Wisdomjobs.com Forsees A Future Where Skill Assessment Will be An Essential Part of Job Portal Services
Wisdom Jobs has been a 100% bootstrapped venture so far. We turned profitable in our second year of operations, and have been reinvesting our profits to meet our operational and marketing costs.
Ajay Kolla is the Founder & CEO of Wisdom IT Services – a boutique firm that provides IT consulting, product development, resource management and a host of complementary services. The job portal, wisdomjobs.com is active in 13 countries including India, US, UK, and Canada. An Electrical Engineer by training, Ajay built a 200-people strong company from scratch in less than 3 years. Under his leadership, Wisdom IT Services is poised to become the #1 HR solutions company in India.
BWDisrupt interacts with Mr. Ajay Kolla about his success story and his business perspective about the Indian Startup Ecosystem.
1. You have been a multi-industry entrepreneur, how has your journey been till now?
A: Wisdomjobs.com has consistently endeavored to offer wide spectrum, end-to-end recruitment solutions to its customers. Starting with a job portal and recruitment consulting, we have expanded our bouquet of services to include candidate assessment and engagement platforms and tools as well as custom sourcing solutions for start-ups.
This has helped us in establishing a foothold in a highly competitive industry with several big players. The journey so far has been highly enriching and full of learning on a day-to-day basis.
2. As the CEO & Founder of Wisdom Jobs, what goal do you have in mind and how are they in line with the company’s vision?
A: The goal - and vision – is to simplify hiring by revolutionizing the way job seekers and employers use a job portal to find each other. I foresee a future where skill assessments will be an essential part of job portals services.
3. What are the monetization models you have experimented with?
A: We work with several monetization models covering employers and job seekers, both.
These include Resume Database access, Job Posting services, Premium job listings, Candidate Assessment and engagement solutions, End-to-end recruitment solutions, Placement services, Branding and advertising solutions on our website, Affiliate advertising, and Resume writing services.
4. Please tell us about the challenges you faced while launching Wisdom Jobs and how did you overcome it?
A: Wisdom Jobs had to take on established brands in the industry such as Naukri, Monster etc. right from day one. Creating a unique space for ourselves in the minds of both job seekers and employers was the primary challenge. Also, not being based out of a traditional business centre such as Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore, creating a pan-India connect was a challenge.
We have overcome these challenges by developing a unique tool named Pragnya Meter to empower job seekers and employers at the same time. Pragnya Meter is absolutely free of cost for job seekers, and allows them to take an unlimited number of skill tests. This has helped us in getting more of them to register and upload their profiles on our portal.
We have always believed in delivering an enriched experience to our users and gaining traction for ourselves through positive word of mouth from our users.
5. What is the USP of Wisdom Jobs and how is it an edge over it competitors?
A: Wisdomjobs.com is India’s first and only skill assessment based job portal. Our proprietary tool – Pragnya Meter – enables job seekers to skill-test themselves and showcase their scores to recruiters on their profile. This tool, and a custom search based on it enables recruiters to access a skill-assessed database of nearly 14 million job seekers, thereby helping them to shortlist quality profiles in lesser time. We also offer an integrated voice based candidate engagement tool named VConnect that significantly reduces recruiter effort involved in engaging their candidates. These one-of- a-kind tools help us in gaining an edge over our competitors.
6. Share your views on the 5 biggest mistakes that startup founders do?
A: As per me, the top mistakes made by start-up founders are:
1. Not launching products with clear differentiators. In other words, me-too products.
2. Being too focused on their product and its features rather than how effective it is in addressing customer pain points
3. Not focusing enough on customer research and the size of the catchment area they intend to cater to
4. Looking at funding as a source to meet operational costs rather than to expand market reach
5. Not having enough control over their unit costs due to impractical revenue projections and high burn rates
7.Which are the most lucrative sectors in E-Commerce and which trends are you seeing in the investment front in India?
A: Online retail still remains the most lucrative of the E-Com sectors, based purely on their volumes and the size of the market they cater to. The biggest noticeable trend now is the consolidation that is happening across the industry. VCs are now wary of funding the smaller, less-profitable ventures, thus forcing them to sell out to the larger players. The big players in turn are combating reduced valuations which is affecting their ability to raise large funding.
8. Any suggestions for the startup founders on managing funds that they raise?
A: As I have mentioned earlier, the single most important thing is to control your unit costs by delinking them from your revenue projections. High burn rates will cause the funds to run out quickly, and end up putting more pressure on your product development and sales.
9.Share with us the market opportunities you see in the HR solution sector.
A: The sector is ripe for end to end solutions. Be it the backward integration of job portals to HR Management Systems or the forward integration of job portals to Applicant Tracking Systems, integrated rather than standalone solutions are the way forward for the HR solutions sector.
10. Tell us about the investment you have raised till now.
A: Wisdom Jobs has been a 100% bootstrapped venture so far. We turned profitable in our second year of operations, and have been reinvesting our profits to meet our operational and marketing costs.
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