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Indian Economy is experiencing a very high growth rate over last few years. This growth has created many opportunities for people such as access to better health services, better lives and employment. Though, many feel that rural population is not able to ride on these opportunities. At one side, rural population struggles to find employment; on the other side various employers are not able to hire employees as per their needs.
Indian has total workforce size of approximately 460 million, out of which 420 million in informal sector. The largest numbers of informal workers are in Agriculture. In the non-agricultural sector, the highest numbers of informal employees are in retail trade, construction, land transport, textiles etc.
Ants Consulting, already operating in 5 states, is planning to open up its online job portal. Ants Consulting job portal will be a unique solution providing job opportunities to large rural population across various states of India. It will create a cost effective channel to bring potential employers and employees together to fulfil their needs.
The major challenge in providing this solution is reach of job seekers across large geographical in a cost effective manners. As these people are on constant move and change job frequently, it becomes quite important to update the profiles regularly. Ants could leverage its past relationship with State governments, and it could be the most cost effective manner to receive people's profiles.
Majority of Ants revenues would come from three revenue sources such as large scale employers, medium scale employers and a very nominal portion from job seekers. Based on current and past performances of various companies in similar sector, Ants would be able to break in 3rd year of its operation with mean cumulative cash flow of about 41.8 million. Scenario analysis suggested that under conservative scenario, mean cumulative cash flow could decrease a bit to 39.18 million, but the business will still have very high chances of being successful.
At last, Ants should constantly measure the growth of its business, and take corrective actions to cross its revenue targets. Such actions could include promotional activities, revising pricing plan or hiring people etc.
The management team of Ants Consulting has already has immense experience in dealing with rural population, and state governments. This could provide an added advantage to resolve any issues coming in its normal business operations. Their passion and commitment to provide sustainable livelihood to rural people is well suited for the success of their online job portal business.
Employers, Placement Consultants
CV Registration India is one of the fastest growing emerging economies in world and has the workforce of more than 440 million. Many private companies have stepped in to organize the job market by launching the job portals which provide the platform for employers and job-seekers to interact with each other and satisfy their requirements. Several placement consultants have also emerged to help organization find suitable candidates. However, this market has been so far limited to white collar and educated employees. Very little has been done to organize the rural and low and semi-skilled job market. Given the growth in services sector(fast food chains, department stores, hotels), construction and infrastructure investment, requirement of such labours has increased manifold and there is growing need to provide organizations with an organized access to these workers.
Due to exponential growth in services sector and booming Indian economy, there has been surge in employment in organized sector. As the penetration of internet continued to increase, the need of having an online platform to facilitate job search and job posting dawned upon several companies and entrepreneurs. Hence, several portals have cropped up in past decade to provide such platform. Following is the list of popular job portals operating in India.
Top Jobsites in India 
Name of portal
Feature unique to portal
Gulf market it has 2 offices in Dubai and 1 in
Bahrain and Riyadh
Good Recognition in North India
Mostly focussed on fresher & college students
Number of visitors on top three websites
The above figure shows the overwhelming number of users visiting the top three job portals. "Total unique visitors" shows the number of users who have visited the site at least once.
However, all the job portals shown above are focussed on job opportunities available to highly skilled and educated employees in tier-1 cities. So far none of the major players, excluding Monster.com, have focussed on huge workforce and employment opportunities existing in agricultural and non-agricultural non-informal sector.
Analysis of Informal Sector
Estimate of Informal Job sector size in India
Around half the GDP comes from the informal sector 
The total informal employment is 420 million out of a total employment of 460 million. The sector -wise informal employment is given in table below.
The largest numbers of informal workers are in Agriculture. In fact, 98.84 percent of the employment in agriculture is informal. In the non-agricultural sector, the highest numbers of informal employees are in retail trade, construction, land transport, textiles etc.
Estimated number (Million)
Though the employment in the unorganized sector in India is about 394.76 million, the informal employment in the country is 420.01 million. Out of 65.48 million employees in the organized sector, about 29.91 million are informal employees. Among 394.76 million unorganized sector employees, 4.66 million are formal employees. The relationship between informal sector employment and informal employment is indicated in table below.
