Vinay Johar is the CEO of RChili, the most trusted partner for parsing jobs and resumes matching and data enrichment for the global recruitment industry. His career has included a Master’s in Technology at IIT, work as an Analyst at Tata Infotech, serving as the CEO of Connoisseur Infotech, CEO of Enrich.io, and over seven years at RChilli, where they now partner with ETS applications, fortune enterprises, and job boards in over 32 different countries.
As always, May I Have Your Attention is brought to you by captivate.ai, which turns your podcast into three months of social media content, you can find out more at Captivate.ai.
Vinay’s background [0:44]
RChilli when Vinay first joined vs. now [3:27]
Ask and listen to your clients very carefully [8:09]
Getting noticed from your ideal customer [12:00]
How to leverage your networking [15:19]
How to slice through the noise using social media [17:40]
Justin Nassiri 00:04
Welcome back to May I have your attention, a show about slicing through the noise online. I’m Justin Assyria and each week I chat with industry leaders about how to get key and monetize attention online. May I have your attention is brought to you by captivate.ai, which turns your webinar or podcast the three months of social media content? Find out [email protected] let’s get started with today’s episode. Joining me today in San Ramon, California, my guest is an agent Jowhar, Vinay, welcome to May I have your attention.
Vinay Johar 00:42
Hi, hi, Justin, how you doing man?
Justin Nassiri 00:44
Great, great. I want to give our audience a very abbreviated bio. Vinay is the CEO of our chili, which is the most trusted partner for parsing jobs and resumes matching and data enrichment for the global recruitment industry. His career has included a master’s in technology at IIT work as an analyst at Tata Tata infotech, serving as CEO of conasauga, infotech, CEO of enrich.io. And over seven years at our Chile, where they now partner with ETS applications, fortune enterprises and job boards in over 32 different countries. So Vinay, maybe before we I want to talk about the incredible growth that you’ve seen over the last seven years, and how you’ve achieved that, but I want to give listeners a little bit more of an understanding of our chili. So I give a, you know, sentence description that I got from your company’s LinkedIn. But could you maybe explain a little bit more the work that you do?
Vinay Johar 01:48
Show. So actually is a provides an API plugin, which is an AI plugin for all recruiting platforms. And we can do is data extraction from resumes or a job, semantically matching them and then giving them a very enriched data set to a recruiter or a candidate. So that they can reduce their data entry points. They feel more engaged with the platform and the best ROI, what we find it out, candidate takes hardly five to seven seconds to finish up their job application. That’s the most used case what we have seen it. So instead of filling up long forms and applying on multiple things, why don’t you allow them to apply to five or six continuously non stop? And it’s less than five seconds? Wow. That’s the whole stuff, what we provide them?
Justin Nassiri 02:39
And I’m guessing if so you’re lowering the time it takes to submit which when I’m guessing leads to more candidates, more completions, and just ultimately, a higher quality candidate as well.
Vinay Johar 02:51
Definitely a CV we all work for over one is scarcity we have as a time. And secondly, in a corporate world. Everybody wanna meet their KPIs? So if as a recruiter if I show them all right, top 10 candidates, which are perfectly almost a 99% match, what what more you need from the system? Right? You can close more jobs, meet your KPIs, can you get some more job easily, they don’t have to wait for weeks and weeks to get into the final funnel? And that’s where we play that whole role.
Justin Nassiri 03:27
That’s great. So you joined the company over seven years ago? Could you explain? Roughly, you know, where was the company at that point in terms of size or users? Like what? Just to get a sense of scale?
Vinay Johar 03:43
Sure. So seven years back company was what I call it, almost on a version 2.0, or rebirth they were doing on, they’ve already seen one near death experience. And they were all closing down. And when when I added they were making even less than $100,000. That’s a top line they had. And I took a took over this command. I said, Okay, let’s see what value proposition we can have. We did the market survey, we did the whole evolution and find it out. Man, this has a potential to go global. And after that, it is all like one mission, what we like that’s my own personal mission to how many profiles we are processing. We don’t count number of customers, we only count number of profiles. And that led us adding more and more customers adding more or more languages, scaling it up what we are today, like, actually, we have a customer base in 37 countries right now, across the globe.
Justin Nassiri 04:43
I want to dig in on that because I really liked that thought. I’m guessing prior to your joining was there was there just kind of like a lot of different metrics for success. And one of the things that when you took the helm, you said look, the number one thing that we’re going to focus on is how How many profiles were processing?
