Gaurav Mittal is from a service-class family, and it was probably this that stirred in him the passion to live life differently and see things from a perspective different from others. It was while pursuing his BTech at KNIT in Sultanpur, seeing eminent businessmen visit as guest speakers, that Gaurav realised he wanted to become an entrepreneur too. His next obvious step was doing MBA, which he did undertake with specialisation in finance and international marketing at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management and Higher Studies (NMIMS), Mumbai.
The years following saw him rise as a highly-placed employee with corporate giants like Wipro and Computer Science Corp. ATS Services, the last company in the list of companies he worked with, saw him grow as an IT head. As the business head of the entire IT segment, Gaurav made was responsible for all the major decisions pertaining to IT, which only resulted in greater profits for the organisation.Convinced that he could now strike out on his own, and sure-footed about ushering in a revolution in the recruitment industry by using cutting edge technology, Gaurav along with his elder brother Ujjwal launched ITCONS e-solutions in 2007, a software development company, at Noida.
In an industry where big companies are scaling up and newer companies are looking for the right talent, it is vital for recruitment agencies to be able to place the right candidates at the right job. The general recruiting process involves receiving resumes and manually entering the details into an excel sheet — an extremely time-consuming and error-prone process. The Mittals brought automation to this area of industry. Together, they developed Resume Parser, a product based on artificial intelligence. And with this, the entire effort of scanning a resume, manually typing the information and modifying wherever required became redundant.
While it normally costs Rs2-3 to digitize each resume, ITCONS made a breakthrough and did it for 25 paise! The efficiency of the product dramatically brought down costs, reduced human intervention, and thereby the manpower overheads and likely errors. This, however, was the first step of the process. The most important result was the effective storage of the digitised information and the product’s search-friendliness. The product, based on specific/arcane criteria, allows users to retrieve the resumes they are looking for.
Development work of Resume Parser was almost completed when Gaurav started working on another product named RecruitPlus Applicant Tracking System, which was commercially launched in 2008. In August 2008, ITCONS got its first client for ATS and Resume parser. Around the same time, ITCONS entered into strategic partnerships with Intel and HP, and later in the year with Amity Technology Incubator, which gave the company its new name — Amity Investee Company.
In the year following, Gaurav launched ATS as well as Resume Parser as SaaS (Software as Service), and lured over 700 registered users. The company also won the Microsoft Biz Spark Award and was shortlisted as finalist for the TATA NEN Hottest Start-up Award.
“My family members, especially my parents, have been very supportive of our undertaking. My brother Ujjwal and wife have also given me tremendous moral support. The team at ITCONS has been so encouraging during our hard times that we could fight even the most trying situations and emerge successful,” said Gaurav when asked what kept him motivated throughout the entrepreneurial journey.
Challenges posed during the initial years of the company launch were numerous, but ITCONS was lucky to have been left untouched by the problem of hiring and retaining good professionals for the team. “Since we had chosen to take a bold step to get into product space, we were aware that it would take some time before the revenue starts flowing in. To manage our cash flows, we started doing offshore software development projects too. The other big challenge was to build our brand name and win over other competitors. However, the ease with which users can learn and adopt our product, apart from the fact that it is price competitive and affordable, has helped us gain an edge over small and medium-size competitors,” asserted Gaurav.
Now that the company has ensured a huge clientele, Gaurav aims to be the key enterprise application provider for the recruitment industry. Presently, he is banking on the Open API integration of Resume Parser with various job portals, career networking sites and other ATS and HR applications, and is hoping these tie-ups to be the next big thing. “We plan to expand our operations globally with primary focus on southern countries. We hope to familiarise people with our brand through sponsoring industry-related events. My vision is to ensure that my enterprise is recognised as a corporation that provides best of breed recruitment software solutions, leveraging technology delivered by best in class people by year 2010.
Tips for budding entrepreneurs — Setting up an enterprise is not a cinch; there are continuous ups and downs. A small mistake can lead you away from the success road. Be passionate about your ideas, product/services. The world of entrepreneurship is always there to welcome you.