Some people like to work and help others reach a goal, while some want to follow their dreams, create and solve problems. Aseem Khare belongs to the latter group.

An Indian Institute of Technology Bombay graduate, Khare, 32, started his career as an associate at Nomura in 2007. In 2013, he co-founded Shaukk—a hyperlocal app-based platform to help like-minded people interact with each other. The next year, he co-founded a technology start-up, Taskbob, a home services provider.

“I realized over the years, that I was not really making an impact while working as an equity-derivatives trader in Nomura. Nor was I solving any deep-rooted problem. I took a three-month sabbatical to work on a personal project and then thought that this is what I would rather be doing," explains Khare.

The turnback

While Taskbob could accumulate users easily, the challenge came when it was time to engage with them. Trying to keep it afloat, Khare depleted a chunk of his own savings and decided to shut it down in 2017. With financial constraints increasing, he decided to go back to a job. Since then he has moved twice, and is now working at MindTickle, a sales enablement and readiness platform, as director, products. He is also helping his wife, Akanksha Rawat, run CornerStone—a primary school they set up in Pune’s Baner area.

The tough parts

There have been changes and challenges in Khare’s life, just like any entrepreneur would have faced when he went back to a job. The lack of complete autonomy was an issue. Finding a job which lets you do what you are passionate about was another. He believes that this is felt even more acutely after one has built something from their own passion.

Khare also points out that as an entrepreneur, one chooses the team. But in a job, one has to work with a pre-existing team. “In your own venture, you are surrounded by people who are sharing ideas, and there is always brain storming to solve problems. In a job, the culture is already preset. For example, in the first company I joined after returning, I was disappointed because I was not given as much autonomy as promised. However, I would not say it was a bad thing, more like it was mismatch," he says. At MindTickle, the team keeps him challenged.

Start-up learnings

With a number of jobs and entrepreneurial ventures under his belt, Khare believes that each of them has taught him something. “If I am not learning at a job, that is not something I would enjoy personally. For each of my ventures—the challenges and finding solutions were all part of the learning curve. The learning, in my opinion, also has to be applied somewhere," he explains.

Some of the key learnings from his start-ups include how to build a team and create an organizational culture, and manage the business and money. In the start-up ecosystem, Khare believes, learning happens much quicker. “I had no option but to pick up these skills in a short period of time," he says.

“We made few hiring mistakes at Taskbob. In due time, to learn how to hire better and also layoff people is a skill. This is something you need to do to keep a check on your headcount and make sure only the best talent works and grows with you. Balancing work and life and managing stress are also some of things I picked up from my entrepreneurial days. For example, at Taskbob we had to figure out what is the right amount of interaction for personal and professional relationships," adds Khare.

Creating an organizational culture is easier in a start-up, when everyone is invested in the company’s goals. But in jobs too, says Khare, it is possible to find a passionate bunch, work together and find a common drive.

Back to a Job looks at start-up founders who went back to being an employee.

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