With the objective of transforming the graduate recruitment landscape, Bengaluru-based edutech startup Superset has evolved a pioneering approach to campus placement, tapping into an under-optimised space. It provides end-to-end solutions in edutech automation and HR-tech, making the processes seamless and hassle-free for all stakeholders. The scalable platform leverages Machine Learning (ML), ElasticSearch and other cloud-based technologies.
What started off as a quest to provide systemised solutions and notifications in edutech, has now evolved into a comprehensive university recruiting network. Superset fills the gap between the workforce and the workplace, democratising opportunities for the country’s deserving collegiate population and granting employers wider outreach to a credible talent pool. Its product offerings range from tools for colleges to automate placements, improve corporate outreach and increase placement results, personalised insights and tools for students to improve employability, and products for companies to optimise graduate hiring, all while keeping the data secure.
In an email interview, co-founders Pranjal Goswami and Naman Agrawal discussed about the evolution of the platform, challenges faced along the way and expansion plans among other things.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
What are the problems that you see the graduate population facing in India?
India has one of the largest networks in higher education, and has a population of 500 million between the ages of 5-24. So this sector of the population needs better education, better skilling, which should therefore land them better opportunities. However, currently that is not the case. The number of graduates getting placed is five times lesser than the number of people graduating annually in India.
While it’s easy to point fingers at only the education system, the truth still remains that there is a large youth population of skilled labour that is unable to find jobs. There are also employers saying that they’re not able to find skilled labour in the fresh potential hires.
So, it’s apparent that there is a huge gap between the employers and employees. Superset is helping to bridge that gap and enforce a system to make recruitment easier and mutually beneficial for both parties.
How is Superset achieving this?
Superset recruits universities onto its platform. Once a university is recruited, all of their students are immediately onboarded following which the placement process begins. The universities have to get a paid subscription to the platform which differs based on the number of students in the university. So far, Superset has over 2.2 lakh students using the platform. The employers on the platform can send out their job positions to the entire talent pool, and filter the results based on what they’re looking for. Similarly, students get to actively involve themselves in the placement process and be visible to employers that they would otherwise not gain access to.
Colleges generally have to go through a series of processes that are tedious and last several months for placements. From preparing the resumes, corporate outreach to shortlisting, the process is not easy. Employers, on the other hand, need to have certain HR systems and metrics in place to filter the potential candidates which is an expensive process. By automating these end-to-end solutions, Superset helps brings them onto one platform.
The different metrics for filtering candidates and resume templates can be customised, which makes the platform very user-friendly and provides optimum results for every employer using it.
Explain Superset’s journey, from its inception till the present.
When we were students in IIT Kharagpur, I (Pranjal), lost out on a placement opportunity owing to the lack of transparency in the placement process. To ensure this didn’t happen to anyone else, we came up with a systemised solution that sent out notifications to all the students on campus, which helped them never miss deadlines or placement opportunities. Around 1,200 people took a paid subscription to our platform which was known as TNP alerts, and posted on social media after getting placed. Seeing such a good reception for our idea inspired us to consider taking this forward as a venture. But the fact remained that we both had been placed and wanted to gain some business acumen before veering into uncharted territory.
After graduating, I (Naman) worked at Parthenon group, providing strategic consultation to the education sector globally, and Pranjal gained experience building scalable fintech during his tenure at Khosla Labs and Novopay. After a couple of years, we decided to create Superset in 2016. Once the platform started scaling quickly and became economically feasible, we quit our jobs and dedicated our efforts to hone this platform and make it India’s first official university recruitment platform.
How many colleges and employers utilise your platform at present?
Superset currently has over 115 colleges and 350+ companies using its platform. Some of the National level premier institutes are listed below:
- BITS Pilani - All campuses
- SRM University
- IIT Delhi
- NIT Warangal
- New Horizon College of Engineering
- TAPMI - T.A. Pai Institute of Management - Manipal
We also have an active pool of employers and universities from tier II and tier III cities, and we aim to expand our reach as we go forth.
Biggest challenges facing the company
With Superset, the primary challenge faced was the scalability. Especially since we started scaling very quickly, it is possible for the software to collapse. But our objective from the beginning was to make sure we had customizable features so our service could deliver a different experience to each college based on their needs. We have had no complaints regarding the user interface of our service and it can be used by 1 lakh users simultaneously with zero churn.
What are your expansion plans?
We’re currently focused on increasing the number of employers on our platform. Our aim is to onboard at least 5,000 recruiters by the end of the year 2020. Currently, all the employers on the platform are availing benefits free of cost.
We have come up with a premium enterprise product which is an extension of Superset with additional benefits and so far we have got over 350 employers on board. The features provided with the premium version can be availed only after paying a subscription fee. With the premium version, one can gain access to personalised employer branding to your target audience, premium filters, recommendations based on previous hires and accessibility to more locations pan-India, among others.
Although our entire platform won’t be working on a pay and use basis for employers, we are catering the premium product to big corporates to increase the accuracy of results and therefore gain more universities as a result.
How do you see the future of placements on campus?
The future of campus placements will be transparent, seamless, unbiased and will produce optimal results. By creating a single platform where both universities and employers can meet, we have managed to eliminate the problem of accessibility in a sustainable, cost-effective manner. With our user-friendly software and inclusive templates, the filtering process for companies becomes much easier. The power of Artificial Intelligence and SaaS platforms is going to transform EdTech in a big way in the future, completing changing the recruitment process, and the need for interviews.