MUTUAL FUND |
ICICI fund picks up 10% stake in Naukri.com
Copyright (C) 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.; Source: World Reporter (TM)
New Delhi, April 18: ICICI Venture Fund Management is picking up over 10 per cent stake in Naukri.com - the country's largest employment portal promoted by Sanjeev Bikhchandani.
To start with, ICICI Ventures is pumping in around $2 million in the venture. The investment is being made through the company InfoEdge India Pvt Ltd, which has promoted the portal. The investment has been done at a premium, sources said. Speaking to The Financial Express, president ICICI Venture Funds Management Company, AJV Jayachander said: "We think the investment makes strategic sense as the site satisfies an essential need of every individual, has the first mover advantage, and is the clear leader in this space.'
``Naukri has been able to put together a team of highly qualified professionals which has helped it attain this position," he added.
The portal was launched in April 1997. It offers 10,000 job advertisements and 30,000 vacancies, and has updates daily. Bikhchandani said "We need to consolidate our leadership position and for that we would be investing in building the brand, staffing, adding infrastructure and upgrading technology. We expect to multiply page views from two million monthly to 10 million per month in the next few months".
He added: "In the medium term our objective is that if there is a job for an Indian anywhere in the world it should be on Naukri."
ICICI Securities Ltd (I-Sec) structured the deal. When contacted, I-Sec vice president, Ravi Sardana said: "Naukri.com is one of the few portals to have a revenue model in place and has been making profits from day one. It has a large base of loyal users", he added.
Bikchandani, who is an IIM-A product, has worked in companies including Smithkine Beecham and Lintas. He has vast experience in HR consulting and has co-authored two books on career counselling. Naukri.com is a one-stop information clearing house about jobs and careers for Indians. It also gives information to students for going abroad, admission deadlines, tips on interviews and group discussions. Companies can advertise for jobs, job-seekers can search jobs and one can browse resumes on the portal. It has no plans of going international, and would remain India-specific.
Info Edge India Ltd has floated two other popular portals - Jeevansathi.com and Bachao.com.eom