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Dhruv Gupta

Dhruv Gupta

Founder & CEO

Short Description

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone but if you don’t try it you won’t know what it is. And as the saying goes, the best time to start is ‘now’.

Brief about company, offerings and foundation of the company

Valuehire is a SaaS / Cloud recruitment product for placement and search agencies, as well as corporates.  We help companies automate, standardize, and track their recruitment processes and activities more efficiently than Excel sheets or desktop recruitment software, resulting in increased productivity and more hires. The company was founded in 2011 by Dhruv Gupta and the product was launched in May this year.

Risks involved in business and way of addressing

Some people are skeptical about hosting data on the cloud but we have mitigated that by using established 3rd party global cloud providers, strong data encryption, and secure logins. Another risk was that this was the first startup for the team. Engaging with senior mentors like Prof Nandini Vaidyanathan gave us access to knowledge, contacts, perspectives, and experiences which we didn’t have.

Most critical decision

The most critical decision was whether we should outsource the initial development of the product or build it in-house. I chose the latter approach and hired an internal team to build the product from scratch. This turned out to be crucial as we were able to build the product in an agile / iterative manner based on customer feedback.

Some of the difficulties faced while building product/ solution

Most customers want things done as per their business processes so we had to find common solutions that addressed the key needs across all our customers. We had to prioritize on a regular basis as to what we were building, why it was needed, and how and when we were going to implement it.

Three big lessons/ mistakes encountered while building company

Finding employees with the right aptitude and attitude is important. In a startup there is constant change and iteration – one has to adapt and react quickly. Launch with a minimum viable product and learn to say ‘no’ when needed.

Different actions if I rebuild my company from scratch all over again

I would have hired the core team members at the very beginning (rather than over time) and spent more face time with potential customers – not just locally but across India.

Motivation and Drives factor

I’ve always had the passion and urge to do something of my own, and what keeps me going is seeing people use and appreciate the product that we’ve built from scratch.

Unique about my way of motivating troops

I try to give my team sufficient responsibilities and freedom in what they do. They are encouraged to express their ideas and solve problems on their own.

Way of choosing my people

Finding a good team is always a challenge – so far I’ve used a mix of technical and non-technical tests to gauge their aptitude and attitude, as well as their interest in working for a software product startup.

The challenges and lessons learnt to get first customer

We got our first paying customer through our internal sales efforts. Some of the challenges that we addressed were related to Valuehire being a new product in the market, data security in the cloud, and the benefits of recruitment automation. A key learning was to keep track of every customer interaction, find common needs / issues, and address them quickly.

Experience of reaching out to potential investors

We’ve spoken to a limited number of investors to date and that was to better understand what they’re looking for in a startup and whether we’re on the right track. The feedback we have gotten from them has been useful and will help us to better prepare for the future. 

My role at different dimensions as the company evolved

Initially I was more focused on designing and building the product. Since our product launch there is now more focus on our sales / marketing efforts and in keeping our customers happy.

As a leader how I make sure that I am connecting the right dots

I try to avoid mistakes by learning from other entrepreneurs and reading up on relevant topics related to the work we do. My previous work experience has also helped in this regard, but as an entrepreneur if you don’t make mistakes then you are doing something wrong.

My thoughts related to entrepreneurship/ leadership and management

If you begin with a vision of where you want to go and have the desire and determination to succeed, then things will eventually fall into place. Also think big but start small.

Best company I admire globally

Google – for their capability to create innovative, global products and their decision making ability in killing off products that don’t work out as planned.

Advice for fellow entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone but if you don’t try it you won’t know what it is. And as the saying goes, the best time to start is ‘now’.