In the beginning
We started Saeloun in 2019. The main objective as I discussed was profit sharing and making sure we give back to our Employees.
Saeloun exists today for the sole reason of its Employees and the talent that they bring in.
I like to say I am partially retired.
Over the last couple of months, we’ve had a smooth sailing setup.
Sonam and Supriya, our two fire-powered Executive Admin, make sure I don’t have to worry about our day to day activities.
The biggest question everyone has in their minds, is why share profits. Why give back in millions or do the several things we do.
The answer is so simple yet so often neglected.
The average span an employee stays at an IT company is roughly around 1-2Years. That is a huge churn in employee onboarding, training, adding to clients, interviewing and much more.
The cost to give back to the employees is just fractional.
Which leads us to the what.
Remote Work/ Flexible work environment
The very basic thing and the simplest anyone can do is be flexible.
We have been remote since day 1, some of us being remote since the last 10+ years.
This leads to a culture, where everyone respects and values others time.
But especially their own.
At Saeloun, we have no DMs policy, everything goes on public channel.
Want to talk to me? Ping on public channel.
I make sure all my own chats are public in nature as well as from all the executive team.
This is super important for us for couple of reasons-
- No loss of important information
- Accountability- I am most accountable and can say stupid shit. I want my team to correct me when I am wrong. DMs are the bane for such behavior
- Less urgency or anxiety. Our window to responses is 24 hours. Work can wait till then. Only in case of emergencies do we use an “@” to escalate the issue.
- No repetition of things- Culture shapes from our past decisions and learning from my own mistakes. We have better access to documented stuff that serves as a reference for future.
We essentially don’t have any managers, which could be a good and a bad thing.
Bad because our employees are too sincere and hardworking. Any request from the client, may it be 1AM at night, they are happy to respond.
Its hard to correct this once its set in.
On the flip side, our employees are self managed and accountable for themselves. This leads to a better feedback loop with the client, with whom they work directly.
We have previous discussed on several occasions about our profit sharing process and the transparency about our profits.
This is essentially a big boost for our employee retention.
Your growth is tied to the Company’s growth. No confusion around it.
We have standardized welfare- Provident Funds Matching, Health Insurance, Life Insurance in case of our office helpers.
Membership is available to whatever one needs- Rubymine Licences, Skillshare Access and more.
Noteworthy amongst this is Therapy. Starting last year all employees can reach out for weekly sessions with our Therapist Friend(Kudos to Arushi!)
While we make sure that this is a completely anonymous process and no one is aware if you would be availing this.
We try to make sure we provide salaries in the top 5 percentile for a Lead Software Developer in Bangalore.
Over the last 2 years this has spike heavily due to Covid leading to a mass migration of business to have an online precense.
We make sure and try our best in matching Employee Salary and expectations.
Some of this gets offset in terms of yearly bonus and profit share instead.
We also want most of our team to be where our clients are. Starting this year we have filed for visas for half of our team per year.
Since its a lottery system, we were able to secure just two for this financial year and plan to expand our US office and hire directly in US instead.
We have a lovely new office coming up in Brooklyn, (as well as a non-profit Art Gallery operated solely by me)
During our interviews we never ask for credentials or degrees.
They serve their purpose, but are not for us.
We focus more on these traits-
- First and foremost- They should be a good person. We have been super lucky in this area, and our team helps bring in more similar minded people.
- Eager to grow based on feedback. For the few that need feedback, we provide the same and actively work on their growth. Sometimes this means change of tracks- Developer to hiring manager or change of tech stacks.
- Help others grow.
As we grown we are also expanding in multiple areas. Saelouns primary focus is and will always be running as a tech business.
But this has helped us connect with some Amazing individuals across the board. My friend Luvia who now runs a Fashion brand that I and her started this year.
We are now moving in several opportunities
- Sustainable Farming for the indigenous people of Oaxaca
- Our upcoming school- Again run completely by Amrita, with tie ups with Oxford, TedX, Toefl and more
- A French Cafe by my dear friend Babita, who is an inspiration in her own, building the business from scratch.
- Tlatoani- Our fashion branch from Oaxaca, Mexico headed by Luvia with design and execution from Pompii Garcia
- Mitla- Our latest venture into Art Gallery in Brooklyn
- Our investment Arm- where I reinvest most of my personal profits in tech start ups.
- And my favourite and what takes up most of my time now- Hayir. I plan to dedicate most my my non-coding time to this. I will soon write about our areas of focus realted to this.
- And many more.
With so much going, I simply don’t have much to worry about. All businesses are run or directed by individuals who are much smarter than me which more than 20-30+ years of experience.
But this also gives a unique opportunity to our employees to contribute where they would be interested.
Some of the courses we fund include- Masters in Business, Hiring. ISBN(The book course!) and much more.
As we said before, Employee’s growth is our growth.
Eventually, our Employee’s should outgrow us, start their own business and we are all but happy to fund or help as needed.
We are constantly learning and evolving. The biggest asset I believe my employees possess is giving me feedback.
I am far from perfect, and need all the help to grow and scale.
Which is what we value the most, without feedback we are an echo chamber. No growth and complete stagnation.
I can stop growing after we’ve all retired I suppose.
Are you someone who is interested in Employee welfare and growth? Help me and provide us feedback on https://calendly.com/vipulnsward/30min.