Lemon Gupshup : Finding the Right Team

Working in daily life, no matter it’s a corporate setup or college, we often come through a proverb ‘A chain is only as strong as its weakest link’. This small sentence can tell us the importance of the right team. And here weakness holds broader meaning. It is not only standing for lack of skill or intellect, sometimes it can be the lack of coordination, lack of team spirit too. In this interconnected and integrated business environment, the aspiring and emerging entrepreneur would be well known to the simple rule that their organization is as strong as the weakest link and hence, they must ensure that all parts of the complex chain that make up their organization are equally strong. We can explain this by the use of a simple metaphor. Take a chain for instance. If you put enough force on it from both ends, the weakest link of the chain snaps leading to the chain being broken. Similarly, if your organization has a weak spot, that would be the undoing as when the competitive forces exert pressure on your organization, then it would break in the same way that the chain broke. This is powerful learning that many business leaders in the corporate world learnt the hard way. This denotes the seriousness and dedication required to find the right team for an organization.

As a kind gesture, Deepak Menaria sir invited participants to put their thought on this. Rishikesh told us that there must be an intersection work culture but individualism is also important at the same time So that everyone can come up with basic core ideas and values at the table. Varshith added that at least a couple of people in the organization should match our wavelength. It makes things easy to execute. Diversity makes more exposure. Jahnvi advocated diversity. She added that different perspectives provide more opportunities to grab. Murlidhar G is working in a rural area for child and youth empowerment. He told that alignment is important. Shreyas told that he will prefer the people of different skills for his team. He advocated the acknowledgement of little things for a healthy team. Aanchal wants positive and inspiring feedback from teammates. Mayuri wants her teammates to be loyal and truthful. Deepak Sir told that it’s moreover to the entrepreneur that how to change the potential in kinetic energy. But the key is to recruit the right person. It’s the entrepreneur, who can ignite them with his vision.

Deepak Sir moved forward for another and respectively more important dimension of team. The Co-Founder. He told the co-founder as his partner. Just like the husband and wife for the life of the organization. Co-founder is the partner-in-crime. ‘Doobenge Toh Dono. Tarenge Toh Dono.’ Dikki told that finding the co-founder is the recognition of our own weaknesses and searching for the complimentary elements for that. And in startups, motivation and thriving part can be and should be more important than that of the monetary part. Shreyas comically told that relationship with the co-founder is like a long term relationship so we should aware of the background of the person in the chair. Shubh thinks that college is the best place to find a co-founder. Wrong or unfit co-founder for the firm can create a mess in our life, beyond the firm. And fit co-founder reduces our baggage. College is the most fertile land for this. We have plenty of time to find like-minded and resonant people. Shubh told Lemon Ideas the first platform to date with co-founders and to ideas. Deepak sir told colleges a talent farm. A continuous and resonant relation for the entrepreneur to the college is essential. Entrepreneurs should have engaged with college students in the form of internships and projects and so on.

The issue is that many entrepreneurs think that by focusing on a few sections like operations and executions they can take it easy on the rest. However, recent events have shown that the relentless pressure of market forces makes the organization susceptible to breakdown and hit the organization the most where it is weakest. If we are not ready at every link, someone will break the setup. The aviation industry is a perfect example of this. Airlines are thinking that lowering fares and removing full-service options would be translated into higher volumes and increased profits. What they did not reckon with, was the fact that the business landscape in which the airlines operate has changed revolutionary and sometimes brutally with higher fuel costs, operational expenses and the general decline in passengers because of the recession. This meant that despite concentrating on one aspect of the business that they thought was on strong ground, they ignored the weak points in their business models. Here we needed the team that can roam everywhere. One weak point in the whole setup, one ignored mechanism in a setup can shatter the castle, that was built in decades. Here comes the role of the Human Resource Department. This is why I strongly believe that right recruitment is the best asset a company or organization can have.

It’s quite natural that the first thing the leadership team needs to do is find the right people to bring along for the ride. Technology is important, but we need the right people in the right place to make that technology work and support your rapid growth. Often when a company is growing quickly the instinct is to hurry up and get bodies in the door. We shouldn’t let this be our downfall. Having the right team with us during pivotal points of growth is actually the most important factor in our success. When we are looking for new talents and for the right people to the right place, somethings are desperately and brutally needed.

  1. Time-management for basic things
  2. Holding on to our work culture
  3. Incubating Diversity
  4. Getting some utility players

‘I don’t have time to interview or to train people.’ This sentence, we can easily hear from our supervisor or from managers. We all know managers are busy and there are lots of things pulling them in different directions. But sometimes we have to go slow down to go faster. This is applicable in many areas but hiring is one of them. We need to take the time to get the right people at the door and to train the best for the company to run faster.

We all know who we are and what our organization stands for. What our employees are like, and what it takes to get the job done in our organization. There are going to be many resumes of highly qualified candidates that pass across our desk, but not all of those people will fit our work culture. I have worked with incredibly talented people that I simply would not bring into a specific company because I know they wouldn’t fit the particular work culture. The worst thing a manager or entrepreneur can do to his amazing organization is, hurry up and just get people in the door when even his gut knows they are not the right fit. In this matter, I must say, our CEO Deepak Menaria sir is a rights fit. He tested the applicants in so many rounds then asked for the work samples as well. This Phenomenon is very common in corporates. Sometimes, a supervisor puts so much of effort and visions on a specific employee and still, things don’t work. This implies that flaw in recruitment.

Diversity matters a lot. A Harvard Business Review Article states ‘A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.’ From a business perspective and study after study has proven that diverse teams are more productive and more profitable, exactly what we need in a company experiencing rapid growth. If that’s not enough to convince us, there are an increasing number of studies showing that candidates are looking for diversity when searching for a job or taking admission in B-schools. This is the reason IIMs make sure the diversity on campus. It’s not a thing to just happen but to maintain. HR should ensure there is a diverse pool of candidates for every working position and across the organization, the company should look at every form of diversity i.e. experience level, gender, race, age and environment.

Let’s move from the worst thing an entrepreneur can do to the best thing he can do when hiring for a fast-growing organization. Getting some utility players. In baseball, a utility player is defined as someone who can competently play several positions on the field. These are the people who can wear many hats, and fill multiple roles at one time or at overtimes. Former Indian cricketer Robin Singh made his debut for India back in the year 1989 but played just 2 ODI matches. After a gap of 7 years, he returned to the team and did not take too long to cement his position in the Indian team thanks to his all-round skills. In a career which consisted of 136 ODIs and a solitary Test, Singh came to be known as one of the best fielders in the team. As a left-handed batsman, Robin Singh scored more than 2000 ODI runs at an average of just under 26 and grabbed 69 wickets. Among his most memorable performances was an 82 against Pakistan at Dhaka during the final of a triangular series which helped India chase down a then-record 315. With the ball, he famously picked up a 5-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup. Robin is the best utility player example for Team India as per I recall. Despite being such a useful contributor for Team India in the late 1990s, Robin Singh is hardly remembered for anything apart from his fielding.

When a startup is just starting out, it is brutally crucial to have people like this in our staff to fill multiple roles that will evolve in ways we cannot predict. These team members will give us flexibility as we grow, and it gives them the ability to grow in different ways for their own professional development. It’s a win-win situation.


Vaibhav Singh
Hindu College. University of Delhi
New Delhi – 110007
Phone. +91-9455599489