Interview Air ensures that people can give interviews to any large corporate from any remote corner of the country.
“While staying in London for a considerable number of years, job interviews seemed extremely simple. With most companies reimbursing travelling cost and stay, the process hardly pinched. But when we compared that with Indian recruitment, the scenario was totally different — long queues, travelling without reimbursements, no fixed process. This is when we conceptualised Interview Air,” reminisces 32-year-old Ridhima Gauba, Co-founder, Director, and COO, Interview Air (IA).
IA is a platform that helps job seekers reach out to multiple interviewers without the fear of expenses, eliminating barriers to the ease of the interview process.
Kicking off the idea
The idea is to ensure that there are no barriers, with candidates able to apply and get job interviews from anywhere. The company’s mission is to get even job seekers from Tier II, III, and IV cities to interact with top companies.
With that in mind, Ridhima and her husband Rohit Taneja kicked off Interview Air. The duo felt that tech in India was growing, and with the focus on Digital India, there was a need to build a platform that ensured that job seekers could easily give interviews using technology.
Working as a cloud-based interviewing platform, IA has introduced a selection of general HR questions in a marketplace format. Ridhima says,
“We provide a platform that links companies with colleges and candidates for their talent sourcing requirements using algorithms and AI. Moving forward, IA has plans to bring consultants, institutions and trainers under its platform, giving more visibility to all candidates.”
Companies register with IA to screen and shortlist candidates from their pool of applicants. Once the candidates are shortlisted, instead of calling in the applicants for a physical interview, the HR requests them to come on Interview Air and give video interviews.
So, instead of having hundreds of applicants lined up outside the company’s office, now only a few interviewed candidates are invited. The candidate sitting at home gives his interviews without wasting an entire day travelling.
The company has another option as well; if they are looking for fresh talent, instead of interacting with each and every candidate, they can share the JD (job description) with colleges (an Ivy League college or a Tier IV college) and conduct the entire campus placement process online on Interview Air.
Ridhima adds that all the stakeholders can independently register on the website and interact with each other seamlessly. If a candidate is looking for a job, he can apply for the jobs posted, give interviews online, and get selected faster. A college looking to train their candidates and increase their placement ratios can also register with them and digitally invite various companies to their campus.
A diverse team
Working like most startups, the husband and wife duo brought their friends in when building the core team. With the co-founders having over 25 years of experience between them, the expertise in the organisation is impressive.
Rohit is an MS and MBA from the UK. He experienced and understood the candidates’ concerns in the job market. Ridhima, an IIM-B alumnus, comes from a finance background. Before IA, she had worked with Kotak Mahindra group in London and India.
Fifty-five-year-old Ashok Ekbote is an advisor to Interview Air. He is also engaged with many colleges as a corporate trainer and has more than 23 years of work experience in the IT industry in senior management roles in HCL, HP, Oracle, SAP and EMC. His last assignment was as Country Manager of Teradata India
Keith Pinto (60) has been with GM Learning and Development in GSK. He spearheaded many new learning, development and hiring techniques over the course of his career. Chandrashekhar Bhide has over 15 years of professional work experience, and has launched multiple businesses from scratch, using digital channels, and has worked with companies like DBS Bank, Idea Cellular, Times Group, Yes Bank and Sapient in India and the US.
Currently, there is a strong and growing market for HR tech in India. Between 2015 and 2016, over $69 million has been pumped into the space. Some of the companies in the space include Greythr, Better Place, Niyo Solutions, and Quickr-acquired Hiree. In the video interviewing space, globally, there are key players like Montage Interview, InterviewStream, and Jobvite, to name a few.
While Ridhima agrees that there are companies doing bits and pieces with regards to videos, job portals, aptitude tests, keyword resume searches, and voice-based shortlisting of candidates, she adds that they are not offering a one-stop solution. Also, there are not many companies focusing their efforts on candidates from Tier II, III and IV cities and bringing that talent to corporates.
She adds that the platform assists candidates from across various levels of experience, from the fresher level to the CXO level, making sure that not a single applicant misses out on the opportunity to apply to their dream company. “The best part is that, even though the technology is disruptive, it compliments all the stakeholders, making sure that Interview Air adds value to their current platform and services,” she says.
Started in September 2015 in Mumbai, the team at Interview Air now feels that they are at the right stage to raise funds. Their revenues come from companies, colleges and training institutes. The company claims to have had over 116,500 visitors, facilitated the hiring of over 125 people, and has tie-ups with corporates like Aditya Birla, Quatro, Sun Pharma, HPCL, and many others.
For the future, Ridhima adds that IA has already made a roadmap for the incorporation of AI and machine learning, making sure that the product can be extended beyond Indian boundaries. They also have plans to file five patents. She adds,
“IA has already planned a roadmap for entering one new state every quarter, making its presence felt. Also, we will be working very closely with big corporates, making sure the quality talent database is present in abundance, at a fraction of the cost. Along with this, we will be setting up our offices in major cities (serving corporates).”