“Talent from smaller towns need someone to believe in them and invest in them,” says Raghav Gupta, co-founder and CEO, Futurense Technologies
Raghav Gupta, the 22-year-old entrepreneur is living up to his company tagline “Godfather of Talent.” He is backing talent from smaller towns and helping Fortune 500 companies and startups meet their talent needs.
What makes you believe that tier 2 and tier 3 cities are key to fixing India’s tech talent challenge?
The talent field in the country is not democratised. We have a large pool of qualified people with tech skills in the small towns but there is nobody to handhold them.
Engineering and technology graduates from tier 2 and tier 3 cities lack exposure. Big companies are reluctant to go to smaller towns and train them. Also, it’s challenging for talent from these places to upskill as they don’t have the financial resources to pay for expensive training.
Talent in smaller cities is at a disadvantage as they don’t have access to the right education and adequate finances. The talent here is stuck and that explains the country’s talent demand and supply challenge.
Most of India’s talent is in smaller towns. If we can democratise the talent field in smaller places the country’s talent crisis can be fixed.
What are the traits that you look for as you groom talent from smaller towns?
We don’t hire people based on what they know but on what they can know. We look at candidates’ potential including their learnability quotient—how well they can learn. We consider their problem-solving ability. And their overall approach–are they eager to prove themselves and are they committed to unlearning things and learning new ones.
How does Futurense Technologies contribute to the growth of tech talent from smaller towns?
People in smaller towns have aspirations. We mentor them, help them polish their skills, provide them with more tech tools, and add domain experience. Futurense Technologies gives them the path to Fortune 500 companies.
An average hike a person gets the moment they join Futurense is 2X. After 14 months which includes 2 months of training and 12 months of deployment, the average hike for our talent is 4.5X.
What are the major challenges you face as you promote talent from tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India?
Most of the challenges are related to unlearning. We hire both fresh as well as lateral talent. To be able to pick up new skills it’s important to be able to unlearn and that can be challenging for many people. Lack of soft skills including communication skills is another challenge for us.
As we look for talent a lot of times there are people whom we don’t hire. Because they have talent but lack communication skills. For them, we run boot camps and we hire them in the future. We have in-house coaches that do soft skill training.
What are the companies whose talent demand you are fulfilling?
The company is supplying talent to 12 Fortune 500 firms. We are proud to say that four of them are Fortune 100 companies. We are also working with 7 unicorns and meeting the talent demand of 10 multinational companies. We are providing talent to banking, financial services and insurance, and healthcare sector among others.
What are your recommendations to bridge the tech talent supply-demand gap in the country?
Investing in talent is the only way ahead to solve the challenge. The challenge is that companies expect people to have all the skills as they hire them. They are not ready to invest in training them and helping talent upgrade their skills. The talent coming from smaller towns need someone to believe in them and invest in them. Companies at large need to trust small-town talent and step in to mentor them.