MANAGEMENT MANTRA - “Lead By Example” - Manikanth Challa, Founder & CEO, Workruit

Manikanth Challa’s early experience in US startups helped shape his entrepreneurial journey. It was this rich experience that nudged Mr Challa to set up Workruit, an AI-powered recruitment platform. He has designed Workruit with a unique, dating app-like interface.

Workruit transforms talent acquisition and job hunting by employing a swipe-to-match mechanism, gaining widespread recognition for its effectiveness.

The concept has rippled across India, with governments exploring its integration into their digital employment platforms. The Telangana government, in fact, has already partnered with Workruit, giving rise to the Digital Employment Exchange of Telangana.

Before Workruit, Mr Challa honed his skills in various startups, providing him with a comprehensive understanding of their visions. He pursued Information Science Technology at Pennsylvania State University with a minor in theatre, fostering a practical approach to life.

Mr Challa attributes his success to patience, focus and a profound love for his work. The founder and CEO particularly stands out for his exceptional concentration skills and professional respect, complemented by a creative perspective derived from his design background. All these attributes have helped him in enhancing his decision-making process.

Honoured with accolades like the BW Businessworld Young Entrepreneur Award 2020, Mr Challa emphasises on the importance of passion and determination in achieving goals. His story illustrates that staying true to one’s convictions leads to success. In a competitive landscape, Mr Challa remains a beacon of innovation and determination, shaping the future of recruitment platforms and inspiring aspiring entrepreneurs.

Sharmila Chand catches up with the Workruit chief to know more about Mr Challa and how he operates. After an interesting conversation with the successful entrepreneur, Ms Chand is impressed with his thought-provoking and result-oriented management principles and practices.  


What are your five management mantras?

·       Clear Communication: Communication is the key for successful management.

·       Lead By Example: Set the standard by demonstrating integrity and a strong work ethic.

·       Empower And Delegate: Empower your team, and delegate tasks effectively for productivity and growth.

·       Continuous Learning: Stay adaptable by embracing continuous learning and growth.

·       Focus On Results: Prioritise outcomes over activities for meaningful impact.


Do you play any game that helps your career?

I enjoy playing badminton, squash and swimming. These sports are fast paced, and they thrive in being active every second and provide stress relief and rejuvenation. I love watching cricket as a sport. It teaches me resilience, teamwork and sharp decision-making, essential skills in both sports and business. Beyond that, cricket provides stress relief and rejuvenation, helping me stay focused and energised for work challenges.


How do you de-stress?

Workout is definitely a stress-buster. Alongside, I enjoy watching sit-coms and thrillers which have a continuous story. It offers a break from the routine of work, allowing me to focus on the present moment and immerse myself fully in the activity. I love travelling as well.


Would you share with us the turning point in your career?

The turning point in my professional career was when I had the experience working as a head of product for a few product-based startups in New York. This was early in my career after graduation when I was building consumer-driven applications in fintech and social networking sectors. This experience has given me huge confidence in believing that any problem can be solved with a focused approach and a vision towards keeping things simple yet able to solve and make users’ journey seamless. This experience led me into pursing my entrepreneurial journey and having faith and belief in starting my own venture.


What is the secret of your success?

It’s simple: Relentless dedication, continuous learning and a fearless attitude towards challenges. I embrace failure as a stepping stone, take calculated risks and never lose sight of my goals.


What is your philosophy of work?

My philosophy of work is to have passion in what you do. Passion drives a human into achieving greater things with a clear line of thought and focus. Love the work that you do, and enjoy the ride, irrespective of failures and successes, and believe in the process.


Is there any particular person you admire who has inspired you?

Ever since I was in college in Penn State, one of the people I have followed and admired was Mark Zuckerberg for his relentless pursuit in making people’s life easy and overcoming obstacles and challenges over his professional life. Despite the controversies, his passion towards connecting people and the impact it had created on digital world has reshaped innovation.


What is your fitness regime?

I hit the gym daily, focusing on a combination of strength training and cardio exercises to maintain overall fitness and strength. Additionally, I make it a point to engage in one sport per week, whether it’s tennis, basketball or soccer to keep things fun and varied while also improving agility and coordination. Alongside regular exercise, I prioritise a healthy diet, emphasising whole foods, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables to fuel my body and support my fitness goals. This holistic approach to fitness ensures that I stay physically active, mentally refreshed and energised to tackle the demands of daily life.


Would you share with us five business mantras for success?

·       Stay Flexible: In business, change is constant. Being open-minded and adaptable helps us overcome challenges and seize new opportunities.

·       Put People First: Our customers are more than transactions; they’re individuals with needs and emotions. Prioritising their satisfaction builds trust and loyalty.

·       Build Supportive Communities: Our success relies on the people around us. Creating a culture of respect and collaboration empowers everyone to do their best work.

·       Think Creatively: Innovation drives progress. By embracing creativity and taking risks, we find new solutions to challenges and stay ahead of the curve.

·       Manage Finances Wisely: Smart financial decisions ensure stability and growth. By controlling expenses and making strategic investments, we secure the future of our business.

These mantras remind us that success in business isn’t just about numbers and profits. It’s about people, adaptability, creativity and more!

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