Gaurav, Shantanu Saha and the rest of us ! - A protalks Episode

This is a auto-transcribed version of the interview. You can watch all the protalks series here

Gaurav Tripathi 0:07
Okay, and we are like, great, I Brockman, everybody. This is pro Doc’s by super pro I’m your host, Dr de partie CEO and co founder of Super And as you know by now, already we bring amazing professionals here in every edition of pro doc. The idea being very simple we get to learn from their journey the lives they repeat their successes, failures and so on. And yes, we call our professional super pro for a reason because these are not just your average regular professionals, These are really super professional. And yesterday I have an amazing super professional with us, who is joined today we’ll get to learn about his life and his entrepreneurial journey as well, so that we’ll get to know. And, okay, all of you who are watching it live. Yes, you can put in your questions in the chat box. Yeah, I will pick up those questions towards the end of the session, and if you are watching it on YouTube or LinkedIn the recorded versions later on, you can still ask questions in the comment you can put the questions in the comment and our team will route these questions to our guest and yes, we will come back to you with answers. And of course, all of our guests that we bring here the super close. They are available on Super itself so they have a page of the program and you can reach out to them. Yes. So without further ado, we have our today’s guest Shantanu sa Johnson over to you.

Shantanu Saha 1:25
Thanks, Chris. Good afternoon, everybody. Thanks for inviting me for this ProTalk on your platform. I’m really happy to see the progress that you’re talking has made, and this is a very very exciting space that you’re pointing to, and I think this is something that would be amazing for professionals. So come to my journey, I am on the right, the my schooling my college my MBA everything from the post my unschooling I was assigned student Bachelors in economics masters in HR, and post that I joined from campus in a manufacturing organization, spent the first five years there. In the third year I was lucky to get the chance as a head of HR for a joint venture company McMaster moved on to another Indian Hospitality Group, large meat Hospitality Group and post that moved on to the idea sector. So throughout, I kept hitting HR, IT sector for the first time when I was involved in a lot of hiring activities, I took one company for 200 to 2006 months, moved on to another idea company as an associate vice president HR to get it, and to get to 100 to 300 in two years. And then last company I was the vice president of the board I set up my own composite controls, which was, for example search and HR consulting. So the last 16 years that companies have been operating, and that’s pretty much my journey as well.

Gaurav Tripathi 2:31
And I should add, at the outset itself that, and that is a comment that we have got from our team members as well as Santa doesn’t look that old

Shantanu Saha 2:43
somehow happened is that when I started my career when I joined school actually I was two years younger to my boss, my classmates. So everything in my house I was the youngest in my college I was the youngest in my India with the youngest, when I became a head of HR at age 25 I was part of the CMC which was all 40 Plus, and I was only 25 year old as part of the corporate National Committee, making all the decisions I have been used to end up. And another thing I tell people is because I’m single.

Gaurav Tripathi 3:08
Okay, so we’ll start with Johnny, but tell you that you will economix Yeah, but then you didn’t follow it on with you, you get your MBA in finance, so you, you still had to go ahead and finance or HR Why did you choose to go ahead with HR,

