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Entrepreneur

Amit Koshal and Nasr Khan, FirstDialog

Team YS
4th Mar 2010
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When you go out job hunting the professional is armed with the resume which not only lists his achievements and qualifications but also gets his foot in the door. Amit Koshal and Nasr Khan are two entrepreneurs who believe in not just getting a word in edgewise but creating a “FirstDialog” that leaves a lasting impression with the aid of modern techniques and technology.

 

The two founders of Vunovate Media Private Limited expounded on their vision for the consumer internet space, the new modern resume, their unique business idea and much more in a delightful conversation.

Business idea- The duo spoke about their company and the work that they do saying “Vunovate Media Private Limited, a Web 2.0 startup is headquartered in New Delhi, India. The company started in July 2009, with the development of FirstDialog as its flagship brand.”

“FirstDialog is an online personal branding and social recruitment platform that helps professionals and jobseekers create a memorable personal brand. In today’s highly competitive and stiffening job market, professionals need to stand out from the crowd and this process starts with a resume. Traditional resumes have several limitations. FirstDialog aims to solve this problem by re-inventing the resume by adding a Web 2.0 social and multimedia twist.”

“With FirstDialog, we are aiming to raise the bar across the online resume culture. The platform allows job seekers to add rich media to their resume, verify credentials, showcase achievements, endorsements and skills assessment test results and showcase all of this in a socially-driven platform.”

Target Market- Amit and Nasr believe that anyone can avail of their services and told us what their clientele stand to gain saying “FirstDialog aims to be the future of resume building, social recruitment and online personal branding. In the past two years, social recruitment has emerged as a growing trend among recruiters preferring personal recommendations and referrals over advertisements.”

“Personal branding, on the other hand, is also emerging as a powerful way for professionals to stand out in a crowded job market. Our platform is primarily aimed at professionals, job seekers, freelancers and consultants. However, many people will find its usage outside this sphere. It can also work for creative professionals, thought leaders, politicians, and anybody who wants to create a memorable online personal brand.”

What sets them apart - The major difference makers for FirstDialog are the rich set of features never seen before in a resume platform. The platform focuses on 4 key areas:

  • Rich, flexible multimedia presentation including rich CSS based profiles, video resume, vanity URL, SEO optimized resume and secure document showcase.
  • Quantifiable and trusted information through identity and credential verification, online skill tests, and endorsements by peers, colleagues and managers.
  • Social recruitment features that allow the user to share industry news, job leads, references, resume and other useful information with those in their network and even with their friends on other social networks.
  • Security and privacy so users have complete control over the sharing, forward, locking, restricting their resume. FirstDialog uses bank-grade security mechanism to protect user information.

“The unique value proposition for FirstDialog users is the efficient and feature rich personal branding at very affordable cost. Users will find benefit and value in FirstDialog in many ways than one. FirstDialog aims to provide all the basic services for free which includes full rich CSS resume, video hosting, professional networking, document repository, as well as ID verification, smart follow-up, endorsements, social profile aggregation and much more.”

“Furthermore, the paid services will be cheaper than their actual market cost for FirstDialog users for example unique domain addressing at 1/3rd of market cost for domain name, credential verification at ½ of market price and online test at 2/3rd of retail price. Users will use FirstDialog because most of the feature benefits are either expensive, not available with one vendor/provider or just don’t exist.”

Future Plans- The duo have charted many routes for their company all leading to the same destination. They explained saying “We have ambitious growth plans for FirstDialog, starting from constant innovation in features. Very soon, we will be starting professional services for assisted online personal branding which will include resume services, online reputation management, video resume development, and much more. We also have plans to expand in different geographies for offering these services regionally.”

“The Vision to keep improving the user experience, product functionality and features as per user need so that every single Jobseeker or professional can gain something valuable from FirstDialog.”

Their entrepreneurial journey – Amit has been steadily progressing towards entrepreneurship and told us of the path he has taken saying “I may sound repetitive, Entrepreneurship has been a passion to me since I was an MBA student and all these years of working, this bug has not left me even for a while to create something useful.”

Nasr on the other hand has been consumed by an urge to be who he is today. He speaks of it saying “A constant creative itch and a desire to create something that makes a difference in the world have always been the driving forces for me. Until the time I realized that I have to hang my boots in a cozy corporate job, to set out to create.”

 

For both entrepreneurs the challenge they had set themselves had different hurdles to overcome. For Amit “It was the decision on when to start this venture and leave a highly paid well settled job. But when we thought of FirstDialog it was so compelling that nothing looks better than to jump in it and make the world benefit from this idea and now a live platform.”

Nasr has more than one hurdle that comes to mind and says “There have been many challenges, starting from assembling a team of tech maestros to building up the whole platform. No challenge is ever small in building something new, but uptil now coming up with a killer UI vis-a-vis the features, has been a daunting task for us. But we were fortunate to have some of the brightest UI ninjas working with us.”

Recognition gained – If awards are any indication of future glory then FirstDialog is slated for success. They have been recognized by MSME(Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises) and have been the top finalists in the “TiE Delhi Smashup Startup” event. The duo says “It’s just a week we have launched FirstDialog, and that too in Private Alpha. More than that, the positive review received by our first set of users is the biggest achievement so far. Right now, we are focused on our Karma. Just create a great product, and achievements will follow.”

Entrepreneurial lesson – Amit and Nasr have not yet been able to pinpoint the exact reasons for entrepreneurial success and have come to the conclusion that they “Can’t say more, but yes what we have learnt till now is that there is NO right or wrong time or date for starting up your passion, just do it. Yes, do keep patience, and it will be fruitful.”

To their fellow countrymen looking to embark on a similar quest they warn of the need “To get adequate trust in the team that has started a dream. Everyone in Indian entrepreneurship ecosystem (team, VCs, Angels) wants to taste the fruit first and then help in nurture the plant to grow into a tree. It should always be trust first, support first and then taste a healthy fruit, and not the other way round.”

We wish Amit Koshal and Nasr Khan all the success that FirstDialog promises and hope to see Vunovate Media become a great name in the consumer internet category.

Exclusive Offer for YourStory Readers at FirstDialog

FirstDialog invites YourStory readers to signup at FirstDialog and create their personal brand.This is what you need to do:

  • Go to - http://www.firstdialog.com
  • Click on Signup
  • Enter Invitation Code - "YS49FD77"
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