CoCubes IT Magazine


Published on is India's only student enagement and campus recruitment platform. has a vision of " Bringing online every college across the country to provide equal opportunity to students".
This article was published in an IT magazine which explains what we exactly do.

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CoCubes IT Magazine

  1. 1. students, hidden in the interiors of startup India, to be visible to companies, located anywhere in the country. The platform also allows large companies Using The Web To Connect to easily manage their nationwide campus recruitment process, at a Companies With Colleges much lower cost, resulting in cost saving and higher conversion ratios. Ever dreamt of a Web portal that provides visibility A solution for greater to the rich human resources in the inaccessible reach small towns of India, and also connects them with There are 17,000 colleges scattered companies looking for talented youth? We take a across India and most of them are closer look at in Tier II–III cities. The CoCubes team believes that this is where the manpower for India’s growth is going to come from. Harpreet S. Grover, founder, CoCubes, says, “Since recruiting companies are mostly located in the metros, there is a need for an online and SMS-enabled interactive platform to connect colleges and companies.” To this, Vibhore Goyal, also a founder of CoCubes, adds, “I see a lot of growth in SMS-enabled platforms both because of the wider reach mobile phones enjoy among the general public, plus the way they can replace computers in small towns, d because maintenance is hard.” epinder Deep, a He cites a scenario to explain the final year student of key advantage of the ‘SMS’ feature Engineering in the that the portal offers: “For instance, Baba Banda Singh a B.Sc student in a city 50 km from Bahadur College of Jaipur may not have an Internet Engineering in a Tier III town— connection, but he can type ‘Yes’ Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, had never or ‘No’ on his mobile to confirm imagined that he would be spotted his interest in a job posted by some The fortune cookie by a tech firm located in Mumbai company. And the company can also Many things can be done better with the help and be hired on campus! This could communicate to this student, on of IT—including campus never have happened if it were not the go.” recruitment. Good, usable, solutions that enable for the innovative digital bridge of people to do such tasks communication created by CoCubes. Campus recruitments: better, are unlikely to go wrong if developed and com, a portal (, issues galore marketed right. which enables colleges and their Grover shares a few concerns that 48 | august 2008 | | i.t.
  2. 2. needs to be authenticated, the startup The technology behind the platform CoCubes team procures data directly • “It is an entire lifecycle to move from capturing users’ requirements to building a product from colleges and only students whose that users find useful,” says Goyal, who has previously worked with the Microsoft Research Centre. Thus, to ensure that the portal offers elements of both utility as well as usability, names are on the rolls, are messaged utmost care has been taken to provide a sound technical foundation. their logins and passwords on their • From dealing with the choice of using ASP .NET or PHP to designing the database for a highly mobile phones. They can then come optimised, scalable and user-friendly website, the challenges have been numerous, says Goyal. He adds, “We have taken up these challenges one by one and followed a user centric online and fill their standardised approach to solving them. We are currently hosted on Level 3 IDC (Internet Data Centre).” resume and can also choose to • Other paraphernalia include a dedicated Cisco firewall, three dedicated Dell servers equipped with quad core Intel processors to provide a faster and more enjoyable user experience, and complement their profile with video an ASP .NET 2.0 platform with SQL Server 2005. footage, but don’t have access to the fields containing their academic scores, which are uploaded by the have so far plagued the corporate humongous sum for each company college authorities. recruitment process and by coming they bring to campus. This premium Goyal explains the convenience on board, how CoCubes can help is because of the existing information that the portal offers to companies for resolve those: asymmetry where companies have evaluating the credentials of students: • A failed campus visit by a little clue about which colleges to go “Because we capture and classify company costs upward of Rs to, whether students are available or information under various categories, 100,000. CoCubes helps prevent not, how good or bad they are, what it helps companies to search and this by providing upfront is the salary being offered, etc. shortlist candidates through a few information on the exact number This is where an open model like clicks. Consider a scenario six months of candidates interested in the CoCubes fits perfectly, because it down the line: companies can now company, thus saving a lot of brings the entire process online. The search easily for all computer science effort and cost. information that would have taken a graduates from Punjab who have more • Even the biggest firms in India company a couple of weeks to acquire, than 70 per cent scores in 10th and have only a hazy idea of how the is now available in seconds. 12th classes, and in college. For a big initial 10,000 candidates they A college also has the option of company that recruits pan India, once started off with, got reduced to either making itself visible to every recruitment is done, it can find out the 500 that they eventually hired, company or only to companies that how the initial 4,000 students that and which 100 among these 500 it invites using CoCube’s login/ were shortlisted got to the final 300 are the best ones. password tool. who were recruited. Or which 50 of • Finally, the time lag of up to these 300 are the best, and so on. Post a year—between candidates' Making authentic data that, students can even be segregated getting a job offer and their available into communities based on college, finally joining the company, leads Since all data on the platform branch, region and interest, and to declining conversion ratios. CoCubes helps companies by “Since recruiting companies providing tools to remain in touch with recruited candidates, thus are mostly located in the keeping them warm. metros, there is a need Campus recruitment agencies traditionally have been operating for an online and SMS- through an offline model. Grover enabled interactive platform reveals that the entire industry is a to connect colleges and closed one, where consultants have been charging colleges/companies a Harpreet s. grover, companies.” founder, CoCubes i.t. | | august 2008 | 49
