Till recently finding a reliable freelancer was considered a novelty. Those were the days when the distance between expert freelancers and brands looking for them was huge. InstaTaskers – a Mumbai-based startup – has been working to bridge this gap for the last two years. We met the founders at their office at Andheri, to understand how they have helped freelance experts and companies connect and work together easily.
How It All Came Together
InstaTaskers is the brainchild of Ubika Dev and Kunal Modi, both MBA graduates (from IIM, Ahmedabad and NMIIMS respectively) who gave up lucrative careers to start their own venture. As the founders put it, InstaTaskers is a marketplace to connect business with verified service providers from all over the country.
Ubika and Kunal began their company two years ago in April of 2016, after testing the waters unofficially for three months before that. The idea was born when Ubika (who was then leading the strategy team at the prestigious Lodha Group) and Kunal (who had recently completed his MBA) spoke to some of their entrepreneur friends and realised the problems they faced when finding on-demand talent. While businesses were struggling to find verified freelancers, the challenges freelancers faced ranged from getting professional clients to getting paid for a project. Once Ubika and Kunal recognized the industry’s need for a stable platform, InstaTaskers was born.
Bridging the Gap
“The freelancing industry in India is still pretty nascent,” points out Ubika. To ensure that both their Clients and Taskers get what they want, InstaTaskers focusses on the major pain points of the industry and seeks to resolve them.
InstaTaskers has a ready pool of freelancers who can take up jobs on demand. This bodes well for startups which frequently need people with specialized skills, but do not have sufficient workload (or resources) to justify full time hiring for every requirement. To make the process even easier, InstaTaskers lists only verified service providers on its website so that companies can hire skilled talent even in a crunch without a long-drawn-out onboarding process.
Working For a Vision
The most important problem InstaTaskers aims to resolve is that of the trust deficit between freelancers and startup. The startups are apprehensive about the time and the quality of the output while the freelancers are apprehensive about the financial credibility of the startups. InstaTaskers breaks this deadlock by taking the payments in advance and holding them till the task is completed. This reduces flight risk on both ends and encourages an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation.
“At InstaTaskers, we are committed to bringing in efficiencies in the process of hiring freelancers,” says Ubika.
Two Years and Counting
Despite the amazing idea and the industry requirement, Ubika and Kunal did find it difficult to build the supply and demand pipeline in the initial days. Getting the first few freelancers on board was really difficult. The founders talked to each of them personally to get them on board.
Kunal says, “Getting the initial set of clients was difficult but we are now seeing a lot of organic referrals by our existing clients and freelancers. This organic growth gives us the confidence and helps us believe we are on the right track.”
Currently, there are around 1500 curated freelancers on board the InstaTaskers platform from across the country. The company is five-member strong and rapidly increasing its business. It still is a bootstrapped startup and believes in organic growth from their operating income. What has helped increase their reach is the fact that unlike the listing service provided by most freelancing marketplaces, InstaTaskers connects Clients with the most relevant service providers.
The Mission Ahead
InstaTaskers aims to simplify the process of hiring freelancers in India so that instead of looking for a needle in the haystack, clients spend their valuable time on relevant, interested Taskers only.
Also, most mediators do not allow direct communication between the client and the freelance talent. However, once compatibility is established, InstaTaskers allows seamless communication between both parties. All payments are made online through PaySafe and there is no bidding involved, which ensures that the service providers do not cut corners during execution.
The target segment of InstaTaskers is small medium enterprises and startups which makes up the majority of their clients. However, they do boast of some known names such as Asian Paints, Clear Tax, Toppr, PepperFry, HDIL, amongst others, as their clients. And this is only set to increase in the coming future!