In the current scenario of downsizing and layoffs, we need a tool to help us find a job quickly and with ease. Manikanth Challa and young and dynamic entrepreneur is doing just that by using AI. As the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Workruit, he has introduced a framework that will help you process an excellent resume and be a bridge to lead you to a job that suits you right.
We had the privilege of asking Manikanth some poignant questions to better understand what his company is all about.
1. Manikanth, tell us a little about your start-up. Who are the core team members and what are you trying to achieve?
Workruit is a career development firm providing a suite of B2B & B2C solutions. Our flagship product, ‘Resume Builder’ is one of the only platforms available on Android, iOS and Web platforms that allows users to create interactive resumes instantly. We’ve enabled AI in a way that makes it domain-specific, compares the resumes to desired job descriptions that would provide analysis, and conduct AI-review on the resume, which would help candidates to differentiate between active voice & passive voice statements, critical skills & functional skills, and many more. It also allows users to create video introductions (as we see an immediate need for such a tool). Workruit Resume Builder is also offered to educational institutions as a SaaS platform.
Our team is well-equipped with experts from various fields such as technology, product development, business, and design. Our team is strong, with a CTO with 12 years of application development experience, a VP Business & Partnerships with 10+ years of experience driving sales and partnerships, and myself as a CEO with a background in product and design. Overall, our team is committed to producing high-quality work, and we are eager to take on new challenges and opportunities as our company expands.
2. Throw some light on professional background and previous experience and current role. Any interesting anecdotes that inspired you?
Prior to joining Workruit, I worked with several start-ups, including Dil Mil, Interplay Ventures, LotusFlare, RevSquare, Founder Shield, and Nomad Financial, working closely with the Founders of the ventures around their vision & brand goals.
I pursued my under graduation in Information Science Technology in the United States from the prestigious Pennsylvania State University. Along with having Information Technology as my major, I chose a minor in theatre, which provided me with the scope to be more practical and realistic in dealing with my professional and personal life.
3. You have had a lot of exposure to startups. Being under 30 how have you achieved amassing such experience? What have been your learnings?
If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you already work hard and know you must wear many hats. However, when you focus on patience, you develop comfort with the reality that building something of value takes time. Your desire to achieve success doesn’t have to be clouded by impatience. One can achieve the desired goals with patience and focus.
4. Explain how Workruit works. Is it employer-centric or employee-centric?
Workruit is focused on both employers and employees, and it strikes a balance between the two. It comes as an Android, iOS, and web application. Any job-seeker or recruiter can register on the platform for free. Once a job is posted, the Al-enabled algorithm curates relevant profiles of job-seekers for recruiters and vice-versa. Both parties can swipe right to like a job opening or a jobseeker’s profile, or swipe left in case they don’t. If both swipe right and it’s a “match”, they can connect via Workruit’s in-app messenger and take the conversation to the next level. The end-to-end platform also lets employees schedule interviews, doing away with the need to call applicants or send them emails. Multiple job postings are possible through a single profile.
5. Is there any verification method for both potential employers and employees? How can one authenticate?
The Workruit App and Website allow users to authenticate and/or register using third-party social networks into which you may have already entered information about yourself. Workruit may collect data that you choose to allow us to access using the aforementioned social network platforms, in order to perform useful analytics, and we may then filter, sanitise, customise, and sort that information to optimise the user experience.
6. How different is it from existing models? How do you want to compete with them?
Although Workruit is a mobile-first platform, all of its solutions are available for users to explore and use online as well. Workruit’s solutions are also available in a number of regional and international languages. Among them are English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Orissa, and many other languages. Workruit Resume Builder is available in Hindi, Russian, Filipino, Bahasa, and Malay in addition to English. The platform will also be available in more regional languages over the next six months. We are already working hard to make sure that job seekers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities have access to platforms such as Resume Builder, Video Resume, and Employment. One of the most critical facets for growth in these areas is the availability of a language platform, which we are focussing upon.
7. What is the traction so far?
We have successfully acquired a diverse client portfolio. The Workruit Resume Builder has built over 4+ million resumes on the platform and has had 2+ million job postings across the globe. Workruit has collaborated with companies such as Just Dial, HDFC, Amazon, Fortune Group, Reliance Foundation, and Asian Paints over the years. We have also built ties with many educational institutions like the Indian Institute of Management commerce, Vasavi Engineering College, GITAM University, Mohan Babu University and the BLDE Association.
Apart from the Resume Builder, Job Search & Recruitment platform, Workruit for Government is a white-labelled solution that we offer to government organisations in order to digitise the Skilling & Employment Exchange platform for all skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled workforces in the private sector. One such initiative is DEET by the Government of Telangana in collaboration with Workruit.
8. What is your vision to scale your business? (Like funding, marketing plan etc.)
We expect to have reached over 5 million job seekers, 5000 businesses and SMEs, and 2000 colleges by the end of the year. Workruit Resume Builder is available in a variety of international languages, including Bahasa, Filipino, Malaysian, and Vietnamese, and we are expanding into the South East Asian market. We’ve seen strong organic growth in these markets, and there’s a high demand for a mobile-friendly tool for building digital profiles.
We plan to target over 2000+ educational institutions and colleges as part of our solutions to provide solutions for assisting students and placement teams in automating the Resume, CV, Cover Letter, and Video Resume processes, allowing students to connect with more internships and job opportunities.
9. Any other interesting information you would like to share with us?
We recently raised over $500,000 in a pre-series A round led by Kantamaneni’s family office in the United States. We are grateful to our investors, partners, and customers for their faith in us. With this, we hope to reach new heights in our mission to bring AI-powered recruitment systems to potential job seekers and employers in India.