Distribution of Employment between Organized and Unorganized Sectors
Renowned Portals in Rural and Informal Job Sector
Name of Portal
Agriculture, Rural Marketing, Retail and Development sector
Predominantly focussed on availing job opportunities to rural workers
Key Success Factors
Analysis of business models of successful players like Naukri.com and Monester.com suggests that following factors need to be present in a job portal for being successful in long term.
Access to large number of job seekers
The key to success in job industry is to build a large database of job seekers. This would act as a unique selling proposition for attracting employers. Building a database of semi or low skilled workers is itself a challenging task, given the difficulty associated with identifying and reaching needy workers, creating their resume and uploading same on portal, and updating it from time to time. However, once such database is built, it will work as sustainable competitive advantage in long run as it would not be easy for new players without incurring huge cost.
Relevant resume database
Many job portals got weeded out of the market as the resume put on database were either of no value to employers or obsolete. Updating resume regularly and displaying only relevant resume to employer would create loyalty among the customers and help them retain over long period.
Strong and dedicated sales force
In Job portal industry, it is important to have a strong sales force which has complete understanding of the features and services offered by portal so that they can persuade the employers to prefer it over other way of fulfilling candidate requirement. Naukri ascribe its success to its sales force which has been growing stronger since the inception of company and plays key role in bringing new clients.
Partnership with entities with strong reach to rural and small cities
Establishing reach to workers in rural and semi-urban area is cumbersome and investment intensive task. Success of Rozgardunia.com is due to ubiquitous distribution network of ITC. Hence, it is imperative to have early partnership with such entities which have strong network in such area to tap workforce. It would also fend off the entry of competitors as they would not be able to find other partners with same reach in those places.
The company needs to be updated towards evolving needs of employers and capable of providing suitable solution before any competitor does. For example, RuralNaukri.com has created a unique perception of being empathetic to the needs of employers by launching several innovative services like offline consulting, REAP etc to tap the emerging needs of employers and employees.
Ruralnaukri.com was started in 2001 by Rural Management Consultants Private Limited (RMCPL).
The founder and CEO, Dr. Ajay Gupta has 18 years of work experience in Corporate and Development sector. He has roped in a group of professionals to provide value added services to various stakeholders.
Haat for Rural Talent
Send Resume to 1500 NGOs
Send Resume to 1000 Consultants
Have An Appealing Resume Made
Advertise Your Resume
New Services to RATE Employees (A+)
Place Job Advertisement
Guide to Search Employees
Money Back Guarantee
Fresh Harvest Program
Job Wanted Resumes
Recommend Someone and Earn Reward
Its business model is focussed on addressing the need of providing a meeting platform for the employers and employees in Agriculture, Rural Marketing, Retail, and Development sector.
It locates the right set of employees in nearest vicinity of organization to ensure the minimum cost of employment for organization and the hassle-free job opportunity for employees.
Key Success Factors
The company leverages its pool of talented employees and dedicated professionals to provide offline recruitment services for key functional areas such as supply chain, procurement, processing to valued clients.
Well managed offline services to clients which is unique to this company, enhances client loyalty and helps them manage effectively unsteady manpower requirement due to seasonal nature of business of majority of clients
One stop solution to all employment and job-search need
Innovative offerings: Since its inception, it has embarked on several initiatives to create employment in rural areas by attracting the attention of NGOs and private sector organizations. One such initiative was REAP (Rural Employment Action Programme) which allows the NGOs and private organizations to offer employment to rural youth (10+2 and above) at monthly payment of 2500 rupees.
Rozgarduniya.com was launched in August 2009 by the joint initiative of ITC e-Choupal and Monster.com. It offers a platform to companies to hire skilled and semi-skilled workers from rural areas.
Since inception, the initiative has been targeted towards creating employment opportunities for rural people and providing corporate a way to connect to and tap the talent in rural areas.
Being a relatively new website, it offers relatively lesser and basic services vis-à-vis its competitors. Currently it derives revenue mostly from employer looking to post job requirements and to have access to candidate database. However, as soon as its ambitious plans of scaling up its existing operation to cover all ITC e-Choupals are achieved, it will focus on next round of growth by providing value added services.
The initiative is backed by talented managerial pool of ITC's e-Choupal and Monster.com who have track record of successfully spearheading several initiatives.
Key Success Factors
ITC's ubiquitous distribution channel, reaching out to 40,000 villages through 6500 kiosks across ten states.