Vinay Johar 05:02
That’s right. Earlier it was all how many clients we sign up how many system without, it was there. So like I find it out size of a smaller company don’t don’t go for 1015 KPIs, one KPI and if you can bet on that, and scale it up, rest will follow up like one if I say my whole bet is how many profiles I’m doing. Now one company, which is doing, say, a million a day, that will be enterprise customer, you cannot say startup is going to come and next day, they’ll do millions. That’s not a possibility there. We figured out like hidden values are there, but let us focus on one value called number of profiles. And a company Oh, every day, how many are doing every day? How many do I still remember initially, we were doing approximately around 500 600 or 1000 a day today, which is touching a millions. Wow, that that’s what we did it nothing else.
Justin Nassiri 05:56
I like that too. Because if I’m if I’m reading into this correctly, the more profiles you have on the site, the more job seekers, the more you’re going to get companies that are hiring. So it kind of solves for itself. And in by letting go of focusing on the clients, it just seems like it align the team all around like whatever it takes to get more profiles on the site. That’s a single focus. And I really like that I like that simplicity. Because I just imagine it’s tough for a team to get their head around three different metrics are five or 10, or 20. That’s great. What else do you think in those first couple of years? What what made the difference for the growth that you saw our chili
Vinay Johar 06:44
the one beside a deficiency in what we brought in was distribution background. So we find it out. The biggest sale cycle of fun, like time consuming a sales funnel was almost around a year or more than a year. And it was integration time. People spend two weeks, three weeks, four weeks or one sprint to make sure that this product can integrate in their ETS on a job board. And I said with the team and said okay, this is too big. Can we reduced to a few minutes. So from a week’s time to two minutes, is what challenge what you brought in, took us a couple of months. But we were able to resolve it, thanks to tech team. And then we lost a product which is less than 30 minutes you’re all on. Now we have a version which is less than two minutes, you are up and running in your portal. So that that helps us to reduce the sales cycle number one second, it helps us customer to do a PSE with us very quickly. They don’t have to wait for one whole spread. Because his job is hardly 1015 minutes or Max 30 minutes. That PLC process is much quicker and much faster. And that helped us to close more sales, more customer onboarding. And after that everybody start following us the same pattern what we used earlier. But that’s one basic difference. But he brought in through from a cognitive process, easy to use, quick to integrate.
Justin Nassiri 08:09
I really liked this idea. And I’m curious, where did that exactly I’m, I’m appreciating the simplicity that you’re relaying it. But I’m also respecting what you’re saying. Because I’m imagining at the time, it wasn’t as clear as like, well let’s just reduce the time and that will make our clients happy. I’m imagining there was so much ambiguity of 100 different features people were championing for maybe customers complaining against things. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs, where you may get a lot of different feedback from clients, he may be getting a lot of different feedback from sales people from internal stakeholders. How How can you narrow it down to like this is actually the one feature that we really need to knock out and that seems to make everything else follow.
Vinay Johar 09:05
So what I find it out as an enterpreneur as a startups we normally work inside the company. We sit inside we feel this product is best This feature is best people should use it. It’s the best go outside the company, go to your clients, go to your people and ask them very carefully. Hey, we have five features which one you are using most. Or check out your records, check out your logs. Now one feature if that’s there and then figure it out. Is there any way we can make them test it out on the fly means 10 seconds, 30 seconds, one minute. If you can do just hook up that particular feature in one particular feature in 30 minutes, five minutes, two minutes, what sort of pattern you have as your product. You onboard them only for the one feature. Rest people will buy you once they start journey with you. Like we have multiple products when I say 30 to 30 minute Only one product is there, which can they can onboard in less than 30 minutes. Whereas products need the integration. But that’s fine. People don’t mind it. Right. And that’s the journey what they everybody lives with us. So one feature which customer wants, not what you want to sell, onboard them on that feature, period. There’s no no ifs and buts there’s no no confusion, simple pricing, simple onboarding process, onboard them as quickly as possible, then you can sell anything, what do you want to sell to them? People will buy it.
Justin Nassiri 10:32
I really like that, you know, sometimes I think of that, in terms of upsell, I view it as like, well get them in the door. And then and then upsell them, which you know, is not is I think what comes through when you’re talking about this, I get the sense of of momentum, it’s like, and I think of all the things that I signed up for were literally like a product, that’s a free trial, and I log in and I’m like, this is too complicated, I can’t do it right now. And then maybe I want to do it, and it just falls to the crap cracks, and I never get to it. So I love this sense of how much of a competitive advantage that is, if I know that I can get someone up and running, do that, get them in the door, get that relationship formed. And I also really like what you’re saying, because from a product standpoint, it really lowers the burden. It’s not like I need to make sure that every aspect of the product is easy to use. I’m liking the sense of empathy of like, what is the customer want most? Okay, how do I give that to them as quickly as possible? And the rest you can build over time? You don’t have to do that all in one moment.
