Starupoid recently got a chance to interview Deep Kakkad, founder of Rakht and Hireslove. He is a 20 year old engineering student who used to go to college during the day and worked as a Marketing Consultant at night. He has also authored a book on startup growth hacking.
Q. When did you get an idea to start your own startup and what was your first venture about?
I received a message in a WhatsApp group, saying blood with a rare blood group was needed in an emergency situation. I tried to pass it on to some of my close friends. It took some time but, luckily, I found a donor. I reached back to the person who was looking for the donor. Unluckily, the person who was looking for blood told that the needy was no more. I couldn’t sleep that night.
I kept brainstorming some ideas that could prevent this situation. That very night, an idea struck into my mind which evolved as “Rakht- Save Lives”. Rakht aims to connect people who are in the need of blood with the ones who can donate, instantly (in seconds). According to our survey and the statistics, 47.7% of the deaths occurring due to unavailability of blood can be prevented using Rakht.
Rakht was awarded as one of the most Innovative projects by our university and was selected for university funding, which we did not opt for and continued bootstrapping. We were recognized by some newspapers and TV channels for working on a noble cause.
Q. What was the inspiration behind HireSolve?
When I was in my first year of engineering, I used to apply to many jobs/internships. I never heard back from these companies. That’s because my resume was not good enough for them. I thought, why do companies/recruiters judge job-seekers by their resume, why not judge them by real skills?
I had this in my mind since my first year. I went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a hackathon called AngelHack in 2016. I and my team from Malaysia built a frontend prototype and were selected as one of the finalists after competing with 84 other international teams. We got good reviews from other teams and mentors about what we were working on.
We kept working on HireSolve after returning to India.
Q. How does HireSolve work?
HireSolve lets recruiters post problems that they are facing in their company. So, these problems are not what someone can find on the internet. These problems are unique to the job and the company.
Now, we let the job-seekers to apply to job by solving the problems that the company is facing. This way, the job-seeker proves that they possess the skill-set the company is hiring for, by this, job-seeker also proves their passion for the company they are applying for (because they are trying to solve a problem of the company)
Q. How is HireSolve different from its competition?
Mainly, HireSolve aims to remove resume from the hiring process unlike competitors like monster.com and naukri.com. On the other side, there are websites that organize online hackathons which may or may not result into being hired. Also, these hackathons might be focusing on competitions that are knowledge-based. These questions might be learned from somewhere or can be copied from the internet.
With HireSolve, we confirm that problems make sure that the person is skilled, answers can’t be copied from anywhere or friends. There are 3 different levels of making sure that the person is actually efficient in the skills.
Q. From when did you think that this could be a successful venture and when did you start assembling a team for the same?
Getting selected as one of the finalists at AngelHack was something that gave us a sign that this is something we should work on.
We started contacting companies that would be interested in hiring using HireSolve and job-seekers who would use HireSolve as their job applying platform. We got pretty good response from them as HireSolve solves bunch of problems of both the parties. We also got accepted to some renowned accelerators after a few rounds of meetings. Recently, I (and HireSolve) got selected in an entrepreneurial program of Watson university were they invite 25 entrepreneurs from 50 different countries.
Q. What do you think of students mugging up course syllabus to get good placement opportunities?
That’s where students are going wrong. CEO of Capegemini India, Mr Srinivas Kandula recently stated that – “I am not very pessimistic, but it is a challenging task and I tend to believe that 60-65% of them are just not trainable”. A very reputed company, which might be hiring from top 65% of the students says that top 65% of their employees are not trainable. This happens when one mugs up course syllabus or “IMP interview questions” for the interview’s sake and pass the interview anyhow. Even though, they passed the interview, they haven’t proved their skill-set yet. Once they start working for the company only do they come to know that they don’t have the skill-set and are not even trainable. Instead of blaming the students, I blame the interview process.
In some cases, resume can be hyped or faked. If someone writes they know Java, that doesn’t assure the level of knowledge. This could be easily misinterpreted. In a different case, someone might know a skill but won’t have any certificate/experience to prove it.
Q. Do you think that HireSolve has the potential to change the way people are employed, that is, they are employed on basis of their skills and problem solving ability than just a resume?
