The impact of COVID-19. Are we hiring or firing?

|  Posted: May 21, 2020  |  Categories: Company
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Any crisis whether the financial crisis of 2008 or the current COVID-19 divides the market into 3 categories. Some industries/organizations will get impacted badly, some will accelerate and some will remain neutral.

In the current situation, due to COVID-19 and lockdown, a lot of small/medium businesses mainly the ones relying on a physical presence like restaurants, spas, barbershops, travel, retail, etc are heavily impacted.

Not just the real businesses, even the technology businesses that rely on these industries are also heavily impacted. Airbnb, Zomato, Swiggy, and OLA layoffs are classic examples of unicorns struggling, laying off nearly 25% of their workforce.

On the other hand, there are businesses that accelerated due to the current COVID-19 situation, any businesses that can support virtual/online, critical SaaS businesses like online education all accelerated. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, are examples who benefitted from the situation.

And of course, there are neutral ones as well, a majority of them just carried on as normal, apart from some productivity losses.

So where do we fall in?

We are fortunate to be more on the positive side, mainly due to the SaaS and multi-product nature of Kovai.co. The SaaS business provides the cushion of recurring revenue and you are not always under pressure to keep generating new revenue for survival.

Even if you are a SaaS business there are certain businesses heavily impacted and resulted in a huge amount of customers churning. It’s a ripple effect. If your end customers are impacted, then, in turn, they are going to cut cost and they are going to churn away from your business unless you are providing an essential service (ex: it’s difficult to pull your Stripe payment solution, whereas you can easily cancel the underutilized marketing CRO optimization tool).

Luckily, our enterprise products BizTalk360 and Serverless360 are deemed more essential products to run the business. Even though closing new deals is taking time, we haven’t seen people canceling their subscriptions. On the other hand, our other product Document360 (a self-service knowledge base) is scaling pretty fast during the current situation.

Companies realizing the importance of having good internal documentation both for their own staff and rich product documentation for their customers are jumping to buy more Document360 licenses.

Are we hiring or firing?

Again we are fortunate to be on the positive side. Being a bootstrapped company, we always run the business (nearly for a decade now) on a very simple model of “profit comes first, you grow at your own pace” rather than “profit can wait, and customer acquisition at any cost” model.

The other important mantra for us and we follow it to the heart is the quotes from Bill Gates

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

We feel any situation will get rectified over time, and it’s important to have a long term thinking and feature. All our thought processes are more on our 10 years vision, how the company should look in 2030, where we wanted to be. Hence our bold new investments like the state of the art 250 seaters (40,000 sq.ft) new office premises in Coimbatore and we are in-fact accelerating our hiring.

Since the lockdown has started in the latter part of March in India, we hired and onboarded 15 new team members (i.e approximately increasing our headcount by 20%). Once the candidate gets past all the interview stages and if they have a personal laptop or desktop to start work, we onboarded them as remote employees with the WFH option. For developers requiring high-end machines to do their work properly, we provisioned new desktops on the cloud (Azure) and onboarded them.

We are accelerating our hiring at the moment. The goal is to hire another 30-40 people before the end of 2020. If in case, you lost your job recently due to COVID-19, or more interested to find an exciting fast-growing company to work in the Coimbatore area then please check out our careers pages. We are hiring across the board both technical and non-technical roles.

Author: Saravana Kumar

Saravana Kumar is the Founder and CEO of BizTalk360 | Serverless360 | Atomic Scope | Document360. Founder of multiple B2B products that solve the pain point of enterprise customers. Entrepreneur, Investor and Technical enthusiast. Passionate about running and scaling a company in a profitable way with calculated risks.

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