Professional networking endows us with ample opportunities to connect with professionals to exchange ideas, collaborate with relevant jobseekers, freelancers or recruiters, meet mentors and advisors in our professional journey etc. But the hurdles existing in the available form of networking platforms is the inability to network basis a specifically defined requirement and going through the whole lot of hassles involved in building and maintaining a huge list of connections, on mere assumption basis.
Going through this, professionals often end up trying to solve their professional problems, by themselves, not realising that for every problem, there is someone some where out there who can be of help. However, sometimes these professionals exist outside our individual circle and reaching out to them becomes trouble some and discouraging with no guarantee of success. This primarily, makes ‘networking with a purpose’a key to ease out the entire process. Mumbai-based BlueTie Global, a platform where professionals network with an objective, addresses this very gap in the networking ecosystem. It helps professionals to network with their clearly articulated requirements and access other professionals who share a complementing or correlating objective as theirs.
“In today’s connected world, we at BlueTie strongly believe that networking is the solution to most of our professional problems. Effective networking takes place only when you get access to professionals who are both capable and available to collaborate with you, with the supported ecosystem working in your favour. The available networking platforms emphasise on utilising existing networks while BlueTie allows users to explore beyond one’s close circle without the worry of sounding like a cold call,” explicates Kalyan Garud, Founder & Executive Director, BlueTie Global Pvt. Ltd.
As a platform that facilitates objective driven networking for professionals, your profile on BlueTie comprises of upto three defined Networking Objectives at that moment, your Fortes and Industry Experience alongside the additional information and introduction of yourself. While the Networking Objectives captures your intent and purpose on the platform, your Fortes capture the professional skill-sets, software knowledge and certifications possessed by you. “Based on these primary information provided by the users, our algorithms collate and arrange the available professionals in a way that you can meet and network with those who complement your objectives and are also looking for someone like you! We also enable the user to search for professionals and refine to the most granular level by using a combination of smart filters pertaining to their Objectives, Fortes & Industry experience,” says Kalyan.
The Ideation of BlueTie Global
The inception of BlueTie revolves around the objective of creating a platform that caters to every need of a professional’s journey and complements it through its objective based approach. Kalyan’s experience in the corporate world alongside that of Kunal’s, Founder & CEO - BlueTie, in the entrepreneurial sector helped them perceive the importance of shifting focus from only network building to actual networking. Throwing light on the same, Kalyan asserts, “We observed a pattern among professionals of mistaking networking to simply be the act of building connections. The biggest hindrance in effective networking was the absence of a platform that enables professionals to network and collaborate with a purpose. And that is where the idea of BlueTie was born.”
This addresses the need of the hour and improves the efficiency in overcoming ones professional hurdles, regardless of how often they arise. “By bringing relevant professionals to you, we take away the formalities and intricacies of building bridges with people that lie beyond their close circle of contacts,” he says.
Sailing against the Wind
They say the road to building a start-up is filled with hurdles and challenges and BlueTie here, is no exception. In the early days, the company has had its fair share of failures but again, the persistence to keep putting in the hard work that is required to make it work, is what got them so far. Kalyan while recalling those moments mentions, “Talking about specific problems, we did have to delay our launch by a good 45 days as we realised that the infrastructure we were looking at needed to be on a different level in order to scale up the user experience.
We took the necessarysteps and upgraded the infrastructure to make sure we launched with our best foot forward!”.
“Another ambitious decision we took was when we decided to create a comprehensive library of skill sets for the users to choose from instead of allowing them to enter data by themselves. For almost three-quarters post-launch, we received feedback saying the platform is wonderful, but several skill sets were not available. It was a huge task to address this and incorporate all the relevant fortes, but we took this challenge head on! We continued to stick by our basics in order to maintain the sanctity of the data, which now is one of our biggest USPs,” elaborates Kalyan.
While these posed as mere blockades in the journey, the major one was the perception of users towards networking in general. Professionals perceived that networking is either limited to personal connections or it is only about finding a job. In this case, educating them about result oriented and objective based networking which does much more than just finding a job was an exercise. “Our focus during the launch was to communicate what we are not instead of what we are. The team worked day in and out, and we did manage to communicate our message successfully in a clean and smooth manner,” he avers.
