The Pragati Jobs Story
A worker moves crates of customers’ orders to a delivery vehicle at a warehouse. (Photographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg)

The Pragati Jobs Story

*This is in partnership with BloombergQuint BrandStudio.

Ambrish Bajaj, co-founder of Pragati, an online recruitment platform, talks about his startup.

The founding of Pragati – the why and how?

Blue collar workforce market is deeply fragmented and highly unorganised. This market is fragmented across numerous local, few large and some online players. There is little use of technology at scale, to improve recruitment or other outcomes. As a result, companies struggle to hire at scale, in time and with quality. Even large companies, who can afford large recruitment teams and employ multiple channels, struggle with poor hiring rates. Candidates too have low trust in the current broken process and the overall jobs ecosystem (online and offline players), as they struggle to get a job. Candidates, even after applying through multiple sites, have long waiting times before they even get an interview opportunity.

The market size and Pragati’s proposition?

We saw an opportunity in organising this sector using technology at scale, to improve outcomes for both companies and job seekers. For employers, Pragati solves ‘sourcing, screening and interview’ in a single place. By using our solution, companies provide a single interface to candidates to complete their application process and then walk-in (many times next day), thus bringing a seamless experience and better conversion rate. For candidates, Pragati is a direct channel to interview with the company, and aims to enhance trust between job seekers and companies.

Recruitment services is a Rs. 5,000-7,000 crore market annually. This market is fragmented across numerous local, few large and some online players. Most online players have focused on lead generation, with little differentiation.

Pragati has a total of 10 members based in Noida and led by Ambrish Bajaj and Gaurav Jain. Bajaj has 17 years of experience in online services and Jain has 15 years of recruitment services experience.

What’s the revenue model in a highly competitive space with large, leading established players?

We work on outcome based revenue models - 'per onboarding'/'per walk-in' depending on company needs. Our competitors work on classifieds/lead/resume models. Such models work well in white collar space, but fare poorly in the blue collar space due to very large spread out hiring volume and highly unstructured skills. We have differentiated ourselves as a fulfilment based platform.

Are you self-funded at the moment or have you raised external finance?

We raised angel funding in August 2020 to build our product, conduct market trials and service the first few clients. The initial backers of Pragati are senior executives in the HR and internet industry. We are also looking for growth capital now, to go to our next level.

What has the response to Pragati been?

Here are the key metrics:

Candidates: In the last 6 months, site visits have grown to 6,800 (monthly) and total registered job seekers to ~6,000.

Jobs: Pragati has more than 5,000+ open positions across 10 cities.

Hirings: Pragati has enabled close to 300 walk-ins and approx. 180 hirings in the last four months.

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