Internshala was started as a wordpress blog in the year 2010 by the founder Sarvesh Agarwal, an IIT Madras Alumnus. From there, it kept evolving and has now become India’s biggest (and favourite) platform for internships. Furthermore, the platform is widely used by students and freshers to find suitable internships. From startups and small companies to large corporations – thousands of organisations hire interns from Internshala. So, what is the secret sauce behind Internshala’s efficient system? Most important, who are the people behind it and how do they roll? Let’s take you into company’s office and acquaint you with the work culture.
Internshala’s Initial Days
Sarvesh Agrawal, an IIT Madras alumnus, started Internshala as a WordPress blog in 2010 and over past 6 years, it has become world’s largest internship platform (Source: Alexa). For the initial 2 years, he was the only full-time employee, operating out of his study room in Gurgaon and had a team of virtual interns. Gradually, as the business grew, many interns converted their internships to full-time roles. Today, over 60% of Internshala’s permanent team members had started as interns first. Building a team with the help of interns did wonders to the work culture.
At Internshala, we are building a culture of meaningful internships and thus give interns end-to-end responsibility to handle projects and initiatives.
– Sarvesh Agarwal, Founder
Unique Work Culture at Internshala
The team at Internshala has focused (and invested) in building a great culture more than the business from Day 1. Kavya Nair from Internshala says “We are proud of the fact that we are among the handful of organisations which have actually understood that culture represents the team and is not something which is just stuck on the walls. Most organisations misinterpret work culture and relate it to swanky offices, cool decor, monthly parties, and other perks. Our work is driven by the culture and we follow it every day. In fact, the platform and the team as a whole are the results of our culture.”
The Internshala 10 Point “Culture Code”
In 2015, over many brainstorming sessions, the team came up with a Culture Code. It consists of 10 commandments of work culture at Internshala. Every new intern & employee is expected to follow this. This code governs most of Internshala work culture & values.
As Kavya puts it, these 10 values have helped Internshala in many ways: from making difficult business decisions to hiring a new intern. They also organise monthly culture sessions which act as a platform to celebrate and have conversations around the company’s culture and values.
Fun Events & Epic Trips
The team at Internshala keeps organising unique events. Kavya shared one such interesting event that they had. The session’s theme was ‘Dream Big’ (the first value in their culture code) and each team had to design a Newspaper headline featuring the company in 2020. You can catch a glimpse of that event below
Each of their culture session is followed by an open house session where the team leaders share monthly business updates and the team members ask questions and bounce ideas. Kavya says “It is essential that there is an open communication across the team, feedback can be shared, and the scope of professional development is discussed – one-on-one meetings are conducted for this exact reason at Internshala. Furthermore, achieving monthly goals are celebrated with shout-outs, jamming, and snacks. A ritual which we never miss is the yearly team trip. Also, every year, on Internshala’s anniversary, the entire team heads out for a couple of days of fun.”
Words from the CEO About How he Finds the Right Team
We spoke to the CEO about the criteria that he follows while hiring new people. Here’s what he thinks:
“Other than the skills (which is a must), I look for 3 factors: an example of hard work, a genuine excitement to work with Internshala, and humility. Working in a startup requires a lot of groundwork and I look for instances when the candidate has displayed persistence, worked hard at some point in their life, and are open to feedback.”
– Sarvesh Agarwal, CEO
CEO Speaks About the Work Culture
When asked about how he feels about the work culture at Internshala, here’s what he says:
“Once I am inside the office, I feel as if I am at the NASA space station. You are surrounded by some of the smartest and most passionate people, together on an exciting mission, and in an environment where you feel free – not just creative freedom but freedom to be yourself. What you wear, how you look, what designation you are at etc. do not count – only ideas, dreaming big and making it happen, seeking truth and relentless pursuit of excellence matter.”
– Sarvesh Agarwal, CEO