The Seekers Inc. Interview & Startup Story
Meet The Seekers Inc. Founder
I am Shashwat Mittra, founder of The Seekers Inc. I am an MBA Graduate from Symbiosis Pune with a work experience of around 6 Yrs.
I did my Engineering from SRM University, Chennai and have served organizations – TCS, HDFC, ICICI, and PayU. I exited the corporate career at a Senior Manager level to start my own venture.
I have worked into profiles of Corporate and Strategic Alliances, Key Account Manager and Sr. Business Analyst.
Q. When and How did you think about “The Seekers” ?
In March ’19, I resigned from ICICI and was unemployed, I started looking out for Opportunities. So my initiation into the professional sphere began with the relentless asking of the question “Do you have a vacancy in your organisation?” which was often met with a less than desirable response.
For many, finding suitable opportunities is a long and winding process and I was no exception. However, it was when I broadened my field of vision to include others on the same path as myself that I found a glimmer of possibility.
As a job seeker, this subtle shift gave rise to a new world as I was introduced to so many others that faced the same obstacles, which revealed to me how prevalent my own struggles were.
Realizing this, I took the decision to step up and act, which developed into an initiative called “MBA Job Seekers”.
This was a group for MBA graduates who were looking for vacancies in the job market. Each graduate had their own unique gifts and the group became an enlightening, positive space for people to connect and contribute, highlighting the various opportunities available in their respective industries.
To further streamline this process, I started reaching out to organisations to state their requirements which I would then broadcast to relevant graduates looking for work.
Over time, we grew to 15,000 members in strength, at which point I felt it was time to expand further and the group eventually transformed into The Seekers Inc, a venture aimed at helping relevant organisations and job seekers connect.
Basically, the touch points of the Job seeking candidates acts as real time and helps us notify them about the opportunities in a short span. This has further helped us to reduce the TAT of hiring from 10-12 days to 4-5 days (around 60%).
In the past year, The Seekers Inc has posted more than 2,000 opportunities which has helped over 750 job seekers find opportunities with reputed firms and the group has a strength of around 80,000 members today.
Q. From whom you got inspiration to start “The Seekers ” and Who is your mentor?
As we say “Necessity is the mother of Invention”, this deems fit to my condition.
I had exited ICICI, was unemployed, and had to take care of my responsibilities. I saw several others moving on the directionless path that I was moving on, that’s when I realized it’s better to head together and support each other mutually.
My mentor is “Mr. Ratan Tata”, since childhood i’ve learnt from him about giving back to society. With this venture, I want to move on similar lines, work selflessly for the Job Seekers and reduce the terrifying unemployment figures that our country is currently dawned upon.
Inspired by his work, recently, we ran a campaign (free of cost) to help 200+ MBA students (including students from premier institutes like IIM A/B/K, XLRI, FMS, MDI, SiBM, etc.) to get Internship opportunity in Tata Steel, as most of the MBA students lost their Internship with the wake of Coronavirus situation.
Q. Introduce your Co-Founder/Founders and Team.
We have 2 more members in the team, Ms. Roopam Gautam and Mr. Vishalanand Chamariya.
Roopam takes care of the candidate sourcing, basically she promotes and allocates relevant groups to the new members.
While, Vishalanand sources opportunities from the HRs and Hiring Managers to further broadcast them in the relevant groups.
Q. Explain more about TheSeekers, How do you think is it different from others similar startups?
We have heard about a lot of HR Consulting firms and bigger ones like Michale Page, Huges, etc., so these organisation centric firms where they generate revenue from the commission paid to them for the positions they close in the respective organisations.
The Seekers is a Recruitment consulting firm which is not only organisation centric but candidate centric as well. We cater to the requirement of the candidates and try to source relevant opportunities for the same.
While, none of the HR Consulting firms guide the Job Seekers with their soft skills, we do that as well. Counselling Job Seekers, Profile Assessments and Mock Interview Calls are the other services that we guide the Job Seekers with.
We source opportunities at a Zero or Negligible cost and broadcast them with the relevant candidates, ensuring that the candidates whoever becomes our member is also guided with soft skills and we ensure to develop them to be a better job seeker than the others.
I am sure you would not come across a Recruitment Consulting firm that is Candidate centric and works to enhance their skill sets while also sourcing opportunities for organisations.
Q. What challenges did you face while setting up “The Seekers”? How did you overcome?
I started this initiative from scratch and faced a lot of challenges while setting it up. I started working upon my idea as an initiative to understand the response of people and realize how can i channelize their requirements.
I started this initiative in April ’19, at an initial level it was very difficult to win over the trust about the job seekers joining the group, even though no cost was attached to it.
This came along with a lot of criticisms mentioning this being a spam group and all. It was also very difficult for me to directly source opportunities from the HRs and Hiring Managers. While i was facing these challenges, i had to ensure there should be a good flow of opportunities in the group only then can i win over the trust of people.
I started sourcing opportunities from LinkedIn, got in touch with hundreds of HRs and sourced opportunities from them and started posting in the groups. While, i also encouraged candidates to share internal referral positions of their respective organisations as well.
Made them realize if every single one of us starts posting opportunities it will mutually benefit everyone.
Thats when we started posting opportunities in the group almost every single day. Within the start of 45 days, we got our first Success story who got into an MNC by applying for opportunity through our group.
The Success stories started flowing and the members started to refer this group to their friends and colleagues. In-spite of criticisms, which were still pouring in, i concentrated upon the incoming of opportunities.
Initial 6 months, i ran the initiative for no cost and included Roopam in my team when the number of members in the groups crossed 7,000 mark. Thats when we started to streamline our process of adding candidates and in the groups.
We launched Premium Groups with a subscription model and we kept growing since then. Today, we are Official hiring partners of 2 big organizations and have around 80,000 members.
Q. What’s the Current Path, ‘The Seekers’ Funding Status and What are the Future plans?
Currently we are catering to a niche segment of MBA Graduates only.
Currently we are partnering with Organizations to source opportunities for them at Zero or Negligible cost. Our focus is also to collaborate with the B School placement cells so that we can guide them to enhance their placements and help them connect with the Corp-orates to drive the placements.
Secondly, we would also enhance the soft skills of the MBA students who are on their toes to start their career. Our second phase of development will be to get into the field of Btech Graduates, while we will tun a similar model for BTech Job seekers, we will also collaborate with the Engineering college Placement Cells.
I believe no one has stepped into this market, we have a huge untapped market sitting in fron of us. All we have to do is streamline our work and move ahead with the Vision.
We are about the to launch Profile Assessments and Mock Interview for candidates through which we can start working upon the candidates to enhance their soft skills.
The Seekers Inc. | LinkedIn
Shashwat Mittra | LinkedIn
Facebook : MBAJobSeekersGroup
A few words about ‘Viral Indian Diary’ at the End
I am glad that VID realized the potential of our startup and have helped to broadcast our story to a larger mass. I cannot be thankful enough for providing us the platform through which we shared the story and the potential that we have to grow further.
Moreover, it is always satisfying to play a role in enhancing someone’s career. Well, this is what we do and i believe VID will do it for us.