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A Young Entrepreneur, The 22-Year-Old Raghav Gupta Is On A Mission To Solve India’s Talent Challenge.
Raghav Gupta, Co-Founder, and CEO at Futurense Technologies
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A young entrepreneur, the 22-year-old Raghav Gupta is on a mission to solve India’s talent challenge.
A “Talent-first” approach saw Gupta establish Futurense Technologies in 2020. The company is providing talent to Fortune 500 companies and start-ups.
According to Gupta promoting small-town tech talent and democratising talent is the key to solving India’s tech talent crisis.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
What’s been your motivation for turning entrepreneur and establishing Futurense?
Interacting with CXOs, CFOs, and entrepreneurs during my internship I realised two things. First, these people are just like you and me. The difference being they are people with a high risk-taking appetite and have high self-belief even if they didn’t have all the answers. That was very inspiring for me.
And the second part that explains my decision to turn into an entrepreneur is the talent supply-demand gap that we keep talking about. Fortune 500 firms and startups have more than 100,000 open positions for tech talent.
How is Futurense business model different from the other industry players promoting talent?
We scout for young tech talent and train them.
We reach out to tech talent in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We need to understand talent coming from these places is not affluent. They cannot pay lakhs for training to private institutes. Also, they cannot leave their jobs to train (upgrade skills), who will pay for their bills? And they need assurance about the future.
With these multiple challenges, we cannot have a business model where we charge people. Instead, we have to support the candidates while we are training them. So how do we subsidise that?
Fortune 500 firms have a huge cost arbitrage when they hire people in India versus when they hire in the US. They are willing to pay a premium for well-trained professionals with the right kind of soft skills. Because they’re willing to pay us a premium, we can create a model in which we can also make a decent margin. We pay the people, we train them and the company also gets market-ready talent.
What’s the one big thing that can help India solve its talent problem?
Our talent field is not democratised.
A small-town person graduating from a technology college lacks training and ends up with an average job with an IT company. Stuck in a backend job, the person realises he needs to upscale to progress in the career.
But there are two challenges to upscaling. Money and time. The person doesn’t have money to pay tech companies for training and neither has time to upskill while holding a job. Also, none of the big firms will come to smaller places to train this talent.
It’s unfair for the tech talent in tier-2 and tier-3 towns as it doesn’t have access to the right educational opportunities and doesn’t have the financial power to learn
new skills. These young people are stuck. Most of the talent of this country is in smaller towns. That explains India’s talent demand and supply challenge.
Democratising the talent field from small towns is the key to fixing India’s demand-supply challenge.
What are the trends that will dominate the talent-tech space?
Back offices are turning into innovation centres. With that, we need people who are thinking out of the box, and who are not just copying code from GitHub. As we are scaling up, more than the technical expertise it’s the domain expertise that is in demand. Tech professionals have to pick up one or two domain and master it. Else they will not grow in the future.
What are Futurense’s expansion plans?
Currently, we are focusing on data engineering, data science, and Java full-stack. As we scale up in the finance side we are getting into the US tax and the US audit. On the tech front, we will be expanding on machine learning and DevOps.