365 days in a start-up
Is working in a start-up overrated? Especially because there is a start-up around every corner and every second delivery boy you see sports a uniform with an unknown name of a start-up.
An unknown name. That is what best describes a start-up!
365 days ago when someone asked me what I did, and I uttered the word ‘Tata Sky’ and they didn't seem to want to know more. They didn't care for my role or my designation. And I did not have to explain what that dish popping out of the windows/roofs of many of our Indian homes did. But today, when I am faced with the same question, the answer is longer, more detailed, more appealing, however it still leaves the enquirer bored/confused or simply disinterested; only because she/he hasn’t heard of your company’s name before.
So this is how my explanation goes:
I work at Udio. (Reaction: Hmm… Poor girl, she is working somewhere small and keeping herself occupied)
It is one of India’s leading digital payments company and we launched India’s first social wallet (Reaction: Oh! Must be a big company, but it’s not Infosys or Myntra. I haven't heard of it....)
We enable various sorts of digital payments via mobile wallets, online payment collection, API integrations with different merchants. (Reaction: I am confused. The name seemed fun, she seemed fun. This is boring stuff)
*understanding that I am losing my audience I quickly skip to a stronger pitch*
We power the wallet on your Book My Show app you know. (Reaction: Now she’s talking)
We have recently launched a mobile wallet called Udio, using which you can send and request money, make recharges, bill payments, split bills & gift people. (Reaction: Hmm… Something useful and not another e-commerce or delivery app. Thank God! )
*once I’ve got my audiences’ attention back*
And I work as part of the brand and marketing team. (Reaction: Aaah… She's smart. Finally using her MBA degree.)
I am responsible for all the social media activities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest…..*running out of breath* (Aah... No wonder, these days kids are on Facebook and they call that work)
I also take care of corporate communications and handle PR activities. (Reaction: Oh! she must be in a good position in the company handling important things)
I also manage the company website, blog, promotional emailers, SMS’s and Notifications. (Reaction: Ok Then! She seems like a one woman army.)
Within just one year, I have been involved with re-branding, working on a new brand name, logo, colours, philosophy, guidelines and so much more. (Reaction: Nice. Not many get such an opportunity within a short span of time)
I have also helped coordinate on ground events in malls, stop-motion animated films & music jingles for the brand. (Reaction: Superb! This is like a 360-degree profile of all the fun things!)
It’s been an interesting journey, because I also get to see what consumers think about our brand as I closely work with the customer care team on calling scripts, emails, social media monitoring and app store ratings and reviews. (Reaction: This is hard core! Getting access to consumer insights must be interesting.)
I do feel important as I have been dealing with bigger companies like Visa & Micromax to coordinate on significant activities. (Reaction: Very interesting. This girl will go places. She has definitely made a good choice for her career)
Sometimes, because I like it, I am entrusted with employee engagement activities like internal games & contests. (Reaction: Hmm… that’s a lot of exposure within the company. Seems like a real fun job too! I wish I could also work at a start-up!!)
So that’s how it is. From being disinterested in an unknown name to get someone to understand the fun & challenges of working in a start-up; is something only a person passionate about their job can do! And 9/10 people working in a start-up are passionate, go-getters always hungry to do more!
This has been my very first stint at working with a start-up and aren’t I glad I made this choice. The icing on the cake is that while this experience will live with me, my voice will also remain on the company’s board line for a long time to come!
(Reaction: We do hope she is getting paid enough :P)