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Speed-dating in a slow job market

Over 34 start-up companies from across states and 53 job seekers converged in Mumbai to find a fit for their professional needs

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It was — with a difference. Here, job seekers met entrepreneurs, and employers found candidates they had been looking for.

In these times of a slowdown in the job market, over 34 start-up companies from across states and 53 job seekers converged in Mumbai to find a fit for their professional needs — taking the total number of interactions to over 1,400.

So, be it Sequoia Capital-invested Gharpay, a Hyderabad-based doorstep cash payment network company that came looking for a software developer and a designer, or an graduate who was looking for a non-tech job to give his marketing skills a chance to flourish, all found suitable matches for themselves at the event, dubbed “job-speed-dating” by the organisers.

“We are an 18-month-old start-up looking at hiring some engineers. I thought job-speed-dating was a good platform to meet interested candidates you otherwise do not have access to,” said Rachit Parekh, vice-president (operations and strategy), Gharpay.

By the end of the event, each start-up had, on an average, shortlisted three-four people.

of Chachii.com, for instance, came looking for a CEO for the company’s Mumbai operations. provides a platform to users to post their daily chores and have them done by a verified helper.

“We are expanding our operations and, so, looking for a CEO in Mumbai. I have shortlisted six candidates and would zero in on one shortly,” said Surti.

This job-speed-dating programme, called Headstart Higher, was organised by NGO Headstart. Recently, it was organised in Delhi, where over 800 candidates and interacted. The NGO now plans to take the event to other cities.

The speed-dating is done at two levels: Tech and non-tech.

“Hiring is a big problem for start-ups. It is difficult for both firms and job seekers to connect. So, we decided to provide people with such a platform,” said Aditya Mishra, co-founder & director, Headstart.

Candidates seeking jobs are required to pay a registration fee of Rs 250, while start-ups seeking candidates register by paying Rs 1,000.

For a few like Nirav Gangar, a design engineer at Mumbai-based Nutech Engineering Technologies, this platform offered an opportunity to start his career afresh.

“I am good at technology. But, I could be better at a non-technology job. I am here to find a job that can give me that opportunity,” he said. He said he was even ready to take a pay cut, just to know how start-ups worked.

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