Coimbatore: At a time when attrition rates across industries are as high as 22% and companies across the world are seeing the “Great Resignation Trend”, our CEO Saravana Kumar talks to Yi Coimbatore chapter about how Kovai.co has managed beat this trend.
Yi member and CEO of Durocon Services, Guru Kulandaivel, recently asked Saravana on how he manages his time and a business, primarily based in Coimbatore from London. Saravana said one of the reasons he even chose Coimbatore to be a base was the possibility of more employee attachment to the company.
“Seven to eight of our first employees still remain with us”
“In Chennai and Bangalore, attrition rates are so high, that we may not get so many long–standing employees in those cities. We still have around seven or eight employees, among the first 20 employees hired, continuing to stay with us after 8-9 years. They usually help set things up efficiently, thus making managing my time easier,” he said.
We are very transparent in the company’s functioning. Every quarter, we announce the number of new customers acquired and customers we have lost.
The company’s extremely flat organisational structure, allowing any employee, however junior or senior, to directly contact Saravana, and the transparent culture are definite contributors to an easy work culture, says the CEO. “I speak to everyone right from the interns to housekeeping staff and everyone else. We are also very transparent inside the company, with us announcing how many customers have been acquired and how many of them we have lost every quarter. Most other companies may feel that this information is only for the management.
The management also believes that attracting passionate people and retaining that passion by constantly producing cutting edge technology and ensuring people see growth is crucial. “There are a few reasons why an employee leaves any organisation. While financial reason is one where an employee leaves after getting a better offer, money is never everything,” says Saravana. “In fact, one of the reasons we moved from a single product company to a multi-product company, was because I knew I had built a great team of engineers. They were really talented, so if we dint do something new, work would become monotonous and boring for them,” he adds. Being an engineer himself, he admits that he would have felt the same in their position.
We believe that every employee will remain with us until retirement. When you have that mindset, you start taking care of them.
So, the company came up with the novel idea of keeping some core people in the team and recruiting a new set of engineers to work on their first and most successful product—BizTalk360, while moving some of the existing core members on to building or working on newer products. It was this idea that led to them coming up with more products like Serverless360, Atomic Scope, Document360 amongst others.
Saravana says he also believes that an employee’s happiness is crucial to them being able to contribute to the company’s growth. Kovai.co has a culture of focussing on employee welfare and growth, constantly trying to ensure that people are first happy and balanced. “If someone is not happy, there is no chance you can extract anything from them. So, if someone is not performing well, we need to go deeper and try to understand what the core problem is,” he says. “It could be something in the family or they may need help with something. By doing this, you build trust,”.
Kovai.co’s people policies always start with believing that every employee will remain with us until retirement. “When you have that mindset you care for them continuously. It is also important that all our employees trust me as a leader, that I can grow and scale the company creating a bright future for them,” says Saravana.
It is important that our employees trust me as a leader, that I can grow and scale the company creating a bright future for them.
The policy also involves constantly trying to identify an employee’s true talents to bring out their best performance. “Sometimes it’s the switching chair policy. Maybe an engineer on product building has better people skills, and once we move them to customer relations starts performing much better,” he adds.