It’s a Job Well Done at Quikr, Thanks to Blue-collar Market

Even as corporate India and the startup ecosystem battle a gloomy hiring situation, the vertical has given online classifieds portal Quikr reason to cheer. As FY17 turned to a close, the Tiger Global and Kinnevik AB-backed unicorn saw its QuikrJobs platform reach breakeven.

“In March, we broke even at the category level,” Amit Jain, head of QuikrJobs told ET. Under the jobs umbrella, Quikr includes QuikrJobs (blue collar), Hiree (acquired in 2016 for white collar market entry) and QuikrPro (B2B transaction model between recruitment consultants and hiring clients). “The driver of profitability has been QuikrJobs which contributes the main share of revenues,” said Jain.

QuikrJobs is the portal’s blue-collar offering and contributes 75% of the revenue share in this vertical.

The company claims a 3x growth in revenues within the jobs vertical in FY17 -a large part of which has been driven by a “healthy balance between its online and offline recruitment services”. “That (balance) allows us to increase the scope of the profitability because online revenues help (in achieving the same),” Jain told ET. At 5 million applications per month, QuikrJobs claims a 50% increase in user base in the second half of FY17.

QuikrJobs competes with Aasaanjobs and Babajob in the blue-collar space. Industry experts believe that a lead in the blue-collar market has largely been due to Quikr’s focus on a crisp product offering that enables higher traction for the portal. “(QuikrJobs’) positioning has been clear for both employers and employees and so they have been able to make a dent in this (blue collar) category,” said Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research.

The online classifieds industry is pegged at Rs 2,500-3,000 crore with jobs, real estate and matrimony forming the key revenue churners for the industry. The industry is expected to clock a CAGR of 22% to touch Rs 7,700 -7,900 crore by 2020 according to a report published by KPMG in September 2016.

Quikr competes with market leader (operated by Info Edge) and LinkedIn in the white collar space and together they form the lion’s share of the market when it comes to white collar jobs where revenue is based on a listings and subscription-based model. Info Edge posted Rs 531.2 crore for its recruitment business in FY16 compared with Rs 95 crore that Quikr clocked across all its verticals for the same period.
Experts are of the view that’s sole focus on the white collar segment has led players such as QuikrJobs to race ahead in the blue-collar vertical but maintain that emulating its blue-collar success across the entire jobs space will not be easy for the company valued at $1.5 billion. did not respond to ET’s email query .
“The size of the blue-collar business (within the jobs market) is very small. The category is not very organised and doesn’t have too many players so QuikrJobs has been able to make a significant mark there,” explained Meena. “But going beyond that and making a significant mark in the white collar business is going to be difficult.”