Network Aapka, Job Hamari!
In talks with Dhiraj Ahuja, Founder, SkillsKonnect (a Favcy Venture Builders portfolio startup)
- In this week's Startup In Focus, we have Skillskonnect from Favcy's portfolio startups.
- SkillsKonnect is India’s only HR Technology company transforming the lives of job seekers and businesses of the stakeholders engaged in training, education, and employment of blue, grey, and new age skilled workforce of India.
- Join us as we talk about their journey, revenue, and how Favcy has been a vital step in steering Skillskonnect in a new direction.
Recently, during an NGO event, I met several young kids who are struggling with their foster homes, education, and the fact that they must begin earning before being forced out of their foster homes. I had the opportunity to speak with one of them, and one thing he said that remained with me was that he wanted to study and work, but never had the appropriate guidance and support to give him the right direction. I believe this is happening on a large scale that we are unaware of, but I'm glad that platforms like SkillsKonnect are striving to resolve this problem.
Introduction to SkillsKonnect (a Favcy Venture Builders portfolio startup)
SkillsKonnect is India’s only HR Technology company transforming the lives of job seekers and businesses of the stakeholders engaged in training, education, and employment of blue, grey, and new age skilled workforce of India. We are striding ahead with a vision to become the most trusted brand enabling a better career and life for the workforce of India.
Q1 - How did your journey with SkillsKonnect start?
It all began when I was the director of a vocational training institute, where I managed all the operations throughout the country. While expanding the business there, I became aware of a major issue that young folks who are not academically well-versed face. They choose skill-based courses and encounter difficulty finding a good job after graduating from any training facility. They have no placement assistance or counseling. This is indeed a problem that can be found in many sectors and vocational institutes. This realization sowed the seed for Skillskonnect, a platform for blue/grey collared professionals and recent graduates to guide them, provide job opportunities, and assist them in sustaining and growing their careers.
Q2 - What are the barriers you faced and how did you overcome them?
The biggest barrier has been persuading the young folks to join the platform as they're not entirely comfortable coming online and searching for jobs and applying like a working professional. So, I believe that this entire business or ecosystem does demand an aided or assisted model of job search and employment, but that is what we continued to encounter in the early stages of our journey. As we spent time on the ground, we learnt more about the on-ground issues and that’s where our current product Gazab Jobs came into play. It solves this exact issue and facilitates these people in applying for relevant jobs and assisting them till the end.
The traditional training institutes were the second challenge we confronted. Most training colleges are not digital and believe in the conventional method of helping people in finding jobs. It was difficult to make them aware of the potential that a digital platform like ours may provide for them, but this is where pandemic came to the fore. The same training centers have now quickly adopted digital means supporting the much-needed transition.
Q4 - How did you come across Favcy and how was your journey with Favcy while building SkillsKonnect?
Pranav and I had previously worked together, and it was a chance encounter that we connected for Skillskonnect. After extensive due diligence, business modeling exercises, we were onboarded by Favcy Venture Builders as part of their portfolio. Favcy brought in exactly what was missing from Skillskonnect - Distributor centric Demand Innovation via Gazab Jobs.
They added a twist to the model by crafting Gazab Jobs, which has since become a vital part of Skillskonnect. Skillskonnect gained some valuable investors through Opening Day as part of the venture building process. In the last 18 months, we have moved from an idea to raising our first cheque to product development, second cheque raise, and now are in the revenue phase. Favcy has been a vital step in steering Skillskonnect in a new direction.
Q5 - What is the core business model for Skillskonnect?
The technology that enables the creation of this one-of-a-kind network that we're building is the core of the business model. We are bringing together four stakeholders through our technology: Job Seekers, Employers, Training Institutes, and Job Consultants.
Via the Gazab Jobs platforms, training institutes and job consultants are able to digitize their businesses and have access to a job pool online. These institutes then handhold their trainees (who are the blue collared job seekers) through the whole job application process. This brings down the CAC (customer acquisition cost) for us considerably besides adding an additional recurring revenue stream via subscription that these institutes pay for using the Gazab Jobs platform.
What Paytm has accomplished for the fintech world by digitizing every nook and corner of the fintech sector, our vision is to digitize every training institution, college, or organization that has access to job seekers. We intend to continue on evolving this technology to provide even more value to their businesses. Once we ingrain ourselves as technology players with one organization, the plan is to stay with that organization for as long as possible and add new tech solutions to help them grow their businesses.
Q6 - What are the current and projected annual revenues?
With a Rs.3Cr ARR, we generate 1-1.5 Lacs in revenue per month. We hope to be at 10X within the next year with sufficient traction and a team coming our way.
SkillsKonnect sent more than 15,000 people into interviews and got more than 3000 hired.
Q7 - Who has invested in Skillskonnect?
We have successfully completed our first and second cheques. We are grateful that some of the best in the industry have backed us with their experience and capital!
With our technology , we will be the largest network in the country for educational organizations, training institutes, and job consultants and binding them as one network. We’re aiming to be the largest supplier of a very high-quality workforce.
Excerpts from ET CIO.com -
Speaking on the occasion, Dhiraj Ahuja, CEO Skillskonnect said, "We have a vision of becoming India's first company that will digitally empower the training institutes, colleges and job consultancies, which influences millions of youth to join the workforce of the country and can play a significant role in improving their career and life.
Read the full article here
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