Future of Work 2020: How to grow in your career, according to Gojek’s Sidu Ponappa

At YourStory’s Future of Work 2020 conference, Gojek India’s Senior Vice President, Sidu Ponappa shared the proxies for growth.

2nd Mar 2020
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Work is getting “weirder”, according to Gojek India’s Senior Vice President Sidu Ponappa. “Fifteen years ago, roles like data scientist and growth hacker were in science fiction novels," Sidu said. He was speaking at the third edition of YourStory's Future of Work, India's largest product-design-tech conference, on Saturday.


People often feel that they are becoming stagnant in their jobs. “Growth is something that everyone intuitively understands but they have not defined what growth is. It is a question that matters to everyone professionally,” he said.
Sidu Ponappa

Not many have an idea of what their career growth has been like, especially when they self-assess. "Growth is learning to reliably create a valuable outcome... learning to code, learning to do one on one's work, learning to fundraise…,” said Sidu. The emotional pain of growth is what tends to slow people down, he added. 


Valuable outcomes usually come through failure with high financial and emotional cost, he noted. 


Some of the proxies for growth, according to Sidu, are as follows:


  • Organisational abstraction: You should not get disconnected from what you intend to learn while growing into various roles.
  • Years of experience: Today the pendulum has swung against older folks. But one must respect those who have been around because they do know things.
  • Access to capital: You have to deploy money if you have to grow a product. 
  • Portfolio matters: As an employee you should have completed a number of projects and spent time on multiple projects.. 
  • Skills: There are great people with phenomenal skills like former sprinter Usain Bolt, who for a 10-second race would have trained for twenty years. Then there are above average people who can do a lot of things. Both can be combined.
  • People who matter: They want to talk to you in the organisation. Any leader will spend a certain amount of time with you and help you grow. 


(Edited by Ramarko Sengupta)




A big shout out to our Future of Work 2020 Sponsors: Alibaba Cloud, Larksuite, Vodafone Idea Limited, Gojek, Adobe, Udaan, Pocket Aces, Junglee Games, ShareChat, Open, Vesta Space Technology, Maharashtra State Innovation Society, Kristal.AI and GetToWork; and our Knowledge Partner: Ascend Harvard Business Review.

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