Every company wants the best of the candidates and to be very honest it is extremely difficult to judge if the candidate is the right profile for the job or not. But with the tech-world advancing, new areas of opportunities are opening up and leading the race in this genre is Mettl Inc.
Mettl Inc is an online assessment platform that enables hiring managers in companies to measure and track skills of pre-hires and employees using the most unique and straightforward assessment module. It is said that when the time is right, everything falls in place. And that is exactly what happened with Ketan Kapoor, Co-Founder Mettl Inc.
In 2009, Ketan and his wife were in deep thoughts, planning the perfect idea of a venture to start. It was during that time ketan’s friend / future co-founder – Tonmoy Shingal who was working for Boston Consulting Group in Belgium came back for a week. This was the heights of coincidence coz he came back with an intention to start something of his own and wanted to discuss the same. So all three of them sat and after numerous discussions and flop ideas, they finally concluded to one common idea.
Next they made a list of 30 potential investors out of which 6 agreed, which included family & friends. So with a collective investment of approx USD 100,000 (60 lakhs) from family, friends & their own pockets, they eventually launched Mettl Inc in 2010. They had a clear-cut target audience set in mind which ranged from companies which required a platform to measure skills be it for fresh hires, lateral hires, existing employees or for that matter for measuring training effectiveness.
As common as their idea was, it had certain set of features which made them stand out of the crowd, giving them the superior edge in the market. Mettl Inc focused on multidimensional testing instead of just testing one’s coding skills. Plus it also had a skill matching engine that brought a set of pre-canned job profiling which will helped a lot of HR to assess specific roles.
Mettl Inc had a very simplified and affordable revenue model and their charges were based on the numbers of assessment wherein a company paid anything ranging between Rs. 50 to Rs. 1,200 per head, based on the nature of the test. A company could also opt for unlimited tests for a candidate wherein Mettl Inc would create a log-in for each person and would charge approximately Rs. 350-Rs. 500 per candidate, per month, depending on features of the test.
Within a few months after their launch, they were hit by two major roadblocks which although they managed to fix but these problems taught them a very important lesson. First, as they jumped into the project so quickly they later figured that assessment process as a whole was way more complex than they imagined but luckily before things got worse their mentors helped them out of it with step-by-step solutions. Now the other roadblock which pestered them was a desperate need of a techie co-founder as they lacked technical knowledge. But eventually, they found some consultants who helped them build the product. Just when work front seemed stabilizing, problems in their personal lives rose and they found it impossible to convince their families about the path they had chosen and the lucrative jobs they had left.
Having sorted that, they moved very cautiously and made sure mistakes were avoided as much as possible.
In the coming years, the company brought about a lot of changes to their features, product, etc. which helped them gain momentum. They started-off with “hands-on” assessment offering – wherein if a company wanted to hire a coder then they could create a custom assessment and judge the candidate’s coding skills; Query Evaluator – that allowed users to create & manage database related to hands-on assessments in an automated manner; Three levels of Analytics – overall test level, skill level and individual question level, wherein the clients could actually got to know the number of flukes any candidate would have scored in their test based on the data that they capture, offering various “Simulators” etc.
With just coding simulators, they managed 1 lakh assessments and in general bagged clients like Capgemini, Ericsson, Cognizant, Timesjobs, EXL, Educomp, Virtusa, Comviva, Inmobi, Cleartrip, Playdom etc.
In 2013, Mettl Inc introduced many additions to their existing model, of which some included Case Study Evaluator – the tool tested business analysis, problem solving and decision making ability of the employees by asking the candidate to solve few case problems that replicated issues faced by corporates worldwide; Tutrr.com – an assessment platform focused on the education industry offering standard VI-X students (CBSE and ICSC boards) a platform to practice and improve their Math’s; etc!
Now the interesting part was that all this was achieved with just a team of 42-people and without a single ad or online campaign. To top that, Mettl also won the prestigious “Top Startup” award at TiEcon and also the Mint-Institute for Competitiveness Strategy award.
Now as the year of 2014 began, Mettl Inc got listed as an assessment company for the Ministry of Finance, Government of India’s The National Skills Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme which aimed at training and assessing a million young people for blue collared jobs in India in the next one year and 25 million youths for various skill-based jobs in the next 10 years.
This news got them a lot of acclaim and in a matter of no time Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC), Telecom Sector Skill Council, Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) and many more were seen using their service. They also collaborated with GreenJobInterview – online video interviewing platform, to offer Mettl assessment data inside its family of products, including GreenJob Live and GreenJob One-Way.
As a whole, the developments helped them drastically and there was a steady rise seen YoY. In FY13, the growth reported was 300 per cent followed by 10x more in FY14 and they aim to surpass that number in the present year. Mettl Inc has also managed to raise two rounds of investment apart from the initial investment from its family & friends. These include USD 350,000 (INR 1.8 crores) from Blume Ventures in 2010 & USD 4-mil (INR 22-crores) from IndoUS and existing investor Blume Ventures in 2012.