Published: 10th October 2018
How this Kolkata-based couple built a job site exclusively for chartered accountants
Sonia Singhal was working with Deloitte Hyderabad and then took a break from her career due to marriage in the year 2011 and subsequently due to maternity
About 8,000 to 10,000 students clear the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India's final exams across the country, however only 10 to 15 per cent of them are able to find a job on merit soon after the results are out. Only a handful get jobs during their campus placements, others have to depend on acquaintances who are already Chartered Accountants to forward their resumes to their bosses. This Kolkata-based CA couple came up with a solution to tackle this problem. Set up in December 2015, cajobportal.com is a recruitment platform exclusively for CAs.
Sonia Singhal and her husband Anurag Singhal, both CAs themselves, first came up with a blog of the same name in August 2013 to help fellow professionals receive updates about job openings for CA roles. "We work like tech-enabled placement consultants and help clients recruit CAs in the junior and mid-segment," says Sonia. "Because of the value proposition, we offer in terms of domain expertise, online presence and service delivery levels, we are now trusted by over a hundred clients in 6 geographies. These include the top 50 per cent of BSE-30 companies including the likes of Unilever, Asian Paints, Goldman Sachs and HDFC. The portal is also recognised under 'Startup India Scheme' by DIPP."
Sonia was working with Deloitte Hyderabad and then took a break from her career due to marriage in the year 2011 and subsequently due to maternity. She explains that after a two-year gap when she wanted to get back into the corporate world in 2013, she found that it had become very difficult. "After a two and a half years gap on my resume, people were not ready to give me a chance. So we wanted to solve this problem and we wanted to provide opportunities to more people like me, who were sitting back at home for their personal reasons but now want to work," says Sonia adding, "Cajobportal.com was my comeback initiative on the career front in December 2013."
What is unique about this start-up is that it is an all-women team, who work from their respective homes; on a collaborative workspace, enabling real-time monitoring and seamless integration of efforts. "I work from home. I have an entire team which works from their homes and I haven’t even met most of them," adds Sonia, laughing.
We are trying to bridge the gap between the right companies and ones who can fit into their job requirements. The team comprises of six people working together as a team, all of whom are CA or MBA finances. Since we ourselves are from this space we know what the companies require. We provide them with the exact relevant resumes based on the understanding of their requirements that helps save a lot of time. The job postings on portals like Naukri or LinkedIn have an apply button and anyone can apply by clicking on it, after that the HR team has to screen the profiles to check if they are relevant or not. What we do to save time is we only provide relevant profiles to the companies
Sonia Singhal, Co-founder, Cajobportal.com
Sonia says they had to face a lot of difficulties in the beginning. "In a workspace where ‘work from home’ isn’t taken seriously, or spoken about with skepticism over credibility, I have managed to bounce back from obstructions. When people hear that cajobportal.com has clocked revenues of almost Rs 3 million, the look on their faces is something I cannot describe," says Sonia.
As far as their future plans are concerned, Sonia says they would like to start e-learning certification programmes, online tests for better screening and selection. They would also like to tap into two other job verticals — jobs for retired persons and work from home options for female CA professionals and housewives, who have a finance background. "We have already started working on these plans but they will all take time to get into the execution phase," concludes Sonia.