Expertise of Monster.com in offering portal services worldwide
Brand image of both the companies in their chosen area of offering
Employment Exchange provides job opportunities to the job-seekers in state sectors. It allows unemployed educated youth residing in a state to register with respective employment exchange and get notified when any suitable job opportunity is available in different sectors of that state.
Since this initiative is focussed on availing job opportunities in state sector, it does not come in direct competition with job portals. However, it offers an opportunity to private players to collaborate for better reach to rural people.
Value proposition of Job portal offered by Ant Consulting
Ant Consulting Services will leverage its six years of expertise in training and recruitment solution offering to provide an organized portal which will provide strong values to both employers, looking to recruit semi skilled or unskilled workers in any number, and job seekers who does not necessarily have competency to build resume and operate portal. The employers will have access to a large and authentic database of employable workforce, categorized according to industry wise exposure, which can be used to recruit the workers by organization itself without incurring huge cost of soliciting several placement consultants and placing Ads for the same. Job seekers can also register themselves free of cost and have their resume visible to several employers. The portal will offer complete suite of services to its clients:
Advertisement from SMEs and other organizations
Job listing services
Access to updated employee database
Guide for employee search
Information about upcoming training, recruitment drive, attractive offers
Invitation to other companies for contract
Assistance in resume building and resume upload
Assistance in job search
Flashing resume to several employers
Enhancing the reach to employers
Note: portal can also be designed to provide employers with SMS based solution to reach shortlisted candidates through SMS with single click. It can be further enhanced to receive their responses directly in company inbox. This two-way communication will certainly reduce the hiring time.
Differentiation and sustainability
In order to differentiate its services from other competitors like Ruralnaukri.com, who offer similar kind of services, Ant Consulting Services will address the challenges that are inherent in unskilled and semi-skilled job market, but are still not dealt adequately:
Reach: Ant consulting will proactively reach out to the employable workforce and help them build and upload resume on portal. It will devise a distribution channel to locate the employable and employed workforce and make sure that all the workers of targeted geography are registered on portal.
Authenticity: The job portal will be consistently updated to keep track of candidates who are already employed and the workers who are still out and available of employment. It will minimize the cost to organization as available resumes on portal will be up for employment and the calls to candidates who are already employed and not looking for employment will be reduced to zero.
Simplicity: Ant Consulting will put maximum effort to make sure that the portal can be used easily by both employers and employees with minimum effort. The interface will be highly interactive and simple enough to automatically guide users through its usage.
Value: All job seekers can register themselves on portal without any charge. As targeted workforce is not sophisticated enough to create and upload their resume on portal, Ant Consulting will offer additional value to candidates by enabling them create resume at near-to-zero fee and enhance the chance of employment by flashing it to several employers. On other hand, employers will also be able to manage their recruitment affairs at lower cost than any other route as they can directly access those workers in large numbers at one place.
Additional product and services
Ant Consulting has expertise of providing training to employees and managing recruitment affairs of organization. It can leverage its experience to offer additional services e.g. several offline services like virtual training program to employees, managing bulk recruitment for construction projects, job specific training to prepare them for particular need etc.
Recruitment for executive level employees
Bulk recruitment for seasonal requirement
Requirement specific training
Enabling employees for different roles
Pool of talented and readily employable workers
Resume of fresh pass-outs from school or colleges
Resume flash to sought organizations
Training for soft skill development
Specific training for easy employability
Case: US Pizza
US Pizza is a retail chain of indigenized pizza outlets located in several cities in India. Opposite to what its name suggests, it is purely an Indian brand with its first outlet opened in Bangalore. It boasts of offering a global product with local tastes.
The store manager of US pizza outlet, located in Bannerghatta, finds it difficult to manage the manpower at his store. He cites several reasons for the same: 1. High turnover rate 2. Unorganized access to ground level employees 3. Ineffectiveness of paper Ads or any other media in attracting such employees and 4. Unjustified placement consultant's fee for such a small requirement.
Currently, due to unavailability of an organized access to store workers, he manages the recruitment in following two ways:
Employee referral bonus: If the store runs short of employees, referral bonus is announced to existing employees for bringing new candidates. The bonus ranges from 1000-1500 rupees per employee hired this way.
