Hyderabad, July 10th, 2017: The Startup Leadership Program (SLP), a global network for outstanding founders, leaders, and innovators in the Start Up space, hosted SLP Connect, the Alumni meet, in Hyderabad, today. Eminent speakers comprising of former Union Minister for HRD, Mr. Pallam Raju; Dr. Srikanth Sunderarajan, General Partner, Venture East and Mr. Kiran Chandra Kalluri, Field Touch operations, Google Maps & State Executive Member, AP and Telangana, BJP, took part in the lively panel discussion and shared valuable insight on topics of relevance to Start-up ecosystem like IT Layoffs in India and its impact on Startups; Collaboration between Academia and Startups and Government’s Startup policy in India – present and future outlook.
Dr. Sundararajan speaking about the buzz on layoffs, said the response of companies to this latest challenge is varied and quite a few are confronting the issue through pay cuts across the board and there by refraining from layoffs. On those being laid off, he said 10%, especially the ones with an entrepreneurial streak may start ventures of their own; 20% will explore for avenues in start-ups and get absorbed; but the majority will struggle to find new opportunities in the Start-ups.
Dr. Sundararajan opined, that the ones who set sight on Start-ups may not be tuned to its requirement, for the simple reason that their previous careers oriented them to a particular skill set, while working for Start-ups is a totally different ball game. These employees need to make a mid-stream skill shift, they need to reinvent themselves by up-skilling or side-skilling and mould into being attractive resources, for Startups to hire them.
According to Mr. Kiran Chandra, those from the laid-off lot with domain expertise and experience may be attractive for Startups and will be lapped up by it. He said, the NDA government is framing policies that build a robust entrepreneurship, which in turn will generate employment. The emphasis is on job creators rather than churning out job seekers. He cited various examples of government taking lead in this direction, like Mudra Yojna, that is helping entrepreneurs near the bottom of the pyramid; Startup India, Standup India etc. He highlighted the special thrust being laid by Government on ease of doing business. This Government is interested and more than willing to lend its ears to entrepreneurs, take their inputs and feedback for a win-win situation, he said.
Mr. Pallam Raju talked about the important role academia can play in building a culture of innovation and how Startups could immensely benefit through collaborations with educational institutions. Academia can play a key role in up-skilling and re-skilling people, especially in this hour of uncertainty. He strongly felt the need for industry experts having a stint in academia to foster research temperament in the Universities, there is a need to bring in faculty with real world experience as we expand key educational institutions like IIMs, IITs. We should also encourage academia to have real world experience and engage in for-profit innovation. ITI and Polytechnic courses should be promoted for the present and future talent requirement. He concluded by saying, the key is to be proactive rather than reactive.
Gopi Krishna Lingala, Program Leader, SLP & Co-Founder, Leanspoon; Ravi Vaka, Co-Program Leader, SLP; Srinivas Madhavam, CEO, vDeliver; Rahul Kanuganti, CEO, Flytta; Thapasya Vijayaraghavan, Co-Program Leader, SLP, Hyderabad & Founder, Beanery Foods; are amongst the others, who participated in the session and shared their thoughts.
About SLP: The Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is a highly selective, global, world-class training program and lifelong global network for outstanding founders, leaders, and innovators who are or want to become startup CEOs. The program began in Boston in 2006 with seven Fellows (participants). It has grown to 28 cities in 13 countries. Every year 25 Fellows join the program in each city and this year 150 Fellows will go through the program in India across 6 cities. SLP Fellows have founded more than 1,300 successful startups including Grabon, Zipper, Deliver, August Fest, Runkeeper, Shareaholic, Ubersense, and many others, which have collectively raised more than $500M in funding and many have been acquired.