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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Time to Act

Jayakishore Bayadi
Monday, November 30, 2009
Jayakishore Bayadi
It’s not just an astounding story of an entrepreneurial journey. It was the vision towards the future and an intelligent account of recognizing an opportunity and pursuing it with great guts and determination. Obviously, it involved a lot of hard work along with a bit of luck. From Rs. 2.5 Lakh to over Rs. 100 crores in 10 years, Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Hitesh Oberoi have built India’s most cash-rich dotcom company. Today the entire recruitment industry is singularly dependent on it. Naukri.com, a premier job site from India, today a public company on the Bombay Stock Exchange, stands tall as an example for pathbreaking innovative entrepreneurial ventures.

For Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Co-Founder and CEO of Naukri.com, there was no apposite family background or support system or even financial muscle to achieve this big milestone. “There was no business background in the family, no great financial acumen or anything. I was born and brought up in the standard middle class family with normal middle class aspirations of parents in government service,” says Bikhchandani.

An Economics graduate from St. Stephen’s College and an IIMA Allumnus, Bikhchandani always wanted to be independent. He always had the dream of working for himself not anyone else. Naturally, if this has to be achieved, he had to be an entrepreneur; and that became his motivation. Hence, after a brief stint with GlaxoSmithKline (then HMM), Bikhchandani started a company called Info Edge, which is still the name of his company, which basically he and his partner started for salary surveys and another was the business of trademarks search. (Naukri is the brand he created later.)
It was during the late ’90s when the Internet was gaining momentum and Bikhchandani was at GlaxoSmithKline that he realized that employees love talking about jobs and career movement. That was the turning point. “I realized jobs are an extremely high interest information category for almost all people. We had also concluded that there was probably a large, highly fragmented database of jobs out there with HR managers and head hunters, which, if someone were to aggregate and keep current, would be a very valuable resource,” says Bikhchandani. His intent to bring this idea on to the Internet took birth during those days.
Though not a technoholic, by December 1996, Bikhchandani had acquired enough knowledge about the Internet, and decided to bet on the technology to start the venture Naukri.com, a job site for headhunters, companies, and also for job seekers. However, it was not an overnight success. Bikhchandani remembers his days of struggle when he was operating from his house. His schedule was hectic. He would get up early around 6 in the morning and worked till 12 midnight and in between he would go to The Pioneer where he was working as Consulting Editor for a few hours in the afternoon to earn his daily bread as his company was not earning those days. “At home I had a dial-up connection and would upload the site myself,” he remembers.
Starting from 1997 there was no looking back for Bikhchandani. The site became an instant hit. The site started bringing decent revenue and they were also successful in raising venture capital. And thus began the big money game which still is growing stronger every passing day.

Since then, his company has also launched more ventures, a matrimonial site Jeevansathi.com, a real estate portal 99acres.com, and an education site shiksha.com, which are today bringing a considerable part of the company’s revenues.

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