Big Idea

Jobs, just a referral away

Online portal, Round One, gives candidate referrals a fresh twist

Vishal Koul

When 26-year-old Madhav Banerjee recently decided to shift from Mumbai to Delhi, he was looking at more than a job change; he also wanted to move out of his industry. Six months ago, Banerjee, a 2011 graduate from Chetana’s Institute of Management & Research, had landed a job with Sharp Business Systems, the Indian arm of Japanese consumer electronics major Sharp, in Mumbai. He was now keen to join the research and analytics sector. The only problem was finding the right job. Then, while on Facebook, he stumbled upon Round One, an online service that helps job seekers get referrals. “I registered and was lucky enough to find a job in Noida,” says Banerjee, who now works at Gyan Research and Analytics. 

Round One is a job referral site started in April 2011 by Nishant Mathur, an MBA from Insead who had previously worked with Accenture in Atlanta, Delhi and Mumbai. Mathur says he was inspired to start the site from his own experience of referring someone he knew. “A couple of years ago, I met a friend who had moved back from the US. She was looking for a job with Accenture and was more than qualified to get it. However, even after a month after applying through job portals and the company’s website, she did not hear back from them. I then connected her to a former colleague and after he referred my friend, she got an interview call within two weeks.” 

This helped Mathur realise the value of networking and personal recommendations. “Currently, networking is serendipitous — based on who your family friends are or who you met at a party last weekend. There is no simple, transparent, quick and effective way to earn people’s recommendations or even to network with them,” says Mathur, who started Round One with ₹15 lakh of his own money. 

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