Deepti’s Platform Identifies Top Employee Candidates
What’s your story?
I grew up in India and did my undergraduate studies at IIT Gandhinagar. I interned at Caltech where I worked on machine learning for earthquake early warning systems, which was my first exposure to the kind of impact tech can have on the world. After graduating, I started a company that was trying to fix the hiring problem using machine learning, saving both companies and candidates the trouble of trying to find a good fit. It bombed. As engineer #2 at Vahan, I helped build a WhatsApp chatbot for recruitment/training of blue collar workers (used by Swiggy, Dunzo, Flipkart, and others).
I’m currently a co-founder at Adaface, which helps companies identify top candidates for their roles using conversational assessments. Conversational assessments are the most candidate friendly way to gain insight into a candidate’s on-the-job skills and suitability for a role, while providing a delightful candidate experience.
What excites you most about your industry?
The Asia-Pacific market is not very mature when it comes to SaaS, especially in the context of a dinosaur industry like Human Resources. North America is still the largest SaaS market globally, but Asia has the highest growth rate. The opportunity in this region is huge.
Also, the tools of today enable everyone to build a global business. An entrepreneur in a developing country can sell to customers across the globe from their WFH station.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in India. I’ve been in Singapore for the past two years setting up and running Adaface. We serve customers across the globe, including several in Asia.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
It depends very heavily on the nature of the business. With a strategic location, startup friendly regulations and strong government support, Singapore is aptly positioned to support global SaaS businesses.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice, which I’m guilty of implementing only partially, was to take care of my health irrespective of everything else. Almost everything else is reversible.
Who inspires you?
Small acts of kindness and the people behind them inspire me.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve always disliked running, and I do not understand what people mean when they say they experience a “runner’s high,” as I’ve only ever experienced the lows! Given the pandemic situation however, running was the only safe way to be able to go out, spend time in nature and stay sane. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I love running now, but it is something I can do.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
During the initial few months we tried multiple business models and different customer segments. While that’s not scalable, it helped us get an initial understanding of the landscape and develop a hypothesis for who our ideal customer would be. For the first year or so, we also focused heavily on outbound sales, which in retrospect, was our customer discovery process. Now that we have a better understanding of the landscape and customer segment, our focus has shifted to content and inbound marketing. It helps us get significantly more qualified leads, and to streamline our sales process. If I had a do-over, I would start focusing on content marketing much sooner.
How do you unwind?
Singapore, being a great base city to explore the rest of SouthEast Asia, and for travelling over long weekends, was a good way to unwind pre-COVID-19.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Udaipur, India is one of my favorite places. The old city, folk music, lakes, and small town vibes; everything about this place is relaxing. I also really liked Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, and Phi Phi, Thailand.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike,” by Phil Knight.
Shameless plug for your business:
Adaface helps companies automate first round interviews with conversational assessments. Candidates love conversational assessments because they are fast, intuitive and feel like an interview rather than a test.
How can people connect with you?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.