  3. 3. many students are available in a startup The story behind CoCubes campus and adjust the team size to • Grover narrates the story behind the conception of CoCubes: “One of my uncles is a training take interviews. They can find out and placement officer in a college in Punjab. I saw him spending a lot of time and money travelling to metro cities visiting companies and persuading them to come over for campus which of the recruited students are the placements. He once invited me over for a guest lecture in his college. It was during this visit best and can then keep the candidates that I felt there were a lot of competent students in Tier II–III cities.” ‘warm’ during the long joining period • Having graduated from IIT Bombay, both Goyal and Grover got the ideal platform to take off but they felt that if the students in smaller towns are given the right visibility, they would to ensure maximum conversion. also be able to do well. What they needed was a platform. At the same time, it was very Grover points out that for colleges, important to have a business model around this basic need. “We (Vibhore and I) had hours of brainstorming sessions to figure out how we could leverage our skills and technology to solve the power of their students being this real world problem. This is how CoCubes came into being,” reveals Grover. online and available to companies 24/7 is amazing. This also helps in increasing the placement rate of Benchmarks achieved so far the college. At the same time, the • CoCubes has on board more than 12,000 authenticated users (students) across colleges and portal helps colleges streamline their states. The list of premier clients includes IILM and Thapar University. The company has also signed a couple of big MNC clients (Evalueserve), each of which is going to use CoCubes to internal communication as they get recruit talent from more than 100 colleges. many tools/features, such as mailing, • The most remarkable thing is that all this has been accomplished by a small team of seven calendar, SMS-enabled services, people. That said, the firm has raised capital and is looking to scale up its team size. bulletin boards, and so on. Students also stand to benefit from the online content, video shoots, and from increased interaction with an India- wide peer network. As regards their revenue model, Grover reveals, “We charge the firms on a per college basis, and we have an annual subscription model for colleges, for taking them online.” A pioneering movement... and the way to go! Goyal proudly affirms, “We are the first in India to bring all three key a screenshot of, an online and sMs-enabled interactive platform, which enables colleges and their stakeholders—the company, students students, hidden in the interiors of India, to be visible to companies, located anywhere in the country and the college—onto a single companies can then get in touch with platform, resulting in amazing benefits them through newsletters, birthday Rich connections for everybody involved due to a flow cards, SMSs and other interesting through Web visibility of information resulting in operational ways.” For hiring, small and mid- efficiency.” Another advantage of having the sized companies that register with Although there are other offline complete process online is that, in CoCubes can make a choice from players, Grover declares that in the the future, if the same company feels approximately 35 colleges that the online domain, he does not know of the need to hire more students from portal has on board. For big firms, anyone working along similar lines. the previously visited colleges, it can CoCubes offers to get on board any So far the portal caters only to simply interview the students who college nationwide that it intends to engineering and MBA colleges, and reached the final interview rounds go to, within a mere three days! plans are underway to diversify and during the first visit. Companies also can know how bring on board other interest groups 50 | august 2008 | | i.t.
  4. 4. as well. As Grover affirms, “This is “We are the first in India startup just the starting point. We plan to move across to graduate colleges and to bring all three key training institutes (that also have to stakeholders—the company, place students), and also to tie up with organisations like Career Launcher, students and the college Vault, etc, to provide students with —onto a single platform, useful content and tests.” resulting in amazing benefits There are plans to keep the users/ students engaged even when they have Vibhore goyal, founder, CoCubes for everybody involved.” moved out of their respective colleges. The team is currently working on whether to evolve into a generic in. And also that it is not possible the internal steady belief in the idea recruitment portal or an online for a single organisation or person and our vision. This has helped us referral model. to know and offer a solution to all cross our lows to getting our round of Grover adds, “One of the things problems. As Grover says, “To win, capital closed. we are very excited about is the ability you must play to your strengths and “To our great delight, the to train students online during the domain knowledge, and be willing to director/dean at AIT liked our time frame (of about 8 to 12 months) collaborate with an equally concept and showed faith in our idea. between their getting recruited on reliable partner.” Within the first two meetings itself, campus and joining the company. So Besides innovations, the focus is the team offered us an incubation we are looking for partners here also on continual research. “Rather space. I believe tech-incubators are as well.” than technology, our research is playing a very important role in mostly in terms of content and to be sustaining the entrepreneurship wave Creative ways to foster the most knowledgeable about the we see in India.” innovation campus recruitment and training The firm has formed a sound base, For Team-CoCubes, ‘innovation’ industry. Our people know the inside but Grover affirms that the biggest is the toolbox that it uses to provide outside of what is happening where, challenge for the team to date is to a simple, effective, and if required, an in different states and colleges. This stimulate a much-required change in out-of-the-box solution to problems. entails a lot of research,” mindset among colleges—to accept But how does it foster innovation quips Grover. that going online is a better way of in the firm? Goyal reveals, “Well, increasing their placement rates. we have kept Saturdays for team Looking back with pride For fellow entrepreneurs-to-be discussions. A ‘Dream Project’ is CoCubes has set up a good base and enthusiasts, Grover and Goyal given to all team members, and they in just a year from its inception have a simple message: “Try looking are stimulated to spend time on in 2007, and is currently a part of for solutions to problems that you something they find interesting and an incubator at Ansal Institute of would encounter in day-to-day life, to cultivate ideas that help CoCubes Technology (AIT), Gurgaon. Goyal start with a reliable partner and achieve its vision! recapitulates the journey so far: “We somebody you would love to work “The ability to take the simplest have seen both sides of the coin, from with, and always follow your passion. route to solve a real time problem is asking friends and family for capital, After all, you have only ‘one life a metric that we use to measure and to being funded by a reputed set of to live’.” reward our team members for the investors. It is always difficult to start innovations that they come up with.” a venture.” He adds: “The support ‘One plus one can be greater from our respective families was a big than 11’ is what the team believes push. But what has kept us going is Vandana Sharma 'i.t.' Bureau i.t. | | august 2008 | 51