Reculta Chronicles Part 1 – The Future Of Campus Placements (In A Barista Near You)
It is a Monday afternoon. I am sitting in a Barista at GK waiting for my friend to turn up. From the corner of my eye, I can see two persons taking calls while replying to emails on their laptops. Nothing unusual in a coffee shop. But two things catch my attention. First, the language is quite tech heavy, with words like “encryption”, “TAT” and “modular access” being used quite often. Second, there is a lot of talk around how Students are going to be able to use this platform for Placements and the importance of round the clock tech support. And the confidence with which they promise or deny the requests of the callers is refreshing. In a world where “I will get back to you” is used just a bit too often, these two clearly know the stuff they are selling. A b-schooler myself and with final placements less than a month away, I am intrigued. I go introduce myself.
I find out that these two are the co-founders of Reculta, a start-up working in the space of Campus Placements. Not heard of them? Apparently, neither did IIM Ahmedabad, NMIMS, IIFT or FMS. Yet, they are now paying clients for Reculta. More than the money, it’s amazing to learn that some of the top b-schools in the country are moving towards digitisation in a determined manner and trusting start-ups to take them into the future of campus placements. With three of the four founding members having served in the Placecoms of the top b-schools in the country (FMS and IIM-A), it would hardly be an understatement to say that Reculta is familiar with the issues facing campus placement teams and Students when it comes to campus placements. They have been there and done precisely that.
Clearly, they aren’t here for coffee. The Barista at GK is their office. For today. “Kal ka kal dekhenge“, remarks Kajal, one of the co-founders. She adds, “For a startup like ours, it’s imperative that we stay lean and nimble. Office space is costly in good locations. We did the math; this is much cheaper”
“It was disheartening to see the world getting digitised but campus placements still working the way it was working in the 90s”, says Vidyarthi, the other co-founder. He adds, “Once Kajal and I joined the Placecom at FMS, we realised that not just us but almost all the top b-schools were using primitive tools to handle the most critical part of a b-schooler’s journey, i.e. campus placements. I wanted to challenge the status quo even after being told repeatedly not to play around with well-established processes. Digitising placements only for FMS during my term wasn’t an easy task; organising it for the entire nation will definitely be difficult, but the need of the hour”. Vidyarthi and Kajal were members of the Placement Committee at FMS until very recently (2015).
I gather that Reculta aims to be the one-stop solution for all the placements related activities across campuses. A solution that is not just aimed at making the life of all its stakeholders easier but also adding a lot of value by providing them analytics to make smarter decisions. But campuses already have internal systems for all of that, I say (coming from a top b-school, I always assumed we had the best possible systems)
“Every piece of information that a student places on his/her CV is a data point. If we aren’t capturing and analysing that data, we are essentially flying blind. In a space as critical as campus placements, where every shortlist, every offer is hard fought for, it’s amazing how minimal is the effort given to capturing and organising this data. The waste of such valuable data is criminal. And we want to change all of that”, answers Kajal. You can see that they really mean it when they say they want to revolutionize this space from the passion of which they speak. And with final placements not so far away, I hope they do it soon (at least before our campus placements start, thinks the selfish me). I wish them the very best for their journey. Go Reculta!
Hailing from Ranchi, Utsav did his MBBS from Calcutta Medical College (where he was slightly more involved in campus politics than academics) and then moved to IIM Ahmedabad to do his MBA (where he led the Placement Committee). He now works as a cofounder with Reculta, a startup organising and digisitsing campus placements across the country. When not criss-crossing across the country pitching to placement teams and recruiters, he prefers bunking down with a good book and an Amul Kool Cafe.