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Ameera Shah 34 Metropolis Healthcare | Nitin gupta 34 and Rohan Gupta 32 Attero Recycling | Deval Sanghavi Sinha 30 EKO | Harpreet Grover 28 and Vibhore Goyal 30 CoCubes | Aneesh Reddy 27 and Krishna Mehra 27 Capil- Vibhore Goyal and Harpreet grover CoCubes For helping students find jobs, and companies, talent Abhishek & Anubhav Sinha EKO For banking on the ‘unbanked’ Vibhore Goyal and Harpreet Grover understand what makes people work—money, challenges and some wholehearted fun. It’s a considerable skill to have when your company connects colleges and corporates across India, to help young graduates get great jobs. CoCubes, founded by college buddies Goyal and Grover, uses technology to make campus recruitments more efficient and transparent. Bigger cities and established campus towns like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have got their placement processes down to a fine art. But tier-II and III cities have an abysmal information asymmetry between recruiters and job-seekers, they say. A failed campus visit costs a company upwards of `1 lakh and many are hesitant to go to colleges that haven’t pitched well. “Colleges don’t know what process goes into shortlisting them for recruitment and whether they’ll be selected or not,”explains Grover. It’s this gap that CoCubes wishes to bridge—helping corporates get young blood into their companies, while bringing down unemployment at the same time—in an environment akin to a war-like hunt for talent. Grover came up with the idea of CoCubes in 2007, when he was working with Inductis, a financial analytics firm, after completing his engineering from IIT Bombay. A placement officer from a remote college in Maharashtra visited him to invite the HR for recruitment. Three months later, he discovered that the company never visited the college because it was tough to reach the campus. So he called up Goyal, his geeky roommate from college, to see if they could do something about it. Goyal suggested an online model to bridge the information gap. “Around 10 lakh students graduate in India every year. About one lakh good jobs are available,” explains Goyal. Armed with this insight, the two got to work and developed It’s simple to use—placement officers upload student resumes and marksheets online, ensuring firms get access to authentic records, and students can “follow” companies they’re interested in. To add that fun quotient, students can upload video resumes to pep up their profiles. Alerts—dates of company visits and hiring formalities—are sent via SMSes. Instead of firms paying CoCubes per recruitment, Grover and Goyal only charge colleges `700 per final year student registered on their platform. Till 2010, however, they charged corporates ` 5,000 per campus visit. By making it free for them, their turnover shot up from `40 lakh in FY 2009-10 to `2.5 crore in FY 2010-11. The founders say the brainwave to turn around the company’s revenue model came from the sales team, which is why they are as passionate about their own hiring procedure as their clients’. “The one question we always ask before recruiting someone is—tell us one thing you’ve done in your life that makes you proud,”says Goyal. “That hunger to do something you can be proud of, is more important than any degree you may hold or where you may come from,” finishes Grover. —Ira Swasti Understanding financial empowerment was a deeply personal experience for Abhishek Sinha, CEO of EKO: a financial inclusion start-up. In 2007, Sinha, who cofounded EKO with brother Anubhav, received a hefty cheque after selling his stake in his first venture. He splurged on restaurants and exponential salary hikes for his domestic staff. “Seeing them feel empowered felt incredible,” he says. That emotion, coupled with his last project—a mobile commerce solution—at his telecom firm, got the brothers thinking about how the unbanked could be brought into the financial system using mobile phones. Thus, EKO was born to act as a bank’s back-end for new account holders. To open an account, all a person needed was a mobile number and an ID. When the Sinhas went to banks, they encountered a bias. “They had schemes for financial inclusion but treated people as beneficiaries and not customers,” Sinha says. But, things don’t change fast especially in a highly-regulated sector. So, the brothers went ahead helping banks fulfil their CSR targets, mainly to prove their technology worked. EKO inked a breakthrough contract with the SBI in 2009, and started a mini savings bank account scheme with them in Delhi. Account holders could withdraw and deposit money with these “mini accounts”. In 2010, ICICI Bank also enlisted them. Today, more than one million people across 1,500 EKO centres—often run out of existing commercial establishments like chemist or grocer shops—in the NCR, Bihar, Jharkhand and UP, have new accounts, often their first ever. Over `1,500 crore has been transacted on these EKO accounts. The idea has attracted investors—`6.4 core by 4B Capital and $5.5 million infusion led by Creation Investments recently. Sinha says EKO is still struggling with proof of concept. “We’ve proved that customers are willing to be charged for our services. We don’t need to be just cost centres.” —Shreyasi Singh “Around 10 lakh students graduate in India every year. About one lakh good jobs are available.” 3 4   |  INC. |  DECember 2011

Cool, Determined, Under 40

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