Shantanu Saha 3:30
so I think it’ll be interesting, actually I wanted to be an architect, and that is what we do. So as a key property I was one of the few kids wanted to be a politician. They would say what you want to be able to define this look, as I do, I want to take up science and I want to be an architect I have mechanical, and I’m very good at mechanical drawing so my planning architecture thought that I was a natural progression I would join SBA, with them, and I felt 100% Sure I joined SBA, so I prepared for that and I that yes, there were 10,000 students applied, and they were dismissed up to 14 shortlisted, I was in the 40, but that particular essay came up with a new exam, which they gave to these 240 students, which was not related actually to the kind of examples prepared for, so that examination had things like you know, you had to draw 700 psi to borrow a pencil and raise from somebody in the crowd, immediately and I also had to make a story out of things that have been put there, so it was pretty abstract I couldn’t even make out of inexpensive and straight or upside down so that one I really looked up and out of those 245 or 40 when they finally made the cut I was not there, and you won’t believe I had not applied to a single college degree, I was a product of individual ecommerce but when I met a principal, he said, How can I take you to the college. So I biggest attack you can see my life, that’s basically. So what I did is I fought so when I joined Aptech during those days, and I did COBOL 85 at a time, and FoxPro and all those languages I studied for one year. And that was something like a very different experience from the typical school that we had coming in on my until the middle school. Also, which was very very Academy, but he did, especially the science section. So, you can say, I really enjoyed coding, and I enjoyed that whole process of creating different programs and trying out different kinds of signal after late, and I also took an interest in the management of Institute, so I would not represent the students for anything and honestly I thought everybody was either qualified or working, so you know people also entertained me and you know give me that automatic color, you know, stuff like that, so I got some competence and I got management or to entertain me and I interacted with top management, and that helped. In fact, recently I met the president who was the CEO at Tech. And I was telling him about that and he remembered 89, who was the head of that particular unit with a training head with the management, and he began exchanging notes. So, that is when I said okay I want to be more functional, I want to be in human resources as well. So I said okay, resources, what do I do with your education should I do, economics on us, why do we come on us, and I, somebody said, um, has no procedure so I said, I didn’t have any comics background school so you know that kind of thing. I got to an extent that I have no quality piece and you have a gap year, So, yeah, which was gracious enough to take me was became very happy and we had amazing professors who were, you know, authors and books and all that ICT and people like that, and we had an amazing three years I did very well I was used to consistently coming up because I was the CRM the college, and then for MBA. I was not really into the portfolio giving the cats and all that somehow that exam thing optimizing I lost interest in most competitive exams. So I went in for the Institute in Delhi, which was not that competitive called forcible punishment, if you’re that and I joined them and I took finance, along with HR, the same number of subjects because I knew I want to be. And I said I will work for five years then become not not something which I had in mind that it’s

Gaurav Tripathi 6:21
up to you there. What the seeds are that you know how come you had that in your mind that you want to be an entrepreneur.

Shantanu Saha 6:28
In fact, now I think so long I remember when I was like, you know, this is something I always pictured myself as being independent, I never pictured myself as working for someone, so probably that I have a streak of independence and you know, so that’s something which I’ve always been a rebel. In fact my bosses have known me that you know if I put my mind to something I’d do it, but I would not stick with them the country’s most of the times you know, we cannot really constrain and I get bored with you so they will always give you projects. So that kind of thing.

Gaurav Tripathi 6:52
Yes, please, please carry on. Yeah,

Shantanu Saha 6:53
so actually what happened is, Even my first company because a very large multinational company from campus when I graduated in 20. Oh, there I spent my first, after we travel all over India and I’m planning to travel all over India, a very interesting thing happened. I mean, first, I joined Bangalore. And the first thing I did is when I reached there they said okay, what is your day so there were four of us in Asia and there were 124 demand Chinese engineers, located this conference, this is a talk I repeated so difficult to manage because you start thinking, I was made to isolate myself and I would like boys, you know, so injuring boys you know how rebellious they are and how difficult they are to control. So that was my trial by fire, and we have people from all colleges from the IITs from Manipal from junior college, all over India. So that was a very interesting time to be traveling because engineers all over the country, because the three months induction across, which was an acquisition case. In fact, I was comfortable with the weather there, and, and the unit person was not like a typical interview on it so but they said you see calamity. So I went there, I, and that was a very very exciting stint Calcutta is again trial by fire. I was an installation, there were two unions in that period of one and a half years of their IPO process which changed itself was so tough. You can’t imagine Irish there, day one I bought to him a very senior guy 25 years he said HR in that company which has been acquired will be very very powerful guy if he didn’t work this cabin but you control. I entered this gap percentage, equity gap and this gap. And I said to me putting your resume in training, and I’m contemplating, he said, Are you saying I should guess. So I was like what, I mean no welcome nothing. I think that’s going to get the same boss but then you can say within 15 days to a month or so, had actually given me complete, you know, freedom and autonomy saying that you know you, you do whatever you want I have, you know you have the full backing of me, but I’m retired. Unfortunately, after six months by the time you know, Netflix, I had it On.

Gaurav Tripathi 10:06
Okay, I’m not audible.

Hello. Hey.

Shantanu Saha 10:48
I don’t know what happened but I thought about not going again.

