How this startup is helping the grey-collared industry find their dream jobs
My mother got custody over me when my father and she separated. He passed away when I was barely three years old, and my mother a couple of years later. My life since then has been one of impermanence, flitting from the house of one friend to the other, with their families’ kindness sustaining me for several years.
Sometimes when I reach home late at night, I am struck by the irony of how that impermanence has again taken hold of me, but then the realisation that I am now one step ahead towards being able to take control of my own life comforts me.
Such are the stories of inspiration one finds while sifting through Aasaanjobs’ #AasaanNahiHai campaign on Facebook.
Started in November 2014, IIT-Powai alumnus Dinesh Goel co-founded Aasaanjobs.com with his college mates Gaurav Toshniwal and Kunal Jadhav. Today, this Mumbai-based startup is dedicated to connecting candidates with the right job opportunities in the ‘grey collared’ industry.
According to the co-founders, their broader agenda was to make individuals self-sufficient as well as start something with a tangible impact and a huge market share. They saw an opportunity in the recruitment sector, describing the industry as an ‘insanely big and untapped market’.
Considered largely untapped, there are other players like Babajob and Nanojob India who have established themselves in this space, catering to over a 1000 categories of job seekers from drivers to housemaids. Furthermore, these players have upped their ante by focussing on sub-segments like ‘official housemaid hiring’ through ventures like BookMyBai.
Since their inception, Aasaanjobs has seen decent traction, actively servicing 400 clients with 220 active clients, including Groffers, Eureka Forbes, ICICI Bank, Holachef and Parcelled. As Dinesh tells us, delivery seems to be their major client segment, followed by field sale. At present, the platform has approximately 75,000 registered users with the count increasing every day.
The company’s operations currently extend over Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane. Plans are in place to expand to Delhi (in another 3 months) and Bangalore (by early next year). Additionally, they have representatives present in eight districts in Maharashtra who help channelise the flow of job seeking candidates, through Aasaanjobs.com.
Although the markets were unsaturated, the startup didn’t have it easy. During their early stage of research the founders realised that although 70 per cent of their audience used Android phones, they were not very technologically proficient in the usage. Thus, getting their target audience to use and understand technology remained to be a road block.
Further, Dinesh tells us, owing to the nature of the industry, employers usually are not very happy with the candidates in general. Most of the target audience applies for jobs, but never turns up for interviews.
In January, Aasaanjobs.com raised USD 1.5 million funding in seed rounds from IDG Ventures and Inventus Capital Partners.
Dinesh explains that there were three major targets post-funding. First, was the team ramp up, which concluded in April with most of the vertical heads coming in from IIT. At present Aasaanjobs.com is a 130-member team with technical team strength of 30 members (comprising of the engineering and design team).
Second, was to gain the initial traction, and the last was to develop the product.
While developing the product, the team at Aasaanjobs.com conducted some usability tests for three-and-a-half months, incorporating their inferences and ideas in the month of July. Defining their product as a differentiator, Dinesh adds
“Our product innovation lies in the user experience of the product. The focus is always to look at our target audience and develop the product around their behavioural patterns. We are trying to replicate the product based on their daily behaviour. So, technology is only our pipeline. But our prime focus is how we are sending that data”.
This can be seen in the company’s purpose to launch audio descriptions (of 90 seconds) for jobs, which allows candidates to understand the opportunity better.
More recently, the startup launched a WAP website which is less than 0.6 per cent in size as compared to the normal website. Already having launched their website in Hindi, they have initiated the process to roll out the same in Marathi, followed by mobile applications in vernacular languages (Hindi and Marathi).
Last week, a chat facility was introduced on their web site for customer support. The plan now is to further the usability of this feature by allowing all members in the ecosystem to interact with each other, with relevant permissions.
Moving forward, Aasaanjobs.com will be working on a few features around background checks and verification, using the help of a Delhi-based company.
Today, players in the ecosystem are constantly facing concerns on ethical employment. Dinesh says that they are trying to use the feedback loop better by letting the employer look at the candidate’s history. They plan to start generating red flags for candidates who apply for positions but never turn up for interviews. Similarly, red flags are also raised against the employer in matters where they have misbehaved with the candidate.
The startup is now in talks with a few partners and would close its second round of funding by the month of September.