Startups: As funding for the bites of winter, startups think beyond payouts, and franchises to win talent wars

While Ashneer Grover announced this week that he would gift Mercedes cars to employees who stay for five years at his new company, Third Unicorn, the mood among the rest of the startup ecosystem is one of caution and fiscal prudence.

With funding slowing and layoffs across many companies, startups such as Wingify, Eduvanz, CashKaro, Hero Vired, Wakefit, and Zepto are looking to attract talent with opportunities for career growth and long-term wealth creation through employee stock options (ESOPs), upskilling, and access to leadership, and rewards for outstanding performance.

“We believe that giving freebies or lavish gifts is not the only solution to talent retention. It is essential that employees understand the company’s vision, get inspired, and work together towards a collective goal of Sharpen people’s skills and make a difference in their lives.”

edtech focuses on keeping employees engaged, providing opportunities to improve needed skills, and creating an open environment for employees to share their opinions.

Others like Zepto and CashKaro offer multiple opportunities for promotion, learning from peers, access to leadership, and recognition for exemplary work.

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“Through regular surveys, we’ve realized that employees want opportunities to grow and learn. The company runs AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions where employees get direct access to co-founders Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya,” said Roma Bendro, head of human resources at the grocery delivery startup. Vohra for questioning about metrics, growth and future plans.

At CashKaro, #TheCKMorning Show – a platform for recognition and encouragement – gives a shout out to employees who have gone above and beyond. Founding partner Swati Bhargava said many aspiring candidates learn about the company’s culture by seeing such initiatives on social media, which helps the company attract good talent.

Wingify actively invests in employee development and career growth opportunities. CEO and co-founder Sparsh Gupta said that this not only attracts top talent but also helps retain existing employees.

“We stay ahead of industry trends and technologies, which allows us to offer employees challenging and exciting projects that allow them to grow their skills and advance their careers,” said Gupta. The company also has a professional development budget that employees can use to improve their skills.

“As startups exercise financial caution, conversations are also shifting from simply focusing on compensation to including factors such as exposure to interesting projects, possibilities for working across teams, and the potential to build something truly unique,” ​​said Varun Chopra, founder of Eduvanz. Technology-Based Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) offers education loans to build skills.

The company, whose investors include Sequoia Capital and Unitus Ventures, introduced the Learning and Development Budget to fund learning for employees, who were using it to improve their project design, product and analytics skills, business management, and leadership abilities.

Wakefit, a mattress, furniture and interiors company, focuses on a healthy work-life balance through policies such as a no-questions-asked vacation policy and flexible working for new parents. Co-founder Chaitanya Ramalingegowda said health positive practices are a strong draw for potential talent.

He said, “We are a people-centered organization and believe in extending benefits that truly enrich the lives of our employees, rather than offering vanity benefits.”

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