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Concept Arbitrage: Monster

Posted on Saturday, Jun 24th 2006

Earlier this year, the Indian equivalent of Monster and HotJobs got a lot of press. Naukri got a chunk of money from Kleiner Perkins and Ram Shriram.

India’s online job seeking population in 2005-06 stood at 6.5 million, an astounding 71 per cent growth over the 3.8 million in 2004-05. With 100 million Indians expected to use the Internet by 2007-08 from the present 38.5 million, the number of online job seekers is expected to cross 9.2 million this year (2006-07), says a study conducted by Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

The report puts the market size of the Indian online recruitment industry at $32 Million in 2005-06. It is estimated to reach $54 Million in 2006-07.

Based on where the B-C Internet market is in India right now, these are pretty good growth numbers, and are expected to balloon, as the web becomes ubiquitous in that society.

Jobs are an incredibly important issue, literally, for hundreds of millions of people in India. This includes blue-collar jobs, of course, and somewhere in the future, the web’s power will need to be unleashed on the blue-collar segments as well.

In the US, plumbers, for example, are using Craigslist, as are Nannies, Housecleaners, etc.

The online recruitment market, however, is also extremely fragmented at the moment, due to its inherent low-barrier-to-entry nature.

As we enter the next phase of this market, with Naukri going public later this year, a lot more capital will be infused into the segment by a few larger players that will break out from the pack. This money will be spent primarily on concept selling, brand awareness, TV advertising, outdoor bill boards, etc. to educate a mainstream population.

While India lacks the product marketing skills to bring “technology” products to market, it absolutely does not lack the skills to bring consumer products to market. The B-C segment in India, thus, is very attractive in the Concept Arbitrage mode, and Online Recruitment is a prime instance of a leverage opportunity.

As in matrimonials, newspaper job classifieds has been part of the culture for eons, and most people devour those postings.

In fact, I would submit, Job Search could become the killer app that drives Internet adoption up to the 100 million goal that the country has set.

This segment is a part in the series : Concept Arbitrage

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