The novel coronavirus outbreak has sparked conversations in the public and private sector about the future of remote work in India. IT industry leaders have predicted that 50% of the country’s IT workforce will work from home even after the pandemic subsides and the future of the Indian workplace could be drastically altered in the coming years as a result.
However, don’t expect office space to be done away with entirely. Large companies like automaker Mercedes Benz and advertising firm Wunderman Thompson told The Times of India that they will implement split solutions to balance remote work and office work.
With the current Indian workplace evolution in mind, The TechPanda highlighted its top 10 places to work in India in 2020.
Gramener is a design-led data science company on a mission to generate easily understandable insights from data using storytelling. With Indian offices in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai, as well as in the United States and Singapore, the company is working on some truly powerful data insights. Recently, the company received an award from CNBC and Microsoft for “Empowering Societal Progress with AI.” The company created a deep learning AI application to track endangered species decrease over time, which provides data to researchers and helps them prevent further population decline. The company credits its success in data storytelling to its greatest storytelling asset: its employees. Employees often are integral parts of workshops to consider new storytelling techniques and even take part in Storytelling Hackathons to build projects together. The company has previously been recognized by the Great Place to Work® Institute.
Unacademy is one of India’s leading online education platforms which leverages a large network of educators to create educational coursework for students to access digitally. The company, which has raised nearly $200 million thus far from investors, is experiencing a large boom in business due to student lockdown restrictions related to COVID-19. In June, the company told Business Insider that it was looking to onboard 500 more educators this year, along with beefing up their sales and operations staff.
Seeing a large boost in business b/c of covid and told Business Insider in June that it expected to onboard 500 more teachers to its learning platform. The company’s founder announced in May that 60% of Unacademy’s staff will be able to work from home even after the pandemic subsides, a move that some other Indian companies have been slow to adopt.
Aikon Labs is a Pune based startup that is on a mission to augment every knowledge worker with artificial intelligence. Their platform iEngage.ai lights up unstructured data in conversations to create reusable knowledge that would otherwise end up as dark data. They use their platform to build new-age knowledge management solutions that transform the way organizations capture, curate, and re-use knowledge. Although they’re providing important support for large multinational companies, the Aikon Labs team remains remarkably agile, counting 12 team members. Their offices are quite diverse, with employees ranging from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, and everything in between. According to their leadership, decision making is done democratically, with everyone having an equal voice in company decisions.
Hexnode is a mobile device and desktop management solution for companies who provide technology equipment to employees. Hexnode allows companies to centralize device platforms, manage content on devices, as well as provides security solutions to safeguard company information shared on the device network. The company counts large corporations on its client list including Condé Nast, McDonald’s and Volvo. Hexnode is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Germany, Australia and Kochi, Kerala. The company touts its liberal culture as a selling point for hiring top talent. According to the founders, Hexnode has no hierarchy, meaning no bosses or managers, everyone’s ideas get equal attention and respect, and potential job candidates are selected for their merit and skillset instead of their college degree. Also, the company does not enforce a dress code and employees are free to wear what they wish to work.
UpGrad is one of the largest education technology companies in India designed to upskill professionals through online coursework in partnership with leading universities. The company is headquartered in Mumbai and has received numerous awards in its five-year history including ‘Best Education Brands’ award by Economic Times in 2018, Most Innovative Companies in India’ by Fast Company in 2017 and LinkedIn’s ‘Top 25 Startups.’ The company ethos is heavily centered on improving people’s lives through education and is an attractive sell for workers who want to make a tangible impact on society. The company also offers a competitive benefits package, opportunities for upGrad employees to advance their own educations at limited or no cost, and fun outings and events.
Future Market Insights (FMI)
Future Market Insights (FMI) is a business intelligence firm headquartered in London with a state-of-the-art delivery center located in Pune, India. The award-winning Smart Market Intelligence consultancy serves clients in over 150 countries around the globe and recently launched its COVID-19 Tracker, analysing how the pandemic will directly affect different industries globally including manufacturing, transportation, medical and more. With nearly 200 team members according to LinkedIn, the company provides a great benefits package as well as a flexible work environment, according to employee postings online. A cornerstone of FMI culture is providing growth opportunities to its employees and consistently challenges them to perform at a higher level, sometimes to the detriment of a work life balance, according to posts in online job review boards.
Meesho is one of India’s fastest growing e-commerce startups. Based in Bangalore, the company enables individual sellers and SMEs to rapidly launch online stories on various social media platforms including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. According to Crunchbase data, the startup has raised over $215 million in funding in its five-year history and employs over 1,000 people, known internally as “Meeshoites.” With its employees key to its core value, the company has created a blog that highlights individual team member achievements as well as corporate social responsibility and team building initiatives. It also claims it was an early adopter of work from home protocol during the outbreak of COVID-19, a measure which many Indian companies before the outbreak were hesitant to adopt. Meesho has also received recognition from the Great Place to Work Institute, a workplace environment consultancy.
Dresma is a female-co founded visual content company that created DoMyShoot, an app individuals and retailers who want to sell online use to create and deliver visual content with unprecedented scale, speed, and quality. The AI-powered application allows novice e-retailers and SMEs to create appealing product images at scale to help boost sales on marketplaces such as Facebook, Flipkart and Amazon. Headquartered in Gurgaon, they’ve also set up operations in cities such as Bareilly and Patna with the aim of contributing to job opportunities in these cities, according to the founders. As part of its ethos, Dresma strives to create more highly skilled jobs in areas with limited employment options. Their focus, according to the founders, is on building a professional work environment with an emphasis on employee development and welfare.
Acko is one of India’s leading insurance technology startups. Founded in 2016, the electronic insurance provider provides coverage for cars, bikes and even in-ride insurance for taxi cab journeys throughout India. It’s raised $143 million to date from investors such as Amazon and Accel, according to Crunchbase. Part of what makes Acko’s work environment so desirable are its progressive policies. In a country still plagued with violence against the LGBTQ community, Acko recently enacted a policy that provides medical insurance benefits to same-sex live in partners of Acko employees. The company also extended its prevention of sexual harassment policy to include members of the gay and transgender communities, a step only a handful of other companies in India have taken, according to The Economic Times.
Playment is a Bangalore-based startup that’s created a data labeling platform that leverages a vast network of gig economy workers to help machine learning developers better train, test and validate their learning models. Their relatively small team of under 100 employees eat, sleep and breathe artificial intelligence (AI) and are driven to help develop AI solutions for some of the world’s top corporations including Samsung, Alibaba and Daimler. The company is backed by U.S.-startup accelerator Y Combinator as well as Google Launchpad. A former employee lauded the company for its approachable management, as well as the ability to move vertically and laterally within the company, allowing for multiple dimensions of personal growth.
This article features a client of an Espacio portfolio company.