For Bengaluru-based Babajob, one of the few technology companies that is trying to solve the highly unorganised blue-collar job sector in India, things changed in 2012 after it raised R7 crore in Series A round from Gray Ghost Ventures and Khosla Impact Fund.
Started by Sean Blagsvedt and Vir Kashyap in 2007, Babajob bootstrapped till 2012, and then pivoted as many startups do. In 2007, it started out as a VAS player that partnered with all telecom companies to provide job related information to job seekers. But with internet penetration growing multifold in India, it became easier for job aspirants to find such information and there was no need of a VAS like platform. So, as part of pivoting in 2012, it changed its revenue model, who it charged for its service and who it did not.
“It’s been a long journey from 2007 to now. We went through a lot of changes in terms of revenue model, who we charge for the service and the platform. Earlier we used to charge the people who were looking for a job, but since information was freely available we started charging the recruiters,” said Vir Kashyap, co-founder & COO, Babajob.
Now, Babajob is essentially a marketplace of blue-collar job seekers and recruiters, with more than two lakh recruiters posting 2 lakh jobs this year. It claims it specialises in providing jobs such as delivery boys, office helpers, drivers, cooks, security guards etc. It counts Ola, BigBasket, Grofers, ZopNow, Zoom as customers.
The company has received about $12 million investment so far. In April this year, Babajob secured a $10 million minority investment from SEEK and its affiliate companies.
Though, Babajob has over two lakh listed recruiters on its platform, all of them are not money-making clients as most of them are allowed to upload job vacancies free of cost. “Babajob’s revenue comes from premium employers.
We provide a premium service called ‘Rapid-Hire’, where we promote the job they post, vet the candidates applying for it, and provide an over-arching facilitated hiring support, which makes life easy for an employer,” said Bharani Setlur, chief business officer, Babajob.
The biggest challenge for the company, according to Setlur, is to design a service that works for both employers and job-seekers spread across different geographies, different cultural experiences and differing access to technology.
“How we’ve tried to solve it is by offering our services in regional languages and across multiple platforms,” Setlur added.
The company said it reaches job seekers through multiple ways such as missed calls, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, mobile app and website. Any job-seeker can give a missed call to 0888 000 4444 and they will get a call back from Babajob’s IVR system to facilitate profile building, resume cleaning, etc. Once that is done Babajob connects them with jobs that they are qualified for.