Ajay is a name to reckon with, in the human resource industry. He has the credence of an excellent leader and has built a company from scratch in less than three years. He has an expertise in building, shaping and providing Innovative HR strategies for the growth of the organization, resulting in the organizations winning laurels and accolades in various facets of HR. He started his career as a consultant, working his way up the ladder of success. After working for a few years, he pondered upon the idea of starting his own company. This is where Wisdom IT services were formed.
His roles over the years have included examining and evaluating opportunities across the value chain of products that our company offers, playing a keen role in diversifying the business to capture new growth areas. Currently, he is leading his team to become the top HR Solutions Company in India with top market share and sales position and a future target for global markets.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Wisdomjobs.com is India’s first skill assessment based job portal. In addition to job seeker database access (which is offered by every other job portal), we enable employers and recruiters to simplify their hiring by using our 12 million strong database of skill-tested and rated profiles. We do this through a proprietary competency testing tool called Pragnya Meter. This tool can also be used as a standalone assessment tool by recruiters at every stage of their recruitment process.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
We started in 2010 with the aim of helping job seekers to test and rate their skill sets and thus allow them to showcase their employability in a better way to employers. On the flip side, this also helps recruiters to have better quality over the profiles they shortlist. The idea has been, and remains, to bring in objectivity into the hiring process, and to simplify it in the long run.
This venture evolved from a Google Group that was started to help some of my out-of-work friends find employment during the recession. When this group resulted in nearly 20,000 people finding employment, I felt it was time to scale it up to something bigger and better.
What is your life mantra?
Never try to substitute hard work with anything else. Tough situations can only be resolved by being tough on yourself.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The greatest challenge has been to get a foothold in an industry dominated by several established players. We have taken that challenge head-on by developing a product differentiation that gives us an edge over these big names. The ongoing challenge is always to deliver the best possible experience to our users. We have addressed this by tweaking and improving our user interface and product features along the way to ensure that we always deliver an optimum experience.
How did you overcome those challenges?
As mentioned earlier, our proprietary skill and competency assessment tool gives us a unique differentiator. Our ability to help job seekers highlight their skill aptitude and employers to simplify their hiring process by choosing from skill tested profiles is our competitive advantage. This has helped us to create a niche for ourselves in the recruitment industry.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
It has so far been a bootstrapped venture that has grown organically over the last 5 years. Now, with plans in place to expand our team and product/services line, we are working on bringing in external funding that will help us in scaling up in quick time.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We believe in letting talent express itself. Quite often, companies don’t let individuals find their optimum productivity by straight-jacketing their roles. At Wisdom, we focus on letting roles overlap so as to ensure greater cohesion and a sense of achieving as a team. Of course, it goes without saying that we also offer a learning-oriented environment with better-than-industry-standards compensation to ensure that we retain the best talent.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
A tendency to question status quo, the ambition to change it for the better, and the perseverance to deliver that change.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Google Analytics. It is a tool that everyone who is running a business online should personally be well-versed with.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
The habit of analyzing a problem threadbare, and getting into the minute details to explore more than one way of addressing the said problem.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
The tendency to take on too many things at the same time.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Innovate. Look for a differentiation, however small, which meets a specific customer need, and build on that. The ability to differentiate your product from the others is the basic building block of your success.
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Being complacent. Early success should not mean taking the foot of the pedal. Quite often, someone else will take over and build on what you have started. Therefore, always exploit the potential of something while it is there to be exploited.
• One most important lesson that you have learned till now:
Every idea needs an incubation period. Don’t go rushing to the market with a product just because it looks good on the drawing table. Build it fully, take it to pieces, and build it again to address its flaws before trying to sell it to someone.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
The next 3 years will see us focusing aggressively on marketing our pre-assessment and competency testing tool Pragnya Meter. We believe that it is an industry disruptor with huge untapped potential. We plan to expand the product’s footprint by entering more markets across the country. At the same time, we will also continue to make our job portal more user-friendly and intuitive for both recruiters and job seekers, both.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would start a business dealing with a sector that is presently unorganized. The challenge of being a first-mover and, therefore, a trendsetter in such a sector would be really stimulating.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
My only getaway and break from work as of now are the visits I make to my native place at Kollavaripalem.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“In between yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s dreams lie today’s opportunities. Seize the chance!”