The Gray Hair Speaketh

Advice that is largely Unsolicited.. – a destination for Internships

Abhishek Sharma, co-founder, requested for a review of his startup,

Category: B2C -> Recruitment -> Interns

What does it do? offers prospective interns a one-stop destination to find good internships. Recruiters looking to recruit interns are asked to register and post their requirements of interns.

What more?

  • Compact little site with few links that get everything done.
  • All services offered free at this time.
  • The revenue earners that I see, are the Google AdSense links on many of the pages.

My quick two cents:
Interesting niche identified. But is the niche too small to make for a sizeable business?
HelloIntern may need to either significantly invest in popularizing the internship culture in India (create a larger market) or go global (assuming there are no established leaders globally) to generate scale in the business.

Wisdom Nuggets in more detail:
1.”Where is the money?”. If it takes time to earn it, that is fine. But is there a large enough pie out there, to cut a slice out of? Otherwise, all the hard work will not pay rich dividends.
2. Abhishek conveyed an ambition to reach 10,000 companies and 1 million students in 2-3 years. Is there a market at least 4-5 times that number? On the face of it, if restricted to India alone, the numbers do appear to be large. But there needs to be validation of the numbers through some research on the subject.
3. Internships happen via college placement cells too. Is there a room for a strong alliance of HelloInterns with college placement cells? That must be explored. Especially for tier II, tier III towns where many recruiting companies may not be visiting for internship recruitments.
4. Can HelloIntern show a real difference to students and companies, as compared to established recruitment portals like Naukri, Monster, etc.? If the niche is interesting enough, it is easy for them to spin it within their portals. After all, they already have the recruitment relationships with organizations. This may be one of the toughest hurdles. On the other hand, if HelloIntern can attract independently, the niche Interns segment, and become a destination with volumes, then they also become an attractive acquisition target for a larger recruitment portal.
5. How does HelloIntern seriously scale up?
a. By increasing the market size. This may be most challenging, but done well, it can also be the most rewarding, in terms of an added benefit of brand building. By creating collaterals on how internship can be offered, what kind of jobs can be interned, why should they be interned, etc., they need to create the pipe from the recruiter’s end.
b. By launching globally: There is nothing to prevent HelloIntern to be a global play. Where there are established market leaders, HelloIntern can leave the space. But there may be ample number of countries where the opportunity may be present, but no one has tapped it well so far.
c. By going beyond pure interns and looking at all kind of short term / temporary positions: of course, the domain name may restrict such a foray, and I would also recommend this only as a last option.

One or the other way, attaining size will be the critical key!

From this review onwards, I am also including a Gray Scale rating. This is an indication, based on current business and potential, about the likely success of the startup. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the one most likely to succeed.


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March 17, 2009 - Posted by | Recruitment, Startup

1 Comment »

  1. Interesting blog, I’ll try and spread the word.

    Comment by wonker | March 19, 2009 | Reply

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