Addressing the widespread issue of unemployability, Interview Buddy, the brainchild of Ujwal Surampalli from Vizag, bridges the gap between the job seekers and industry.
The platform and its distinction
Interview Buddy is an online platform that helps job seekers interact with industry experts in real-time. The innovative technology used in this web application helps the candidates practise interviews and also provides a well-constructed feedback later.
In addition to possessing numerous industry experts versed in the current employment market and its demands, Interview Buddy also stands out on the technological front. Salient features such as a video conference window, sentiment analysis, and others, set this platform several cuts above.
Much like any other Engineering student, Ujwal too had great hopes and aspirations for his interview day. Even though he managed to ace his first interview, the dismal performance of his fellow batchmates left him startled.
A few years down the line, while doing his Master’s in Germany, this Mechanical Engineer noted that the employability standards were disappointingly the same among the international student population as well.
“While the observations I made during my first interview triggered the thought of bridging the skill gap among the students, knowing the scenario elsewhere made me firm on building an online platform to help the cause,” says Ujwal.
In 2016, he returned to India and started building the platform of Interview Buddy with the help of a few IITians and soon rolled out the alpha version of the service.
The Journey and Challenges
After a rigorous market study, Interview Buddy was launched in 2017. The online platform soon started taking strides and was selected as one among the 60 global startups to pitch and present at the prestigious RISE conference in Hong Kong. This not only helped them gain a large-scale visibility but also caught the attention of a few big players who came forward to associate with the platform.
However, like any other startup, Interview Buddy too had to endure quite a few obstacles in its way. “Being an entrepreneur, that too in a tier II city like Vizag is not at all easy,” says the platform’s honcho. “Getting hold of talented personnel is one of the major challenges we have been facing here,” he further explains.
Besides winning accolades from several quarters, Interview Buddy was also recognised by the government of Andhra Pradesh. “Recently, we had elaborate discussions with the honourable IT minister of the state. Impressed with our concept, the government plans to make use of our platform in enhancing the employability of youth in the rural villages,” informs Ujwal.
Plans for Vizag
Being a Vizagite, Ujwal has always yearned to give something back to the community here. He plans to conduct workshops and formulate tie-ups with various colleges in the city to help make the students understand the current industry-specific needs. Ujwal feels this would not only make them employable but also mitigate the stark difference between the classroom learning and real-time applications.
What lies ahead?
Having successfully established the B2C model of Interview Buddy, plans to launch the B2B model are now on. Also, this former student of Andhra University hopes of breaking grounds in healthcare and other corporate sectors as well.
Founder: Ujwal Surampalli
Employee count: 9
Awards/Recognition: One of the top products of the day on Product Hunt, Won Bronze medal at International Innovation Fair, The only startup from South India to present at Netherland’s ‘The Next Web Summit (TNW).’