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How Naukri.com landed with online hiring startup AmbitionBox

Aparajita Choudhury
posted on 26th April 2017
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Great business or entrepreneurial ideas do not show up in dreams or when one shuts one's eyes and tries to look for them deep within the crevices of one's mind. In fact, they are strewn all around us and we just need to keep our eyes and minds open to see them. So when IIT Madras alumni Mayur Mundada and Subramanya Jingade saw the placement cell in their institution provide a guide to help students get jobs, they made a mental note of it.

Drawing upon this observation, the two went on to start AmbitionBox in December 2014 to remove the painpoints in shortlisting the best candidates while recruiting. In fact, in the course of their research, they did not find a single college with similar facility.

"We wanted to build a recruitment marketplace but there's always a classic chicken and egg problem with marketplaces. Users will come if there are jobs and companies will post jobs if there are users. So we decided to start with content first targeted towards users. We thought if we could provide quality content for everyone, it would be a huge platform to attract jobseekers. Though similar platforms existed we knew there was always more room for high quality content. Thus started AmbitionBox," says Mayur.

They thus launched a discovery platform that assists jobseekers with interview preparation, company information, and company reviews.

AmbitionBox Team
AmbitionBox Team

Once the business started evolving, the company shifted its focus towards building a community that is content focused, where users can contribute, react (in the form of likes, upvotes, shares, etc), moderate, and consume content.

However, on finding the execution process extremely difficult, the founding team decided to sell AmbitionBox to an established organisation. Faced with funding crunch and the challenges to profitability, getting acquired seems a feasible option for startups today. The acquisition helps in many ways, from nurturing the value of the product or brand, financial support, to escalating growth under the aura of expertise of a well-established organisation.

Now it’s time to scout for buyers

Before reaching out to Naukri.com (owned by Delhi-based InfoEdge), Mayur and Subramanya had approached job portals like Timesjobs, Shine, Teamlease, Headhonchos, Aspiring Minds, and a few more to sell their venture (AmbitionBox).

According to Mayur, the first meeting with Naukri went off well. “We felt that the senior management at InfoEdge understood what we had built and it was a no-brainer to seal the deal once we had spoken with them. For us more than the monetary aspect of the deal, the culture of the new entity and the future of what AmbitionBox could be was very important,” says Mayur.

He, however, refused to disclose the terms and conditions of the deal, terming the same a win-win for both.

"AmbitionBox enriches a job-seeker's journey and helps them make an informed choice. This ties into our core purpose of connecting job-seekers to jobs and companies which are relevant and the right match for them," said Hitesh Oberoi, Info Edge co-promoter, MD and CEO.

Mayur bootstrapped the venture with a seed capital of Rs 5 lakh. He completed his Btech and Mtech in Civil Engineering from IIT Madras in 2013. Post that, he worked for Deloitte and JP Morgan for around a year in total. His co-founder Subramanya dropped out in his final year at IIT Madras and joined forces with Mayur to establish the roots of AmbitionBox. Mayur’s firm opinion over Subramanya quitting college was that the much of what they studied IIT did not really help in the startup.  Everybody is only happy about the fact of getting into IIT but how much they enjoy studying there is really questionable.

Acquisition spree

The year 2016 saw a huge number of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in the Indian startup sector. Voonik made a total of five acquisitions, Craftsvilla and GirnarSoft made three each, and Ouikr, Housejoy, InnerChef, Freshdesk, and Portea made two acquisitions each. Even Apple made its first acquisition by grabbing a pie of Hyderabad-based AI and machine learning startup Tuplejump.

The others include the acquisition of CitrusPay by payment Gateway provider PayU, Flipkart acquired Jabong, Zomato acquired logistics technology startup, SparseLabs and more.

With a team of five people, AmbitionBox looks forward to expanding the headcount and plans to scale the existing product lines and envision to build a career-focussed community for not only job seekers but for everyone who looks to better their career in general.

Website: AmbitionBox

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