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December 15, 2018 by Anuj Jain in Startup Spirit People Interview

I got bitten by the startup bug and look what happened!

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Sudhanshu Ahuja, CEO

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Sudhanshu Ahuja is a young entrepreneur, co-founder of Impress.AI, a company that aims to bring more structure to the interview process. Most interviews were unstructured in nature and lots of biases or intuition played a role in the final decision. Impress.AI wants to make hiring fairer, faster and easier.

Impress.AI aims to help companies use the right criteria and try to make the interview process as streamlined as possible.

Their goal is not to remove humans completely from the process but to actually augment the ability a human has to choose. Impress.AI counts more than 10 large companies as clients and more than 28000 interviews that have happened through their product. Their future looks bright and they aim to hit a one million US annual recurring revenue, add some Asian languages for large enterprises that work with our product in Asia. Finally, last few months the company is slowly expanding the US with Sudhanshu working 15-16 hours a day in order to accommodate both Singaporean and US work hours.

Here, Sudhanshu shares his experiences on how to deal with the startup bug-bite:)

Where do you get ideas to create a product?

In 2013 I had an idea and founded another company called Ideatory. Then we had identified problems with the hiring process. So in 2016 when things were getting tough financially for us and we were getting mentally and physically tired being able to conceptualize how we could fix the hiring process became enough of an incentive for us to start another company.

How do I know that my idea is valuable?

Part of our first success story was our agreement with DBS bank. But the agreement itself wasn’t the only bright light we got. When we presented our vision to DBS and realized that DBS shared the same vision about the hiring process made them believe that our idea and product is filling a need correctly. Additionally, the relationship with James Loo, head of talent acquisition at DBS bank, gave us the personal and professional encouragement needed to continue.

How do I accommodate all of the requirements of my clients?

The friction and experience we gained with Ideatory helped us at impress.AI to focus on the things that are important in the entrepreneurial journey. We learned how to become a product-oriented company and additionally when to say no to things that don’t align with the framework of the product that we want to build. We also encountered many instances that seemed fatal for the company but those experiences only helped us to stay calm, and focus on the things that are working in the company.

Should you start your own business?

When I started, I underestimated the mental stress this journey entails. Even though starting your own company means that you’re your own boss, you have more people to answer compared to just being an employee. Employees, clients, investors, just to name a few. That’s why now my opinion is that starting a business is usually a bad idea. But if nothing convinces you to drop the idea and do something else, then that’s the only time you should start this journey.

How do I deal with stress?

Exercising is important especially in the morning that prepares you for the day to come. Additionally, having time for yourself is important. Spend times with friends and family and if you have to… stay off your phone and computer over the weekends.

Startup-O is South East Asia’s largest platform for startup assessments, investment & venture building. Startup-O combines the art of assessment by global experts with the science of decision-making algorithms to discover and enable the most promising startups while building a well-curated and diversified portfolio for the investors in the fund.

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