Vinay Johar 11:46
Exactly. So this is why I always say my team hate starters, give them as early as possible. And then they can sit with you and they can live with you for min costs and deserts too. And but starters, they don’t have to wait. Get them on. Yeah,
Justin Nassiri 12:00
quickly. That’s great. That’s great. And I like this sense to where you’re talking about interviewing the clients and seeing what are the handful of features that they most use and looking at the feature that they use. And I like that level of of specificity. Sometimes I feel like I just focus on everything. And I think you’re right, you have to be laser focused on what you improve. That’s how did you in those early days? How did you get in front of your ideal customer? I’m guessing your ideal customer was someone who was looking for a job? I’m guessing that those people had many different options? How did you think about getting noticed by them?
Vinay Johar 12:45
So we take a channel, which is more a distribution channel through partners or affiliates, like recruitment software’s or job boards, that’s what we pick up as a primary channel. And what we did is, we start sending them an email, which we never got a response, we spend money on PPC that was not productive. Then we said is let us do a little bit of raffle and as well as form submission. So that’s a two Nishan. I’m not talking now. Now, we don’t do any any of these things. But initially when people don’t know us, and you’re a startup and you want to get in front of your customers form submissions without right problem set and white right solution, and with a challenge that okay, you can solve in 30 minutes, and three PLC and all that stuff. And then going through them through a reference, like I was a part of lot of intrapreneur networks. And I start broadcasting message there that I want to connect to guys who are in this industry or this domain or staffing companies. And suddenly, like less than a month, we have started coming in flow of leads. We were going on demos that time, WebEx was there, and it’s all WebEx meeting WebEx meeting going on, then you start visiting them and then start closing less than three months. We start revenue coming in. But that is a guerilla technique we used I don’t recommend at this stage is the stage we don’t do it. The stage is all different. But those days were pretty pretty aggressive.
Justin Nassiri 14:14
Do you think that that that changed there? Is that because of the scale that our chili is at now those those are just less meaningful? Or is it that things have changed in the last seven years and and referrals networking are just not as valuable now.
Vinay Johar 14:36
It is a change of bactrim it is almost same. So instead of no form submission we do with the Lincoln and reach out which is there. Instead of that enterpreneur network we do it we do sponsored even on those stuff, where we do a presentation and demos. So style is still same channels also same. Only mode has changed. And that still works. Because today, I remember those days, we could have sold $30 a month packages. Today it is few in four figures packages, what we sell. value has changed, customer persona has changed. Devin focus has changed. So that’s why the mood has changed.
Justin Nassiri 15:19
You know, I like that though, because it’s almost like the underlying principle is the same, but the mechanism you use to accomplish it is is changed slightly. Do you have you know that when you talk about the referrals, the entrepreneur networks, do you? Do you have any advice for listeners about like, how do you I can tell even when you talked about it, you said like when I was, you know, part of these entrepreneur networks and said, this is the type of person I’m going after. So I’m getting the sense that you were really clear and crisp, and what you were needing help with? What advice do you have for listeners of like how to effectively leverage networking or entrepreneur groups or things like that to get get the word out about what you’re doing.
Vinay Johar 16:04
Um, I must say, this is a video. I’m not seeing a problem, but it is a one of the issues with all startups and even I had it my previous startups, we believe that we know everything. Second, we don’t want to admit that we don’t know. Now, if we get rid of this whole attitude, that I don’t know anything, I still have to learn a lot. Number one, number two, I need help. Now, with these two mindsets, you go anywhere, and you tell people publicly and very honestly, hey, I’m doing this things I need to help. Believe me, there’s a lot of people who are they’re still there who move forward and start going to help you. So as an intrapreneur, as a startup, as a startup, what you need to do is just admit that you need a prop or you have a problem. Number two, you need a help. And the generally go outside your network, go to your upline networks, your college friends, wherever you can go. But generally ask the help, don’t ask them to be here, I need a $10 million. That’s not a way to ask it. But ask generally. And once you start doing it, you’ll find there’s a lot of people out there to help you out. Even today, on those forums, when startups joins in, and they broadcast a message, we are all here to help them. Hey, I know this guy in this company, I know this guy and company, I can get you there. And that’s how this whole business stands, at least upon your startup, you need a few initial tractions then once you have attraction, you have a pivot, then you can grow from there. That’s not a problem.
