Pandemic Diaries - Episode 03
June 08, 2021
Every Software Engineer has to make career-defining choices at multiple stages in his/her career. We have to choose between Windows and iOS, frontend and backend, and even whether or not to wear computer glasses. A few of these decisions are life-changing. The best example of this classic dilemma is choosing between an MNC and a Startup, which is also one of the favorite debatable topics in the field.
It’s not an easy decision to make. There are multiple parameters to consider – from work experience and the company’s field of operations to location and benefits offered. Over the years, I had witnessed friends and colleagues spending days together to select the right offer. And before I knew I too was at this crossroad frequented by many.
I got into CTS during my campus placement. There was no confusion back then since it was one of the most sought-after tech giants in the country. After a commendable work experience of over three and half years, I wanted to shift. After weeks of research, preparation, and interviews, I bagged Verizon, a dream company of many software engineers. Just two weeks before my official date of joining, I got a message from Harishankar Krishnamurthy, from Zumen.
He was recruiting and thought my profile suited the company’s requirements and I was officially going to be the first employee. During our conversation I let him know that I already had another offer. He told me that I would be the best fit for his organization, and it for me. He told me to take some time to think about it. I decided to drop it and go with my first offer. After a few days, I received another call from him enquiring if I had rethought my decision. To throw him off track I told him that I might if they offer a package more than the one I had, which honestly, was a little high for my work experience. To my surprise, he responded, “Done!”
For a second I was dazed. I again asked for a week’s time, and upon some thinking decided to still drop the offer. Hari called me again later, and I told him my decision. Later I received a call from Viswanathan, the CEO of Zumen. He wanted to have a discussion with me in person. Since I had already made up my mind, I had no reason to say no. So, I met Viswa two days before my date of joining Verizon. Just as we sat down, I asked him everything that was running on my mind –
What is your plan for getting customers?
Do we have investors?
How big is the product?
Will I have a future here?
He calmly answered my volley of questions one by one. At the end of the discussion, I was intrigued. In fact, I came to share his belief in the company’s vision. There was also this excitement about being the first member of something that was going to be big. I declined the offer from Verizon and joined Zumen. I was the first employee and got to work directly with the CEO.
After two years of being here, all my reservations about joining a startup were proved wrong. We are now a fast-growing organization with over 40 employees and a revolutionary product. Thinking back to that day I now realize that every milestone Viswa set for Zumen has been achieved, and at a much faster rate too.
That decision was my leap of faith, and I’m glad I took it.