Gaurav Tripathi 10:53
Okay, I’m not even sure if I dropped off or you dropped out because there was a break out it was still like It’s like somebody the team said that no you’re not. I can’t see him I can’t, I don’t know. Okay, anyway, because I was, Okay, anyways, yeah. Carry on. Using your your quasi

Shantanu Saha 11:14
correct so basically what I was trying to say is that, in my first company itself, I got multiple opportunities so Calcutta was around one and a half years, and 11 and a half years I had four buses, and in fact I was involved in the hiring of and both as well, for the first time in my career when I read the manual in my career I was involved in the

Gaurav Tripathi 11:30
view that you got you got you got to select your boss.

Shantanu Saha 11:34
In fact, it’s not the best advice in my career, it’s not a thing that happened to me but unbelievable in that sense, so you know, the second time also once I’ve actually pitched my boss to the company whenever you want to level up for me. And so I said if you forget something about me getting that gateway secure. After Calcutta I pushed them they’re gonna send me back to Delhi I couldn’t adjust to the food non vegetarian food. So they finally said they already had a head office Delhi just five kilometers of my house they sent me to another trial by fire. So that was against again I got a taste of upper Union from Calcutta. So that was a very, very, you can say interesting stint because we had people were very very close if you already had a case where one tradition had had been beaten up. And, and I joined both bases, I joined a deputy head of HR as a management trainee who joined the National Guard. My first boss in Calcutta I had 20 people reporting into me all of them were like in the bottom of the page. So it was an amazing thing because as an attorney, you get a lot of, you know, responsibility and power in that company it is something like the IRS or the TAs, it will be had built something like that we had 10,000 employees and attorneys were the ones who were given certificates. So, so that was an interesting thing. And, actually, was the first time and I think my boss, a couple of times when he’s not there to kind of sensibility as the head of a tracking official, so I was still around two years in my career, and the first time it happened was that it was a table for our employees and the older workers that assembled in the cafeteria around a few 100 Send me said he’s not coming, you will have to give a speech I said oh my god, what can I say and so I started an English and he’s an Indian a Boolean. It’s all about men out there and then gradually I took on you know I there was another case and that was somebody sent me one thing, and that was every day, a woman had this habit of not making advances and on that salary they said something to him for advances so he had to sign up with the practice of eating given the Kenobi question he’s pretty busy. I said I’m not doing it while you’re going to have something on your salary, you actually manage your finances, you can’t depend on the company like this. So they said, What nonsense is this, what is the database. So they went to the finance advisor signature into the cash, cash, he said the percentage I can’t. So then they came to the union guys you can get back my table saying, you know, how you’re working there, we would have got it and it really doesn’t matter the guy, and my team also my payroll guy, is that we have datasets our fuel compression equipment if you just wanted it the German medical school, if I’m seeing something. So the vent. This is in the face of aggression from the unions, who were pre known for a while, interesting, but I realized that it’s a battle of bits, you know, If you, if you’re mentally strong if you challenge them ultimately it’s not, you know, it’s like, who makes the first edit and everything, so you understand him now in certain cases because if you’re doing or things are good, then there’s no reason to support them. The idea is, help them when they need it, and not for anything which is unjustified, so we want our way and actually my principles throughout, you know, throughout the way to help anybody who’s in need, but somebody is trying to misuse the system. And that’s what it tends to be a lot of these companies, when people get that hour depending on that. So that was another one and a half years I was working, I sorted as well, in the certification audit in Calcutta deciding what to do. And that is when I got a call from one day from a corporate office saying that, in fact, my boss, my ex Muslim capital magazine board and he called me one day saying on the way to the future for the joint venture company and I recommended your game. So I said, I was I was like just woke up in the morning to get okay with it, I said, Yeah, I’m okay with it. So, this was in Santa Monica. So then I got a call from corporate and this was later I got to know that it was a meeting of all HR heads up, it will be, and get some of these guys, if somebody wants more for that not all of them are like mid 40s late 40s and all that nobody wanted to go to a remote location. They said now, we’ll do it. That’s when he said he was shocked, we can go but he said but he’s just got three other parents in the company, and we are looking for somebody to hit the company it’s a greenfield project, it’s a huge investment that time of the record and that’s because we had, it was a big passion of mine if it was a band, and it was a joint venture with complications with the loss. So, he said no, I think you can manage it. So what happened is this that didn’t help because I got some corporate but my current boss forgot what it was and then he would have waited to three days when two corporate directors and he told me that you know that why don’t you go to Santa Monica, the CEO of this joint venture and he’s a young guy, his early 40s. He’s done the dynamic, you know, for short guys who’s been very fast. You don’t know him. I don’t know I hardly know anybody I’ve in my pocket to get to know everybody. So he said okay, he’s coming next week so then I met the VP HR he said why don’t you go to the thick of it. I said I got something next week, I need any other. I didn’t want to take the risk of like going all the way to Patreon sending me back saying. So then he said, Okay, fine. So then next week, I was interviewed, first by the HR for one hour, then by the segment head was in charge of my two companies, and then there has to be something to three separate interviews of an hour each, and then I was told that okay go ahead and then the letters were issued saying they’re moving all the way at that latest offering you know this movement. And that was amazing. From the airport itself, when I was driving to some of my company kilometers and there was a guy were taken or lift from a marketing guy said, Can I come in your car. So he tried to diversify because he said this is a mafia land, everybody does, you know, he was doing music and he did this a lot of it is not like I don’t know your cities, it is up to some shape and because also the JV partner, there are issues there. So, I was not fazed by all that event. And that experience is something we wish as a first time to get a job in the audience I was 25 I got a call from the manager saying that John from admissions are the youngest 27 You’re getting it.

