Blog Post

Updated: Naukri Launches Professional Networking Site – Brijj


Updated below
(Original post: 2007-08-09 05:36 AM PST) This just in: Info Edge (Naukri.com) has launched a professional networking site, Brijj.com, reports WATBlog. From the About Us page, the mandate of the site seems fairly similar to Linked In – introductions, business opportunities and jobs.

During a recent earnings call, Naukri CEO Sanjeev Bikhchandani had explained their need for a professional networking site: Job sites don’t tap passive candidates, and Bikhchandani believes that a networking site can plug that gap. Naukri.com has a database of over 10 million resumes, and a possible integration with Brijj gives it the opportunity to engage better with those for whom Naukri goes off the radar when they’re not looking for a job.

However, Naukri is not the first Indian company to try the professional networking site. Rediff had launched Connexions as a professional networking site in 2004 (I think)…it never took off. Then there’s also Techtribe, which recently received funding from Canaan Partners; they’re attempting the reverse: a tech networking site trying to make inroads into the tech jobs space with a referral system.

Question is – if you’re already on Linked In, will you migrate to Brijj? I think Linked In’s global footprint will be difficult to compete with for Naukri, since that brings a completely different segment of opportunities.

Update: In response to a critique of Brijj here (crossposted here at the ContentSutra group on Facebook), Bikhchandani comments that they have gone live with the basic feature set that they felt was essential for a start, and there are product enhancements planned. Granular privacy settings are in the pipeline. However, the company does not expect revenue anytime soon from Brijj. He adds that they chose speed to market over building a spectacular product, but taking four to six months more…I’m not sure if that’s the right approach – a lot of this social media game is about first impressions, and if there are teething problems, it just wont take off.

Disclaimer: I have an inconsequential number of shares of Info Edge.

18 Responses to “Updated: Naukri Launches Professional Networking Site – Brijj”

  1. hi,
    linkedinn is good only those who already have contacts to have network. it is not good for those who are trying to establish the contacts. it is not user friendly too.
    ryze is far better than that. atleast the contacts are accessible unlike linkedinn.

  2. Mohit – in a country of more than a billion people (even with only 5% net penetration) more than one site can succeed in every space – as we have discovered in jobs and matrimonials. So it need not be us OR you. It could be us AND you and perhaps a few more.

    When Jobsahead launched with funding and an ad budget far larger than ours we were worried. But the market expanded to allow both to prosper. After all when there were two sales teams going out and evangelising erecruitment the market got validated faster. Likewise when Monster entered and subsequently when Timesjobs launched.

    We began to innovate on the naukri product better and faster as a direct result of competing with Jobsahead. Users saw more value as a consequence and the industry expanded. Both Jobsahead and naukri benefited as a result.

    Now coming to the final point I wanted to make in my comment above.

    Why will people switch from other networking sites to us? Nikhil has asked a valid question.

    The fundamental point is that penetration of networking sites in India is still very low barring Orkut which we believe we are not competing with since we are targeting a different demographic and are serving a different need (so conceivably some users of Orkut would want to register with a second site as well).

    Therefore the first task for us would be to get non users of networking sites to register with us.

    Once we have enough aggregation on that front hopefully we will be able to establish enough connections within the network so as to make the expansion viral.

    Whether we are right or wrong of course only time will tell.

    Sanjeev

  3. Hi

    I have been reading the various posts and comments about brijj.com on all the blogs – fatalerror, contentsutra, watblog, alootechie etc. with considerable interest.

    My favourite comment is the one from Nisha on Alootechie saying that this site cannot be from Info Edge because the interfaces are not cluttered enough. Be patient Nisha – give us time and we will clutter up this one as well. After all this is only a Beta.

    Lots of interesting issues have come up. I would like to throw in my two bits.

    Why have we launched this site?
    We launched because it made sense to do so. Sooner rather than later.
    It fits well with our other sites. We are in the business of enabling handshakes – all our sites do that. We charge money for the prospect of enabling a successful handshake. Consummation of the handshake into a transaction is self service and takes place offline. Content on all our sites is user generated (resume's, jobs, matrimonial profiles, real estate listings) with the exception of asknaukri which will also move more towards that direction in the coming months (strange how an alleged Web 2.0 feature like UGC was integral to naukri and many other sites as far back as ten years ago) . A networking site possesses all these characteristics of our other sites. We know how to run those businesses. We feel at least some of that knowledge can be useful here.

    What will people use the site for?
    You are missing the point if you think this is a recruitment site or a site to find passive job seekers. That's what you think the site is for if you evaluate it only from the naukri prism. The site can be used to connect with people for many things – sales leads, career guidance, employer evaluation by job seekers, reference checking, finding a vendor, meeting people with common interests, travel advice, problem solving, product recommendations, demand aggregation, finding old friends and acquaintainces – whatever you need to connect with people for you can do on this or for that matter another networking site.
    When was the last time you wanted to do something and you sought out advice or could have done with some or tried to find a contact somewhere or badly needed one. I face half a dozen such situations every week where I feel the need and cant fulfill it. And my friends say I am incredibly well networked.
    Of all countries India runs on Jaan Pehchaan.
    Sure Brijj may also help recruiters find passive job seekers. And from the naukri viewpoint that will be a useful thing. But that is only a very thin slice of the pie.

