Economy

Making a business out of interviews

Priyanka Pani Manisha Jha | Updated on April 21, 2013

Sanjoe Tom Jose (left) and Tom Jose

Emprenure Lab provides platform for interviews

What started as mock interviews for juniors on campus has turned out to be a business opportunity for four friends with engineering and management background. This is how the Bangalore-based Emprenure Lab was born.

The company’s first product is an online end-to-end interview management platform called Interview Master, an automated video interview format, which helps eliminate certain rounds not required during a recruitment process, ensures quality of hiring, and reduces the cost and time by over 80 per cent for companies with higher attrition or churn rate.

However, this wasn’t formed immediately after passing out of college, said 28-year-old Sanjoe Tom Jose, the founder of the firm. The graduate from IIT-Bombay along with his friends Jobin Jose, Subramanian K and Tom Jose took the plunge and quit their high paying jobs in June 2012. The company was set up with a seed capital of Rs 15 lakh, which came from personal savings.

“We took the risk. I was married then and there were financial issues but once we went out to the market with the idea of mock interview we realised that there existed a far bigger problem in recruitment and there was a huge potential,” Sanjoe said, adding that they spoke to 135 companies and 120 agreed to try the product.

Top clients

The company is running pilots with over 40 companies including Wipro, Randstad, Aditya Birla, Sasken, and HDFC Bank among others. It has currently eight paying clients, including Wockhardt, Joy Alukas and Mahesh Tutorials and is in talk with IT major Infosys.

“We want to target all the top companies across the sectors,” said Tom Jose, who handles the sales and marketing for the company. It currently has sales presence in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kochi and offices in Bangalore and Kochi.

“The HR industry is looking at ways to reduce the recruitment cycle without affecting the quality of candidates and we are trying to fix this problem,” Sanjoe said.

It is an application tracking system and supports various formats in written test and automated interviews that also helps weed out challenges such as interview frauds, he added.

Revenue model

On the revenue model, Sanjoe said the company charges per interview to be used by clients. They also have annual packages depending on the usage of the clients and that the charges are billed at the end of the month as per the tariff applicable to them, just like a telephone or Internet bill.

The company had clocked Rs 3.5 lakh in the first year of operation and is targeting about Rs 2.5 crore in FY 14. Emprenure Labs, which is eyeing a breakeven next year, employs six people currently, including the founders, and plans to recruit another seven people in the next 2-3 months. The idea is to hire about 30 people by next year.

Tom Jose said that anyone who wants to conduct an interview can use their product.

“If Karan Johar wants to do a screen test of actors for his next movie, he can do this from any part of the world,” he said.

Patent plan

On other plans, Sanjoe said that the company is plans to file a patent for its product ‘Interview Master’ in the US and also plans to target other mature markets abroad. Currently, they have a ‘self service platform’ in the US, the UK and Singapore for companies with less than 500 employees.

On fundraising, Sanjoe said the company has approached start-up accelerator VentureNursery to raise over Rs 2 crore in next one year. The young entrepreneurs are currently busy developing an ‘automated evaluation process’ for the developed market, where the opportunity is pegged at $19 billion.

>priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

>manisha.jha@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 21, 2013

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