December 2, 2022



A scarcity of know-how expertise has Indian firms providing sweeteners like extra trip time and gender-neutral parental go away as they compete for graduates and professionals. One Bangalore startup is making an attempt a extra dramatic answer: a three-day work week.


Fintech firm Slice is providing new hires a three-day week with wage at 80% of the going market price. This can be a win-win method that frees the employees to pursue different passions or pursuits — or different gigs — whereas nonetheless locking in a gentle pay and advantages from Slice, mentioned Rajan Bajaj, the corporate’s founder.


“That is the way forward for work,” Bajaj, 28, mentioned in a telephone interview. “Individuals don’t wish to be tied all the way down to a job.”


International buyers are pouring billions of {dollars} into India’s tech startups, placing entrepreneurs underneath stress to ramp up groups. A large expertise crunch has ensued as IT outsourcers, Silicon Valley giants, international retailers and Wall Road banks’ know-how facilities vie for engineering and product expertise alongside lots of of fast-growing startups.


Slice is betting that its method will make it stand aside from the competitors. The corporate has 450 workers and desires to recruit 1,000 engineers and product managers within the subsequent three years.


“It’s the perfect of each worlds,” Bajaj mentioned. “Employees can get wage and full advantages working a three-day week, and spend the remainder of their time chasing a startup dream, searching for a co-founder or pursuing a non-work ardour.”


The transfer towards shorter weeks has been underway for a minimum of a century. In 1926, Henry Ford adopted a five-day work week rather than the standard six days, after experiments confirmed productiveness wouldn’t endure in consequence. Corporations and nations have experimented with four-day weeks for years with out widespread adoption.


Proponents of shorter weeks now level to research exhibiting a lift in worker productiveness and well-being, prompting nations reminiscent of Eire and Iceland to strive them out. Know-how behemoth Amazon.com Inc. piloted a four-day week for choose workers in 2018, and even China is making an attempt to rein in its extreme working hours.


Simply as in Silicon Valley, the Indian startup trade’s work-centered tradition is leaving some engineers disenchanted whereas some are milking the chance for all its value. Engineers’ salaries have tripled previously three years, Bajaj mentioned. Bidding wars are widespread and employees are identified to ghost startups after a number of rounds of pay negotiations. Founders joke on social media about promoting on matchmaking and meals supply apps to acquire employees.


Such is the hiring bonanza that Bhavish Aggarwal, founding father of ride-hailing startup Ola and electric-car startup Ola Electrical Mobility Pvt., tweeted lately in half jest that he was pondering of outsourcing work to a less expensive vacation spot — the San Francisco Bay Space.


Flush with capital, startups are additionally spending on different initiatives to draw engineers and designers. Social commerce platform Meesho introduced a companywide 10-day break in November so employees can unplug and rejuvenate. Fintech startup BharatPe has proffered referral goodies like BMW bikes, devices and cricket holidays in Dubai.


Slice started providing its three-day possibility on Monday, and it’s betting its timing is opportune: hundreds of thousands of engineers are making ready to return to in-person work, after practically two years of being confined to working from residence.


The startup, based in 2016, focuses on providing bank cards to India’s younger. Its bodily card launched in 2019 with the corporate touting sign-ups of lower than a minute, cashbacks and a number of fee choices. Slice issued 110,000 playing cards final month, making it among the many nation’s high suppliers. Its backers embody Japan’s Gunosy Capital and India’s Blume Ventures.


The brand new hires will type small groups and work on newer cryptocurrency or “purchase now pay later” merchandise. Current workers are eligible for this system “supplied they’re a match,” Bajaj mentioned.


“A 3-day work week permits us to recruit a sure caliber of expertise as a result of it’s a perk large tech firms like Google and Amazon don’t supply,” he mentioned.



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