Q1. What has been the story of your career and what message would you like to send to young people aspiring for MBA’s or just starting their careers?
A1. I’d rather have the reader click through to my LinkedIn profile (http://www.linkedin.com/in/nimish79) to see how my career has panned thus far. However, the interesting bits only start now that I have taken upon myself the challenge to create true value by building a big Internet business – click by click.
Also, I feel it’s too early for me to be dispensing advice to those starting their careers. To each his own dream.
Q2. Why did you create a web startup?
A2. While I have always tried to spot the right opportunity to get started, my last few jobs have been in the Internet space. And I took to it just like a fish takes to water. Also having set up two Internet businesses and having contributed in different capacities to the other businesses at my previous organizations, starting off in this space was a natural progression for me.
Q3. What are the key learnings that you have learnt in this short period?
1. INNOVATE or DIE.
My first initiative, workosaur.com, is a niche job site targeting senior professionals. To exist in the online recruitment industry, which is currently dominated by big players who entered the market early, makes it imperative for me innovate. Moreso because even late entrants with deep pockets have struggled to remain competitive.
2. BUILD TO LAST. DON’T BUILD TO EXIT.
Many Internet startups today are not built on a solid business model. They exist under the assumption that one of the bigger plays will snap them up. When you have such a vision, there is a greater chance that you would fail. Because if things don’t go your way and the bootstrapping costs pile up, you may lose patience, and hang up your boots. So it’s always better to build a business that can go all the way – one that provides tangible value to its audience – so that you can make money at some stage of your product’s lifecycle.
3. WORK HARD.
During the start-up stage, it pays to work hard. For example, I decided to read and learn everything I could – right from managing and hosting a webserver to designing on Photoship/GIMP to programming in PHP/Python to HTMLization to search engine optimization to campaign management and online marketing. I knew enought to be able to do all the initial work myself and was able to launch workosaur.com under USD 1000. If one isn’t willing to do this kind of spadework, it becomes difficult to sustain a start-up which can’t be monetized early.
Q4. Is an MBA (IIM or Otherwise) necessary for success. Comments please.
A4. In my opinion, an MBA (especially from an IIM) is detrimental to success if one aspires to be an entrepreneur. Given the prevalence of extremely high salaries amongst the IIM pass-outs, one tends to build a comfort zone around themselves. And it’s difficult to get out of. During conversations I have noticed that most of my peers aspire to start up but the superficial comfort zone of drawing a fixed monthly income holds them back. And once you are so risk-averse, it is very difficult to tread the entrepreneurial route.
Also, the comfort in their current job kills the stomach to do spade work. And with this you have pretty much eliminated the key elements that are necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.
Q5. Whats your vision for your site. Which website is a good analogy for it? Why should anyone visit the website?
A5. The vision for workosaur.com is to be the #1 job search destination for middle-level and senior-level management. My current mission is to aggregate the most Rs. 10+ lac jobs and simultaneously build features that would be of great utility for my audience.
It’s a niche segment and currently there is no competitor operating exclusively in the same niche. The competition comes from multiple channels like the top management jobs on naukri and monster plus print classifieds such as Times Ascent.
We have chosen to serve only senior professionals on workosaur. Once you decide to serve a niche, you are in a better position to give them what they want. (We are like a Chinese restaurant which serves good Chinese food to an audience who has come to eat Chinese cuisine.) Senior professionals who visit workosaur will note that we aggregate only 7-figure jobs i.e. jobs that pay more than Rs. 10 lacs per annum. And we do not provide recruiters any access to our database of CVs unless its in response to a job posting. Thus the need for confidentiality is taken care of. Apart from this, you’d find a lot of nifty features that are built for this audience. Log on to workosaur and try them out.
Workosaur.com is a free job board for senior positions i.e. jobs that pay more than Rs. 10+ lacs per annum. Unlike the other job sites, workosaur.com truly focus on aggregating the most lucrative jobs in India and overseas – Corporate-level, vice president, director and manager positions. Workosaur.com explicitly asks employers to use the job board only for positions for which they can afford to pay more than Rs. 10 lacs per annum, thus making workosaur an aggregator of 7-figure jobs.