Aligning Passion – Creating a ‘Win-Win’ for the Employer and the Employee in a Start-Up

Start-Up Fair: Winter 2015 by icreate and Venture Studio on December 06, 2015 was officially rolled off with an excellent speech by Mr. Pavan Bakeri, Managing Director – Bakeri Group. Mr. Bakeri highlighted how Gujarat is emerging as an entrepreneurial hub conducive to start-ups contrary to the popular opinion. He asserted the need for more female entrepreneurs and for entrepreneurs to understand the need of diligent planning leaving ‘Jugaad’ as a last resort. Mr. Pavan Bakeri also said that one needs to understand the current trends of the market and take care of the finest details in execution of an idea.  He concluded by saying, hire enthusiasm and don’t start  your entrepreneurial journey to become rich or to become CEO.

Following the round of introductions, was the Panel discussion moderated by Mr. K Thyagarajan -Founding Team Member and Mentor, icreate.  The panelists included industry veterans from both sides of the spectrum, the entrepreneurs and the employees including :
Ms. Sonali Kochchar – Engineering Head, Sooryen Innovation Labs
Mr. Arastu Zakia – Co-Founder, CollegeBol
Mr. Kartik Sarvaiya – Head-Business Development, PurpleDocs
Dr. Rohan Desai  – Founder, PlexusMD

panelEach speaker took us through their journey of finding their calling in a start-up and the challenges they faced from their family, peers, the society and the entrepreneurs themselves.

Ms. Sonali Kochchar shared a woman’s perspective on how her decade long career with some of the best players in the industry made her crave for something more challenging after her kids were old enough to take care of themselves. She also said she always wanted to have more hands in the growth of the company hence, a start-up.

Mr. Arastu Zakia shared his experience on making start ups work and scouting the right talent, getting work out of them and finally retaining them. His bittersweet experiences taught him to strongly believe in the All-is-Well syndrome and be patient enough no matter what happens. He said that ‘passion’ is the only currency one has in early stage start-ups.

Mr. Kartik Sarvaiya, a Gujarati by heart and birth, came looking for his calling back to his homeland Gujarat after a successful decade long corporate career. He realized that his impulsive, out-of-the-comfort-zone and challenge seeking streak found its match in the startup way of life. Once he met the right kind of people to work with, he never looked back. He suggested that one should be candid with the founding team about the aspirations and goals before joining the start-up.

Dr. Rohan Desai, the medicine man by qualification and entrepreneur from the university of hard knocks found the need for a niche portal for medicine professionals and realized it through his startup. He shared his experience in getting the right people on board and how entrepreneurs can set that benchmark to work with. He insisted that the first set of people are very important and sets the culture of a start-up.

Once the session concluded, the floor was opened for questions and answers where the panelists addressed various issues employees and employers are likely to face. Dr. Rohan Desai – Founder, PlexusMD said “We love such people and let them take lead” when asked  about dealing with a team member with more passion, drive and wisdom than founders.

Mr. kartik Sarvaiya insisted that one should look at the growth plans of a company and if it is in synchronization with his/her personal growth when asked about the intangibles one must see before joining a start-up.


Concluded by Mr. Asgar Ahmed -Director, NEN asserted the need to learn, relearn and unlearn at every stage of the startup journey. He felt that the secret ingredient to surviving and growing a startup both as an employee and employer was guts and endurance.


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