Bengaluru startup presents three-day work week to draw tech expertise


A scarcity of expertise expertise has Indian corporations providing sweeteners like extra trip time and gender-neutral parental go away as they compete for graduates and professionals. One Bangalore startup is making an attempt a extra dramatic resolution: a three-day work week.

Fintech firm Slice is providing new hires a three-day week with wage at 80% of the going market fee. This can be a win-win strategy that frees the employees to pursue different passions or pursuits — or different gigs — whereas nonetheless locking in a gradual pay and advantages from Slice, stated Rajan Bajaj, the corporate’s founder.

“That is the way forward for work,” Bajaj, 28, stated in a cellphone interview. “Folks don’t need to be tied right down to a job.”

World traders are pouring billions of {dollars} into India’s tech startups, placing entrepreneurs underneath strain to ramp up groups. An enormous expertise crunch has ensued as IT outsourcers, Silicon Valley giants, world retailers and Wall Road banks’ expertise facilities vie for engineering and product expertise alongside a whole bunch of fast-growing startups.

Slice is betting that its strategy will make it stand other than the competitors. The corporate has 450 staff and desires to recruit 1,000 engineers and product managers within the subsequent three years.

“It’s the most effective of each worlds,” Bajaj stated. “Staff can get wage and full advantages working a three-day week, and spend the remainder of their time chasing a startup dream, in search of a co-founder or pursuing a non-work ardour.”

The transfer towards shorter weeks has been underway for a minimum of a century. In 1926, Henry Ford adopted a five-day work week rather than the everyday six days, after experiments confirmed productiveness wouldn’t endure because of this. Corporations and international locations have experimented with four-day weeks for years with out widespread adoption.

Proponents of shorter weeks now level to research exhibiting a lift in worker productiveness and well-being, prompting international locations comparable to Eire and Iceland to strive them out. Expertise behemoth Inc. piloted a four-day week for choose staff in 2018, and even China is making an attempt to rein in its extreme working hours.

Simply as in Silicon Valley, the Indian startup business’s work-centered tradition is leaving some engineers disenchanted whereas some are milking the chance for all its price. Engineers’ salaries have tripled previously three years, Bajaj stated. Bidding wars are frequent and employees are identified to ghost startups after a number of rounds of pay negotiations. Founders joke on social media about promoting on matchmaking and meals supply apps to acquire employees.

Such is the hiring bonanza that Bhavish Aggarwal, founding father of ride-hailing startup Ola and electric-car startup Ola Electrical Mobility Pvt., tweeted lately in half jest that he was pondering of outsourcing work to a less expensive vacation spot — the San Francisco Bay Space.

Flush with capital, startups are additionally spending on different initiatives to draw engineers and designers. Social commerce platform Meesho introduced a companywide 10-day break in November so employees can unplug and rejuvenate. Fintech startup BharatPe has proffered referral goodies like BMW bikes, devices and cricket holidays in Dubai.

Slice started providing its three-day choice on Monday, and it’s betting its timing is opportune: thousands and thousands of engineers are getting ready to return to in-person work, after almost two years of being confined to working from residence.

The startup, based in 2016, makes a speciality of providing bank cards to India’s younger. Its bodily card launched in 2019 with the corporate touting sign-ups of lower than a minute, cashbacks and a number of cost choices. Slice issued 110,000 playing cards final month, making it among the many nation’s prime suppliers. Its backers embody Japan’s Gunosy Capital and India’s Blume Ventures.

The brand new hires will type small groups and work on newer cryptocurrency or “purchase now pay later” merchandise. Present staff are eligible for this system “supplied they’re a match,” Bajaj stated.

“A 3-day work week permits us to recruit a sure caliber of expertise as a result of it’s a perk huge tech corporations like Google and Amazon don’t supply,” he stated.

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