Working for a big company versus working for a startup

My entire working life has been spent working in startups - my brief stint at Suma Computers, followed by Effigent, then Grene and now NephroPlus. When I was in Effigent, I visited the Infosys campus in Hyderabad. I was so amazed. The whole place had this college campus-like feel to it -huge grounds, large food courts, gyms, a beautiful swimming pool. I was truly mesmerized.

Infosys, Mysore

I promised myself that if I ever I decided to leave Effigent, I would come and work in this company. Obviously that never happened.

A few days back, I visited Max Hospital in Patpargunj, Delhi. My colleague Rahul and I walked down to the cafeteria to grab some coffee. I felt the same buzz there as well. Of course, the campus was much less ambitious than the Infosys campus but that whole feeling of being part of a huge community had something about it.

This reminded me of my school days. HPS was very similar. A gigantic campus with a lot of people trooping in every morning, going about their day and then going back. People congregating in a dining area at lunch-time, chatting away about myriad things.

Granted, there are many advantages while working in a startup for sure. No denying that. The growth that you can get in a startup, the amount of learning that happens, the feeling of being a part of an entity right from the start are all unique to the startup experience. Also, things are much less bureaucratic in a startup. In a large company, everything must move according to the rules and this can, at times, be frustrating. Processes and protocols triumph over all else. Startups, on the other hand, offer more flexibility at work.

I guess the thing I miss the most is being a part of a large community. For example, nothing can beat what Infoscions feel when they are watching a movie at the large open-air auditorium with hundreds of others right in the middle of their campus!

Am I romanticizing this a bit too much? My friends at Infy probably do not connect with this at all! I am not sure. They are all so busy working, putting in long hours, working on weekends, that they often say they have no time to enjoy the campus and the life it offers. This is quite an irony.