Never Grow Up: Keeping employees happy, productive | SupportBiz

Human Resources

Never Grow Up: Keeping employees happy, productive

Never Grow Up is an ‘employee engagement company’ that works with the HR department of a firm to keep employees motivated, happy and productive. The brainchild of Asif and Shazia Upadhye, Never Grow Up is based in Mumbai, but offers services across several cities in India such as Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The start-up, founded in January 2010, was a nominee for the top three Professional Service Businesses of 2011 award category, at the Small Business Awards by Zee Business and Franchise India, and has been featured among the 100 Top Small Businesses of 2011 list in the Small and Medium Entrepreneur Magazine, according to the company.  

SupportBiz spoke to Asif Upadhye about his unique business and more.

Tell us about the background of the founders...

After a Masters’ in advertising and communications, I worked in several prestigious organisations like HDFC, HSBC and Barclays across India, in various departments like marketing, communications and product management, before starting Never Grow Up.

Shazia is a practicing dentist. Presently, she is the chief advisor at Never Grow Up.

How did Never Grow Up come about?

The inspiration for Never Grow Up came from personal experiences on the corporate front.  and by listening to problems that employees normally face in an organization. This led to a need-gap analysis of what customers and clients can do to create the right culture and an engaged taskforce at work. That is how Never Grow Up came about.

Tell us about the initial investment needed to fund the venture.

The initial investment came from personal savings, and our start-up capital was around Rs. 4 lakhs. Since the launch, we have invested regularly in the business from the revenue generated.

What are your major offerings?

Our offerings range from idea consultancy, workshops, internal communications and employer branding services to quirky merchandise. We also build reward programs and help organizations redesign their workspace, that is cubicles/offices, to make work more fun.

In July 2012, we also launched Yellow Seed, a content development and writing services company to help our clients in marketing services and media with (an emphasis on) original content.

What is your business model?

Monetization comes in either through a retainer and/or an ideation & creative fee for the project at hand, depending on the needs of the client. We act as partners to CEOs, HR heads and business leads.

What is your USP?

Our USP is our innovative and customized approach to problem-solving while addressing human capital issues. We feel that our work not only has a positive impact on the lives of people caught in their stressful nine-to-six schedules, but also has a positive impact on the bottom-line, making this a profitable win-win proposition for both the company and the employee.    

How big is your team?

Seven members, at present.

How has the response from corporates been?

The response and feedback has been overwhelming. Our clients include organizations in the retail, manufacturing, banking and financial services, media, FMCG and IT services spaces.

What are the major challenges you face?

Being an idea-led start-up in the service space, the challenges were immense, especially since this was a one-of-its-kind business idea. Most of our learning was through trial-and-error, but they have really helped us fine-tune our services. Our major challenges are unlearning, evaluating core ideas and, more importantly, convincing clients about the services we had in mind.

What trends do you anticipate in the near future?    

We anticipate that more and more companies will give importance to employee engagement services within their organization and invest in their employees through various initiatives.