“Talent Acquisition is a Major Pain Point for SMEs”

by January 12, 2016 0 comments

While SMEs form the backbone of our economy, they continue to face significant challenges like tech adoption or accessing capital in spite of the segment being identified as a priority lending sector by the Government and other public bodies. We spoke to L. D. Sharma, C0-Founder, Shoogloo to understand the SME pain points


As an entrepreneur what do you think are some of the major challenges that persist in Indian SMEs or other start-ups?

 The startup space, although viewed as the panacea to many economic issues in India, has been countering some challenges which are preventing its growth and sustainability in the country. The foremost among them is the right talent acquisition. In spite of India being known for its affordable talent pool, especially when it comes to technology, talent acquisition is a major pain point. This is mostly because at the junior level, skill sets are not usually aligned to the demands of a startup environment and the experienced talent is often too expensive. Also startups often require a lot of innovation to find solutions that are cost effective, and also find difficulties in acquiring talent from established companies.

Another major challenge hampering the growth of the startup space is the inability of the new companies to mitigate the gap between burn rate and revenue. What I mean by this is that amidst the cutthroat competition, it is important for the fledgling companies to scale up fast. These companies majorly focus only on raising investments and their effort in revenue generation gets delayed. Following next is the lack of good guidance and mentorship. There is lot of young talent coming out with some very unique ideas, however, there is little or no industry, business and market experience to effectively get those products out.

How are you and your organisation tackling these challenges for your sector?

Shoogloo takes pride in nurturing in-house talent and encouraging a Shoogloo culture. Our recruitment strategy is biased towards raw talent. In addition, where needed we add some industry experienced team members who bring years of industry expertise and market knowledge to the table. Furthermore, being in a fast emerging sector, we focus on innovating faster than our competition and encourage out-of-the-box thinking. Additionally, knowing the importance of customers, we have a radical focus on customer service.

Tell us about the key activities of your organisation, and how many members do you have?

With strong focus on Customer Engagement Products, Mobile and Affiliate Marketing, Shoogloo has three focus areas viz. Shoogloo Digital, Shoogloo Mobile and Shoogloo Media. It covers every aspect of digital marketing with precision. At present, our focus is to hash out how digital ad networks mesh with m-commerce.

Have any policies been rolled out by the government to help Indian SMBs/MSMEs? If not, what are your expectations from the government? What is the support that you expect?

Considering the initiatives taken by the government like Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill India, the entire ecosystem needs a technological infrastructure that is backed by budgetary support. The startup space also needs some policy framework that encourages innovation and adoption of technology to boost the Make in India initiative. We expect the government to create an enabling environment for the Indian startup industry to realise its growth potential.

IT is essential for any business today, so what is the level of IT usage in yourorganisation? 

Shoogloo is a digital company and we function across all digital platforms. Most of our business would not be possible without the right application of IT – from ad-tech to cloud storage; these solutions form the backbone of our operations. Technology has also enabled us to be global in our outlook and become mostly paperless. Shoogloo thrives on the expertise of its team members and we at Shoogloo believe that nothing is as important as IT. We have industry veterans and pioneers as the founding members of the company who very well understand the importance of carefully integrating the industry know how into customer service.

What sort of challenges does your industry face with regards to implementing IT for their business? 

There are essentially two key challenges for our industry in implementing IT. One, mobile eco-system is increasing and that creates challenges of attribution and genuine traffic for performance marketing. Two, advertising fraud continues to plague and creates significant leakages for the marketers, finding technology solutions is often an ongoing race with the un-ethical actors.

What are your expectations from IT vendors?

In general IT vendors have been moving towards the right direction. SAAS in particular has been very helpful and is driving down the cost of doing business, including building in-house legacy IT infrastructure. We look forward to more SAAS solutions in the support systems – particularly in management support that are cost effective for startups.

How are you using IT in your organisation? How is it helping you with your business growth?

IT forms the core of our operational ability. As a group, we provide technology enabled solutions to marketers across digital platforms – web and mobile. We have built robust IT platforms for our companies to engage customers and service our needs for digital marketing. One of our key focus is to use the ability of IT around analytics and big data. We hope to further build on these and grow our business.

What is your long term road map on IT usage within your own organisation? 

We are determined to stay ahead in the digital race and enjoy the first mover advantage by innovating first and launching products in the market that retain our advantage. We are already operating in California, Europe, Israel, and China and aim at bringing the best to India. The success of our India-centric platform will however determine where we stand in the whole scheme of things.



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