The company claims that digital advertising pie has grown by 10%-15% in the wake of this crisis
Homegrown internet company InfoEdge has seen its share of ups and downs owing to the pandemic. While its matrimonial platform Jeevansathi.com has reported a 30% jump in new users in the last three months, its flagship business Naukri.com has been hit. Sumeet Singh, in an interaction with Devika Singh, talks about the slow recovery
in the jobs market, the changing user behaviour on its matrimonial site, and more.
Layoffs and a freeze on hiring across most industries has rendered job portals irrelevant in these times. How is Naukri.com dealing with this?
We are concentrating on improving our relevance and adding more value to our clients. We recently introduced an out-placement service called Naukri Fast Forward Transition for recruiters. Also, we are tagging those who have been laid off as ‘immediately available’.
We have also launched an initiative called Step-up, which helps laid-off talent in planning their next steps. We are offering them a live job tracker under this initiative, which shows them the positions that are open currently. Based on analytics, we are helping job seekers understand which designations and skills are in demand, and which companies are hiring. We have also curated a list of free and paid upskilling courses.
How has hiring changed in these times? Which sectors are seeing recovery in terms of jobs?
Although March-end and April were tough times for us, we have been seeing recovery every month since then. In April, hiring activity across sectors was down by 62%, but in May, the drop was 60% and in June this deficit improved to 45%. While jobs are still down 45-50% as compared to last year, some sectors such as IT-software, pharma, biotech, clinical research, insurance, e-commerce, banking and finance, FMCG and telecom are posting new job opportunities on Naukri.com now. Though this is not at the same level as last year,we are seeing greenshoots.
We have seen the demand for work from-home jobs, both from recruiters as well as job seekers, go up by four-to-five times on our platform. Another interesting trend is that the recovery in traffic has been led by our app. Earlier, the Naukri.com app contributed 61% to the overall traffic, and now it stands at 64%.
Has the rise in new users on Jeevansathi.com translated to more paid subscribers?
Yes, the growth in traffic and registrations has led to positive growth in revenue as well; it is not linear, but still positive. It is nice to have a brand that is growing during these times, because everything else is de-growing.
In the arranged marriage set-up, most users consult their families before making decisions; and hence, in pre-Covid times, most of our traction came on weekends. Now, we see that traffic is almost evenly distributed on weekdays, too. We are holding webinars for paid subscribers who have questions such as how they should conduct themselves on video chats to make a good impression.
Are there plans to foray into wedding services like your competitors?
We don’t have plans to enter the wedding services segment, as we feel there are other areas where we can add more value. For instance, during the pandemic, we expanded our marketing from just Bengaluru to the whole of Karnataka, as we saw more people from the South coming in. Earlier, most of our business came from the North and West markets.
What other changes have you made to your marketing mix?
Overall, our digital advertising pie has grown by 10-15% in the wake of this crisis. Initially, we halted advertising for Jeevansathi.com and Naukri.com, and used the time to rejig our marketing strategy as per the changing consumer behaviour. For instance, earlier we would tap OTT platforms frequently for Jeevansathi.com. However, the number of paid users on these platforms has gone up, and the number of free users has come down,which means lesser reach for advertisers as paid subscribers are not shown ads on OTT platforms. Hence, we are focussing on other forms of video advertising now, such as Instagram, apart from content marketing. For Naukri.com, we are looking at data-based marketing, and sharing reports,insights with recruiters, consultants and job seekers. Since June, we have also resumed performance marketing for this platform.