It was the first time I remember the CEO told me the chocolate run incentive plan for the company, and I was like oh my god I really like what I made. And so I did that, then there was one case where there were so many incidents that happened which I had to handle which actually you can say trial by fire again. There was one case where the joint venture partner was a doctor, we were very able to use color, whereas a joint venture partner if their CEO used to walk on the road, they would just take it the roads. Well, township, but do not even let our vehicles pass, they were just not routing it was on the 14th in the township, so empty. So, it is completely and then people are not actually coming and, you know, sort of touching my feet I want to stop is happening, things like this. Actually not not happening. And then I tried, you know, it was a new company the first day I went we had notices from the PF authorities we noticed from the Labor Commissioner. We had a case where one of our production heads had received a letter saying his child will be kidnapped in 15 days, to take care of all of the things, so that’s in fact not going to gain your acceptance was because the first reaction that people have in our you know take on a role like this as opposed to, but all the three cases, which I’ve handled like I said overnight filled to be a form because that time we used to have a period when you could do without a certain two years you could have filed returns, so that you get over and Methodists had not filed returns. So we had received notices saying what’s happening so I had paid all the last minute accounts in one go. And I had taken it to the head office in Jamaica and met the commissioner and he was satisfied, he was like a very, very efficient guy and he was very happy that the labor commissioner also I met MPs and notices because obviously even though there were some, you know, returns are not in file, he did everything that for the production heads like the technical interviews everything that was this, I went into, you know, some investigation, so we did actually the handwriting tracing for the letters and the other document that you had for every employee in the person file. A security guard the security key I sent him to the geometry of a weapon used to stay and to just do a search to see if there was some evidence that they can get and one of them what he found was a letter of letter pad, obviously what impression of that letter. That’s how it is on the guy. And I just sent a letter because he thought that he was a contract and but he could not be confirmed. So, which was the thing better than 15 days all things done, got a lot of acceptance, then this whole thing about culture, where you know, if you had a completely different culture, a different culture, all the people there but like their CEO was around in their 80s, their directors are in their 60s Because nobody retired, you know, and in our case my CEO was 40 and I was 35 so, there was one guy, one guy came in, I got to come to you know give me an invitation later for dinner, saying This is Mr Sol and he looked at me and I had a huge boom they’re, like, are you person. So and then when I went to their dinner everybody very curious because all the young guys very lavish dinner and you know, so that kind of thing has always been really interesting because when people don’t expect. Then, and of course we had cases which are not that I went through some cases of violence and there was some political interference. So my neighboring company, joint venture partners company also was there and they faced a lot of problems. We were like an island of peace so for example we had to come up with I was quite positive but I made sure all my workmen whatever resources they had one thing which we did which was very interesting was we actually met them but didn’t sit like, you know, opposite each other, the management team sort of sat along with them, interview so they sat around us, and we started different places like you know talking to groups of people, and we had a three, four hour long marathon meeting where all engines kind of disappeared. So whatever simmering discontent didn’t happen because of the joint venture partners who have many you know those who interact in some way, what happens is that communication that completely disappeared. But one interesting thing that happened was I late at night I was just go to sleep and there was this banging on my door and open to the government all my weapons had come in, one of them I think nobody is getting promoted, so they said you know these guys have done it and we will go, we’ll get housing people comes up it will be done. I didn’t know nothing of this sort, and by the time I had, I got the HR department really scared. He said no no I was in the ambulance led to just make sure that you know, it is all within the company, we will make sure that they apologize, guys, and don’t let them to the police. I said okay sure so I made these guys up there for two o’clock in the night with the space. So, and in fact just across the park, my boss’s house was there so I called him awesome, and his, his family was also with him, I mean, he was taking a huge house and his Bible telling you don’t go in here tomorrow. He said no I don’t think you need to be able to do that was one incident where but unfortunately next day, what happened is we will file a case but ever present to the police file the case, we actually had to resolve that issue, because it is not unexpected. Another thing I had to take care of, and what was other incidents. One was when I, you know, caught something completely new as well. So I knew that individually no equity will agree to it. As a group, so I went to each of them individually, and explained everything and about everything that happened, but we still have a secondary liquidity of the company so I went with my boss. And we showed the proposal. So, for that matter, at that unit every building that is willing to propose we don’t agree. So when I met him his reaction was I tried to defend he said, you know, if you’re there and you know, so I said you’re getting angry, I looked at my boss, he didn’t say anything. But he just kept quiet. So then I said, you’re getting angry, I can explain it, you give me a chance to explain. If you’re not gonna send me next one I’ll explain that will take and he signed it as it is but when he was rude. I couldn’t intervene to him. He said I was just he had me somebody else and hopefully by the time he would have quit the job.

