Mumbai-based SecUR Credentials is a risk management firm that helps verify employee backgrounds. Founded last year, the firm claims revenue of Rs 10 crore during FY 2016-17.
Every founder, no matter what stage his or her company is at, finds hiring a challenge. Looking at profiles, checking backgrounds, talking to friends, families and references — the entire hiring process is tedious. But even after several checks and balances there aren’t any guarantees whether the candidate is the right fit.
Keen to fill this gap, Rahul Belwalkar, who has 20 years of experience across corporates, started SecUR Credentials in Mumbai in August last year.
Currently bootstrapped, SecUR is an employee background check firm that helps companies mitigate the risk of bad hires.
The core team at SecUR has a background of risk management experience across industries and processes.
“Whenever we discussed risk management practices (beyond the financial and information security risk most organisations tend to cover), we realised that HR is both – one of the greatest assets for an organisation as well as one of the biggest (and most under-estimated) windows of risk. Any employee, who is not really what she/he appears to be on paper, is a huge internal threat to the organisation. This realisation is what inspired us to set up a venture focused on filtering out this risk.”
Clear that they wanted to set up a technology-enabled platform, the team invested in a JAVA-based platform, SYMPHONY, for all processes.
It enables the team to ensure that every transaction or process interaction is captured digitally from the word go. Not only does this capture each step in the process and track data, it helps the team analyse all data to build their IP.
“We are now taking the next step of making SYMPHONY mobile-enabled, so our teams are able to function effectively, no matter their physical location,” Rahul adds.
Rahul roped in a team with experience in risk management. Nipa Modi, with 20 years of multi-geography experience in business leadership roles, joined as director; Richard D’Souza came in with two decades of operations experience; and Col John Chenetra, came in from an army background and with IT experience.
During the course of their research SecUR found that there were several challenges that the employee screening industry faces — from a set-up and a scale-up perspective.
Rahul explains that over the past decade the industry has adopted manual and people-intensive processes to screen employees.
“This is because of the lack of digital data in terms of education records or even criminal history,” Rahul says.
But with the Aadhaar programme, more data will be available online, which also means that the delivery processes need to be re-aligned to suit this shift. Currently, SecUR takes a feet-on-the-street plus tech-driven analysis approach.
The organisation has over 500 people and is present across 15 cities.
SecUR, with a mix of technology and the core team’s experience in risk management, promises to help clients assess whether whoever they are hiring is a safe recruit. The team claims to have over 125 field investigators operating 24/7 across the country.
SecUR ensures that the background and reference checks not only run through private entities, but also authenticates the same across government organisations and other institutions where databases are created.
“The arrival of a completely new set of employers, such as cab aggregators and e-commerce, meant that we had to re-interpret the people challenge in the context of the kind of hiring they do. So, in terms of scaling up, the other redrawing that will need to be done by us will be to build customised product offerings for different industries, based on their specific risk outlook,” Rahul says.
Some of SecUR’s key clients include Aditya Birla Group, TCS, Directi, Go Air, UltraTech, Honda and Intelenet. The team claims to have made revenue of Rs 10 crore during FY 2016-17.
As Rahul says, roles and jobs are fast changing with the growing number of tech companies. With a growing number of complaints against drivers, delivery boys, and even people faking their CVs, startups are looking at this as a big problem to solve. Some of the other players in the field include Better Place, InstaVeritas and Idfy. Even Locus, the logistics platform that raised funding from Blume Venture Partners, had started with safety tracking.
Speaking of their future plans, Rahul says: “The
“The digitisation wave that has swept through the country, especially after the recent impetus on the use of Aadhaar, will transform the way employee screening is done in the country. We will need to adapt to this in the kind of products we design and the way these products are delivered. Also, this generation of employees and HR teams uses technology on their mobiles; we will need to build our technology platform and delivery around mobile technology.”