Adgully Exclusive | "Serve the guys who are there' is the key to our growth: LinkedIn India's Hari Krishnan

LinkedIn, the most popular professional networking site crossed the13 million member's mark in India and now India has become the second largest user base for LinkedIn in the world.

Adgully caught up with Hari Krishnan, Country Manager, LinkedIn India and Dhiman Mukherji, Director- Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn India to get insights about how they reached out to their 13 million members in India and strategies for their growth.

We started our discussion with Hari Krishnan, by asking him to give us some high points about LinkedIn in India and the perception of its members towards the networking site, he said, "It's about the fact that we can connect talent with opportunity and at massive scale. It's not just about the jobs; this is one element of our subsidiary. It's not about how we connect talent with a job but could being a person connecting with a brand or learning about the product. It could be about a person making business development relationship, increasing funding for their company, seeking out business intelligence for their start-up. We encapsulate it all by saying that we like to connect talent with opportunity and thanks to technology and another other things which are at the best we are doing it at the massive and at unrestricted scale for this specific objective. The outcome of it is that we believe that we are transforming the way world works. We have seen this in market after market as we start addressing a larger percentage of the white collar professional based, we really start seeing LinkedIn becoming a core professional tool which is used for everything from small insights. We don't think the job is done until we actually make them more successful and productive. LinkedIn is one of the few companies where we actually lived ambition day in and day out. Our sales team are more explored to how they sale, our marketing team understand it it's the value they take out to our customers. Today LinkedIn has over 135 million members worldwide we are adding two new members in every second. So, we are really been accelerating our growth, it's been a nice period of growth for the company. In India we have 13million plus members. We believe as a team that we have just started."

Further, Dhiman Mukherji explained to us about the advertising solutions and he said, "We don't sell products we sell solutions. We believe that solution we sell we promise a better recruiting experience to our recruiters. The way we achieve to it by our variety of products. There is a search platform we call as recruiter, which was our first program we launched in 2008. Then we have jobs, the idea is in LinkedIn a candidate doesn't have to find the job, jobs reaches out to candidate just by browsing and searching. Third service is LinkedIn connectivity and the last one is Work with us service."

As LinkedIn has its members across the world, we asked Hari Krishnan how they are planning to grow their business in India, "We are into service business, and social media is entire business built exclusively on work. The way we will go about it in India is by servicing these 13 million customers rather than focusing on people who want it, but on people who are there. Because if we provide value to all of you, you will find it in your interest to invite your colleagues, ex-colleagues and friends to join the network because you are seeing benefit in it and that is why we have seen growth globally as well as in India because we focus on our existing number rather than on people who should be on it." he said.

Hari Krishnan further continued, "When we launched it in November 2009, at that point we had 3.4 million members in India and today we have 13million members. The growth has been strong; message has always been the same throughout the organisation that is "serve the guys who are there'. So, we started by talking to those 3 million members and we spent good part of 2010 in what I call as "listening mode', we didn't talk. We bought corporate messaging to understand what they are experiencing what they want and what they like to see. But, these 3 million people like what they saw and that was what they wanted."

He further added by saying, "We have 3 different kinds of customers ' end consumers, recruiters and advertisers. All of them are important. We have moved away from the basics of marketing, we don't start by saying what your budget is but, what your problem is. What you're trying to fix and what you trying to achieve. That is how we protect our end consumers, while still making sure that we are the buyable business, we are company that is looking to make money but not by compromising the consumer's experience."

On expansion plans and the way they are going to implement it, Hari Krishnan said, "We have expanded it with our 3 offices ' in Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru and R &D centre catering to apace in Bangalore. We have 50 plus people in our sales and marketing offices and we are continue to grow with the time as we get opportunities. We are integrating with Twitter and scaling up India operations."

On asking about LinkedIn's achievements and the specific strategies behind the massive growth "The philosophy of how we grow the team and the way we arrive at any numbers, has to be in line with the business. So, if we see business accelerate, we will hire more. We have always worked with our team, who our highly trained and skilled professionals and stretching them to the maximum and that is the way LinkedIn work. We have loads of skilled professionals from sectors such as IT, engineering and others who have joined us.We are looking ahead to explore our business by hiring more marketing and solution sites." Hari Krishnan said.

Today people approach to LinkedIn as one of the best professional networking site, what does the India Head think about the members perception towards LinkedIn "We at LinkedIn want to provide context and relevance to the consumer, recruiter and advertisers. LinkedIn is about connecting, finding and being found. Loads of people in India looked at LinkedIn as professional network and that message has circulated well. But, LinkedIn needs to be thought of as your Launchpad for career development. There are 3 Pillars- First, It's about are you launching your career in right way? Second- Getting Insights, connecting with data that you want with the help of search engines. Third- Connecting with everyone. We are trying to improve extraction of a signal from all this noise." Hari Krishnan commented. | By Ranjana Gupta [ranjana(at)]


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