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Showing posts from February, 2009

Diversity in Hiring? - By Sanjay Anandaram

One of the things that intrigued me when I visited a startup recently was the amazing conformity and homogeneity on display. Most of the team members were from a particular community, from a particular part of the country, had studied in the same set of colleges and had worked in similar roles in similar companies prior to this startup. Only two of the more than 15 members I met did not conform to the profile of the majority. The CEO subsequently mentioned that one of them had resigned and was on his way out soon while they were looking for a replacement for the other.

The above may not be a very typical case but it is also not atypical. Companies are started by people who share a certain set of common bonds and vision. These common bonds are a function of backgrounds, gender, age, education and prior experiences. In addition to these bonds, there are other bonds e.g. of community. The bonds of community are generally perceived to provide something that the other bonds don’t. Namely, t…

Attracting and Retaining Talent - By Sanjay Anandaram

When I was asked to write an article on the broad topic of attracting and retaining talent for the Journal of the National HRD Network I became anxious and nervous (of course I displayed nonchalance!). What could a layperson like me write about on the topic that the experts already didn’t know? It would be presumptuous of me to suggest tools and techniques to those who practiced the difficult and thankless jobs of “HR”. So I decided to write about the issue straight from the heart and head on because I believe it needs to be said. So here goes.

“I want to join this company. I believe it is an exciting opportunity for me, I’ve researched the space the company is in and its value proposition resonates with me. I’m not looking for short term gains; in fact, I’m willing to take a significant pay cut to join the company and to make money only through stock if the company does well. I think this is a great chance for me and I just have to work for this company.”

The above is not out of any co…

Investments or Expenses? - By Sanjay Anandaram

In the tough economic times such as the one we’re currently facing, the pervasive and prudent mantra is to conserve cash, hunker down, reduce expenses and somehow survive till better times arrive. But then what expenses should one cut? Where should the costs be reduced? Should investments be stopped?

I’ve received mails from entrepreneurs asking the above questions. In order to answer these questions, it is important to understand the differences between the terms. Semantics aside, understanding of the terms will also help decide where to save and where not to. Lets take a simple example.

Your company decides to participate in a day long event for which 500 samples of your product are procured for Rs 5L. However, only 400 samples were handed out, since only 400 customers showed up, leaving 100 samples that could be used for another event next month. The costs incurred by your company is therefore Rs 5L while Rs 4L were the expenses for the event and the 100 unused samples worth Rs 1L ar…