Discussing entrepreneurship with Shrad Rao – Fostering a culture of resiliency

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We recently had the chance to chat with Shrad Rao, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagepoint, a small business payroll software company that processes more than $3 billion in annualized payroll for more than 13,500 small businesses across North America. In September 2020, the fast-growing company, founded in Nova Scotia in 2012, attracted $10 million in new capital to help propel them to the next phase of their growth. 

Shrad’s business acumen is rooted in his collectivist “eastern philosophy.” For Shrad, business is not centred around the individual, it’s based on community — which includes the company itself, their employees, partners, and the bookkeepers, accountants, and small business customers that they serve. His collectivist vision has driven Shrad to build Wagepoint into what he calls “the kind of company I’ve always wanted to work at” — and this approach clearly trickles down. Wagepoint is known for both its user-friendly payroll software and for being the world’s friendliest team! 

Shrad’s leadership style has been on full display throughout the pandemic. As the economy struggled and concern for employment set in around the country, Shrad was quick to provide what he calls “psychological safety” for his team of over 70 fully remote employees. This meant reassuring all staff that Wagepoint would do everything in its power to keep their whole team employed. Under his leadership, the company has not only stabilized but has grown during the pandemic, hiring 20 new staff. Shrad has encouraged his team to check in on each other regularly and to find creative ways to support one another, fostering a culture of genuine friendship and resiliency.

In this podcast, Shrad discussed what kind of leadership style he displayed during the pandemic and what are the fundamental principles one can adapt to keep a collectivist vision in these ever-changing times.