[The Turning Point] Why three serial entrepreneurs decided to help people prepare for their first jobs
A management graduate was looking for a job for months in Bengaluru. Nothing worked until she underwent a week-long training withand landed an entry-level job in marketing in three days.
This was the ‘eureka’ moment for Ravish Agrawal, Swatantra Kumar, and Siddharth Srivastav, Founders of Able Jobs, who were looking to disrupt the entry-level job market for some time.
Launched in May 2019, HR-tech startup Able Jobs provides end-to-end hiring support to companies - from finding the right candidate to getting talent deployed. Its app has online training programmes that help candidates find job roles specific to companies. Post-training, companies interview candidates and then roll out suitable offers.
In two years, Able Jobs has helped more than 25,000 graduates get placed in top companies and land their dream job, says Ravish, adding that most of these graduates are first-time white-collar workers from blue-collar jobs families.
“More than 50 percent of our users are from Tier II, III, and IV cities, but aspire to work in big branded companies in a Tier I city. Able Jobs focuses on skilling entry-level, non-tech courses” says Ravish, an IIT-Kanpur graduate.
The platform has more than 1.5 million users trying its training courses in five different domains. Its clients includes Vedantu, BYJU’S, Whitehat Jr, Paytm, Just Dial, and Policy Bazaar to name a few.
Backed by Y Combinator, Able Jobs was a part of the YC W20 cohort. Apart from Y Combinator, its investors include Saif Partners (now Elevation Capital), Neeraj Arora (Ex- CBO, WhatsApp), Titan Capital (investment office of Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Founders of Snapdeal), and First Cheque.
From college to WhatsApp and Able Jobs
Ravish, Swatantra, and Siddharth know each other from their college days. At one point, they all started ventures in the edtech space, which all three are deeply passionate about. But those startups failed due to several reasons.
When the trio reconnected in 2018, they shared their experiences and passion for improving education and the job market for people who could not attend fancy schools.
Their passion brought them together, and they started Unschool, a company that helped last year students at open universities like Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) plan their career ahead better.
During this process, the students they were teaching reached out, asking how they could get a job in fields like sales, marketing, business development, and so on.
“For a lot of people in India, degrees equal jobs,” Ravish says.
Able Jobs Founders (L-R) Siddharth Srivastava, Ravish Agrawal and Swatantra Kumar
This became the turning point and the trio launched Able Jobs in May 2019. The idea was to help people prepare and mentor them for their first jobs.
Ravish says this was earlier happening over WhatsApp, but the conversations soon touched thousands of people reaching to them in one day. This eventually created the full-fledged Able Jobs platform, which is ML and AI-driven.
It offers features that let job seekers practise sales pitches and record their audio recordings for feedback from the Able Jobs team.
“Lakhs of users get personalised feedback on their sales pitch and communication skills through our proprietary audio-based feedback,” Ravish says.
He adds that all the preparation material or courses are designed from scratch, in-house. The course is highly vocational in nature and aims to help people get jobs in a short amount of time.
Speaking of their turning point, Ravish says while they had milestones such as getting selected for YC or solving a problem statement of helping people to get their first ‘white-collar’ jobs, the magical moment was when a girl from Bengaluru got a marketing job within three days after a week-long training.
“We realised that we are doing something really right, and ever since we are confident about what we are building,” Ravish says.