HireSolve aims to change the recruitment process from resume based hiring to problem-solving based hiring, which is very objective. There are many other levels, within HireSolve, that makes sure that the job-applicant is really skilled with the skill-set needed by the company. It also includes a feature where a company endorses an applicant for a skill-set which guarantees in a way about the skill-set of an applicant. We also make sure that the person applying for the job is the only person who is solving the problem. We facilitate the companies if the company wants an explanation of the solution by asking the job-seeker for a video of themselves explaining their solution.
Q. What’s the funding and revenue model of HireSolve?
We have kept HireSolve such for the job-seekers that they can apply to as many jobs as they want for free. For recruiters and companies, we let them post any number of jobs and problems for free. They can also see all the solutions but not who solved them. So, once a recruiter likes a solution and wants to contact that person, they pay us a minimal amount of fee of $1 to let HireSolve produce a communication channel between the solver and the recruiter.
Q. How much faith do you have in the revenue generation ability of HireSolve?
We have talked to potential customers and they are fine with paying the fees for how we will be making them more productive by saving their money, time and resources. More than money, startup or any company in general aims to have a good company culture. Bad-hires is something to be consciously afraid of. HireSolve aims to help companies be as much productive by taking out all the worries of bad hire, wasting money on resources for interview & filtering through piles of resume. If I were to hire someone, I wouldn’t mind to pay as little as $1 to overcome the situation. So, why any other company would?
Q. What are some of the problems that HireSolve is facing?
It is hard for an entrepreneur to convince others to think the way they are thinking, to make them understand their perspective. Recruiter and Companies are habituated to recruit through resume. Being that HireSolve removes the resume from the whole process, it becomes hard for recruiters to fit in the new process. But, once they understand the value of problem-solving based hiring, they would definitely choose HireSolve over resume based hiring.
Q. What motivates you to not let hurdles and obstacles deter your spirit in anyway?
When I was in 10th standard, I was awarded 5th rank in my state(Gujarat) for reading highest number of books.
I have been reading since childhood. Reading biographies and non-fiction books keeps me motivated. I am also addicted to reading Quora. Listening to business podcasts in the free time helps in being motivated.
But I believe, at the end it’s all about your vision and goals. External motivation can never impact as much as self-motivation.
Q. Any tips for future entrepreneurs on how to follow their passion and dreams?
Spend all the time you have being as productive as you can.
No sitcoms, no Snapchat, no over-sleeping.
If you are not working, read self-help books. If not reading, find new opportunities to meet interesting people, contact mentors, and work on something innovative. Selflessly help other startups. I believe in hustling every minute of my day, if not in one way than the other. Doing something that would help myself, or someone else.
There’s no alternative to ‘doing’. I see people having “ideas” every single day.
How many of them execute it? -10%
How many of the 10% execute it and persevere? -1%
And, that’s the difference between a successful entrepreneur and others.
Perseverance. Determination. Work. Hustle. Hustle until you achieve.
You want to sleep because it’s too late? Forget it. You are not going to achieve it.
Sleep only when you have achieved what you decided, for the day.
You want to leave your start-up because you’re tired?
Stop only when you achieve it.
Do not lie to yourself. Do not play victim saying you are too young or you don’t have enough money/time. No one had, still they succeeded. You need to make your own way.
There’s no easy road. The founders of AirBnB (a company now valued at US$30-billion) — used to do hot gluing 1,000 cereal boxes to pay expenses in their early days
I believe in working the best I can. Giving my best at what I am doing. Not caring about what others think of me. I know I am doing good work. I know I am going to be successful, if not today than next year. Not next year, next decade.
Two characteristics an entrepreneur must have-
1) Be slow (By this I mean, have patience)
2) Be fast (By this I mean, do all the work you can in the day, don’t procrastinate)
There are sacrifices in hustle. Relationships, health (sometimes), fame, money. One could get a steady job, be healthy by giving time to good food and exercise, get money and fame of course.
But, that’s not who an Entrepreneur is. And, that’s not who I am. 🙂
This is it from Deep Kakkad on Startupoid. We wish you success for HireSolve and we hope that the people would be greatly inspired by your passion and hardwork you put for your work.