Justin Nassiri 17:40
I think that’s so great. You know, having been an entrepreneur for 10 years, myself, I really identify with both of those statements. Like I think I know everything. And I don’t want to admit we don’t know, you know, it almost feels like for startups, so much of this is posturing. So much of this is trying to be bigger than you are trying to have an answer for everything. And I like how you’re flipping that script. And when I say okay, I don’t know everything, and I need help. It’s so much easier for people to help, you know, and I like what you’re saying, too. It’s not like I need help, I need $10 million. But being really precise and what you’re needing or what your what your challenge you’re facing are. And I can imagine how that invites a lot more help than projecting that you know, everything that’s that’s so liberating to think about that shift. That’s what about, I’m curious today how things have changed how you think about slicing through the noise, how as there’s more and more social channels, as there’s more and more people broadcasting their message? How does our chili get noticed today? How do you acquire both the resumes and the companies that are hiring?
Vinay Johar 18:54
So we we did a like I don’t know, three, four years back when we start seeing, okay, social media, especially LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram type of channels, they have a good potential. We start investing money into that to understand how they work. We found that the style of business we are like I want to target to CEO of a company and I cannot cannot target them on Instagram. Maybe he’s there, but I cannot target them there. But all these platforms plays a very different role for us. like LinkedIn is a primary lead generation platform for us today. Yes, we use them a lot. Facebook is just an engagement of those users. It’s not something we as a legion model. Instagram is just a brand building for us people in the company. And I know when we talk about four type of customer personas in a company. At the bottom of the pyramid, these guys have a right to say no, they don’t have a right to say yes to your product, but they have a right to say no. to influence them. We use all that platforms in a different background. like Instagram for us is more to employ a brand, or hiring more people or that type of stories, what we shared there, but on Lincoln inside, we share more about our success story as a business or how we engage them what problems we can handle on that way. So use very generally, depending on where your customer is, where he is ready to connect you as a professional, where he want to connect you as a personal level, figure it out, and then go very subtle way, don’t go very aggressively, that next morning, you have 100 posts per day, that’s very bad, I feel that’s a very bad way to do go very subtle way. And you’ll see the success is gonna come back to you.
Justin Nassiri 20:37
I like that I don’t think anyone on the show has mentioned that before we’re each each of these channels can serve a different need. And I like the sense that with LinkedIn, there’s an you know, extreme ability to target by title by company type by industry. And you know, Instagram might be more about the brand building. And I like even the thought of presenting a different facet of the company on each channel where it sounds like Instagram might be more about the culture and hiring and things like that. Whereas LinkedIn is more about these are the successes or this is what we’re doing. I think that’s a great way to think about how to be present. It’s not it’s not broadcasting the same message everywhere. It’s really understanding who was there, what they’re looking for, and how they might benefit from your message. I know that we’re at the end, but I want to leave you with the last word, anything we haven’t covered. You want people to know anything about our chili or how to follow what you’re doing. But we’d love to just give you a minute or two here at the end to share whatever else you’d like to share.
Vinay Johar 21:38
Sure, thanks for that. So sure, if asking today stage so we are have entered into a specially enterprise space. Like we are now partnered with Oracle HCM and we are aggressively looking for people either they’re implementing Oracle or they are using Oracle’s tools. We want to partner with them and show them what value proposition we can do. We are also partner with products like Salesforce or HubSpot, or upcoming is a success factor and scaling up into that Airbus page space where we can scale we can help the candidates we can help the enterprise how to automate how to bring these AI tools right at the root level and remove that what what I normally say data entry sin. So let us get rid of the data entry portion and become a platform or increase your brand value to the market.
Justin Nassiri 22:34
It’s great. Well, I appreciate your time and advice today. And for listeners in the show notes for this episode, we’ll have links to our chili to their website, to their social channels. So you can follow them on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Vinay, I really appreciate your time today.
Vinay Johar 22:51
Thanks, Justin. I appreciate your support and your questions are really thought provoking and you actually take me back my journey of last seven years. Thanks very much.
Justin Nassiri 23:00
Thank you. Thank you for listening to me, I have your attention. Each episode I meet with top marketers thought leaders and experts to find out how individuals and brands can get keep and make money with attention. You can subscribe to me I have your attention on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts show notes are provided for each [email protected] slash podcast. May I have your attention is brought to you by captivate.ai, which turns your webinar or podcast into three months of social media content, find out [email protected]