Cajobportal.com - Recruitment Website Exclusively For CA, CS, CWA and MBA (Finance)
'We want to secure 5X growth in size of database through advertisement and ‘word of mouth’ – uniqueness of profiles is a key source of competitive advantage.'
Sonia Singal started Cajobportal.com in August 2013 as India’s first jobsite exclusively for Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants, Company Secretary and MBA (Finance).
BW Disrupt interacts with Cajobportal's Founder Sonia Singal.
What was the idea behind starting this venture?
My husband Anurag discovered the gap between candidates and finance job vacancies while he taught CA students for ICAI at GMCS classes. On an average, about 6000 candidates have registered in each of the last 15 terms; and 1130 jobs have been offered each term. Thus, around 18.64% have secured jobs through the ICAI Campus Placement. While some lacked communication skills, the others took multiple attempts to crack the ICAI’s placement test. And not forgetting the age-old method of relying on friends and relatives to channelise resumes.
All this inspired me to start the cajobportal.com, in August 2013, as India’s first jobsite exclusively for Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants, Company Secretary and MBA (Finance).
While I accompanied my husband to the IIM Ahmedabad campus in April 2014 for his MBA course, we both realised that a CSR mode was not sustainable. Our model was replicable and could get lost in the overcrowded recruitment space. There were no entry barriers and users perceived little differentiation amongst the various portals.
We were encouraged by the IIM faculty and senior CA professionals to convert our blog into a full- fledged recruitment portal. Hence, we decided to go commercial. Senior Chartered Accountants and IIMA alums including the co-founder and former COO of naukri.com, agreed to join our Advisory Board. We approached corporates for B2B tie-ups, bundling the value proposition of an online platform and offline search consultant, hitherto regarded as just a postman of CVs.
When it comes to recruitment of Finance Human Capital, notwithstanding the abundance of job-seekers, the ‘right fitment’ is often a key challenge. Through our start up, we took commoditization in the finance human capital space head-on, adding value through segmentation and customisation.
Tell us about the growth of the company since its inception?
We have the following segments:
1. Featured Jobs - Work on finance positions on a % of CTC based 'success fee' model.
2. Career Site and PSU Jobs disseminate information on jobs where candidates can apply themselves
3. Third Party Listing where employer can post jobs
Today, we are trusted by 100+ marquee brands spanning India, Singapore, Middle East and Africa. These include the top 50% of BSE-30 companies. E.g. HUL, P&G, Asian Paints, Pepsi, Cipla, Roche, Wipro, HDFC, GS, Suhain Bhawan, Indorama.
In the last 18 months, we have clocked aggregate Billable CTC of INR 10 crores+ across clients (average CTC ranging from Rs 5 lakh p.a. to Rs 40 lakh p.a.)
For CY 2016, we clocked a website traffic of 100,000+ Users generating 1 mn+ pageviews (Source- Google Analytics)
Did you face any challenges when your started this company?
a) Yes, for instance, naukri.com, iimjobs.com and linkedin.com – offer Internet resume databases and job postings for free/ nominal fee. This results in clients trying to close positions themselves and thus you cannot expect a client to pay for any ‘low-hanging fruits’. From consultants, they seek often ‘plug and play’ profiles. Expectations set in a typical mandate are Male CA, May 2007 Batch, Rank-holder, having factory experience as well as sales commercial exposure in MNC FMCG/FMCD, Excellent Communication Skills, Willing to be posted in Mumbai within target CTC of INR 32 lacs p.a.
It becomes quite difficult to source such candidates and even if they agree, they are often retained by existing employer, who matches the hike offered by our clients
b) Competition from well entrenched recruitment consultants, who also resort to unethical practices to secure business
Please tell us about your achievements.
Recently we were shortlisted as amongst the 10 startups selected by Calcutta Angels to showcase our credentials through a stall at Startup East, the largest startup in East India.
Tell us about your future plans?
We want to secure 5X growth in size of database through advertisement and ‘word of mouth’ – uniqueness of profiles is a key source of competitive advantage. Increasing domestic client base by 2X. Client acquisition and local liaising abroad through Affiliate Relationships. Leapfrogging into the CFO mandates – Higher Ticket Size and often exclusive/limited mandates. Exploring avenues of an Elance-like online marketplace for short term assignments for finance professionals and practicing CA firms. Technical features like Video Profiling, Machine Learning Algorithms, etc. to add value in online posting. 5 female members who all operate under' Work from Home' arrangement. All of them log into their systems together at 9.30 AM and work until 6.30 PM. Aided by software utilities such as Basecamp for project management, Hub Staff for employee time tracking, we have zero comprise on efficiency. We clock INR 3 million in revenues, servicing the recruitment needs of clients spanning sectors and continents, covering 50% of BSE-30 listed companies. Sometimes when I am on a call with my clients and my daughter calls out for me, of course, they hear her voice and ask me, ‘Are you working from home or have you brought your daughter to work?’ It leaves them wondering because they never realised a stay-at-home-mom was running the organisation.
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