Humans of Locofast: Not Just Another Brick in the Wall
With the explosion of the start-up culture in India, there seems to be a new start-up at every corner, catering to a very niche audience. Many of these fail to even land, let alone sustain and become profitable, and the few that do become successful become significant landmarks in the Indian start-up culture. This success is contingent on many factors, key among them being the founder’s vision, business methods and strategies adopted, funding allocated, volatility of the market, conditions of the sector, dumb luck, and very importantly, the employees.
Dedicated, hardworking, and talented employees can single-handedly propel the company forward with their solution-driven perspective, which allows them to move past any problems and overcome any challenges in the way of growth. Essentially, it is them who makes the company, and them which can break the company, and in this context, Locofast has been lucky to have found many such people who, because of their invaluable contributions, have become inextricably linked to its growth.
One such person is Prateek, an experienced purchasing professional who has exceptional abilities in building internal teams and developing supplier relationships. Having graduated from NIFT in 2016, and with a rich professional background in handling category buying and managing exports, he has recently completed three years working at Locofast.
In order to commemorate his work anniversary at Locofast, the team sat down with him to have a conversation about his experience working at Locofast. Here is how it went:
You recently completed three years working at Locofast. How would you describe your experience?
It is tough to summarize three years' worth of experiences in a few sentences but I would say it has been a great experience overall. With a lot of hard work, learning, teamwork, and fun, working here has been a fairly rewarding experience. The company nurtures its employees, and the support and backing of the managers makes you want to do better and raise the bar even more. I can definitely say that working here has definitely set me on a path to success, both in terms of the growth opportunities and financial upscaling available to me in future.
Given that it is a start-up, can you reflect on your personal and professional growth in the three years that you have worked here?
Of course. I think the company has had a great impact in shaping and grooming me professionally. Because of my work, I was fortunate enough to be able to get a great insight into the production and procurement processes of various fabrics, which will certainly benefit me in the long run. The autonomy that I have here has made it possible for me to develop a problem-solving, solution-oriented approach to work. I have also become more proactive in my work. Personally, I have noticed that I have become much calmer, which in turn has allowed me to focus more on my hobbies — including playing badminton, snooker & video games, and learning & reading about things like AI and renewable energy — that add meaning and value to my life.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I usually begin the day by setting up morning calls with our team members in order to determine our daily execution targets. Then we usually have a round of liaising with suppliers and internal teams to get updates on deliveries to customers. Sometimes we also visit mills to speed up the current production process and to get proper costing for products in order to optimize our margins.
You have been part of the team since its inception. What was it that sold you on the role?
I think the deciding factor that initially sold me to the company was the founder’s vision. And once I started working here, the working culture further assured me that I had made the right choice. The company promotes self-learning, and you have the opportunity to execute assigned tasks as you see fit, which is something I had little experience with before. My learnings in the first few months, along with the motivation I got from my teammates, further cemented my decision to continue working here.
What do you imagine your future career trajectory to look like?
For me, my future career trajectory involves vertical growth for me as we continue with our aim of increasing Locofast’s reach and orders. Currently, we are looking to step into and cater to international markets, as well as increase our processed fabrics market. I think my contributions to this goal will translate into professional growth for me.