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Jobs in a jiffy: A startup for startups

Last updated on: December 17, 2010 14:52 IST

Jobs in a jiffy: A startup for startups

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Puja Banta in Mumbai


Earlier this year, 31-year-old Nayan Khinvasara decided to give up a well paying job and start his own company.

He wanted to create a job portal aimed specifically at startups and small companies. He knew from experience that finding the right talent is a big challenge for these companies since they cannot match the lucrative pay packets and other frills offered by the well-established companies.

Khinvasara decided that he wanted to educate people about the benefits of working in startups and in the process build a business.

However, the going was not easy and he discovered that things were taking longer to materialise than he had expected.

Even finding a name for the portal was proving to be a challenge as all the domain names he liked were already taken. That is when while talking to his wife one day, he said, "I wish something would happen in a jiffy."

And this is how he got the name for his company --  Jobs In A Jiffy.

In an interaction with Rediff.com, Khinvasara discusses the travails of entrepreneurship and how hiring for a startup is different from hiring for an established company.

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Image: Nayan Khinvasara, founder, Jobs In A Jiffy.
Photographs: Courtesy, Jobs In A Jiffy.
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What were the challenges you faced in starting your own company?

The most important challenge which I faced, and which I believe every entrepreneur faces, is the challenge of overcoming the fear of failure.

If you are well-settled into a routine and have become used to taking home a healthy paycheck at the end of the month, it is difficult to jump into the uncertainty and insecurity of starting a business venture.

Invariably, something has to happen to disturb your routine and to change your perspective if you are to become an entrepreneur. In my case, it was a brief bout of severe illness which kept me away from my job for 3 months which acted as a catalyst.

Though I had always thought and spoken about 'doing something on my own', I was able to use this time away from office to really introspect and crystallize my ideas.

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Jobs in a jiffy: A startup for startups

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What is Jobsinajiffy? Why is a separate job portal needed for startups?

If you asked startup and small business owners in India to list the problems they face, manpower would be at the top of their list.

While recruiting for the startup I was once working with, we faced a lot of trouble finding the right candidates to fill open positions. Of the candidates contacted, 80 per cent would refuse saying that they were not interested in working for a startup.

Lack of infrastructure, no job security and lower pay packages were the reasons given.

On the other hand, we did manage to find some excellent team members who wanted to work with a startup to gain the unparalleled experience it offered.

They were like-minded people who did not mind working long, hard hours just to be able to see the impact that they were having on the organization's progress.

My experience with these team members and with others in various small businesses made it clear that an ecosystem needed to be created to connect these candidates with the right kind of startups.

Jobs In A Jiffy was thus launched in early 2010 with the aim of making recruitment a little easier for Indian startups and SMEs.

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Jobs in a jiffy: A startup for startups

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What, according to you, are the benefits of working in a startup?

A startup offers all round development along with rapid growth opportunities since the employee has to do a lot of multitasking and is entrusted with a lot of responsibility early on.

A startup will generally give an employee more creative freedom. They like their people to think out-of-the-box and come up with clever solutions that can be taken to the market.

Moreover, the office atmosphere is friendly and so are the people, right up to the top. This creates a more productive work environment and a sense of fulfillment.

However, the most lucrative incentive while working for a startup are the stock options provided to early joiners.

There are numerous examples of startup team members who have reaped great financial rewards by means of ESOPs.

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Jobs in a jiffy: A startup for startups

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How is it Jobsinajiffy different from conventional job portals in its approach to recruitment?

Jobs In A Jiffy focusses on three areas of recruitment specially suited to small and new companies:

1. Contract Hiring

Many companies that cut back to bare bones staff during the worst of the recession are now beginning to hire contract workers.

Contract hiring makes sense when the economic situation is still volatile and a company does not want to commit its financial resources to a full-time permanent hire.

Also, contract employees are usually brought on board with the idea of handling one set project or providing a select skill set.

2. Just-In-Time Hiring

Today, the key focus of talent acquisition teams has changed from hiring generic skilled resources as strategic buffers to meet future ramp-ups to hiring just-in-time based on business demand.

This ensures that lead times are reduced for new employees and costs are reduced for the company since they are not maintaining a bench.

3. Consulting / Freelancing

Becoming a freelancer requires a great deal of domain experience, commitment, integrity, flexibility and confidence.

Though the going might be tough initially, returns can be very good provided a freelancer is good at the job and enterprising enough.

Freelancing and consulting may form a small percentage of the recruitments in India, but recent trends show more professionals inclined towards them.

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Jobs in a jiffy: A startup for startups

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What advice would you like to give to budding entrepreneurs; what can they learn from your experiences?

I am still learning a new lesson each day, and some lessons are being learnt by making mistakes which might seem stupid to others. However, these lessons learnt will stand me in good stead in future.

My one piece of advice to budding entrepreneurs is that there is never a perfect time to start a business. If you have a good idea and the willingness to work hard and smart, you should begin working on it now.



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