Divya Chethan, a Bengaluru resident, is a vigorous learner. Having had his fair share of experience in organizations in the talent acquisition space over the years, Chethan decided to put business acumen into a startup and embarked on his entrepreneurial journey in 2016. Along with Gautam Sinha, Sanjeev Punwani and Karunjay Anand, started CBREX Technologies Pvt Ltd. CBREX is an online B2B platform where selected talent search companies fulfill open applications posted by companies. The platform is an amalgamation of technology, design and product experts coming together to run one of India’s extensive recruitment platforms. As Co-Founder and Head of Product, Chethan’s journey as an entrepreneur and leader has paid off as her platform has grown fivefold in the past three years. They recently closed on a $3M pre-Series A, led by Waterbridge Ventures.
In an interview with shelagenteDivya Chethan talks about CBREX, the challenges she faces in the industry, the dynamics of the country’s talent acquisition space, her role as head of product, and how she is constantly evolving in various roles.
Interview with Divya Chethan
What led you to create CBREX? What were the main setbacks in starting and installing the platform in the market?
It all started with how we can deliver value to employers by connecting them with the best specialty recruiters and giving them access to the best candidates. Thus began the supplier selection process. Initially it was not easy to fit into the market. Now we are pioneers in this space, but it took us almost 2.5 years to get our product market right. As it is the case of trying something new, we face friction to gain acceptance from customers. However, isn’t it part of the game to take risks? However, when customers began to see value in what we brought to the table, adoption set in automatically. Today, our customer base includes companies in technology, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, with expansion into other technology-driven functions such as robotics and financial services, and we have filled jobs in more than twenty countries.
You entered the STEM field after co-founding the platform. How was the transition?
Yes, I was associated with the STEM field after co-founding CBREX. My domain has been primarily in the talent acquisition space. However, being a leader naturally sparked my interest in the space after witnessing the scope of innovation and the ease that technology brings in various fields. This is how I became more involved in creating a vision that solves the travails that cloud the world of recruiting.
What sets your platform apart from your competitors?
What sets CBREX apart from other platforms in the same space is that along with a vision to revolutionize the way companies source talent through a technology platform, we also constantly seek to simplify a recruiter’s life by creating a powerful user experience.
As someone involved in the talent acquisition space, what are the key changes you’ve witnessed in hiring trends across the country?
In recent years, the recruiting industry has become much more dynamic, and technology is the biggest contributor to this change. With technology, not only has the life of a recruiter been simplified, but it has also paved the way for cutting-edge solutions. In the past, it would have been unimaginable for a recruiter to seamlessly access jobs and hire talent from anywhere in the world.
What has impacted your growth as a female leader in business?
It is always a challenge to be in leadership positions and for me it has been a full year of learning in which I better understand my abilities and constantly push myself to grow and be able to lead by example. As a woman, I am also grateful for the great support I receive from my peers and my family, where I have the space to make decisions and live on my terms.
“As someone who now leads an integral part of the business, while multiple factors have affected my journey and brought me here today, my very commitment to working hard and keeping faith in my potential has set me off.”
What next regarding the digital revolution of the Indian market with your company?
At CBREX, we constantly seek to revolutionize the recruiting industry by providing a powerful technology platform that makes it easy for companies to easily search for talent at optimal cost and in a fraction of the time. All this is done with the logistical convenience of a single invoice and a single contract with CBREX. Our primary mission is to enable companies to hire anyone, anywhere.
As an integral part of leadership, what drives you to evolve into various roles in the organization?
I am a learner and trying something new is exciting. I try not to lock myself in a box, one should not be confined to working in the same space all the time. Some roles require you to step out of your comfort zone and maybe even a need to improve. Also, sometimes asking for help and guidance is very helpful. Along with this, keeping faith in myself empowers me to work in all roles.
“I try not to lock myself in a box, one should not be confined to working in the same space all the time. Some roles require you to step out of your comfort zone and maybe even a need to improve. I try to make a living from it as much as I can.”
As a business and technology leader, how do you suggest the Indian market can empower more women in leadership roles?
Women in leadership positions today are setting perfect examples for all of us. Equal priority must be given to women’s leadership opportunities and roles in the workplace. Workplaces in the country must support women who want to continue entrepreneurship. As more opportunities open up for women, we must not let the thoughts and opinions of those around us get us down.
“We constantly hear that women have missed out on amazing opportunities because they have to focus on their families, but we can get through this with the right kind of support not only from families and partners, but also from the various systems across the country that can support the lives of women. women. aspirations and open more doors for them.”
What main factors can empower girls and young women to take leading roles in STEM?
Gender sensitive STEM education for women at an early stage would motivate more women. What can work wonders in this regard is for educational institutions to make Mathematics, Science and Technology compulsory subjects for higher education. On top of that, parents should always encourage their daughters when they express their aspirations to become a scientist or an astronaut.
“Revealing stories about women in STEM early in education would inspire many young women to pursue careers in the field, as their interest and confidence will increase when exposed to female role models in front of them.”
Her advice to women who want to make a change from their jobs and start their business journeys?
Growth comes with challenges, but that’s the deal we make when we want to grow. My advice is to stay committed to your vision, prioritize what matters most, and work hard to achieve your goals. More importantly, never stop believing in yourself no matter the odds.