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bengaluru: As layoffs spare engineers, startups in Bengaluru remain upbeat


Bengaluru: At a time when global recession and other factors are proving to be detrimental to the prospects of startups, Bengaluru startup ecosystem still remains upbeat despite news of layoffs and investment crunch. Due to the competitiveness of startups, the job market is still hot in Bengaluru.

The industry sources say there are 9,000 layoffs already in two weeks in Bengaluru alone. The layoffs are coming in the operations team, HR divisions. The engineers, who form the core group are not touched yet, they explain.

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The investors are not considering the projected growth. The startup’s high projected rate for the long term is no longer considered by investors. They are focusing on actual present earnings, explain Industrial sources.

According to industry pundits, major IT, BT companies are worried about attrition and talent hunt remains the top priority. The Karnataka government is preparing to host the Global Investors Meet (GIM) in Bengaluru after two years of Covid hiatus. Large and medium industries minister Murugesh Nirani has announced that the government is expecting Rs 5 lakh crore investments in the state.

The GIM is scheduled to be held between November 2 and 4. The chief minister Basavaraj Bommai had extended his Davos trip by a day at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet to hold talks with key business players at the global level.

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“The impact of what could be seen is that investors are more careful and startups are made more accountable as a result of global trends and predicted recession in the US in the coming year. But, this has not changed anything with the job market. The startups are making offers on par with giants in the IT industry and youngsters are taking the risk,” an industry insider says.

Commenting on the trend, Able Joseph, founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Aisle, told IANS, “In the initial years of a business, founders should consider being present at work daily, sitting with their teams, and being hands-on in solving business problems on a day-to-day basis.

“It is incredibly important to be physically present to guide and motivate your managers and teams, rather than placing more focus on raising funds, and dictating your vision from a pedestal.

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“Not all startups need venture capital funding to put together a team, build a meaningful business, innovate, monetize, scale, and compete with global brands. At Aisle, we have managed to achieve all of this without VCs, although one could say we’re not the most qualified as compared to our peers.”

The industry, though, seems to be more worried about the infrastructure of Bengaluru.

chief Kiran Majumdar-Shaw has raised the issue of the pathetic condition of road infrastructure in Bengaluru. She also raised her voice on social unrest following a series of communal-related developments in Karnataka spoiling the chances of India being a global leader in IT and BT industry.

Two-time Grammy-winning music composer Ricky Kej, upon landing in his home city after the Cannes Film Festival, had roundly criticised the immigration process at the KempeGowda International Airport in Bengaluru. Ricky had tweeted: “How are we expected to build ‘brand India’ if this is the welcome that everyone gets by the airports. The first impression of India for foreign travelers.”

The incident spurred Majumdar-Shaw to again flag her concerns about the crumbling infrastructure of Bengaluru. Chief Minister Bommai has assured me that these challenges will be resolved by November.

But industry observers here believe that the gloom in the startup sector is entire of its own making.

Sabyasachi Das, CTO and founder of the startup Nordische, which developed world’s first aluminum-graphene pouch cell battery for mobile phones, articulated this point of view when he said: “They are all like spoiled kids of rich fathers. That is what happens. They are used to the comfort and so when one day papa says he has no money, they are not able to absorb the shock.”

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