Akraya’s mission combines realizing potential while fulfilling purpose
When Amar Panchal and Sonu Ratra founded Akraya in 2001, they sought to create a place where employees could realize their potential while helping others accomplish their goals. Originally headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, though, Akraya had an uphill battle matching the lavish perks offered by the nearby (and numerous) VC-funded startups. However, the company’s unique commitment to giving employees a sense of purpose, professional autonomy and mastery in their field lands Akraya on Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2018 Best Staffing Firms to Work For list.
Akraya employees, known as Akrayans, will tell you their purpose is simple: Deliver three times karma. This is not a simple website tagline or quote on their wall, but a daily mission statement for Akrayans at every level. It means enabling clients to create revolutionary products, inspiring candidates to pursue their dreams, while empowering Akrayans to realize their potential.
“We might be successful, but we want everyone else to be successful as well,” says Krista Davalos, finance manager. “We want everybody to be a part of something great.”
Part of Akraya’s success can be credited to the extreme trust and transparency between management and staff. For Panchal, co-founder and CEO, autonomy is a no-brainer when you’re hiring Akraya caliber talent.
“Anybody talented that we want to hire will also have a sense of responsibility for their own job. They don’t want an environment where someone is constantly looking over their shoulder,” Panchal said.
Akraya places special emphasis on both professional and personal development. A current initiative called Scaling Up invests in building the next generation of leadership in the company, giving employees the tools and training to reach the next level as leaders.
Davalos, who takes part in Scaling Up, is also going back to school to finish her degree with the company’s full support behind her.
“Amar actually said he would be my accountability partner, to help me stick with it and get the grades I need. He’s a great cheerleader and a great motivator, and you can’t help but want to do your best at Akraya,” Davalos says.
Akraya offers some nice, atypical perks as well. One Monday morning, after speaking with an employee who was exhausted from a weekend of cleaning, Panchal had a light bulb moment.
“Every two weeks we have a cleaning service that goes to our employees’ homes and cleans the home. I don’t know of any other company that has it,” says Panchal.
At the end of the day, however, it’s the Akrayan culture that makes this company such a positive place to work.
“It speaks volumes that I enjoy coming to work every single day because I get to work with the most amazing, energetic, positive people. It’s not just Amar — across the board, everyone’s wonderful. If you’re having a bad day, there are five people around you bringing you back up,” Davalos says.