“The 3P Mantra” by Prabakaran Murugaiah

Prabakaran “Praba” Murugaiah is the Founder & CEO of TechFetch, an exclusive job portal that helps IT companies to find the best fitting resumes open for a job, position or a project. He is the inventor of QFETCH, a resume analysis algorithm that matches the relevant jobs with qualified candidates within 30 seconds of posting a resume. Corp-Corp reaches over 2 million job candidates in a year, receives over 40,000 tech jobs every month and has reached over 6,000 US companies

Praba has been a friend for a long time and we have worked together on many interesting projects. Two words come to my mind when I think of Praba and they are speed and tenacity. In other words, Praba moves fast and does not stop 🙂

Praba is also the author of “A Beginner’s Guide to Technical Recruiting.

Here is Praba’s story in his own words about winning and retaining first customers.

I come from a deep data mining background and that led to the core idea that was all about processing unstructured data filtered by multiple criteria. This was in 2004 and that led to the creation of a student portal called F1Study where we helped more than 100,000 students by matching them with the right universities. That project helped us to put our engine to good test in a real-life environment. Obviously, that was only a start and we knew from the beginning that one cannot build a $100M business matching students to universities. So, we were on the hunt for a good problem for our solution. We didn’t have to search for long as the answer was right in the backyard.

While building the F1Study portal, I was also involved in a consulting business both personally as well as helping others find consulting jobs. So I was on both sides of the consulting business – one as a person seeking projects and the other as a person looking for people to fill the requirements. The process was broken on both ends: job seekers were not finding it easy to find the projects and the employers were not finding it easy to find the job candidates.

Our technology then evolved as QFetch – a matching engine for jobs and candidates. That’s what we started selling: Online Job Posting and Resume Database Access Subscriptions. The objective was reducing the recruitment cycle time for recruiters and reduce the job searching time for candidates. The invention was to proactively match the active job seekers with active jobs using QFetch technology.

The key challenges?

The key challenge is the technology. Eliminating the search for candidates and job seekers are not that easy. Lot of parameters are required on both ends in order to do the perfect match making. So capturing the most important data in the least possible way is the key to success. The constant learning process and continuous optimization improved the quality of match and delivery. Obtaining critical mass for any market place is the toughest part. There is no short cut to it.

Lessons learned?

If the customers know that they have pain point then its easy to sell, if they don’t really understand there is an easy way to accomplish their work and feel the pain they have then its double the work. First we have to promote the concept of the pain they are having and make sure they realize it, then educate them to find a solution in the market, we should be the one in front of them for that solution.

We prefer our first customer from the trusted circle, so that you have a room to correct your mistake and learn the process. The second customer should be the one who is looking desperately for our solution. Most of the time, the idea for the innovation comes from the pain we go through, so even before we create a solution we have bunch of customers to try. So I dont see a big challenge in finding the first fee customers. The real challenge will be scaling up at the same time reducing the cost of customer acquisition.

Final comments?

Its a buyers market and no one want hear anything from seller. We have to make our users to buy.

My Mantra for success is “Passion + Persistence + Patience “