Every job is an online job portal, why did you launch it in Bangladesh? Why not in India or Pakistan?
Mr. Gijs Verheijke: During the ever jobs launch process we looked primarily at market size, market development, and competition. India, of course, has the biggest market, but it is also quite developed. There are already multiple job websites, and internet usage is quite high. That means we don’t see a good route to become #1 there. Pakistan is also a big market, and the development stage is at a good point for us. However, there is already a strong competitor. Pakistan is on our list of future countries that we consider.
Getting to Bangladesh, the market is large, and not very developed yet, with less than 20% internet penetration. There is only one serious competitor in the market, and given the low internet penetration, the ‘race’ has not even started yet. Therefore, we see a clear path to becoming #1 in Bangladesh once internet penetration starts to really grow!
Still, there are lots of people rely on offline sources seeking a job, do you have any plan to connect those people to an online source, how?
Mr. Gijs Verheijke: First, those people need to get connected to the internet. At the moment, most new phones sold are smartphones, but a lot of people that have smartphones, still don’t use the internet functions. Regardless, I expect most of the new internet users to be primarily mobile users. Therefore we plan to focus on creating the best possible job search experience on smartphones, which will allow us to reach the people more easily as they come online.
What initiatives did you take to train a job seeker?
Mr. Gijs Verheijke: We undertake several different programs with universities to train job seekers. The biggest one is “Conquer your Career” which is a tour of big universities where we give interviews and CV training, as well as sometimes an additional Excel training. We also bring speakers from big companies to give career advice.
What is your assessment for other online job portals of Bangladesh?
Mr. Gijs Verheijke: There are many very small job portals active in Bangladesh, which we don’t really see as a sustainable force. Often they are not charging money, and without revenue how can you sustain a business? Therefore we believe there is only one serious job portal in the market besides ever job which of course is bd jobs. Compared to them, we see ourselves as more innovative on the technology side.
How does your brand differ from others that you consider as the individuality of your brand?
Mr. Gijs Verheijke: Everjobs brings a more innovative and flexible product to the market. Our secret sauce is teaming-up our talented Bangladeshi people with a world-class IT team and management experience from the highest echelons of Investment Banking in Europe. This creates a company culture that is radically transparent and collaborative. We aim to be the best at what we do, and this is also reflected in our service. Those things together make our brand unique
What is your future plan with ever job in Bangladesh?
Mr. Gijs Verheijke: So far I believe we have earned our place as one of the leading career portals in the market. Our goal right now is growing more relevant, gradually gaining the trust of companies and job seekers, and truly understanding what is needed to serve the market. Then when the time is right and we see internet usage taking off, we can start mass marketing and increase our market share.
You have studied Biomedical Engineering and then Finance in Masters but you started your career as an Entrepreneur followed by an Investment Banker and now you are a CEO. A very big change, why and how?
Mr. Gijs Verheijke: I have the luxury and privilege of growing up in a country that offers a lot of opportunities. That has allowed me to pursue my interests and try different things. They say that luck favors a prepared mind, and by being ready to take risks huge opportunities can be unlocked. I left a very stable and safe career as a Financier to start a job website in Bangladesh, and since then have lived in Dhaka and Yangon, got to work with Cambodians and Sri Lankans too, and became CEO of a multinational startup at 30 years old. I can say wholeheartedly that the risky moves I have made, switching from science to finance, and then from finance to entrepreneurship in frontier markets, have been the 2 best decisions in my life!