What do you do when you struggle to find a job after taking a break from your career? For many it is a long wait giving several interviews till you crack one, but Sonia took a whole new approach by launching her own company that makes it easy for others to find a job. Sonia realized that it sometimes becomes difficult for talented women to find a job in the corporate world under specific personal situations. This is where she mulled the idea of launching cajobportal.
She has ample experience working as a CA in Deloitte. Her startup, cajobportal operates as an all women ‘Work from Home’ setup – who, need to stay at home and work in trust on their cloud-based collaborative platform. She leads Operations and Business Development while her co-founder Anurag, supports Sonia on Strategic Initiatives.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
cajobportal.com is India’s first recruitment website exclusively for CAs. Our multiple segments are
• Positions managed by cajobportal.com on behalf of clients
• Positions hosted on the career sites of companies
• Notifications for positions in the govt. sector
• Jobs posted by companies/consultants
• Freelance Jobs for Virtual CFOs and Practicing Finance Professionals
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
During interaction with CA Freshers, we realized that just 25-30% of them could ace jobs in the competitive ICAI’s campus placement process. The rest lacked on communication skills, took multiple attempts etc. They relied on friends and relatives to channelize resumes. Consultants had no specific focus on this space. This led to the genesis of cajobportal.com in Aug’13 as India’s first recruitment website exclusively for CAs.
What is your life mantra?
If you accept that the world existed and will continue to exist without our start-up as well, you become humble and the sense of false entitlement goes away. This helps a lot in the entrepreneurial journey.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
As an entrepreneur, life takes a complete U-turn. From loathing working on Sundays as an employee, you start celebrating Sunday shifts as it indicates you’ve got abundant work There are multiple bumps you face on the road, a wide gamut of challenges, from attracting talent as a start up to facing steep resistance to a new idea by potential clients, insensitivity to your efforts – “We already have multiple vendors” etc But at the end of the day, entrepreneurship brings the wonderful feeling of creating something new and impacting lives.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We led by example. If your employees see you getting your hands dirty, rather than just dictate orders, it has a salutary impact on the entire team dynamics. Leveraging our domain expertise, the ability to talk IFRS, Forex and EV/EBITDA, than just the clichéd terms like CTC and notice period, we delivered up to 4x conversion ratios. Now, the business model has gained the trust of 50+ marquee brands in India and abroad. These include Amazon, Unilever, Caterpillar, Cipla, Titan and HDFC. We are now finance hiring partners for 37.5% of BSE-30 companies (private sector).
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are bootstrapping so far. While we have got our model evaluated by premiere fund houses, we are waiting for the right valuations before we dilute.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We have our own employees working in an Office w/o Boundaries @ cajobportal.com. We operate as an all-women ‘Work from Home’ setup – girls, in different parts of the country, who, need to stay at home for various personal reasons and work in trust on our cloud based collaborative platform.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Domain knowledge, respect for self and others, tenacity of purpose.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Getflow for collaborative workspace, Buffer for social media management.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
We follow a lot of data driven decision making, this helps us engage really better with internal and external stakeholders.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Imagining success helps us succeed
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
False sense of entitlement
• One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Only 2% people in this world care about others, they are enough ; just ignore the rest !
What are your plans for next 3 years?
a) We now started Internship segment so that we could help some of the 10 lac+ students in the CA/CS/CWA/Tier 2 & 3 MBA system get good internship opportunities.
b) To address concerns on the scalability, we launched mbajobportal.com and graduatejobportal.com, thus catering to a wider audience. For graduates we have plans to launch competency building program , thus helping them get jobs in PSUs and KPOs.
c) The idea is to turn our platform being a one-stop marketplace for finance jobs, be it full-time or part time. Thus instead of just hosting Featured Jobs where we act as ‘last mile’ consultants, we now also allow Third Party Listings by employers/consultants.
d) We have a segment – Short Term Assignments where we post freelance work for finance professionals, be it start-ups wanting a Virtual CFO or PSU banks seeking a forensic auditor or a KPO wanting to hire an MBA for 3 months or an entrepreneur seeking financial modelling skills for his/her business plan.
e) Online and Print Media spend for brand awareness amongst Target Group f) Technology such a high-end algorithms, apps etc.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
In started my career with Deloitte and then started cajobportal.com. Next time, will embark on the entrepreneurial journey right away.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Hong Kong, Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Chris Gardner: “You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it.”