Hiring dilemma: Multitaskers vs domain experts

This week, Entrepreneurship 101 explores if Indian startups should hire multitaskers or domain experts. How does the constituency of a team affect investor opinion?

Hello Reader,

It’s the last day of June, and as Edgar Allen Poe put it, the last midnight to “stand beneath the mystic moon” this year. 

The bear seems to have won again. After a four-day winning run, the S&P BSE Sensex declined by over 150 points on Wednesday while the broader NSE Nifty 50 declined by 51.10 points. The US too is not having a good time as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were flat in volatile trading on Wednesday. 

In other news, Mukesh Ambani’s succession plan continues as Bloomberg reported that Isha Ambani, his daughter, is now set to be named Chairperson of Reliance Industries Limited’s retail arm. 

Last but not least, UK-based Jupiter Fund Management CEO Andrew Formica announced his resignation…and do nothing. In fact, he told Bloomberg, “I just want to go sit at the beach and do nothing.”

Living every millennial and GenZ’s dream, really!

Hiring dilemma: Multitaskers vs domain experts

Hiring isn’t easy, especially for startups. Furthermore, the right team can help a startup’s likelihood of raising external investments. 

It can be influenced by several factors—the sector a startup operates in, its growth stage, and the availability of working capital. Which brings us to the question: should a startup hire multitaskers or domain experts?

This week, Entrepreneurship 101 dives into this hiring dilemma, speaking to startups, investors, and experts. 

Jack of all trades vs master of one:

  • Most agreed that owing to the fast-paced environment in a startup, founders often need to hire employees who can work across departments and play a variety of roles at the same time. 
  • But domain experts are in demand as well, especially in technology roles. In fact, Chayan Mukhopadhyay, Co-founder and CEO of Qandle, suggests that while hiring multitaskers may seem cost-effective, domain experts produce better results at “overall lower costs”.
  • Investors weighed in as well. Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore, says, “I'd rather invest in an excellent team with a B-level idea than vice-versa.” On the other hand, Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder of Indian Angel Network, believes that it is the founders who bring the most value during the decision-making process.

Prashant Janadri, Co-founder of task fulfilment startup Taskmo (FeedMyPockets), also tells us that the pandemic has impacted hiring trends and startups are now adopting cost-effective hiring models.

GST relief for small online retailers

The 47th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council brought positive news for an estimated 1.2 lakh small businesses, reducing the compliance burden to access the pan-India ecommerce market.

The council recommended that businesses with an annual turnover up to Rs 40 lakh, and Rs 20 lakh for those doing ecommerce, will be exempted from compulsory registration. They will have the option to move to a composite scheme with the benefit of a lower tax rate.

Welcoming the decision, Meesho Founder and CEO Vidit Aatrey said, “This step brings much-needed parity between offline and online businesses. With an estimated five crore MSMEs currently unable to sell online due to compulsory GST requirements, this game-changing measure can be an enabler for millions of small units including artisans, boutiques and mom-and-pop stores.”

Other important decisions:

  • Deferred a decision to raise the GST on online gaming to 28 percent.
  • Pre-packed and labelled food items will now attract 5 percent GST.
  • An 18 percent GST will be levied on fees charged by banks for the issue of cheques.

Image source: PIB

Telangana: India’s most successful startup

Telangana’s Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao said India’s youngest state is also its most successful startup.

A startup is a newly-established business, and it's only fitting that India's newest state has also one of its most successful startup ecosystems.

In 2015, the Telangana government set up T-Hub (short for Technology Hub) as a startup incubator in a public-private partnership with institutions like IIIT-Hyderabad and the Indian School of Business. Now, it launched the world’s largest innovation campus—a workspace for startups, venture capital firms, and other partners in the ecosystem.

Speaking to YourStory, KT Rama Rao added that startups are key for triggering the next spurt of growth

"The next spurt of employment and value, for that matter, even wealth creation, will happen with startups and there is no second thought about it,” he said.

Telangana's metrics:

  • 2.5 percent of India's population but 5 percent contribution to India's GDP.
  • Per capita income grew from Rs 1.24 lakh in 2014 to Rs 2.78 lakh in 2022.
  • GSDP (gross state domestic product) was Rs 5 lakh crore in 2014, now it is Rs 11.55 lakh crore.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chadrashekar Rao and Minister of IT, Industries & Commerce, and Municipal Administration & Urban Development, KT Rama Rao at the inauguration of T-Hub 2.0.

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