Chennai-based Freshdesk's journey from a 1000 sq ft warehouse to a 60000 sq ft fabulous office
For the first time, YourStory Fabulous Workplaces has stepped out of Bangalore. We went to the office of one of the fastest growing SaaS companies of the world based out of Chennai, Freshdesk. Started in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham, the company has come a long way from a five-member team working out of a 1000 sq ft office to the 400-member strong working out of a fabulous 60,000 sq ft office space in SP Infocity, Chennai.
In its four-and-a-half-years of existence, the company has changed offices seven times. This speaks a lot about the kind of growth Freshdesk is going through. Freshdesk has raised a total of $94M in six rounds of funding with the most recent being a $50M series E round from Tiger Global, Google Capital and Accel Partners. Girish feels that besides the access to a pool of talented employees, the funding has also helped in taking the decision to shift to a bigger office.
Girish has tried to maintain the culture of the company similar to what it was with 20 people. He says,
We embrace an open culture where everyone is approachable. I personally meet everyone within a week/two of joining.
Milu Jacob, Business Development Manager at Freshdesk, pointed out that Girish remembers the names of almost all the employees which is rare in 400-member strong organization. Almost all the employees at Freshdesk feel that their CEO is extremely humble and is approachable for all conversations.
(Video shot by Rukmangada Raja and edited by Anjali Achal)
Girish responded to this with a quote from Chris Hendrickson’s book ‘The 5-Minute debt solution’
If a total jerk gets a lot of money, he becomes a bigger jerk. If an incredibly giving and loving person gets more money, she becomes more of a giver.
Freshdesk office features 24*7 open cafeterias, a gym, a table tennis & foosball room and a mini golf course as well. Freshdesh is a fairly young organization with almost 60% of the employees joining straight from college. The company however explores non-premier institutes for recruitment. Girish clarifies,
We do not consciously skip IITs and IIMs, but usually by the time our recruitment starts, top talent from these institutes is already placed. There is a lot of competition as well in these colleges. Also, we believe that talent is not restricted to a few colleges and with the right training and talent-match, we can get best employees.
For most people, it’s the freedom, flexibility and the openness in the culture which they embrace at Freshdesk. The company’s plans might not be as aggressive as the larger e-commerce entities in India but there are good chances that you’ll find a perfect match for your talent here.