Placing Ads: He places ads in paper, radio and different other media for attracting candidates for vacant post. Currently, the store expends about 500 rupees per month for placing such requirements. However, this medium is less reliable and uncertain as it is difficult to tell when the candidate will turn in for requirement and whether there will be any requirement, if he comes for interview.
Hence, in total he spends about 8000-10000 rupees per year. Upon briefing the idea of portal, he was little sceptic as to whether an online portal over internet would be able to provide him with needed access to ground level workers that his store requires. But, he also seemed quite enthusiastic about the prospect of having such portal at his disposal as he feels this would not only reduce the hiring cycle team but cost also.
The portal will offer services to two important groups: employers and employees. It will target following segment:
Large Scale Employers
This segment comprises the employing having requirement of large number of ground or semi skilled workers on regular as well as seasonal basis. Example: Construction companies, Departmental stores etc.
Medium Scale Employers
This segment would consist of employers having need of ground or semi or low skilled workers on regular basis. Example: hotels, pizza outlets, fast food chains etc.
This segment includes the workforce which is marginally educated or uneducated and is required by employers in large number. Their requirement by employers more often tends to be unsteady and is slightly difficult to handle given the challenge of reaching them, creating their profile, keeping track of their employability and updating the same on portal.
Semi skilled works
It includes the workers who are secondary or higher secondary pass-outs and are required in services jobs like departmental stores, pizza outlets etc. More often, they are sophisticated enough to create their own profile and use portal. This segment also offers opportunity to provide value added services like resume flash, mentoring etc. and is less challenging than previous segment in terms of reach and handling.
Note: For initial 5 years of operation, the company is planning to limit its operation to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Hence, the above segment will be geographically bound to these states only.
Job seekers: Based on our study, we tried to find out the rural labour market situation in India. India's population is expected to be around 1,166,079,217. The workforce population in India is growing at a rate of 2% per year. Rural population is expected to around 72% in India, where male to female ratio is 1.06. Out of whole rural population 64% is expected to be contributing to potential workforce population, with age between 15-64 years. In Rural areas, we expect 80% of male potential and 25% of female population to be actually willing to work. Based on the above analysis we arrived that 286 million rural population can be employed.
Rural Workforce Statistics
Rural Population (72%)
Age 15-64 years (64%)
Looking for job
According to CSO statistics, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have 35 million and 55 million of rural population respectively, which Ants is targeting for its initial few years of operations.
Employers: As Indian economy has progressed over the years, it has created job opportunities at every level. We are seeing an ever increasing number of retail chains, malls and other shops opening in cities. Apart from executive level jobs, these also require unskilled and semi-skilled labour for executing their day to day operations. Also, these jobs have traditionally seen high attrition rate compared, so companies need to hire frequently. Companies like Reliance mart, Pizza Hut, Construction companies, Small scale industries etc. face difficulty in finding and hiring these people at low cost and less time. We see a barrier between employable rural population and employers, and this gap can be curbed by creating a channel of communication between them.
As the portal tries to tap small and medium scale industries on Employer side and low and semi skilled workers on candidate side, it becomes important to devise marketing plan strategically so as to maximize the reach while keeping expenses in check.
At this stage, marketing plan will try to achieve following two objectives:
Attract employers to place their candidate requirements on portal
Reach job-seekers to get them registered on portal
Cross selling to existing clients: Ant Consulting can leverage its existing client base to generate revenue during initial phase. It needs to compile list of all the candidates who have approached it or any other agency for candidate requirement. Now depending up the revenue potential, it can classify them into different categories ranging from most lucrative to plain customers. It can educate each client category depending upon their strategic importance to Ant Consulting of the services being offered through portal and of how it can reduce their cost of managing manpower.
Sales Force: During the initial phase of marketing, the company will maintain a small sales force for attracting medium and large scale employers which are not currently related to Ant Consulting in anyway. The sales force will reach out to different employers to educate them about the inception of portals and its benefit of managing recruitment affairs. As Ant is planning to focus on two states only during its initial years of operation of portal, 3 sales persons can be hired for each state who will directly report to the senior sales manager responsible for particular state.
Figure: Reporting Structure of Marketing Team
The distribution channel discussed in following section should be harnessed to reach out to large number of job seekers and get them registered on website.
Referral Marketing: It should devise an incentive system for inducing employers as well as candidates to rope in other organizations and candidates respectively. Incentive could be anything ranging from monetary gift to free subscription or job posting on portal.
