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Jul 24, 2023
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I do understand that building a business is not an overnight jackpot but building a real, sustainable business takes time, requires hustle and lots of sacrifices.

-Ayushi Rungta, CEO, OpenOffers

Team 100X.VC interviewed the Founders' of their Portfolio Companies about their Start-up journey; from idea, execution to overcoming challenges. Here, Ayushi Rungta, CEO, OpenOffers shares her responses.

 

Q1. How did the idea of Open offers come up?

I was into recruitment for over a decade, worked for startups to big names like VMWare. I come from the background of talent acquisition, and personally faced the agony of candidate ghosting. Every time a candidate ghosted, I felt that it was not worth my time away from my daughter. While I used to work for startups, I assumed that "Candidate No shows" is just a problem for startups and small companies because of the job insecurity that candidates may have as when compared to big companies. When I joined VMware, my assumption turned out to be wrong and saw that they also have similar struggle. The recruiters KPI is not just the no. of offers made but also no. of candidates joined. Here I got to interact with many other recruiters who came from Google to other big tech companies and what I learnt is that they too have this struggle. This made me understand that its a talent market and irrespective of the size of the company, every company has a broad set of companies with which it fights for talent in silos. And this not a new problem, it has been there since decades. The only thing is that recruiters, hiring managers and even the CEOs, are now more vocal about rather just adopting it as the new normal. Possessed to do something about addressing this, I came up with OpenOffers. OpenOffers is the anonymous network based platform for the enterprise recruiters dealing with the same candidate, collaborating and sharing the information about their offered candidate with the network. Which helps the recruiters to be prompt in decision making which benefits their respective organisation. OpenOffers aims to be the new CIBIL for the HR Industry.

Q2. What made you start working on Open offers and executing this idea?

"Candidate no show on date of joining" is a huge risk for business. I have often seen companies losing contracts because they were unable to hire on time. As a recruiter I faced this day-to-day problem at work. I searched for the solution but unfortunately couldn't find one. Recruiters and companies have just learnt to live with this issue. Mostly, HR techs either help in Sourcing talent or Improving the candidate experience post offer and joining. The main problem is lack of visibility about your candidate between offered date and joining date. The only source of information is candidate himself. I would say, its a highly competitive talent market, and there is no point in cribbing about the ecosystem and it may not be a responsibility of a candidate to inform you about their change of plan but rather organizations need to adopt right tools which can help them safeguard their business risk and interest. Candidate no shows though is the problem of every recruiter but ultimately it impacts the business. As per Indeed research due to Candidate Ghosting the tech companies lose around 11,700 Crores rupees in a year apart from the business and reputation loss. And this is only India tech companies, globally the impact is huge. Evidence of no appropriate solution to this problem and the size of the market made me leave my job at VMware and start working on OpenOffers and executing this idea. 

Q3. When did you realize the need to raise Venture Capital - Seed funding?

OpenOffers is a B2B SaaS platform. Initially I invested my own savings to build the initial version of product ( MVP ) and took it to a few tech CHRO's for the feedback. Most of them specifically thanked me for starting something like this. I inculcated a lot of feedback, prepared answers to questions that may come up. Thereafter, I started my sales and every company I talked to was excited to get onboarded but there was one question that all of them had was how fast I can grow the network and get their competitors on the platform? I needed to be fast. In platform network business the more people join the network the more value it's able to generate for the network. Like any other network platform business such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Ola, Uber, the initial cost of building the network was high before it could be actually monetized. Since my solution was validated by CHROs, I was able to get initial few customers on the platform. Now to grow this network at a faster pace I needed money, mentorship, connections and credibility. For all this a VC seed fund was an appropriate step.

Q4. How has 100X helped you at the beginning of your journey?

100X are Founder Friendly VCs. For me personally they are our guardians in this business industry. When they entered, they filled up many gaps which most of the founders initially ignore, from "The Founders Agreement" to "Hiring a in-house product team" and many other such things. Getting a backing from 100Xvc helped us with more credibility in our customer world as well as in the entire Investor community. They and their team are just a call away to help us in any aspect of the business. We can always bounce back any of the thoughts or ideas that we may have and gauge the merit of it. The 100Xvc master-classes at Mumbai was of immense help since we got connected to many elite business people and it was more than any MBA course an entrepreneur can do. What they say and promote "unlimited mentorship", they actually do.  Although there are many early stage VC's in India, I have not seen anyone betting big on founders at the idea stage, at a stage when you don't have numbers to show but only a dream to sell. I feel privileged to be backed by them.

Q5. What challenges did you face & how did you overcome them?

For any network based platform there is always a chicken and egg problem. For example: You won't be on WhatsApp unless your friends and family are on WhatsApp. While this process takes its own sweet time, the idea is to get the initial believers on the platform and keep nurturing the others. That's how we got the initial few companies who said that we are fine to just be the data provider for you since we want this solution to succeed. And that's how we are now able to generate value for the customers and we have many customers now joining the platform whom we gave a demo to 6 months ago.

Q6. What stage is Open offers at present?

At present we have cracked the chicken and egg problem and started delivering value to our network. Very soon we will be able to start realizing revenue since we are able to deliver value regularly to our customers.

Q7. As a founder, what are your goals for the next 1-2 years?

  •    To get big tech companies such as Wipro, TCS, HCL, Infosys, Accenture on OpenOffers platform. 
  •    Achieve zero CAC
  •    Be a default household name in the hiring industry. 
  •    Make money for my shareholders

Q8. What keeps you motivated & keeps you going?

"No show on the date of joining" I have dealt with this issue for over a decade and this is my chance to solve this for the whole industry. Along this journey, I have gathered support from a lot of leaders who are helping me for no personal gain but they want this problem to be addressed. Every business has its low and high, but personally since my childhood I have always been a fighter and I have always been a finisher in everything I do. I do understand that building a business is not an overnight jackpot but building a real, sustainable business takes time, requires hustle and lots of sacrifices. 

Q9.  Your message for Startup founders building in the same sector?

Be customer obsessed, have patience since the future of HR Tech is very bright because no one can replace the human capital.  

 

About Ayushi Rungta:

Ayushi has a decade of experience in hiring and recruitments, her last stint was at VMWare. She is a gold medalist in in her Post Graduate in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations from BHU and is highly passionate about addressing core challenges faced by recruiters.

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