    What was the effort that went into building the Beta version?
    We put together a team around nine months ago and operated in stealth mode till now. Sure there were leaks in a couple of places but no details came out. In public we talked about our other projects – career guidance, education etc. but kept mum on this one till the last analyst call. The Brijj team studied over forty networking sites internationally – what were the features, what was the privacy policy, what was the information being captured, who was visiting these sites, what were they doing there, what could the possible revenue models be, who was getting what kind of traction, how smart was the recommendation engine, what kind of communities were being formed, was it a hang out kind of site or was it for passive networking and so on. We then spoke to Indian users of the various networking sites to understand their perceptions, usage, needs, satisfaction levels and need gaps, what makes them switch etc. We also spoke to non users and understood their mind. It was only after three to four months of this did we begin to narrow down on our target user and what features the offering should have. And then we got down to execution. The engineering feat in building architecture that's stable and scalable for a networking site that if it succeeds can grow exponentially is considerable.

    I have two or three more things to say but have to rush to office. Will do so later today or tomm.

    Sanjeev

  4. Kapil: copyright doesn't apply to ideas…it's for a specific sequence of words (and code) afaik. Not sure of patents, but i dont think it applies to ideas. Have attended a few very interesting seminars on patents and copyrights. will let you know next time. You should come along for http://www.foss.in .

  5. Hey Rajiv, naah..that's Rafat's line afaik.

    About Naukri and engagement, I'm not sure if your opinion is any different from mine. From the post:

    "Naukri.com has a database of over 10 million resumes, and a possible integration with Brijj gives it the opportunity to engage better with those for whom Naukri goes off the radar when they’re not looking for a job."

    However, engagement is easy to talk about, write about, but not as easy foster in a network when you're starting from scratch with no previous activity to refer to. Naukri will have to foster some activity, and introduce newbies to business networking features.

    Also, there's much more to a professional networking site than just jobs — at least in the indian context, I think business classifieds are a greater opportunity, especially in a network. I've noticed a fair increase in activity on Linked In – more people i know are using introductions, asking and answering questions. In terms of opportunities, I think it wouldn't be prudent for Naukri to limit themselves with just India, though that will be their primary playing ground. There are more opportunities in a global scenario, and people are likely to use both…but depends on who joins and hangs around.

  6. Well I am not too sure how many Indians would want to become a part of this site. The good thing about linked.in is that users discovered it first and then came the headhunters and HR managers so it is okay to be linked.in..but if your HR manager sees your profile on Nuakri you can get into trouble. So my bet is that this site will be filed with HR and headhunters and not professional job seekers..in todays day where supply is shorter then demand i am not too sure if it will help naukri too much..as professionals will be keep away from this as they can get into trouble.

    By the rajiv you will be surprised to see the number of professional who are active on linked in from India..

    Why cant Indian companies innovate rather than just copy something which is already available..Clones dont work even if they are nicely designed.. Indians are going crazy with this Web 2.0..its all internet..create something which is not available already and they will be succesful..the indian offerings dont really fix the gap and meet the needs of the users..

    Bigadda is another such example..the proposition is same as orkut..so why should one really go there.. Bombay is flooded with hoardings of bigadda.com…and rediff iShare..why is it that only Indian companies need to do this heavy advertsing..I have never seen a single advertising of orkut and facebook in India and yet they are most succesful models of web 2.0..I guess when you dont have something new to offer,, then you can only advertise..to get some registration..engagement well that stays with the original innovators..

    Its the turn of naukri now to launch their outdoor campaign..i am sure the ad agencies are laughin their way to the bank..

  7. @ Kapil Ohri: There can never be any patents for ideas. Business networking is in its whole, just an idea, a concept. No one can claim ownership of ideas. If in fact linked in has created a whole new procedure for recommending friends based on your interests, etc, only those procedures could be patented. Otherwise your free to start your own business networking site, if thats what you have in your mind :)

  8. It's a very good attempt. Nice looking site and very easy to use, but the product is same. May be they think they can localize it and provide Indian jobs and network…. lets see. Again congrats to the whole team…

  9. Kapil Ohri

    Nikhil, are there any patent issues involved for creating a business networking site, as I think Linkedin has the patent for business networking site concept? Is there any patent violation if Infoedge or some other internet company starts a business networking site?

    Kapil Ohri

  10. equityman

    With more than Rs 2bn cash in balance sheet and some of the finest brains in the industry, I dont see why Naukri can't make sucess of it. Company will find itself one of the biggest value creator (for stake holder ) in few years down the line. Worth holding/adding into your portfolio.

  11. Rahul Krishna

    I am a rookie as far as indian internet space is concerned. First, I agree with what Rajiv is saying. Second, there is a need of a local (Indian) proffesional Networking site which will be customized to Indian scenario. From a business model perspective, Naukri could have a first movers advantage. BTW…i too would LOVE any feeback on this…

  12. Hey thanks for the credit. Hope you didn't mind me using your line "You read it first here" ;) .. And its interesting you think that linkedin might be difficult to beat. Being on linkedin and being active on linkedin might be two different things :)

    I think the challenge for any web 2.0 player isnt registrations its engagement. If naukri focuses on engagement rather than only registrations i think it has an edge when it comes to leveraging its network with professionals across india to create an indian centric business network.

    Id love to know what you think.