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Online recruitment firms eye boom time

01-April-2004
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Online recruitment firms eye boom time

Having endured a rough patch in the aftermath of the dotcom bust, the two leading Indian job portals, Naukri.com and Jobsahead.com, are expecting their revenues to touch Rs 20 crore at the end of the current financial year.

“We now have built up a cost base which is more in line with revenues,” said Rajiv Puri, CEO, Jobsahead.com. The recruitment advertising market in the country is worth nearly Rs 560 crore a year and the print medium corners Rs 500 crore of the pie.

“By 2007, the share of online ads will treble to touch Rs 150-160 crore, whereas the print market will grow 7-8 per cent only,” said Puri. According to Puri, Jobsahead.com is on track to realise a revenue of around Rs 35 crore by the next financial year.

Jobsahead.com claims to be the biggest job portal at present, with nearly 3 million resumes and 4,000 new ones getting registered every day. It currently has 6,000 registered corporate recruiters, advertising 150,000 openings.

“We offer vacancies for 600 different employee roles across 23 industry categories,” said Puri.

The Puneet Dalmia-promoted Jobsahead.com made news during the days of the dotcom boom because of its high spending. Today, however, it is a more austere organisation.

It shifted out of its swanky office in south Delhi’s Qutab Institutional Area to a more mundane and functional workplace in the Okhla Industrial Area.

Earlier, employees were pampered with fat salaries and refreshments provided by the company. Now, both have disappeared, making way for some profits on the balance sheet. “Today, our return on investment is close to 25 per cent,” added Puri.

Naukri.com’s Sanjiv Bhikchandani, on the other hand, always kept costs under a tight leash. “Naukri was earning profits even during the worst days of the dotcom bust, but still I decided to take a 50 per cent pay cut. It helped to send the right signals to both investors and employees at a time when the general industry sentiment was poor,” said Bhikchandani, founder CEO of the job portal. ICICI Ventures, an investor in Naukri.com, claimed that it was one of its best dotcom investments.

According to Bhikchandani, Naukri has a database of 2 million resumes, with nearly 10,000 individuals getting a job offer every month.

The turnaround in the financial performance of these portals have also been helped by the boom in the business processes outsourcing (BPO) sector, in which companies are looking to hire employees in huge numbers.

“The BPO sector has helped, but we focus more on middle managers, above the rank of team leaders,” said Puri.

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