The Employment Saga

This was written a few days ago when I was not too sure of where I wanted to join. I have quit Digit since and am now headed to 🙂

The battle of the two blogs has begun, and both of them – AlooTechie and its competitor (let’s call it that because it would not be nice to name the company) – can employ me. What strikes me the most is the vast contrast between the way both the companies are run – one is invested in by one of the most promising online advertising companies, WebChutney and the other is headed by a very young turk with a lot of promising ideas. In a way, both of them have their pros and cons but there are quite a few reasons, which make me lean towards AlooTechie now.

When I decided to leave Digit, I first informed the owner of the competitor’s company about my interest in joining his company. I had been following its progress since a few months and was impressed by the interviews they did with prominent people online. They also seemed to have a very chilled way of writing their blog entries, which were mostly written by the owner himself, apart from a few others in his office. The amateur style of writing and the fact that this was the first Indian blog that I knew of (at the time) that wrote of the online space attracted me to reading it when I was free in the office. The content was somewhat discordant for the India audience but it was a start. Around the same time, I was also looking at getting into online advertising as a creative writer and started reading up on India’s most prestigious company, WebChutney. This one has quite a past to it – it has won all the Webby awards (advertising awards for the online space) since its inception year on year. During my research, I chanced upon a guy who was working with the company and started following him on Twitter. When I emailed him asking about the company he told me that there is a position of a writer available and that I should apply. At the time, I did not know that this was for AlooTechie. I gave the interview and my credentials as a writer for India’s best selling technology magazine passed the test for me. I went back and researched some more on AlooTechie and found out that the entire site was being written by one guy! It was just getting its act together and already had a decent amount of traffic hitting its servers every day. This place obviously was no comparison to the competitor’s company but had a LOT of potential.

When I quoted my price to the competitor’s owner, he told me that it was too high and he couldn’t currently afford it. Ravneesh, the Business Head of AlooTechie, agreed immediately. It just shows which company is willing to invest in the right people. Another thing that struck me, was that Network18 has already invested in WebChutney, the parent company of AlooTechie. The competitor on the other hand keeps talking of being on the verge of getting funded. Ravneesh was forthright and told me straight away after the interview that I will be hired, the competitor on the other hand dilly-dallied, told me he will call later as he was supposedly very busy at the time. The call never came and I happily high-fived AlooTechie.

When the call did finally come, he was annoyed that I did not call him before finalising with AlooTechie. I was most displeased with that attitude. What further stirred me was when he told me that I needed to decide my future. No one tells me that. “I know where I am headed and I do not need your ‘valuable’ insight, thank you”, I thought. The competitor went on and on about how his company is going to be funded very soon and how it has so many other plans up its sleeve. I have worked for close to 5 years now, I know that this is just faff and nothing but talk in the wind. What matters is what has already been accomplished, not what you are going to accomplish.

In a last ditch effort, the competitor sent me a mail highlighting all the places where the company had been featured. I didn’t fall for it because I know that at the end of the day, it’s the mentality that matters and it will always be an uphill task to convince him to spend any money on new projects even in the future.

Now here are the main reasons why I choose AlooTechie. Currently, this is just a blog with too many readers, which has excited the management, and they want to see where they can take this. Since there was only one person handling the blog, they want to expand and bring in talent that can do other stuff (I shall not go into details here). Since only one person is handling it, the possibilities are endless. There is also a LOT of room to get recognised vis-à-vis the competitor’s company that allows its employees to blog from time to time. Ravneesh as a person is totally chilled out and I would like to work under a person who is frank and honest upfront. He also happens to have 14 years of work experience and has contacts in a wide range of places in the online world. The competitor, on the other hand, talks a lot of what his company will become in the future – something I have become accustomed to, being in Mumbai.

Though the competitor’s place would have been more comfy to work in, since it is a 15 min bike ride from my aunt’s place, I want to work with AlooTechie. Bring it on…

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