Here at PieWorks, we've had the privilege of working with some of the most innovative startups in India. We've seen firsthand that a company's success hinges not just on an innovative product or service, but also on the people who bring those innovations to life. Today, we're diving deep into the hiring strategy of one of India's youngest and fastest-growing startups, CRED.
In the dynamic world of startups, the key to long-term success often lies in the collective strength and capabilities of the team. A prime example of an organization that has mastered the art of effective team building is CRED, an Indian fintech startup that has witnessed a meteoric rise since its inception in 2018. In this comprehensive article, we delve into how CRED has successfully orchestrated its recruitment strategy to build a robust team, which has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth. This detailed case study aims to provide startups worldwide with valuable insights into how a strategic approach to recruitment can lay a solid foundation for success.
CRED: An Overview
CRED, a Bangalore-based fintech startup, has emerged as a game-changer in the industry. The company has carved a niche for itself with its unique product—an app that incentivizes customers for timely credit card bill payments. But the offerings do not stop there. The app also provides users with access to a host of additional services such as credit facilities and a premium catalog of products from high-end brands.
By 2021, the startup had achieved a staggering valuation of $2.2 billion and amassed a customer base of over 6 million. This equates to a significant 22% of all credit card holders and 35% of premium credit card holders in India, signaling CRED's profound impact on the country's fintech landscape
Behind the Scenes: The Team
Behind this successful venture is a high-performing team that has been carefully selected and nurtured. A pivotal part of CRED's team is its data science division, responsible for creating and managing the product's unique features.
The data science team is engaged in developing sophisticated models for a range of tasks, including information extraction and classification, personalization, forecasting and anomaly detection, fraud, and abuse detection, and loan underwriting
The Hiring Strategy at CRED
What really sets CRED apart, though, is its recruitment strategy. The Bangalore-based startup follows a hybrid structure, a central pod that develops horizontal solutions and capabilities alongside other team members aligned to specific business lines. It is currently expanding its data science team and uses a mix of behavioral, skill-based, and situational interview styles to assess candidates.
At PieWorks, we've always emphasized the importance of aligning recruitment strategies with a company's values. CRED does this exceptionally well, seeking candidates that demonstrate obsession, curiosity, and the ability to solve problems elegantly. This careful selection process ensures that the team is composed of passionate, innovative, and highly competent individuals that align with CRED's values and goals.
CRED's Work Culture
CRED’s attractive work culture significantly influences its ability to draw potential hires and retain talent. The company fosters an environment of trust, embodied in policies and initiatives such as Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) for all team members, flexible work hours, an open leave policy, and an encouraging attitude toward side hustles. The leadership team at CRED serves more as mentors than micromanagers, guiding their teams through Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and regular discussions
Perks and Benefits
One of the distinguishing features of CRED's work culture is its unique perks and benefits. The company offers a program called CRED BeniFlex, which allows employees to customize their insurance plans according to their needs. Other benefits include advance salary payments, professional development credits, access to insights from industry experts, and mental wellness resources. These benefits serve as powerful tools for attracting and retaining high-quality talent.
CRED's Growth and Future Prospects
Despite its relatively young age, CRED has become one of the most talked-about startups in India due to the pace at which it has raised capital, its rapidly growing valuation, and its selective approach to customer acquisition. CRED's customer focus is highly specific—it caters to the most premium audiences, a strategy that distinguishes it from most other startups in the country.
As it stands, CRED plans to use the new funding to scale several of its revenue channels and engage in more experimentation. The company's vision extends beyond its current scope. As articulated by founder and CEO Kunal Shah, the startup intends to become the go-to platform for affluent customers in India, with its offerings extending beyond financial services. The startup's e-commerce service has been growing rapidly due to the high ticket size of each transaction and the appealing curation of items.
As a recruitment agency, we at PieWorks understand the power of a strong team. CRED's journey so far offers valuable insights into the role of strategic recruitment in building a successful startup. The lessons gleaned from CRED's approach to recruitment and team building can serve as a blueprint for other startups looking to carve out a successful path in their respective industries.
This case study of CRED's recruitment strategy underscores the importance of not just hiring the right talent, but also nurturing and retaining that talent through a conducive work environment and compelling benefits. As the company continues to scale and evolve, it will be interesting to see how its approach to team building evolves and contributes to its ongoing success.
To emulate such success reach out to us, as we guide you through the best hiring practices for your startup.