Eventually, one year down the line, they are advancing as per plan - the platform is making a difference by empowering professional lives by identifying and catering to their needs to augment better and accelerated networking.
Addressing the Industry Challenges
When it comes to industry, the primary focus is on digitising the way people network, either socially or professionally. “If we look at what the big players and also the emerging ones have achieved so far in terms of networking, they have done a commendable job in terms of keeping people in touch. Everyone today has a dynamic digital presence, either social or professional, and we can gauge every move and activity of one another through the same. However, the existing platforms are not extended to achieve the required outcomes on the professional front, since they are not structured to cater for current professional requirements,” explains Kalyan. BlueTie bridges this gap by creating an ecosystem directed at achieving today’s professional needs and giving that structured process to it.
The founders also believe that networking is THE solution to most of the professional problems, and that effective networking sure does not happen by chance. One needs access to those professionals who have mutual objectives at that moment, willingness to work with each other and are available at that time. While all this can be gauged easily for professionals who you know personally, it becomes difficult when they are not a part of your personal network. BlueTie thus provides a platform where you can network and meet the professionals beyond, in an approachable manner, after carefully gauging all these important factors.
The company houses a mixed bag of professionals with expertise in different areas. “When all these creative, technical, business minds come together, we do have an eventful time,” Kalyan smiles. BlueTie propagates objective based networking and sincerely makes an effort to align the personal/ professional objectives of all its team members and their respective departments to that of the brand.
BlueTie was recently recognised with the Fastest Growing Indian CompanyExcellence Award at the 11th Edition of the International Achievers Conference - Thailand
“And while the team works in realising the company’s vision, we ensure that all their individual goals are also met with in the due course of time. After all, the growth of any organisation is directly proportional to that of its people. We believe that empowering people internally helps us add value to our offerings as well,” he adds.
The Success Saga
Within a short span of one year, BlueTie is currently a platform with over 2 lac active users. While, the company has a strong presence across Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad and Delhi, it is rapidly expanding user base across the country. Shelling out a little from the plan of expansion Kalyan mentions that the brand is likely to extend overseas beginning with the Middle East and African Markets. At present, the company has offices in Mumbai and Bangalore and likely to set up operations in Dubai in the next two quarters. Furthermore, the company has also grown from a team of fifteen to over fifty backed by investments of over 1.5 Million USD.
In terms of mentors, the brand is strongly supported by their global advisors - Sweden based Jorgen Nilsson, CEO, Zenterio and UAE based Khalil Mohd Al-Hindwan, VP, TransSys Solutions who put in all the elements of a global product in the architecture itself. Khalil additionally comes with expertise in areas of strategic partnerships and the digital space alongside the enterprise IT consulting in the Middle East and African region.
The available networking platforms emphasise on utilising existing networks while BlueTie allows users to explore beyond one’s close circle without the worry of sounding like a cold call
Besides, the team is backed by a bunch of advisors, investors plus a board of about 12 professionals with over a decade long experience in the corporate sector who are not just investors but also extend an ecosystem of constant growth with their feedback, advice, and their network to boost the growth of the company.
Being in the market for a year now, and with the pillars of the company having successfully achieved the required infrastructure, the team is for user expansion and user engagement and converting it into different monetisation models.
Backing this, BlueTie was recently recognised with the Fastest Growing Indian Company Excellence Award at the 11th Edition of the International Achievers Conference - Thailand. “This recognition has brought in a whole lot of encouragement for the team as it clearly indicated the growth and potential of the platform and its acceptance in its user base,” says Kalyan.
The Bright Future
BlueTie Global points out to promising growth in the years to come. Addressing the ambiguities in effective networking, BlueTie was founded towards the end of 2016 with an aim to transform the networking ecosystem for the better. The journey stemmed from the desire to bridge this gap by enabling individuals to discover and communicate with professionals across diverse geographic locations. The platform focuses on helping individuals collaborate with other professionals with symbiotic synergies that match their objectives at that time. In terms of the future, the current need-based product is looking to grow into a multi-dimensional platform with a lot of new road map features looking to be introduced. “Global expansion is also a big priority for us. BlueTie is looking to be a leader in emerging markets, starting with the Middle East and South-East Asia, in the countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and so on, the economies of which in terms of growth are similar to that of India,” he concludes on a positive note.
The BlueTie mobile application is available for download on the Google Play Store as well as the App Store