Praba hails from Tirunelveli, a third-tier fertile town in Tamil Nadu watered by the Tamaraparani river and known for enterprising people who start small-time businesses. Being a farmer’s son, he learnt the ropes of running a business at the age of 12 when he was exposed to the fertilizer distribution company run by his father. Talking about that experience, he says, “It taught me to buy, sell, negotiate and manage cash flow.” In the spirit of giving back to the town that made him, he started an offshore support centre at Tirunelveli when he started TechFetch. There was no great talent available in the town. He says, “I hired people with only two qualifications: great attitude and a willingness to learn; and we gave preference to socially, financially and physically disadvantaged professionals. There is a great sense of satisfaction that I am able to create an opportunity for these youth so that they are able to be with their families to take care of their day-to-day responsibilities.” Talking about how the idea came to him, Praba says, “I am a village boy and I have come across many people who are struggling to find some work to make ends meet. I always wanted to help them. I think that seed has grown bigger and it revolves around the same theme of creating opportunities for others as well as myself.”
Praba was a consultant running a niche warehouse consulting firm in 2007. On what prompted him to start TechFetch, he says, “Finding someone quickly was always a challenge.” He found that several consulting companies like his needed resources. “There was no efficient way of matching supply and demand in real time,” he adds. On the other side, he found that a million consultants spent three to four weeks of unproductive time in the United States, causing a revenue loss of approximately $10 billion. He hit upon the idea of building a platform to connect these unproductive resources to consulting firms hungry for talent. Praba explains, “Rather than using traditional search-based methodology, we built fetch that connects candidates with relevant job opportunities in 30 seconds multiple times in a day.”
The platform was launched as Corp-Corp.com in 2008 and within three years, the portal had 6000 companies seeking possible recruits. It was rebranded as TechFetch.com in 2013. Currently, seven million applications from thousands of candidates are flooding the portal for 300,000 direct tech jobs. “Please note that these jobs are directly posted on our site,” Praba clarifies.
The TechFetch team is made of technology entrepreneurs having more than a decade and half of experience in building technology solutions for large enterprises. Praba says, “Beyond technology, our biggest strength is understanding the $200 billion technology consulting market.”
Talking about TechFetch’s vision, Praba says, “Our goal is to build a 5 STAR (Smart, Trusted, Authentic, Reliable) global workforce.” He predicts that rather than companies with 100,000 tech jobs, the future will have 100,000 companies wanting 10 to 20 employees. He points out, “Our solution will be geared towards solving the talent acquisition problem for the small and niche companies.”
This panel discussion on People, Platforms, Processes: What next in IT? will be moderated by Vish Nathan.