Dec 25, 2010

Advantages and Disadvantages of working for a small company/firm

There are certain advantages and disadvantages in working for a small IT company/firm. I have worked in many companies and saw how things roll out there in small companies. Here I am talking in Indian context.

  • Getting attention is easy. If you are highly productive at work then your talent can be easily recognized.
  • Small number of people work in small organization making it easy to know the whole organization easily. You can understand what is happening there and can easily aware of the full business potential of the organization. You will come to know about different department working condition as well. You can get in touch with people in different professions as well.
  • Small organization can bear to have a specialized worker for different different technologies. So you will do the work for a set of technologies. If you think you are a PHP programmer or Server side programmer then you may find yourself working on PHP, MySQL, CSS, HTML and JavaScript. PHP and MySQL is server side work but HTML, CSS and JavaScript is client side work. In the process you are aware of whole software and its working. In big organization PHP people will do PHP work whereas GUI people will do JavaScript, HTML and CSS work. So, for even small change in CSS, you are dependent on someone else because you never get the chance to work on CSS etc in big organization. This is the biggest advantage of working in small organization when you are new to any profession.
  • Riding the ladder to higher post can be faster. In small organization challenge can be less in professional expertize. So, you can show yourself easily and owner can easily recognize you and your talent and reward you easily.
  • Flexibility in rules and regulations. In smaller organizations with small number of people rules can be bent to suit majority of people as majority is also small in number and understand the need and desire of flexibility of group.
  • Getting attention is easy so there is a chance of getting attention in wrong way. Jealous people or political group can find you easily if you are knowledgeable in your work and have potential for success there.
  • Experienced people can find learning new things difficult. In small organization where budget is small, where company is not advanced enough to show its worth to bigger and high risk taker client, in that place challenging work can be minimum for experienced worker. In India where small startup generally do small small work from western countries this is really a truth. At developed places, many small startups are startup which is started up by few very talented group of individuals who want to make their great idea a success. So, there you have better chance to get a technically sound and challenging job to do but not in India.
  • In small organization where number of people working is small in number you may find few people has taken the management for granted. They are the most trusted in the eye of owner group with their political or manipulative clout. In this situation you can either their friend or enemy. If you want to be their friend then do as they wish (wrong or right) otherwise you are the enemy for them. Here thinking I falls in Non aligned group (Non Aligned Movement by India) rarely work.
  • In group of small number of people, your chance of getting like minded people is less then in big companies. It may happen you are working in a small company in north India and all are north Indian from different states whereas you are alone a south Indian. But in large company, it is rare. In MNC, the chance is that you will find different different cultural groups. Now, you will say that in tech companies we need to adjust with different kind of group but can anyone deny that majority at a place can decide many things which does not come in the context of company rules. Therefore if you ask - where to find Idli-Dosha then people may laugh.
  • In smaller firm, learning from other people can be difficult. It depend on you. If you are experienced and smarter than other people there then you may not find a challenge in your working environment. Little bit of challenge in working environment is desired for our career.
  • Small firm can be lead by inexperienced or idiot people who started business for making money. Big firm can also be started by the same kind of people but big firm leader learnt in the path of growth from small firm to larger firm and now he is experienced. In very big firm you are rarely in contact of owner group so who are meeting with you are experienced people who are hired at good salary. Big firm has already shown their talent and work standard therefore you may find difference there compared to smaller organization. Small firms for survival can do various trick which you may not find ideal in good light. It is not that big firms are always clean in every business move. 
Finally, what I suggest is with less than 2-3 years of experience it can be good working for small organization but not after that. As soon as you got around 3 years of experience, just move to bigger, better established organization in India.But don't compromise with working environment and ethical standard you want to follow.