“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime,” says Gaurav Anand of f1Circle, an exclusive bulletin board for professionals' casual needs. It’s popularly known as Craigslist for Professionals in Hyderabad. Started in 2012, it’s the bulletin board, mailing lists, intranet of all the companies brought together, and also a platform for companies that don't have one
This coming from a young yet-to-graduate employee who has spent a mere 30 days with f1Circle is reflective of his value as an employee. It’s a person who, in the very early stages of his career, relates and associates with the company and his co-workers, and is cognizant of the importance of team effort.
Santosh Shukla, the Co-founder and Director of f1Circle, says, “The question is not ‘Why Gaurav?’ but ‘Why not Gaurav?’ We want to recognise him for his efforts and attitude, and set an example for the youngsters out there that you can make a positive impact from day one and people notice it.”
According to Santosh, Gaurav is fresh, open and ready to be groomed into a great asset to the organisation. “We know that we can delegate some work to him and move on to different work, knowing very well that it’ll be handled in the best manner possible.”
Santosh sees him evolve into an engineer and a team leader very soon, because of his self-motivation and leadership potential.
Born and brought up in Hyderabad, Gaurav is pursuing his B.Tech in Information Technology from B V Raju Institute of Technology (B.V.R.I.T).He will graduate in May 2015.
He did his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2, Air Force Academy and has done competitive swimming at school level.
His internship earlier at a startup in the career counselling sector as a software intern gave him good exposure to workplace functioning and culture. It gave him the confidence to kickstart his career. Currently in his last semester of graduation, he wanted to work and enhance his learning by contributing to a startup, which is when he came across f1Circle.
As an enthusiastic undergraduate, Gaurav attended plenty of corporate events, talks and associated with startup groups. And during a few of these, was exposed to the success stories of entrepreneurs. It motivated him to join a startup.
Starting at f1Circle
Even though they did not have an open position, Santosh knew they wanted such go-getters on the team.
In the scheme of things, Gaurav, besides working on application development, is also responsible for developing software solutions for User Acquisition and Engagement for F1 Circle. Gaurava says, “Sure, I need to write code, publish blog posts- whatever. But we’re doing much more than that. We’re building a company. It’s hard to describe what that feeling is like, though. Being a part of a small company is somewhat like creating a community or finding new best friends. We’re at the apex of what might become something big, something meaningful and different.”
He is young and raring to go with a team he shares an especially strong bond with. “We’re always challenging each other to push our limits, experiment and innovate in everything that we do. Sometimes there are heated debates to ensure the best ideas always win -no matter where they come from- and we build on to each others' ideas,” he says
Santosh says that Gaurav’s biggest strength is his positive attitude, his zeal for learning and the drive to complete tasks. “He is ready to learn and do what it takes for the organisation. In one month, he’s contributed to f1Circle at various fronts- as part of his training on RoR on which f1 Circle platform is built, he’s building an Agile Project Management app we intend to use in-house. He has volunteered and actively contributes to their social media presence, and has also developed content for their in-bound content management strategy.
“At his age, very few people would try to understand about the business needs of the organisation, and be open to share their suggestions to take the business forward.”
What they do not teach you in books
This young student and employee feels start-ups often use the latest platforms for development and deployment .So for an individual like him, there’s very less that he can relate to his education in terms of the technologies in the curriculum. “In startups, it’s mostly self-learning and research, which helps one arrive to a solution. I prefer this way of learning over the traditional one. Moreover, I’ve probably learnt much more than what I’ve learnt during my entire education. It was all about transforming the contents of a book into reality,” he says.
Working at startups
He strongly recommends working at startups, and here is why:
The learning is phenomenal.
You get to work with innovators. There’s nothing more satisfying than creating something that’ll benefit people by solving a real problem, and fixing things the incumbent players in the market can’t.
At a big company, you need to wait years and years to become a true leader with big ownership. Not at a startup. If you’re awesome, you’ll be able to grow and move up in your career far faster.
Startups usually have far more transparency than big companies. You get know why the CEO decided to raise a new round of funding or why the company decided to open a new arm of business. In general, every other decision made about the company will be transparent. All of this will teach you about business, and prepare you to create your own startup one day.