Careesma.in is the fastest growing Job portal in India and has become India’s second largest job portal within a span of two years. The portal currently has over 85,000 + real jobs listed and 20000+ clients have already used its services. Industry leaders like the Tata Group, Reliance, Allianz, Bosch, ING Vysya, Vodafone, Parle Agro, TVS Group, Adani and Adecco are its clients. Careesma is the only job portal in the country that enables applicants to track in real time the status of their application.
Careesma is backed by Grupo Intercom; Europe’s leading Internet and new media company that has incubated and grown more than 50 online businesses. Among Grupo Intercom’s success stories are Softonic.com, emagister.com and InfoJobs.net. The group also operates leading jobs boards in Poland, Austria, Italy and Spain and is now bringing its global expertise to the job portal landscape in India.
Startoholics connected with the Mr. Sudhanshu Arora, Director & Country Manager of Careesma.in. Here are the words from the man itself.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Despite of all the ‘bad news’, the economy (particularly the services economy) is growing. The growth is driven both by large MNC corporations entering / expanding operations in India and the large Indian MSME segment that is fighting on despite the headwinds. With growth will come large employment opportunities for talented Indians. It will open up the recruitment / talent business and we believe that we are ideally positioned to make capital of the same.
Who do you see as your target audience?
Any potential candidate seeking a job and any recruiter who is open to hire forms our target audience. We have services of high value to offer to both sets of consumers.
Has Careesma got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
The growth that we have achieved in the last 24 months has been phenomenal and clearly demonstrates that the market has taken a liking to our product. Large recruiters like Reliance, Vodafone, Allianz, Bosch, ING Vysya and Parle Agro have used our platform for recruitments and more companies are coming on board every day. We have already become India’s second largest job portal in terms of volume of jobs in a span of just 24 months and more and more users are selecting Careesma as their first choice when it comes to applying for jobs.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
The biggest hurdle that any product company faces in India or any developing country is about educating users and getting them to ‘use’ the product. That then becomes the key to monetization. India has also still not reached the level where most people are Internet savvy when it comes to searching for jobs online.
At Careesma, we have taken this challenge head on and are working towards creating awareness amongst our target audience about the benefits of online recruitment in general as well as educating them about the benefits they can get from the unique features that we offer candidates and employers.
Have you had any failures and what did you learn from them?
We have entered India just 2 years back and have seen rapid growth almost from day one. While there have been challenges in terms of setting our business in India and scaling it up, we do not think we have had a failure on any front till now. This is not to say that failures will never happen. The idea is to learn from failures but not focus on them for too long. If we fail, we like to fail fast and move on to bigger / better things.
How do you plan to monetize your brand?
As a company, our focus globally is on democratizing professional online recruitment services and making them available to all types of companies and segments at lowest possible costs. In India, our objective currently is to get recruiters and aspirants to experience our product and therefore our services are free for both recruiters and candidates for now. We will be offering paid products for recruiters going forward. As far as job aspirants are concerned, we will always be free for them.
How involved are you with fundraising?
We are fairly well funded, with backing from Grupo Intercom, the major shareholder of the Indian venture. However, in 2012 we invited a selected group of Business Angels to participate in Series A funding round. We are now looking for a Series B round to accelerate our growth and initiate the monetization plans.
Where do you think is the future of Internet Startups?
We feel Internet start-ups have a great future in developing countries like India, Philippines and China because these are large markets where internet penetration is currently exploding.
India has around 120 Million Internet users today and more are being added by the minute, the opportunity is huge. However, like many other businesses the future of internet start-ups will also depend on their ability to solve consumer problems and scale quickly without burning too much capital. If there is a quality product / service that serve a large enough market at an affordable price, you have a winning business. The focus has to be on the product and how best can one serve customer requirements. If, like in our case, Internet is the best way to offer the service, then one should be doing business on the net.
What are your plans for promoting Careesma?
Though we have many marketing alliances in place, we believe word of mouth is the best publicity and are focusing on delivering top-notch customer experience. Nothing beats the positive word of mouth from happy customers and while we have received our fair share, we will continue to focus on delivering great results. Promotion will take care of itself.
How important is the role of Social Media for success of any startup?
It depends on the business. Across many categories, particularly those with a strong B2C angle, social media is a good tool to reach out to the target audience and offers good ROI. Startups could do with better awareness and social media is a great tool for spreading the word. Social media is also useful in identifying and reaching out to talent.
Do you have any tie-ups?
Yes, We have a strategic tie-up with Indiamart.com and apart from that we have many other marketing tie-ups.
Where do you see Careesma after 5 years?
In the next 5 years, we would like to be seen as one of the most effective and innovative career portals in the market. At one end, we will continue to focus on developing new hiring products for recruiters to ensure that they are able to make more informed hiring decisions quickly. At the other end, we will keep adding new features to our website to ensure that aspirants are able to find a suitable job quickly.
Careesma still needs another million users in double quick time! More seriously, Careesma will move to the next level when enough recruiters and candidates find their offering irresistible. The team plans to move to the next level by reaching out and adding significant value to industry segments that have not so far succeeded in making online recruitment work for them. Finally, they need talent that believes in what they are trying to do and are keen to live the dream that they share. Hence, the golden advice for the young beginner is “Always believe in your capabilities and your dream. Stay focused and don’t try to do too many things at once.”