂

Here is the secret – The money you get as salary will be your fixed deposit which you never have to touch.

Your expenses and a lot more than that will be taken care by “things moving under the table”.

Now, don’t ask me what are the things moving under the table? I used code words.

Read between the lines 🙂

OMG! What have i done?

It was a competition between MC and startups, why did i bring govt jobs in between. Now you are as confused as i am 🙁


Jasmeet Singh on EmailJasmeet Singh on LinkedinJasmeet Singh on TwitterJasmeet Singh on Youtube
Jasmeet Singh
Just another Entrepreneur at Lessons At Startup
Jasmeet has been a part of multiple Ventures. He earns his bread and butter by hanging onto his first venture, a Software Company located in India.

He is at present working on a new startup idea which like all startups will be "Disruptive" (at least he thinks so :) )

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