MUMBAI | BENGALURU: It is not just the Unicorns (startups with billion-dollar-plus valuations), but a fair sprinkling of younger and smaller ventures are also attracting top global talent back to India. A bunch of senior executives is quitting high-flying careers abroad to join smaller startups such as Edureka, OYO Rooms, Urban Ladder, Faaso's and Housing.com in India. In June this year, Durgesh Kaushik quit as head of online marketing (Asia-Pacific) at Facebook and left Singapore to join Bangalorebased startup Edureka as chief marketing officer.
In the same month, Ajit Pandey, earlier with IBM in the UK, relocated to India to join Mumbai-based Loanstreet as chief technology officer. In mid-August, Supriyo Roy, previously the lead, design and experience, at New York-based startup Spangle came on board at foodtech startup Faaso's as head of design, user experience and interface. And at real estate listing portal Housing.com, UPenn graduate Jason Kothari, earlier the cofounder and CEO of Valiant Entertainment, was brought in as chief business officer in August to drive overall strategy and growth. Since last November, Housing has also hired Rachel Steinberg as vice-president (product) and Paul Meinshausen as vice-president (data sciences).
MANY HUNT FOR GLOBAL TALENT At least a dozen more startups, including MyRefers.com, MobiKwik, LivSpace, LatestOne, Violet-Street and Lybrate, say they are actively looking to hire global talent. Till recently, only the Unicorns â€” such as Flipkart and Snapdeal â€” had been primarily attracting talent from the Silicon Valley. Smaller startups have now joined the party. "The startup space is coming into its own," says Kaushik. "There's an opportunity to be part of a sector that's really making its mark on the world stage as well as the chance to create and market products specifically targetted for Indians.
" Reasonably competitive salaries, thanks to funding from venture capitalists, employee stock option plans (ESOPs) and an opportunity to be part of the India startup story are proving to be adequate incentives to woo such talent to India. On offer are salaries of $100,000-250,000 plus ESOPs and challenging roles. "Given that startups, even at an early stage are getting heavily funded, they are fine with global benchmarks of compensation," Anuj Roy, partner, digital practice, at executive search firm Transearch. "The shrinking cycle time between various rounds of funding also gives entrepreneurs an option to invest heavily in the team at an early stage."
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