WorkIndia is the only online recruitment company in India & globally where entire transaction terminates on the technology platform itself. It aims to provide meaningful livelihoods to the 23.7 Cr blue collar individuals of India. WorkIndia is India’s Largest Blue Collar player by a large margin. The company Eloquent Info Solutions Private Limited (WorkIndia) was Founded in July 2015.
About the founders
Kunal Patil, Founder & Director, WorkIndia: A strong yearning to touch lives significantly and meaningfully, led Kunal to co-found WorkIndia along with Nilesh Dungarwal. In his current role, Kunal provides strategic direction and leadership to the company.
Kunal brings over 18 Years of corporate experience in Investment Banking, Strategy, and Financial Services having worked for organizations like Merrill Lynch, Tata Capital Investment, ICICI Venture, and Edelweiss Capital.
Kunal holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. Beyond boardrooms, Kunal likes to indulge in reading books across genres.
Nilesh Dungarwal – Founder & CEO, WorkIndia: This technology enthusiast believes in simplifying people’s lives with technology. Nilesh is the co-founder of WorkIndia, connecting employers to employees.
Prior to this, he was associated with Credit Suisse as an Information Technology Analyst. He has also been a co-founder for GetProfessor.com, a platform that helps students find the right teachers, and Meter Share, an app for sharing autos and taxis in metro cities.
Nilesh is a distinction holder in Information Technology from Sardar Patel Institute of Technology, Mumbai. During his free time, he likes to read about other startups and founders.
We are publishing their interview:
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Ans: Vision of the Company is “To Provide meaningful livelihood to 23.7 Cr blue collar individuals in India”
- We want to provide a strong & dedicated platform to all blue collar individuals so that blue collar job seekers can find jobs without paying anyone”.
- Job seekers for profiles like Driver, Delivery, Back-Office, Tele-calling usually end up paying ~Rs 1K – 2K to fake job consultants, most of whom disappear with the money overnight. We want to create an ecosystem where candidates can get their desired jobs without getting cheated by anyone and without spending a single rupee.
Q.: Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: In Mumbai, we were clearly seeing millions of blue collar workers traveling long distances to reach their workplaces. While talking to them, we realized that everyone usually spent around 1.5 to 2.0 hours on an average to commute every day. We also found that every job seeker has been cheated at least once in his lifetime in the name of a job.
If this is how it was in just one city, we realized that the huge pool of 23.7 crore blue-collar resources across India must also be facing similar challenges. Clearly, there was a lack of a trusted job portal for this segment. This led us to build the entire platform based on the following insights:
- Show all nearby jobs in one click
- Do not allow consultancies who charge money on the platform
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
- We’ve taken our product to maturity by continuously working with the users. We’ve been constantly learning from our users and incrementally adding features to the product. Till date, we have released 350+ updates on Google Playstore based on the users’ feedback.
- First it took us 1.5 years to build the product for the candidates.
- We then took 8 months to build the product for employers.
- Post that, it took us 10 months to devise an apt pricing plan.
The product is now ready and we are currently focusing on growth.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: We have two products: one for job seekers and one for employers.
USPs for Job Seekers:
- Users can directly call HR; there’s no extra layer where applicants have to send an email to apply and keep wondering about the status of their applications (since most such emails go unanswered)
- The product is 100% free – no job applicant has to pay at any point during the application process
- No consultancies have any place on our platform, making it reliable and trustworthy
USP for Employers:
- Faster hiring – Employers will start receiving relevant calls directlyl within 24 hours of posting the job on the platform
- Employers don’t have to call the job seekers to onboard them for the hiring process
- Cheapest in market – The wallet model on the WorkIndia platform is easily affordable
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: We started with the assumption that there is a need for a platform like WorkIndia in the market. A few months later, we were pretty much convinced about the idea. Also, we learned over time that replicating products available in the market will do us no good, so we stuck to creating a completely original product for the blue collar segment.
An ideal customer would be someone with a smartphone and earning less than Rs. 20,000 per month.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: I would say learning, not failure “Gut Feeling and Hypothesis is temporary but Data is Permanent”.
If you ask me to improve one thing by going back in the past, I would improve all my decisions by backing them with data”.
The second thing that I feel I have learned is the advantage of automated products over semi-automated ones. Till the moment we were semi-automated, every expansion was a huge operation and involved insane costs. However, right from the moment the product was 100% automated, we have been growing at a faster rate without any glitches.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: We are following a freemium model,
For job seekers: 100% Free, We never charge job seekers at all.
It is freemium model. Since most SMEs are posting online jobs for the first time, we are attracting them with a freemium model and encouraging them to use the online portal by giving them one free hire. The intent here is to win their trust by giving them one free but reliable hire. Once the trust is built, we charge them a nominal amount from the second time onwards.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: Interesting Story: After building the app, we visited a mall where we started showing our product to random people and asked them to download and check whether it is useful for them. That’s how we landed our first customer. In those days, we used to get 20 downloads per day; now we are getting 50K downloads per day from all over India.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
- Beenext, a Singapore-based tech-focused VC Investor with investments in Silicon Valley (Y-Combinator Companies), China, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand
- Asuka Asset Management, one of the largest hedge funds in Japan, chaired by Mr. Mamoru Taniya.
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it.
Ans: Three boosters which we clearly saw
- May 2016: The first booster was when we launched the 100% automated product in May 2016. It literally gave us wings to grow faster without being weighed down by operational burdens.
- July 2018: July 2018 is when we launched our most attractive wallet pricing plan (Rs. 40 per call). Here are a few salient features of the plan:
- Employers had the flexibility to experiment with a small wallet amount
- The wallet had no expiry. Employers had complete freedom to close job postings whenever they wanted. The remaining wallet money (if any) could be used for future hires, without any hidden charges.
- Our Relevancy Matching Algorithm: The relevancy matching algorithm removed all scope of any kind of manual work. Now, all the job matches on the platform happen automatically via the algorithm, which is being updated continuously.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: Now with the rising confidence in our product, we are upgrading our vision to produce meaningful livelihoods to 120Cr people on planet”.
The way we are getting organic downloads daily gives us huge confidence on our product and its need in the market. We are now in the process of tweaking or product for tier 2 and tier 3 areas. We’re also adding multiple languages and location to the product.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture?
Ans: In terms of value, till now, we have facilitated millions of telephonic interviews between candidates and employers.
- We have more that 10M downloads
- Till now, more than 5 Lac unique employers have posted jobs on the WorkIndia platform
- 3M+ unique job seekers open the app every month.
- 1.5M telephonic interviews are conducted via the WorkIndia app every month.
- More than 1 Lac job seekers are getting jobs via our platform every month.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
For Job Seekers:
- Job Seekers can directly call to HR/Employer/Company – no consultancies or middlemen in between
- Super fast and cheap hiring
- No need to call a huge list of candidates
- Nearby candidates can directly call employers
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: They are:
- Kunal Patil – Founder & Board of Director
- Nilesh Dungarwal – Founder & CEO
- Moiz Arsiwala – Founder & CTO
- Jatin Jakharia – Co-Founder & COO
- Soumil Rao – Co-Founder & Director (Engineering)
- Lokesh Tiwari – Co-Founder & Culture Manager & Sr Software Developer
- Kshitiz Nagvekar – Co-Founder & Product Manager & Sr Software Developer
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: We do not have any competitors as of now who are into providing a job matching platform purely for the blue and gray collar segment. Although not technically a competitor, Indeed comes closest.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: We want to reach at a scale of 1M+ job postings per month from all over India.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Conviction + Data Validation = path to build the perfect product.
Thanks. Best wishes!