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HelpingDoc Closed Start Up Lessons

HelpingDoc : The first company I joined

I still remember the day I was in an interview with the business head of ‘an expected to prosper’ company – HelpingDoc. It was only the 3rd interview of my professional life and I could not dichotomize sheer corporate expectation from prudence at that time. I was impressed with the fancy talks of that marketing-experienced person. HelpingDoc offered me a job; I refused other offers and joined it because the location was nearest, and the company seemed promising. (Only after three months, I scoffed my decision!) It has raised the first round of funding by that time.

Closure of HelpingDoc

HelpingDoc, the company I joined in April 2015, today stands permanently closed. It has shut down telling its employees that no more funds are available! All this happened just after I resigned from HelpingDoc back in October 2015. By that time, thanks to our vice president, I had enough knowledge of how the start-ups work and stand. I can list my assumptions about all the episodes. Today, I am in a position to comment about the downfall of a could-be-great start-up. Moreover, I hope all the points below would relate to all the start-ups that face closure.

Lessons for Start-ups from HelpingDoc

Coastal CEO: To announce a start-up has become the easiest task today. However, to raise funds and manage the company is not that easier. It requires the founder to stay close to the organization and its employees. In the case of HelpingDoc, it was missing. As far as I could see, our CEO came once or twice in a month or two. The only communication he had with the team was (during my tenure of 6 months) back in August. (However, he came for the last communication when it came to letting them know about the decision of shutting down. My old friends told me.) My business sense (or even the team-spirit) says that no team can work without the presence of the captain. A captain has to act a captain; you cannot leave it to the vice-captain! CEO has to communicate with his/her employees directly. Only a direct and regular communication can make the long and short-term goals of the company come to reality. A coastal CEO cannot lead the company effectively. (And who knows what goes on in the absence!)

Human Resources hiring: I must say they lacked here! If a new company has to emerge and compete with the established ones, human resources play an important part. However, HelpingDoc could not pass this litmus test. It accelerated the hirings in sales representatives (though there were few who could stay more than 3-4 months). Some of the core employees, who were responsible for the backend processes, at least I think, were the waste of company funds! Those highly over-rated employees, who knew not even the abcd of their field, were being funded with warm pockets. The worst part was, no one could raise the voice against it!

Double standard policies: It goes straight to single person I would not like to mention directly! According to him, ‘your native location and your academic institution matter a lot when it comes of getting a job’. Honestly, I was surprised to listen to such a tone from the second most important person of the company! Did he really say it? This was the thought that came into my mind. Moreover, he was very liberal to some of the employees (only two, in fact) and let them have the liberty to ‘work from home’. Others, even if in the case of emergencies, asked for such privilege, ‘our company has no such policies as work from home’ was the reply! It undoubtedly created frustration in the mind of employees. According to Someone great, make your employees happy, your customers will be happier! And unfortunately, HelpingDoc, only because of one person, lacked this clarity of policies!

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HelpingDoc closed quote
Richard Branson Says it!

The dilemma of the employees: Before that scenario changing person joined HelpingDoc, it was all about everyone just going around and coming back. The company lacked vision. When the VP joined, he enforced a kind of clarity in the core employees. They began working to achieve something. They achieved, most wonderfully! However, I think this achievement did not suit some people. As soon as the project was finished, most of the core members of the company were shown the doors. It created a dilemma in the employees about their future. (And they were right, unfortunately!) Again, if the company cannot make its vision clear, its decisions explained to the people, less are the chances it will grow. The same happened.

This is my simple observation about the company HelpingDoc. If it offends someone, I apologize. However, I have the right to put forth my opinion.


Alok Mishra

First and foremost a poet, Alok Mishra is an author next. Apart from these credentials, he is founder & Editor-in-Chief of Ashvamegh, an international literary magazine and also the founder of BookBoys PR, a company which helps writers brand themselves and promote their books. On this blog, Alok mostly writes about literary topics which are helpful for literature students and their teachers. He also shares his poems; personal thoughts and book reviews.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I worked here for a month and called it quits. The atmosphere was suffocating. The CEO was an uncouth c***&^%king m&*^%rf*&r. And a $#$^^& called (name hidden) I couldn’t stand. Rot in hell you ^%$&mb&gs!!

    1. Hi Manu,
      you must have been left much before I joined the startup. You are right in your observations but still, let them be what they were. No use abusing them! All gone buddy! Enjoy and work for some better cause. All the best!

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