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COVID-19 Pandemic Has Made Employees Feel Like An Employee And Not Like An Owner: Nikhil Sikri

Work-from-home has been a boon for startups but as the world is becoming more accountable about time, they need to find a sweet spot.

Along with the obvious slowdown for every industry in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought businesses and startups to a standstill. Entrepreneurship has never been celebrated as much as it is celebrated today but despite that, every entrepreneur is facing a new set of challenges, which often get strenuous.

When asked about pros and cons, Nikhil Sikri, Co-Founder and CEO Zolostays Property Solutions said, “We can save a lot of money by not having city-offices. We actually don’t need so many properties. The con is the ability to monitor junior talent. For senior talent, they’ve become more effective because meetings generally start on time and end on time.” In terms of business, one unique thing that’s happening is work-from-home properties where they can turn a dining chair into a working chair. “We crave human contact. If this continues forever, every employee will feel like an employee and not like an owner. People will have to meet and collaborate. These things have to happen for a great organisation to sustain”, he stated.  

On the impact of social capital, Abhishek Bansal, Co-Founder & CEO, Shadowfax Technologies said, “A company culture like this will be difficult to continue. Work-from-home has been a boon for us as the world is becoming more accountable about time.” While he added that a lot of interactions get documented well bringing in a lot of stability, Bansal stated, “We will have to find a sweet spot."

Discussing the new normal, Abhishek Deshpande, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Recykal said, “We were not expecting this to happen in our lifetime, but it happened! A lot of positive things happened, but a lot of challenges came in as well.” He spoke how productivity has increased as they can now save on the travelling time, and attend and hold more number of meetings at once. "More innovations need to happen, and we have to work on a ‘phygital model’ which is the combination of both physical and digital. “For a start-up entrepreneur this will be more difficult because they have an agile environment”, Deshpande added.  

However, startups miss their usual way of working as well. “Everything has two sides”, said Aditya Goel, Co-Founder, Love in Store. He mentioned how he misses serendipity.

Discussing the business aspects, Pooja Verma, Co-Founder & CEO, Whisskers Marketing said, “Our sales and client services did not get affected due to COVID. Now we are only upgrading our systems like performance management.” She explained how despite all the challenges, her team is way more productive working from home. “Talking about challenges, we will come to a middle-point. Overall this is a good chance”, she added.

Konark Singhal, Founder & CEO, MountBlue Technologies elucidated how human values are impacted in terms of empathy. “We will go back significantly to where we used to be because we are really depended on social capital. However, we are in the middle of a big randomised control.” From a demand point of view, some companies have significantly benefited. “This is a passing cyclone and it will go away. We have to build keeping in mind what is coming, instead of focussing on what we are in”, he concluded.  

The speakers spoke at a virtual BW Disrupt’s 6th Annual Young Entrepreneur's Summit organised BW Businessworld.

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