We live in an era characterized by chaotic disruption. Organizations often seem to be in a struggle to keep up with the ever-expanding horizon of change. Just when the industries across the board seem to be in consensus about the importance of a certain piece of the puzzle, a new piece emerges that throws everything off. In an environment as dynamic as this, where you must adapt or perish, it is interesting to learn from age-old organizations that have stood the test of time and managed to stay relevant. At the same time, there are many lessons to be absorbed from companies that were born out of this soup of chaos that withstood the struggle to stand out and are managing to grow while staying true to their vision. Geetansh Bamania, Founder and CEO at the online leasing and lifestyle subscription solutions company, RentoMojo, talks of the nuances of the culture piece as the company completes four years and celebrates founding week.
C for culture
Being a funded startup with the backing of companies like Accel Partners, IDG Ventures, Bain Capital and Renaud Laplanche, the organization looks to be on an accelerated path to growth as they try to carve out a wider niche in the unique market space of diversified lending and renting. That is a collective journey that many organizations are on today. As a company moves from being an idea to being an enterprise with the aim to become a way of life, the culture is what binds the organization together through the whole journey.
The culture keywords at RentoMojo that provide roots for the organizational DNA are youth and flexibility. The fire and energy that go hand in hand with being a very young organization (not only in age but also in the average age at work), breed the passion to try out and experiment new things. This cultural trait of exploration and experimentation is essential in today’s market characterized by a sense of ambiguity that demands the courage to experiment.
Geetansh says that “Culture flows top-down but it is not just about who is reporting to whom. Everyone has a role to play, even me and the most important aspect is to understand what your roles, responsibilities and boundaries are to manage work expectations better.”
One in a millennial
A company with an evolving workforce comprised largely of millennials, needs to understand that these new age workers, while not a concern, have to be taken care of differently since their drivers, motivators and perceived purposes are different. They want to add value and to be a part of the story that is more than hierarchical. There has been a shift in people practices along with a shift in consumer behavior. The opportunities and challenges have changed and organizations now need to cater to a diverse and über-connected generation of internal and external customers.
The HR has evolved to more than mere operations, communication has dropped its veil to become a lot more direct and open and the symbiotic relationship between an organization and an employee has gained importance. Moreover, with the talent landscape changing, there have also been predictable changes in employee retention and a clear shift from engagement to happiness. While engagement was only for those eight hours that you are at work, happiness indices look at how happy employees are about their jobs when they are not at work as well.
Gratitude all the way
Through their founding week, the context and cultural value of gratitude and mutual respect was set and propounded. While customers got deliveries by employees and the leadership team, partners were made to feel special for the part they played in the journey with plants as gifts and employees received hand-written notes across functions to make them realize the integral part they play. It is interesting how a general culture of celebration can be used to connect all the dots that make up the ecosystem.
In terms of the road ahead, Geetansh says that, “The story is still unfolding and there are a lot of moving parts. Each part adds a different DNA.”
As RentoMojo charts out its way forward to make RMI become what EMI was back in 2011, to expand within India but abroad as well, Geetansh says that the only stable thing is chaos itself. As the journey pans out, it would be interesting to see how they keep adapting to and leading change and how the market is morphed to make room for the changes they initiate.