Ad Placement on local radio channel and paper: As placing Ads on radio channel and paper has become cheaper, the company can leverage the reach of these mediums to increase the visibility of portals among job seekers and medium-scale employers
Once the portal starts getting traction among existing clients and targeted employee base, it should augment its marketing plan by advertising the portal through mass media. It would add to the popularity of website and create demand-pull from customers.
Ad & Promotion: Portal can also be advertised through placing Ads in newspaper and trade magazines dedicated for medium and large scale companies. The company can also look upon alternatives of sponsoring popular events in certain geography to increase
Online Advertising: The portal can be advertised over search engines like Google and other similar popular websites that are expected to be used by targeted segment.
SMS based Advertising: Mobile penetration in rural area is more than any other mode of communication and different mobile companies are offering customized region based advertising. This can be effective medium for attracting rural job-seekers to apply for job through portal.
The portal needs to be positioned suitably for both the stakeholders. For employers, portal can be positioned as one-stop-shop for all the recruitment needs and for employees, it can be positioned as platform having good database of lucrative jobs and fast placement capability. The portal will promise to deliver following values to its customers-both employers and job seekers.
Strong reach to semi skilled and unskilled wage labours and workers
Reduced recruitment cost & hiring cycle time
Updated and relevant database of job seekers
Reduction in junk and irrelevant responses
Brand building opportunities for employers
The most important and difficult part on which success of this business plan rests is Distribution plan. The key factor which makes this task difficult is the reach to potential job seekers, which are spread over large geographical reach, especially not much tech savvy to be able to operate a computer to enter the details of his resume.
Flexible Model: One possible way could be that an Ants representative will go around the rural places and collect the profile of possible candidates. He would also be updating the profiles of received in the past and details such as right now they are looking for job or not. Though, the tasks seems simple, it has huge cost implications, especially for a company like Ants, it would difficult to fund frequent travel and personnel costs.
Private Collaboration based Model: Other way could be to have collaboration with institutes which have reach across rural areas. These institute's representatives could collect and update the profiles of job seekers from time to time. Though, Ants might need to share some part of revenues generated. Recently, we have seen Monsterindia collaborating with ITC's e-choupal to get access to rural population. ITC has a representative in each village called Sevak. His responsibilities include educating farmer about new farming techniques, crop insurance and help them to get best for their crops. Sevak has been given the responsibility to receive new profile database, and update the existing ones. It helps in reducing the cost for managing the profiles of job seekers.
No of e-choupals
A similar initiative has been started by HUL, called project Shakti, which helps HUL to distribute its product at village level. They are already using IT enabled portal called i-Shakti, which helps individual kiosks to share information with each others. Currently, there are over 45,000 Shakti entrepreneurs covering over 135,000 villages across 15 states. Ants could approach HUL to get the reach across villages.
Government Collaboration based Model: Ants could also collaborate with state employment exchanges. An Employment Exchange is an organization that provides employment assistance on the basis of qualification and experience. The Departments of Employment inÂ various States of India allow unemployed educated youth residing in the respective States to pre-register for impendingÂ job vacancies occurring in different sectors of that State. TheÂ registered job seekers, in many States, can also check their status on the job waiting-list online. They also allow job seekers to search for suitable jobs and to update their resume. Employers can post their vacancies with these exchanges and choose from among the registered candidates as per their requirements. Ants has been working with many states to provide vocational training to rural youth, Ants could work with these employment exchanges to help spread these profiles across their own pool of employers who are looking for candidates. Employment exchange would be happy to share data, if ants would help people to get job from employers. But, in future other companies might also request to collaborate with them.
Ants Consulting, started by Mr. Rajesh Rathod and Ms. Rumi Sikdar, provides end-to-end livelihood solutions for rural unskilled or semi-skilled people.
Ants Consulting provides solutions in Vocational & Skill Training, Recruitments and Micro Enterprise set up. Ants Consulting has trained more than 25,000 people in the last 5 years and at the same has access to 48,000 and more people across 5 states. These services can be consolidated by creating a software tool, database for each state and end users (Industries and companies) requiring the manpower.