So that’s how I ended up with his amazing experiences but then I was like it’s too comfortable now. After pointing out that the company I knew to get the next level as the head of HR, India. I had a lot of people who are much older than me, so I got an opportunity with the Oberoi hotels, and Mr. Rob recommends. So, join them at my next company,

Gaurav Tripathi 21:43
but how was this transition like from, so you have been afforded even in ABB you had very different transitions and maybe then the joint venture, but then, going to a completely different sector altogether.

Shantanu Saha 21:53
Yes. You want to believe, as a company Herbalife is an amazing place to work, but what happened is I was hired to do January, and you won’t believe, based on this Oprah actually gets into things individually, it would make sense I had an interview with him 11 In the night, and in the New Delhi because I had already depleted, the director ratio twice, and all these interviews have been posted on my favorites, and Mr. O’Brien was busy that day and he could not meet any kind of a recording a bad mood because OCD, couldn’t get to them. So, 11 in the night I meet him the moment he says okay, you know, I like, and he said, I and when I told him my background, he said yes I think you would be a perfect fit for us and all that stuff. And he said, I really like you. So, and he said I don’t feel that many people are very few people in my life. So they’re not alone, he was watching me how much do you expect to incremental II said okay, what I will do more than expected your current company is like a kingdom. So then it’s okay, you have your competition director. So I said okay we’ll get on the car so then we actually went into creative and he made me an offer going in there, and he said one thing. I have a problem in unity. And I think you can solve it. I want you to go there, go there for six months, solve that issue and I’ll give you whatever you want, you want it or not. He said no, not Calcutta, any other location is fine. So he said, Okay, fine. So he said whatever you want him to do but just happens all the time you have a strong background, so he said it was a good unit I want you to turn it around and I will be taking tests with you. So what he did, that had some guests who were taken to accompany those guests divakaran guests and I said let’s say inside Docker, which is what I was doing, and I stayed incognito without telling him I was going to find them. So, it was amazing and the first thing I see you guys walk in my room is almost six feet tall, and I was like okay this month. And then, when I joined them. I mean, then I think the second 30 I told the team that I’m joining to the team. It was it was a surprise. And she called us over and over again. And so she introduced me, a department, and that is when I went at Colgate and I stayed for a very short while. Not too long, but because, again, a lot of incidences, I mean, first thing I had to do I was told that the company size. The culture where you spend time and all the departments in their uniform so I spent time in the kitchen as best as the chef, I spent time in the restaurant, test and f&b person serving dishes, So I was wondering what I got myself into. And then I was like okay so it’s a good distinct lesson in humility, but I was like, but I mean you know I was like, I was also reading and I got to know Development Development but nice but there were some issues that had come up, And one of those verticals borders that’s kept happening in the hotel, a lot of apps happening. So for that, again, I was at that time, a little strict i Whoever I could see the cards I hadn’t replaced by some people, and we finally did catch people who were stealing, and this went up right up to the game of the Union case, and we had to ultimately ask them to go and be technically the by the state that we want you to leave. So, we already have gotten to thinking about those types of things. Then there was some violence that will happen, because with constant, you can say a management individual where it was basically unfair. Some people were being treated unfairly, some are not. I tried to record him to go but I didn’t help. So I met the vice president and he was like, Yes, you are a guy, we know the problem, but you have to enter the medical problem. So you have to convince the doctor that match and so that’s what happened and I finally put on my table so but I called me to the house I met him and he was like, he called me obviously fine, but he said, I will double your salary and you can go to any unit. I said now I think I’ve been wanting to break I’ve got a little excited about this. I want to talk to you this week that I would like to I would have left your job as head of HR. I said to as a political, so I took a break, again, trying to get across. So I said okay well you think that comes I don’t HTML and I learned oh my god, internet technology is not set up for five months and to break, and then I had a friend in my class, he was like, I tried jumping started working, getting a job. I tried to be interviews, one interview is a break. And the other jobs like that. So I said okay I’m gonna get something, and then I got Samsung, I got a shirt, and I got in touch and doctrine amazing interview where that time my boss was this idea and I wish I could do that to me. He was hitting each other, and I was thinking the second person in Toronto, but that was because it was a very unique kind of a company it was it was new to the first party give you an idea, and I met the founders very very passionate people Sanjay Bhagavatam Jurgen Barbash very very nice people to, you know, the same excellent credentials and this is an interesting, and I spent the whole day with me here which again probably my car. So I said okay I can I want to join your, I call my buyers better products are nicer but I think you should buy them. So I joined, and within, I think, two months we got a project where we had to hire 2000 People with one person company, and suddenly we get started with this company. So he told the client that can we get a pilot, and they said this is the pilot.

