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How India's Unicorns Can Overcome Talent Shortages And Stay On Track To Achieve Release Goals
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How India's Unicorns Can Overcome Talent Shortages And Stay On Track To Achieve Release Goals

Amidst the economic gloom due to the pandemic, India added 21 new unicorns within seven months of 2021, taking the tally of unicorns to well over 50.

With freshly raised funds, soaring ambitions, a clear vision, and robust expansion and growth strategies in place, unicorns are looking for skilled talent to help them achieve their goals.

According to an InnoVenCapital survey, 72% of founders confirmed that there would be an increase in recruitment. However, 52% of the founders also mentioned that hiring the right talent is their biggest challenge.

There’s a massive talent shortage due to which even unicorns are finding it hard to implement their plans.

Let’s look at what’s stopping the unicorns from getting the best talent onboard and how they can solve this problem.

How Resource Augmentation Can Solve The Talent Shortage Issue

Despite having a large talent pool, India currently has only 12% of digitally skilled professions. Only 5% of the engineers can code correctly. Given that unicorns are technology-driven, India will need 9x more digitally skilled professionals by 2025. There is an urgent need to close the digital gap. While future-skilling the existing workforce and establishing a culture of continuous learning is essential, the need of the hour is to get skilled professionals who can start executing plans with minimal guidance. They need professionals with the latest know-how in emerging technologies like AI and IoT and who can use that knowledge to achieve stretched release goals. That’s where resource augmentation can help.

Resource augmentation is not a new concept in the IT industry. It is a popular strategy where companies add skilled talent on a contractual basis to complete specific projects. As the name suggests, these resources support the existing workforce in completing the projects on time. The contractual workforce doesn't replace the existing ones.

Resource augmentation helps unicorns with:

Executing the project quickly

For a unicorn, time is money. They cannot afford to spend months looking for the right talent. They need to accelerate their go-to-market strategies and implement them quickly to gain a competitive advantage. The contractual staff comes with a readymade skillset and prior experience in working on similar projects. Hence, they can directly start working on the project and support the existing workforce with minimal handholding. They can also act as additional helping hands to help the existing workforce to meet the deadline. As these resources have worked on similar projects before, they can also bring fresh, innovative ideas to improve the outcome. This is especially valuable when the product is undergoing a transformation by folding in new capabilities like analytics, AI, etc. Another advantage of resource augmentation is that unicorns don’t have to bother about hiring formalities. The resource augmentation partner would look after the end-to-end process.

Bridge the skills gap

When it comes to cutting-edge technologies, often the existing workforce won’t have the required skillsets to meet aggressive release goals. Unicorns may need resources with specialized skillsets to work on such projects. At the same time, they would also want their existing workforce to work on the project as they know how the product functions and business processes better than others. Resource augmentation helps the unicorns to bridge the skills gap and ensure business continuity. The contractual staff works as an extension of the existing workforce to meet the project demands efficiently and within a stipulated time.

Scaling based on needs

In the earlier days of the Indian IT industry, 30% of the workforce would be on the bench, and 70% of them were utilized. These resources would be without a project for as long as six months. However, those days are at an end. Today, IT giants and unicorns prefer to work with a contractual workforce that can be scaled up or down based on the project needs. Resource augmentation companies offer the flexibility to add or reduce resources depending upon how the project progresses. Resource augmentation also prevents unicorns from having to lay off resources once the project ends. It enables the unicorns to save on overhead expenses and avoid a bad reputation due to massive layoffs.

Optimizing costs

A unicorn is at a fast growth phase and has several projects vying for budgetary support. While there’s cash aplenty in the system, there are just as many claimants. That’s why there’s always the need to spend smartly and control expenditure as much as possible. Hiring and training resources are cost-intensive activities. Hiring a Python developer, for instance, could cost anywhere from Rs 4 lakhs to Rs 10 lakhs per annum, depending upon their experience, skills, and job location. Add to that the additional fixed costs such as employee benefits and training. Through resource augmentation, unicorns will be able to save on these additional costs. Unicorns can also save more money if the staff is working remotely or if the location they work in offers special tax benefits.


Resource augmentation could be a great solution for unicorns to get started with their growth journey. However, it’s important to partner with the right resource augmentation company. The company must have the right amount of experience and should be able to understand the business needs and support the unicorn in achieving their goals. Here are a few things that unicorns must remember while working with the resource augmentation company.

  • The company must have experience working with other similar companies in that industry. This will help the teams to get started on the project quickly.
  • The company should have received good reviews from their customers. A thorough peer review and online review could help.
  • Ensure that the company is flexible and scalable to meet the project demands.
  • Ensure that all the temporary resources understand the project requirement and company values and are inducted within the team properly.
  • Improve their onboarding experience and introduce them to the existing staff to ensure hassle-free project completion.