Open Coffee Club
Sixth April marked the completion of nine months of the Chennai Open Coffee Club. What is an Open Coffee Club (OCC)? It’s an informal gathering of entrepreneurs to meet, network and share knowledge.
Started in London, the idea has now spread to more than 100 cities worldwide. Chennai was the first city in India to have an OCC, followed by Bangalore, Mumbai and most recently Pune.
As always, we met at the Cafe at Amethyst, Gopala-puram. The discussion centred around managing employees. Sankar Nivas M., founder of Perspecte Solutions Pvt. Ltd, an RFID (radio frequency identification, a technology to track and store information about objects) start-up, wondered how a start-up could manage employees when the founder is on the road juggling multiple roles. Then there was the question of how to motivate and retain them when they are bombarded with job offers from bigger companies.
It was interesting because we expect every employee to be like the founders — self-driven and willing to put in long hours with minimal compensation. My takeaway from the discussion was that an employee’s motivation is different from the founder’s, and understanding and managing that difference is critical for growing a start-up.
After the discussion, we broke up into small groups for an hour of networking, coffee and snacks. I’m always surprised at how many start-ups I’ve met at OCC. Who knew that there were so many?
That brings us back to what OCC is all about: To bring start-ups together, one meet up at a time.
Siddharta Govindaraj is the founder of Silver Stripe Software Pvt. Ltd, a start-up that develops tools for software development. He is the co-organizer of the Chennai Open Coffee Club, and is involved in organizing Proto.in and other community events in Chennai. He can be reached at email@example.com