PurpleTalk – The Story of a 400 People Startup3 years ago Ravi Korukonda
Isn’t it kind of contradicting? How can a company that has been around for more than 7 years, have a team strength of more than 400 people spread across 3 different offices still call itself a Startup? Well, the way we look at it in PurpleTalk is that being a Startup is not so much about the size and scale but more a matter of attitude. It’s in our DNA.
The start was humble – a bunch of 10-12 people working out of a two-room office, was not so different from any other startups but boy did we cherish those days! We were more than just colleagues; it was more like working with your friends and family. Work was never a “job”, it was always a passion – a team game that needs to be won. Appreciations were not a certificate or a gift voucher but more like “dude, how did you do that, it’s awesome!” Parties were rarely at fancy restaurants but were more of McDonalds and KFC. All-nighters were plenty and there was always the Dine Hill Biryani to beat the midnight cravings.
As much as we loved those days, it was equally important for the business to grow. As business grows, you need more people, you need bigger offices and that is probably one of the most important phases a startup might go through. As you scale up your hiring you see more unknown faces around you, people from different backgrounds, different mindsets, different cultures – so, how do you ensure that you still retain the bonding? Moving to a bigger office was a natural choice but a little more than a year in an office of cubicles and cabins – we knew it was not for us. As a company operating on the cutting edge of technology, innovation and creativity are of paramount importance at PurpleTalk and we knew those 3’ by 5’ cubicles aren’t the breeding ground for the best of ideas.
As we planned our move to the new office, we made a conscious decision to break down all physical barriers to start with. In came an open office layout – you can see people around you, talk to them without having to feel guilty about disturbing their privacy. You get to know people and bond with them only when you talk to them – and this was the easiest thing we could have done. Right from the CEO to the junior-most guy sitting on open tables… you have a question, an idea, or a problem – don’t brood over it, talk about it and let’s solve it together. While this was effective to bring back the vibe and reinforce the camaraderie in the team, this was nearly not enough.
At PurpleTalk if there is one thing that we have learnt it is that a strong team is the single most important factor for success and the larger your team grows, the more effort you need to put in to make sure your team stays together. It also becomes extremely important as to how each individual is perceived by the company and vice-versa. Appreciating an individual’s personal objective and facilitating the achievement of the same in alignment with the company objectives results in greater satisfaction and better outputs. At PurpleTalk, we have always encouraged our people to be who they are – whether it is in terms of voicing their opinion, pursuing a hobby, chasing a business dream.
While actively pushing our people to enhance their skills through various training and events related to their professional role, at PurpleTalk we also engage in myriad of social events – whether it is volunteering at Airtel Marathon or hosting Startup Leadership Program, Hack4Good, MAD events, Angelhack and several other startup events – providing our people an opportunity to explore various social interaction channels and look beyond their job to becoming a better person.
For those looking for a more meaningful social contribution, PurpleTalk’s own CSR, Education for Free (EFF) provides an ideal platform. Through EFF, we work towards delivering quality education to children in distant villages in government schools.
At PurpleTalk we not only work towards building great products and offering world-class service to our clients but also ensure that our employees have a good life. Flexible work hours, generous maternity benefits, occasional work from homes go a long way in maintaining work-life balance.
The regular sporting activities both indoor and outdoor provide a great platform for the teams to bond beyond work; celebrations are not just limited to major festivities like Christmas, Diwali or Iftaar Parties but every small success is also celebrated with the same gusto.
Startups are typically characterized by their readiness to adopt, fun environment, open-minded, employee-friendly policies and inclusive decision making. Irrespective of the size and the scale, at PurpleTalk we maintain all that and add to it the excitement of working for Fortune clients on disruptive innovations, global exposure and an infinite growth curve – gives our people a perfect reason to say Thank God it’s Monday!