Healthy­ competition beneficial
With the digital payment transformation and fast growth of e-wallets, payment gateways and integrated single platforms, like UPI and Chillr, have bought a windfall, ramping up the digital transactions for overall business. It’s one app and interface that connects multiple banks to have a seamless transaction without putting the money in the wallet. Backwaters Technologies, which runs and operates Chillr, recently raised $6 million from Sequoia Capital in series A funding to back up its growth plans. The company is banking on the fact that youth especially in the tier I and II cities are well informed about the recent digital trends, says Jubin Shaju, HR head, Chillr. Excerpts:

How difficult is it to hire the right talent for a startup?
A: Hiring right talent is difficult for any organisation. It gets tougher in case of a startup. Though the recent startup boom has induced a lot of interest among prospective employees, but selecting right talent from the pool is important and difficult.
Startups work in a fast-paced environment. The challenge is to hire people who are nimble, multi-skilled and less resistant to change. This combination is difficult to find. Thus startups that could crack this have half their worries taken care of.

Your firm operates in a new sector. Shouldn’t your hiring strategy be backed up by an awareness initiative about the sector?
Fintech or the financial technology sector has been around since ages. However, the focus is certainly recent.
Youths, especially in the tier I and II cities, are well aware about the recent digital trends. At Chillr, not all roles require in-depth knowledge of the sector. A lot of roles can be trained on the go, which brings me back to the attitude of new hires. While hiring, we try to ensure that people are positive towards gaining new learning.
In case of roles that require in-depth understanding of the sector, we tend to look at industry expert hands.

How do you fill up vacancies in senior/higher positions, as getting enough experienced people may not be easy?
We get a lot of applications, mostly from individuals handling senior/leadership roles in their organisations. While most of them are achievers who want to shift their focus to startups and work for products that could make a difference to the society, some wish to experience life in a startup and are excited about facing challenges that come with working with that kind of setup.
For key roles that we do not have applications for, we get help from our investors, employees and networks like LinkedIn and Angel.co.

What’s your current head count? What are your hiring plans for the next one-year?
We have 96 fulltime employees and 9 academic interns. We don’t have big hiring plans for the next year. Our current team is well equipped to handle any challenge that may present itself during the course of the year. But if we come across individuals who could bring onboard something that we lack in, we shall always be welcoming.

What growth opportunities your firm offers to an employee?
Most of our employees are multi-skilled and could don multiple hats at any given time. This helps them to move on to bigger and better roles if they ever feel that their current roles have become monotonous. Growth at Chillr is not just measured in terms of designations and salaries, but how better a human being one has become since their association with us. There are abundant opportunities for this at Chillr.
Employees working in product operations after a while move to product management roles while someone handling administration has the opportunity to move to human resources. Cross-functional movement is also possible across teams.

How promising is this sector for a job aspirant?
The demonetisation drive has been a shot in the arms for fintech players, especially in the payment sector. This has given rise to a lot of new users and adopters. Thus all organisations are looking to strengthen their teams to handle the unprecedented growth. This has made the space lucrative and rewarding. There is a mad rush to attract quality talent and it’s a win-win situation for job aspirants who aim to be a part of the fintech in India.

How do you propose to develop an organisational culture or employees’ culture, which is very important for any company?
We, at Chillr, believe that every employee is looking for a challenge and it’s our responsibility to provide new challenges for our people to work on, which keeps them positively engaged.
Every organisation should ensure that they hire the right people for the right kind of roles even if it means having to let go of a potential superstar. Healthy competition is extremely beneficial while trying to build a strong culture. Our people should constantly push each and set higher benchmarks for their peers and this is when an organisation becomes inclusive and collaborative.

ritwikmukherjee@mydigitalfc.com
Columnist: 
Ritwik Mukherjee