So we met in this hotel in Delhi and all the equities and we met our founder told everybody that you know, this is an opportunity which none of us would have ever faced. If we can capitalize this that we will be the company. So we have plans on how we intend to do it from recruitment to training to operations. So I came up with a recruitment plan. And I had a small conversation I could ask for 10 times the size but it doesn’t matter, I think I can handle it fine so I took up an office in Delhi. I thought it was nice because I’m excited to hire everybody in one separate office. When I’ve been on it when everything, and I was sitting there. So I have a completely different body color. So, and that was amazing because we did I think more temperamental use. So in the metro six months, I will mightiness work from nine in the morning to one in the night. Some people can do that especially at the end of it. Every time you want. Another 20 people for this thing. And one day I contact him, and he said, You know, I want every single person this happening to me to have that trust. And every appointment was signed by the end of the week all the commenters was like, you know something’s printing them I’m signing later that night and signing it off is coming in Sunday afternoon. So that’s how it was and six months later we went to the office, and we created a new business unit for my ex boss, and amazing thing in six months I moved from that role, and protein back hiring medical interesting first day there was a booking happening, and I was not used to it. So, that is what happened to the role. So, this is the old school summer and my boss said, don’t worry. Sunday is a problem people coming this whole thing happening and I was like okay so I think I figured out I didn’t, I didn’t have an option. So then after that I was like, we had one case you won’t believe I paid for these ads. So we had an ad which was so popular at the time that we did this walk into a data center, and we had more than 5000 people that mostly broke the convention center without an out of control deposit to be called and you know that was that was at that time the consultant was organizing the station when you come and come down the thing the out of control lights out, and it’s been taken away. So don’t be. Don’t be announcing that you’re stopping it, and we will get back to individually. That was interesting. And then we have HR again I do the company, I had an operation for one month when the operation 70 So I feel like I sidetracked on both the city to the client and there. So one of my detectives cutting operations for the sole interferences, and then I got picked up by the next company with a separate company, and they gave an offer which I couldn’t refuse. And 100% rule because again, the President that interview was amazing. He said, You should he said you don’t need a brand anymore you and all that, so it should be like a quarter to create something, they can be whatever the condition that will be but I want to show it. So that’s why I took it 200 to 310.

