How to shape a startup’s culture

T N Hari, former head of HR, Bigbasket, Co-Founder of Artha School of Entrepreneurship, and author, explains how founders can shape a startup’s culture.

How to shape a startup’s culture

Sunday November 06, 2022,

5 min Read

YourStory’s flagship startup-tech event, TechSparks, which features the who’s-who from across the startup ecosystem is back. Click here to find out more. 

The country’s largest state-run lender, State Bank of India (SBI), has reported its highest-ever quarterly profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 13,264.62 crore, up 74% year-on-year (YoY), for the quarter ended September 30, 2022. It had reported a net profit of Rs 7,626.57 in the year-ago period.

Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey apologised to the employees of the company, a day after the social media platform laid off nearly half of its employees.

In other news, researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario used a $20 drone to create what is effectively an airborne scanning device that can triangulate the location of every Wi-Fi-connected device in a house. Talk about a privacy nightmare!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • How to shape a startup’s culture
  • TechSparks 2022 week planner
  • UAE’s Uber for trucking

Here’s your trivia for today: The first webcam ever was deployed at Cambridge University, what was it designed to monitor?


How to shape a startup’s culture

Culture becomes a tad bit more important in startups than in larger and mature companies. As startups are yet to have their own external identity, brand, or reputation, an internal identity that could rally everyone together becomes important for the business to go well. But written policies, espoused values, etc. don’t really constitute culture. It is the behaviours that founders or a few other leaders in the company demonstrate on a day-to-day basis. 

T N Hari, former head of HR, Bigbasket, Co-Founder of Artha School of Entrepreneurship, and author, explains how founders can shape a startup’s culture.

Key takeaways:

  • T N Hari suggests that, while building an organisation, one should spend time figuring out if what they are doing is unsustainable in the long term. This is especially important when it comes to hiring employees.
  • While interviewing for senior roles, founders should figure out if the candidate respects the value that a startup has created.
  • When a company is well funded, it should definitely take its chances, but when a situation arises that requires layoffs, it should be done with transparent and honest conversations, the author says. 


TechSparks 2022 week planner

YourStory’s flagship event TechSparks is back offline after being hosted online during the two years of the pandemic. With a line-up featuring the who’s who of the startup ecosystem, this year’s TechSparks will be bigger and better. 

Apart from meeting founders, regulators, investors and mentors, you can do a lot more in Bengaluru, which has plenty to offer to every kind of attendee of TechSparks

Spirituality, food and more:

  • If spirituality is your calling, 5 km from the TechSparks venue lies the splendid Iskcon Temple of Bengaluru. The evening prayers are sure to help you wind down after the day’s meet and greet. 
  • YS Life recommends you grab a ghee-at-every-bite breakfast at Mavalli Tiffin Room, Taaza Thindi if you are an early-riser and don’t mind devouring breakfast at as early as 6 AM, Brahmin’s Coffee Bar for steamy khara bath, and crispy benne masala dosa and Mangalore bajji at Shri Sagar CTR. 
  • Set up in 2010, Toit is the go-to place for Bangaloreans to unwind after work. Don’t forget to pair your beer with woodfired pizza. 

yoga day


UAE’s Uber for trucking

Logistics startup Lorryz connects cargo owners with truckers, individuals, and companies, allowing them to book trucks to move their cargo in the UAE and Pakistan. The startup has made $14 million in revenue in 30 months.

Key takeaways:

  • The startup helps truck drivers and transportation companies with lead generation, eliminating backhaul waste by matching the right demand and supply. 
  • It offers real-time tracking and instant pricing along with operational dashboard reports for both cargo owners and truckers.
  • Pricing is based on a number of factors, including trip distance, market demand/supply, the weight of cargo, truck type etc. 

News & updates

  • Co-streaming: YouTube is gearing up to roll out a new feature that will allow select creators to invite a guest to go live with them, the company announced on its Creator Insider channel and in a blog post. 
  • A black hole in the neighbourhood: Using the International Gemini Observatory, astronomers have discovered the closest-known black hole to Earth. This is the first unambiguous detection of a dormant stellar-mass black hole in the Milky Way. It is located a mere 1600 light-years away. 
  • Crypto for groceries: As Lebanon fights economic uncertainty, citizens have resorted to mining for digital tokens as their sole source of income while they hunt for a job. Others arrange clandestine meetings via Telegram to swap the stablecoin tether for US dollars in order to buy groceries.

The first webcam ever was deployed at Cambridge University, what was it designed to monitor?

Answer: A teapot. Computer scientists at Cambridge University are said to have deployed the first webcam in 1991 to monitor the coffee levels from their desks. Starting from 1993, the “coffee cam” was even connected to the internet, capturing media attention. 

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