Salil and Kiran Pande have built a capital-efficient AI company from India addressing the global career services market.
It’s a wonderful conversation that works in both AI thought leadership and also their entrepreneurial journey. Enjoy!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself, your co-founder, and VMock.
Salil Pande: I’m the Founder of VMock. Kiran Pande is the co-founder of VMock. We started this company with the mission to provide a platform so that a jobseeker can put their best foot forward as they are embarking on a journey in trying to find the best opportunity for themselves.
Sramana Mitra: That’s the product?
Salil Pande: We make sure that irrespective of the candidate’s background, they are still able to put their best foot forward. That’s how we have built this company called VMock, which is a career acceleration platform. We deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide the same guidance and environment that one would expect with a qualified coach with unlimited time and the willingness to sit down with you.
Sramana Mitra: Who are the customers?
Salil Pande: Our end consumers are the job seekers. To provide the service to the job seeker, we look for communities and aggregations where the job seeker is fairly available. One of the channels that we focus on are the colleges and universities. We work with nearly 250 plus institutions where students go to get their degrees and diplomas. At the same time, they’re looking to get a meaningful career out of that. We partner with the career center to provide them with leading-edge platforms so that they can help their students.
Sramana Mitra: Your go-to market strategy is through career development offices of colleges and universities.
Salil Pande: Yes. We also work with other players that are in the business of offering career services.
Sramana Mitra: Are the customers in India as well?
Salil Pande: The customers are primarily in the United States. Kiran went to Kellogg. I went to the University of Chicago for my MBA. We both spent nearly 20 plus years in the US. I went to IIT. I wanted to make sure that we are able to leverage that technology base that India has. We knew that we could actually tap in to that talent. Today we are close to 120 plus employees. Our client base is all over the world.
Sramana Mitra: You are working out of what city in India?
Salil Pande: Gurgaon. We also have an office in Chicago.
Sramana Mitra: Explain to me with some use cases how exactly you do what you do. What role does artificial intelligence play in this?
Salil Pande: If you go back in time and think about when you were in college, what support did you need? You needed to have a good resume. How do you make sure that a LinkedIn profile is coherent and consistent to your resume? That’s a problem that every job seeker faces.
How are you ensuring that the career that you are applying for is a good fit? Those are the challenges that every job seeker has. We have created this career acceleration platform that seamlessly integrates applications and provides the service to the candidates so they can be prepared.