Gaurav Tripathi 29:53
Startup habit. Finally,

Shantanu Saha 29:54
because all these famous startups, and I was you know, I used to go to opposite end the money. I used to come back at three in the night when I sleep. Oh my god. I have no patience I have to set up all the policies from scratch, and there is so much work because these call centers operate 24 Seven, something is happening, and you are, I was working as a new management team there as head of HR. i What is required and I’m a workaholic, to some extent, let’s say something is needed, I’m not someone who will try to go, you know, those kinds of things I will always be there in fact the finance would ever tell me the money. Your dad and I had, and the third company will report, which was again on foreigners only I was Indian. And there again, you know, I was like, I’m a little exhausted with these doctors I might have to put a connection to my own thing, but I’m saying that you know you should just do one thing Adobe contract is one thing. A lot of my friends who were head of HR saying, We really need somebody to talk to one of your vendors that we have is not very good, so that we sent off 100 vendors. So, number of interviews we need to see for the quality was always a problem getting quality manpower. So, in fact occasion this company that has been broken up by Don said, you know, to have a returning, but you have to replicate this during your interview, and you’re not. So he actually wrote down manuals for them that what do I see how do I judge, not the entire interview process what those numbers mean let me do something which is different. And then I said,

Gaurav Tripathi 31:14
oh, did the name,

Shantanu Saha 31:16
so it must be the last company again to make it. So, let me know placement is what we need. So he said, You mean recruiters. I said, Yeah, that’s a nice okay let me keep that. So, and then the cuticles are there, you know, interesting. Silla kind of a thing. So I said okay this looks interesting is not commonplace in India at that time. And so I said let me take this tonight for the domain name and all that so I said, I said fine, this is interesting. Let me have this. Initially when I started I thought I will do it proper levels. Very soon I realized that’s not possible. You have to either do management senior management or you have to do two level. So you can’t even go into the section because the process is at work in the middle management you won’t work in the workplace. So that was I wanted to be very process driven and I wanted to do a lot of assessments, but you know, just the kind of process they go through when somebody spent five, six years in the industry is completely different. So I said let me focus on the lack of time in this world. He didn’t you can be a two person company the million dollar facility we have 2% of the million dollar, we focus on high value work we said how do we do high value work. So we said let’s hope the interface between the highest there is focus on the highest this thing and let the emulator configure the content of the world rather than being, you know, just any things that businesses face, although it was not very proud at that time. But it is a space in which I have good experience in so let’s utilize that in theater, which was every time I change jobs I used to get the text for myself and I used to be when I was a pretty high so I had a lot of money.

Gaurav Tripathi 32:40
So how have you seen the space evolve.

Shantanu Saha 32:46
You know, because of this property, money thing that I mentioned, it attracted a lot of people, and you won’t believe when I started in 2004 this, there were not too many players in the market, we had, we had a little bit also. But then, gradually, There was an application for executive. And then I realized that we were competing with people who are working from home to the laptop one person could pretty much duplicate the work that was done. The only thing is for anybody who would take a break from that opportunity or for appeals guys used to do insurance you have to do so much of this, let’s get into this, so a lot of people with no background in it could also integrate plus the internet was between us and companies because they were too short of talent, and they were fighting, and there’s a lot of boom in the USA industry, especially the ideas that go on later today, for example, they will. Whoever gives us the adequately, at the least rates we will maintain our need there to maintain clean because a lot of people don’t understand the processes and even the recruitment processes for the EDP didn’t do much hiring, but whatever we paid because a brand, which attracted very good quality people are conditioned to tell us that you know the process should be such that every person you rejected ought to be a grandmaster. So, it has to be such a great experience. And that is what we met last week with our production people remember I told you my boss actually came to talk to my car, so I couldn’t, you know, almost that was stuck with me, and I didn’t have any ties with my candidates I interviewed him for the company and, and they were able to basically you know your pick up so that you don’t have that thing where, and you and you tell them it’s like a story which especially started, nothing. And you want to start up so you would know that you get the best of talent, or people who are really bright, they may not be very bright, you have to, you know, show a vision, and they have to bind the organizational culture there has to be the entire thing has to feel well. And you have to create a culture from day one and document, you know, People should be done to be counted that something which was emulated and that said,

Gaurav Tripathi 34:37
what are some of the challenges that you faced early on, while you were starting.

Shantanu Saha 34:41
So in, luckily, at that time, I had a lot of friends in the sector so we never had to be clients. And that was a very happy situation I got the revenue. I was very lucky again, that’s because the quality of work and because my friends in the sector. We did much much more and my profits were almost 80%, and the.

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