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80% of early-stage start-ups looking to expand workforce in 2023: Report

At a time when Indian start-ups are witnessing a tumultuous period of layoffs and a slowdown in funding, 80.49 per cent of early-stage enterprises–those working with teams of 20 employees or less–are actively seeking to expand their workforce in 2023, says a recent report. These start-ups, the report says, are well capitalised and have raised series A and Series B funding rounds.

About 31.92 per cent of the over 300 start-ups that participated in the study, foresee an increase in hiring by over 30 per cent, while 28.08 per cent plan to expand their teams in the 11-20 per cent range, says the report by The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and HR Services provider Randstad India.

About 54 per cent of start-ups attribute the high attrition rate to factors such as better pay packages offered by larger corporations, as well as concerns over job security in a start-up.

Enterprises in sectors such as agriculture/agritech, AI/ML/deep tech, automotive, and e-commerce/delivery services are expected to increase hiring in the 11-20 per cent range, while aerospace and defence, energy, and healthcare start-ups are expected to increase their hiring activities by over 30 per cent.

A vast majority – about 92 per cent – of these start-ups stated that their hiring decisions will primarily be driven by new project orders, additional funding raised from investors and expansion strategies.

“Start-ups create a large range of jobs as they grow and mature. The initial opportunities arise as founders onboard the early team to help establish the business,” said Rohit Bansal, Chairman – FICCI Start-up Committee, and co-founder, AceVector Group and Titan Capital.

“A multiplier impact on job creation is seen in the growth and expansion stage when operations expand, and various initiatives mature. The dynamic working environment in start-ups provides the ideal training ground for aspiring entrepreneurs who then move on to create their own start-ups,” he added.

This, Bansal says, creates a virtuous cycle of growth, with each successive cohort adding jobs and enterprises. “With their pan-India footprint, start-ups create jobs and economic opportunities beyond just the top cities and are key partners in India’s growth story.”

Hiring Challenges for Start-ups

·        Deficit in requisite skills

·        Mismatches in salary expectations

·        Reluctance among potential candidates to join a startup due to concerns over risk perception

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