Saurav Chawla, Co-Founder, OkayGo (acquired by Betterplace)

Saurav Chawla, Co-Founder, OkayGo (acquired by Betterplace)

Saurav Chawla, Co-Founder, OkayGo (acquired by Betterplace)

Podcast

Overview

Saurav Chawla co-Founded OkayGo, a job tech startup that matches businesses with millions of gig, part-time and full-time blue and gray collared workers. Prior to OkayGo, he founded Fifth Avenue Café, a high-growth F&B business focused on American desserts and coffee. Before that, he was Vice President of Investment Banking (M&A) at Barclays in NYC.

00:37- About Saurav Chawla

  • Saurav is the co-founder of OkayGo, which has been acquired by Better Place.

00:41- About the venture and your motivation to start it

  • OkayGO came from another venture that I was running.
  • OkayGO is basically focused on providing a good workforce, a blue-collar workforce, and high-earning power opportunities in a flexible manner.
  • It manages how they can work at different enterprises during the same day, or in the same month to optimize their earnings per hour because it’s challenging these days for enterprises to provide high earning per hour opportunities throughout the day, they might have their peaks and troughs.

04:55- How is contract employment in the US different from the gig world?

  • Contract workers have decent visibility on their earnings, and have a decent earning per hour per day per month.
  • That is not the case in India. To that extent, there is a challenge if you’re not a full-time worker, the visibility is less just like the earning per hour.
  • According to Saurav, for gig employees, the earnings per hour should be higher than the full-time workers because they’re actually working on the peak periods, they’ll have to find jobs outside that peak period.

 07:44- How do gig workers build careers?

  • Workers get access to new technologies by doing gigs versus staying in a full-time opportunity.
  • Gone are the days when you’re getting a higher salary Because of the years of experience, it’s more important to have the know-how of the latest skills or the latest technologies.
  • It’s a little more challenging, because for example, if a worker is in the logistics space, it’s a delivery boy, it’s harder to find gigs for that person to develop skill sets.
  • The idea with OkayGO is to expose them to gigs, to build their skills, and then hopefully they can transition to a better job.

13: 55- Basic mistakes made by startup entrepreneurs

  • Saurav thinks a lot of people are just choosing a valuation.
  • They are not looking at a long-term path, they are focusing on the wrong things. They’re not focusing on unit economics.
  • Saurav’s advice to anyone who’s starting the entrepreneurial journey is to get their basics right.

15:47- When should a startup start to scale up?

  • They have to make sure the product market fit is almost there, maybe, past that stage. And then a startup should scale.
  • Startups have to find the right investors and have to believe that investors understand that it’s a long-term game, rather than a three, four years game, it might be an eight or nine years game.

17:21- Should you go solo? Or should you have a co-founder?

  • Saurav thinks it’s a very lonely journey, and it’s always better to have a sounding board more than anything else.
  •  He thinks one should seek a co-founder with the skill set, ideas, intelligence, ethics, and attitude, that really matches their own.

21:10- Three lessons to take away from the conversation?

  • First is that you have to make sure you have to sometimes doubt the external noise.
  • It is important to be flexible and nimble in your journey in what you set out to do.
  •  Second, the courage of conviction and commitment.
  •  And third, one must give their 100% serious attention in order to be successful.

RESOURCES:

You can connect with Saurav Chawla- LinkedIn

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