Mr. Rajesh Rathod: Mr. Rajesh is currently managing the operations of Ants consulting, and he is also the originator of the idea of having a self-sustainable online job portal to provide employment to rural area job seekers. He is an IIM Ahmedabad graduate from the PGDM batch of 1991. His past experiences include Advertising head of Hutch. Later he wanted to do something for rural people, and started non-profit organization Ants Consulting.
Ms. Rumi Sikdar: Ms. Rumi Sikdar is the founding member and director at Ants Consulting. She has worked for 11 years with Corporate and Development Sector and turned into Social entrepreneur and started Ants Consulting with Mr. Rajesh Rathod. She has done Management Programme for Women Entrepreneurs from IIM Bangalore.
Based on the current pricing strategy of various job portals, and looking at the segment where Ants Consulting plans to focus, we have arrived at the following pricing plan:
Per job listing
Two months subscription
Six Months Subscription
One year Subscription
Banner on Home Page
Banner on Employees Page
1 month subscription
6 months subscription
1 year subscription
0-5 years work experience
5-10 years work experience
>10 years work experience
Consultants directory - Individual
Consultants directory - Organization
Initial pricing plan has been arrived at taking conservative estimates, but after few years of operations, we suggest it to be revised as we will have a better understanding of customers and their price constraints.
To start the business, Ants would require certain initial one time start-up cost. We have divided this into different items such as one time job portal development cost, server and software cost, racks, UPS and workstation costs.
2 server, 2 software
AC racks, UPS, stabilizer
per person workstation
We have assumed that a vendor will work on building the job portal, and it will take approximately 3 months to conceptualize and implement the requirements of a job portal. He will be paid 1 lakh pm for 3 months. Other costs are self explanatory.
Apart from one time start-up cost, there will be some costs which would occur every year, such as personnel costs, rent, utilities etc. The estimates of the ongoing costs have been shown in the table below.
2 software engineers
2 sales manager (1 for each state)
6 sales personnel (3 for each state)
Data entry operators*
Office premise deposit
*every year 2 new data entry operators will be hired
Income statement has been prepared for initial 5 years of operations. We have assumed the business to be all equity financed. Looking at the growth of companies in the past similar to Ants, we have taken revenue growth estimate of 80% with cost growth estimate of 15% for first 5 years. If company is able to grow as per these estimates it will be able to break-even in 3 year of its operations. Assumptions, Profit per year and the cumulative cash flow estimates have been shown in the table below.
Revenue per Large scale employer: Rs. 70,000 per year
Revenue per Medium scale employer: Rs. 12000 per year
In first year, 50 LSE and 100 MSE are acquired as customers.
Depreciation of 20% per year
(All estimates are in Rs)
To assess the risk of the business, we have also done scenario analysis for Ants business. We used monte-carlo simulations for this. We took some conservative triangular distributions for the inputs.
Growth rate of ongoing cost:
Minimum: 10%, Mode: 15% and Maximum: 20%
Growth rate of revenues:
Minimum: 60%, Mode: 80% and Maximum: 100%
LSE acquired in first year:
Minimum: 30, Mode: 50 and Maximum: 60
MSE acquired in first year:
Minimum: 70, Mode: 100 and Maximum: 120
Taking above distribution as input, we arrived at the following result for cumulative cash flow for first 5 years of its operations:
We could see that the chances of cumulative cash flow being negative is zero, with mean being at Rs 38.18 million, and 90% chances being in between 20.5 million to 58.1 million. There is a high deviation in the observed value, and it has maximum correlation with the revenue growth rates. So, Ants is advised to constantly gauge and try to maintain its revenue growth.
Vendor will be hired to develop the needed portal
Purchase Computers, servers, ups, ACs
Technical team will comprise two software engineering to monitor the portal.
Marketing team consists of two marketing managers and six sales personnel.
One accountant will be roped in to keep track of financial.
Marketing will be done as per the plan described in section "Marketing" above.
Continuous monitoring will be required to track following
Track the revenue growth and ensure minimum target for breakeven is met
Track expenses on various activities to keep cost in check
Assess the effectiveness of marketing plan to ensure clients are added continuously to meet revenue growth target
Income Statement (5 Years)
Financial Performance of Naukri.com (1999-2003)
Total Operating Expenses
** Naukri.com was started in year 1997 with self funding.
***In mid 2000, it approached ICICI bank for venture funding.
Income Before Tax