India, as a country, in addition to its existing market, has seen a tremendous spurt in its entrepreneurial outlook and is soon becoming a utopian land of thriving businesses.
But unfortunately, this turn of events has still not transcended into the concurrent employment it should encourage, especially in the blue and grey collar jobs market. The core of this rut lies in the fact that there has been no bridge that connects the eager job seekers with the right employers.
And this is where Kickstart Jobs, a startup focusing on niche talent acquisition in the entry-level workforce, comes into the picture.
Birth of a Startup
Founded by Samriddhi Malhotra and Abhishek Srivastava in August 2015, Kickstart aims to create a scalable platform to connect entry level candidates with prospective employers and vice versa.
Within a year of its commencement, the venture is already operational in the key north Indian territories of Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon, with a workforce of 10 employees.
Speaking about the need for a product like Kickstart Jobs, Malhotra, said, “The market for entry-level hiring is one with both tremendous potential as well as enormous challenges. None of the solutions present in the market today have been able to really delve into the job seeker’s psyche and create a solution that works for both candidates and employers. Kickstart is attempting to do just that. We have closely observed existing patterns of job seeking at the entry level workforce and are leveraging this existing pattern and enabling it with technology.”
All About Its Team
Samriddhi Malhotra, an XLRI Jamshedpur alumna, comes with a rich experience of working with numerous rural communities on a grassroot level. This background of hers helps her thoroughly understand the core requirements and competencies of the workforce at the entry level section. Malhotra heads the product development and operations at the venture whereas Srivastava, a mechanical engineer from ISM Dhanbad, spearhead the strategy and business development at Kickstart Jobs.
This Gurgaon-based entry-level talent acquisition startup has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its Series-seed round. Led in collaboration with ah! Ventures, this round saw investments from marquee investors like Vivek Joshi, Founder, Wyzen Tech; Mohit Satyanand, Chairman, Team Works Art; Amit Banati, President (Asia Pacific), Kellogg’s; Arun Khanna, President (Asia), Dun and Bradstreet and a few others including ah! Ventures themselves. The startup plans to infuse this fund to scale up its growth.
On asking about how they convinced the investors, Srivastava said,“We approached ah! Ventures to close our funding requirement and they proactively helped us close in 5 days, in which they also participated. Their network is huge and the response has been extremely prompt. We wanted to bring ah! Ventures onboard as their reach and connections will keep us in good stead for future.”
In a short span of time, they have registered more than 5000 candidates, enlisted about 3000 vacancies, and conducted more than 2000 interviews.
On asking about the recent investment Harshad Lahoti, Founder, and CEO of ah! Ventures opined, “As an investor, the growth that is about to unfold in this entry-level jobs sector in the near future is evident to me. This growth and spurt of service offerings in the sector is especially lucrative for the currently existing workforce of over 500 million in the blue and grey collar ecosystem of India. And, given the fact that this number is increasing at about 12 million per year, the need to effectively harness these human resources becomes all the more essential. ah! Ventures and its investors saw that potential in Kickstart Jobs, not only in terms of their strong team but also in their unique methodology in operating and creating value for both, the job seeker & the employer.”
The Startup has developed a unique operational proposition, wherein ‘Leaders’ are identified among the communities of job seekers and are in turn collaborated with, to utilize their strong network and connect with the entry-level job seekers. The company believes in empowering these leaders with technology, currently in the form of a mobile app, thus bettering the process of data mapping.