Every start-up has its own story, so have they. One fine afternoon, during break-time, a group of young college friends, over tea and snacks at their regular hangout spot ‘Tum-Tum Canteen’ had a “Eureka” moment, and thus, was born Switch Idea. A one-of-its-kind social recruitment platform, Switch Idea makes job and candidate seeking process a lot easier.
In a heart-to-heart chat with the Founder and CEO, Niranjan Yadav, we discovered the wisdom, talent and the passion of the young professionals behind their venture, Switch Idea.
What made you start your venture?
It all started with a small question – We have Facebook and Twitter (the biggest social networks). But how easy is it to find someone with a specific skills or profession on these websites? Pretty burdensome, right! This is because these Social Networks have their “Search Engines” work for few parameters (First Name, Last Name and Location). They do not filter the database using skills, profession or education. This is where – Switch Idea – was born. Since then, we have been working on this module of extracting real juice from social networking websites and turning them into channels of employment for job seekers.
What has been the key to your business’s success?
Well, every small update to our product is a success-step for us. Our mission is to make the recruitment process more social and easy. However, there have been some memorable milestones that accelerated Switch Idea over the time.
• vCard Design: Instead of traditional social profiles, we wanted to build something that was simple and informative. A profile, people would love to create and put all their information like: education, skills, social accounts, portfolios and employment history (if any). We designed a smart looking profile and called it – Switch Idea vCard (i.e. virtual card. Example: www.switchidea.com/andersonsmith).
• Social Media Recruitment:
Unlike other job boards, Switch Idea isn’t a one-sided social recruitment platform (most of the others tend to mine candidate data/use mechanism like social referral to get candidates etc) and the key in this entire concept is to seed candidates also. • Lastly, our most important milestone was to be accepted by Wahooly Inc. (USA) for the social funding. We’re the only Indian startups to be accepted by them.
What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
We are aware of the fact that entrepreneurship is still not well-merged with the Indian economy. Like every new startup, following elements proved to be the major challenges:
• Gaining Traction:
We started on 11th May, 2012 and by the week’s end we had only about 15 users. This was the most difficult phase of our startup journey. However, over time, we builtdozens of wireframes of the product to finally release our first update in August. It was then, we were accepted by Wahooly, and started gaining traction in multiples. Users loved our idea and the word started spreading.
• Financial Support:
Money plays an equally important role for your startup. If you don’t have anyreserve to manage the expenses of your team and product, you’re screwed. On this part, we’re quite fortunate to have a talented team that could bag money by working on outsourced projects.
Do you have a mentor who guides or advices you on matters of the business?
Yes, Dana Severson (CEO and Co-founder, Wahooly Inc.) has been our all-time mentor and support.
Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Everything seems to be interlinked when you work as a team. There are several tools that we need and use regularly: • Skype – for easy communication, • Dropbox- for compiling group database, • An Android phone – for instant communication. In spite of all these tools,our most favorite one has always been Sparrow Mail.
What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
As of now, we’ve internal support system for users. We’re planning to get more employers registered on Switch Idea’s board to post more job-openings in order to keep the flow.
What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Well, there isno specific skill set one needs to have to be a successful entrepreneur. I would like to frame this in one single line “Keep doing what you’re good at andyou’ll be successful one fine day.” Visit their website to know all that you want to know about Switch Idea www.switchidea.com