Decoding ‘SaaSyness’: How Interview Mocha built the world’s largest skill assessment API platform
While running an IT services company, founders Amit Mishra and Sujit Karpe found that irrelevant candidates often lined up for interviews. Consequently, recruiters constantly complained about wasted time and effort with these candidates. That’s when Amit and Sujit realised the intensity of the larger problem at hand and the flaw in recruitment processes. Recruiters relied on resumes and keywords to assess candidates, and often, candidates had a tendency to paint a rosier picture on their resume to look more qualified. Both Amit and Sujit realised that there had to be a better way to do this and from there the idea for Interview Mocha was born. The two exited the IT services company and started Interview Mocha in 2015.
Interview Mocha today offers the world's largest set of job-based skill assessments for large technology enterprises, to help improve quality of hire, reduce churn and hiring time. The online pre-employment skill testing solution has over 1,500 ready skill tests, capabilities to create custom tests for unique skills and a robust enterprise-ready platform.
The go-to talent management for IT
“Simply put, we have the strongest offering in skill assessment and testing for IT consulting companies. We understand the changes in the skill world - digital transformation across the globe, technology evolving at a rapid pace and, its subsequent impact and alignment for IT consulting companies - better than all the other players in the market. The skill libraries and the product are constantly updated, setting us ahead of the competition,” explains Amit, Co-founder and CEO.
Not surprisingly, Interview Mochacounts over 100 global companies as its clients. This includes Capgemini, Hexaware, Avaya, Altran and Fujitsu, among others. “That apart, we have also worked with United Nations, World Food Programme and Gartner to hire their tech talent,” says Amit.
To think that the company was just a mere concept in 2015 speaks volumes for the growth of Interview Mocha. In fact, while most SaaS startups share that breaking into the enterprise market is one of their biggest bottlenecks, Interview Mocha has shown how disruption is possible.
"It is true that gaining the trust of global enterprise is one of the biggest challenges for any SaaS startup. It wasn’t any different when we began our journey. But, what we did differently was that we began operating on a ‘land and expand’ business model, where we leveraged an opportunity to prove our value proposition and gain credibility and then expand the scope of adoption,” explains Amit.
He quickly points out that this was also only possible because they were riding the strategy on the strength of their product.
The awards and mentions by Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft further helped to catapult the brand. Microsoft awarded Interview Mocha the best PaaS (platform as a service) on Azure cloud solution, the ATP (Association of Test Publishers) awarded ‘A top 5 innovators in testing’ while LinkedIn and Google covered Interview Mocha as the top recruiting tools used by modern recruiters.
Spotting success in SaaS
Another element that helped Interview Mocha grow as a successful SaaS business has been lessons they learnt early on in their startup journey through their association with Reliance’s flagship accelerator Programme - JioGenNext. Interview Mocha was part of the inaugural cohort. The accelerator helped the startup learn important lessons on what it takes to run a B2B SaaS business by understanding the concepts related to customer segmentation, value proposition, product roadmap, traction channels, and others in-depth, this helped the startup set a strong foundation. But a defining outcome that the accelerator enabled for Interview Mocha, in Amit’s words was - ‘unlearn IT services and learn SaaSyness.’
“While in IT services a solution for an existing need is identified, in B2B SaaS the focus is on an in-depth understanding of a customer’s pain point, adopting a problem-finder approach and addressing the same. And, when you create value, you get the traction. And, traction triumphs all! But, with that, you also need to track, measure and constantly improve so that you continue to provide value to your clients. This was something we clearly understood being part of the JioGenNext programme,” explains Amit.
The learnings translated into Interview Mocha getting the product-market fit right. It also helped Interview Mocha see the opportunity beyond SMBs and the mid-market.
“Getting to product-market fit for mid-market companies and enterprises was a game-changer, which really accelerated Interview Mocha’s growth. We realised we needed the product to appeal to the enterprise customers if we wanted to move up the growth graph. The company has grown 2.5x YoY since inception and today has an annual revenue of $1.5million. This year we have been growing at 10-15 percent month-on-month and expect 4x growth if there aren’t any dire changes in the market dynamics,” says Amit.
Why a single-minded industry focus is an advantage and an opportunity
How organisations hire, develop, and manage people is becoming central to its growth and success, making talent management a key part of the business strategies for enterprises and medium-sized businesses. Not surprisingly, talent management has evolved significantly over the last few years and businesses today are adopting agile practices for it.
“This is a huge opportunity and challenge as we continue to see ourselves as the #1 skill assessment company for our segment for a variety of use cases be it university recruiting, lateral hiring, digital transformation and upskilling,” says Amit.
That is why the company stays relentless, constantly updated on research and literature for the skill industry. “In addition, the company keeps a tab on the pulse of the market. We constantly interact with customers at all levels - sales, support, CS and the leadership.” And, being focused only on talent management, adds to their advantage, believes Amit. He says, “This single-minded focus on one sector helps us to deep dive and expand our area of expertise.”
Having created a substantial penetration in the market, Interview Mocha is now on a big mission.
“We want skill assessment to become synonymous with Interview Mocha. The vision is simple and powerful. And, we want to get there,” signs off Amit.