There are plenty of reasons why people start a business. For some entrepreneurs, it is a mere form of capitalizing on financial opportunities. For others, it is a chance to provide a better, faster, smarter, or even cheaper solution to what’s available in the market.
Then there are those who see an unmet demand or gap in the market that they themselves have experienced and want to bring forth a change.
Ashok Dudhat, Founder & CEO of Tech Jobs Fair, indeed falls under the latter bracket as he worked towards filling a gap in the industry that is directly responsible for the growth of many businesses.
As a veteran of the IT industry, Ashok noted a discrepancy between the job seekers’ ability to reach a company and organizations’ failed attempts to secure a talented workforce. He then went on to lay the foundation of a bridge that unites the two fronts for collective success.
Exeleon looks into the inspiring journey of this transformational leader.
What according to you makes one a transformational leader? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?
A transformational leader, in my opinion, is one who fosters followers’ motivation and good growth, exhibits high moral standards in the workplace and encourages others to do the same. He/she encourages an ethical work atmosphere by establishing clear principles, goals, and standards, motivates people to shift from a self-interested perspective to one where they are working for the general good and building company culture and allows workers to make decisions and take responsibility for projects while providing coaching and mentorship.
I work on myself as a leader before I start making changes to our team and our organization. It’s important to look at how I function as a leader by being empathetic, charismatic, and inspirational. These traits may not appear to be learnable, but there are steps I take as a leader to develop them, for instance, taking time to sit down and get to know the people I work with on an individual level and in a context that’s broader than just their role in the organization.
I believe in creating a proper company culture, as it encourages the sharing of suggestions, improvements, and ideas from team members at every tier of the company. More often than not, the most creative ideas come from employees within an organization.
Talk to us about your growing-up years. What prompted your interest and subsequently your foray into the IT space?
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Master’s in Software Engineering for Industrial applications. I have more than 10 years of experience in different IT industries, such as e-commerce, turbine materials, as well as in-service and medical sectors. I work with CadCam Solutions, and some other companies like Siemens, Cortado, Aideon, and Cubeware in Germany and abroad. On one hand, I am a tech guy, so I love technology and therefore I am always eager to learn about new technologies – and to work with them.
On the other hand, my entrepreneurial skills have always motivated me to try creative and innovative ideas and projects. Teamwork and the possibility to draw a connection between my efforts and the organization’s bottom line is my great passion. When my team and I have an idea that works then it inspires me to go further. It might sound like a cliché, but it is true in my case: I love to be involved in projects that can have a good impact on the world.
My first start-up project was Germany Startup Jobs, which I started in 2014. It still exists today, and it is a website that provides job seekers an opportunity to browse and apply to some of the fastest-growing startups in Germany. Later on, in 2017, I created another project called ‘WP Event Manager”, a lightweight, scalable, and full-featured event management plugin for adding event listing functionality to WordPress websites.
Tech Jobs Fair, a tech focused branding and recruiting event, is my most recent project, which is currently present in several countries. A tech guy with an entrepreneurial spirit, I have learned many things in my 10-year career journey. It was mostly learning by doing, which is a great way to grow and test your ideas for new projects.
What was the idea that led to the information of the Tech Job Fair? What was the pain point you wanted to address in the market?
It all started with my own experience in Germany. While studying, I faced multiple challenges, and among all those, a job was the most challenging aspect, and that was the time when I decided to support many other candidates facing such challenges – this way a ray of Tech Jobs Fair flashes.
And when I deep dived into this concept, I found the challenges of the other side of the coin as well, the pain point of recruiters and HR managers. What first led me to the staffing and recruiting industry was, therefore, my own personal experience. In Germany, I had a limited visa period to find a job in the country. While I was busy looking for a job, there were other things to take into consideration: keeping track of my expenses and reaching my professional goals in a limited period of time.
I didn’t want just any job, I wanted to start my career. So, this idea came to me: to create a system where one can add their CV and automatically apply it to skill-matching jobs. This made the whole application process faster and that’s how I built my first project, the portal Germany Startup Jobs. Step by step, and as I expanded my network in Germany, this idea ultimately evolved until I reached the Tech Jobs Fair concept, and later the other two job platforms I created, Tech Job Wall and Hire Tech Talent.
How has the staffing and recruiting industry changed in recent years? How is TJF making an impact in the industry?
Staffing and recruiting are now more complex than ever. Candidates have different options; many companies need to adapt and find new strategies. As mentioned before, another way I’ve been trying to bring a change in this industry is by putting a great amount of effort into our latest project Hire Tech Talent. I see it as a revolution in the tech hiring industry, as it is made for people. We often use words like ‘candidates’, ‘talents’, ‘job seekers’, but we should not forget that we’re dealing with people here.
Hire Tech Talent comes in to make their life easier and remove some of the most popular hurdles of applying to a new job: people find it time-consuming, lack motivation after a while, or even feel overwhelmed. Hire Tech Talent is very convenient as people can create a one-time tech profile, get access to multiple events and get the chance to be employed in 15 countries.
Looking back at your journey, what would you have done differently when starting out?
I realized I wasn’t prepared when I thought I was. Companies that I wished to work with turned me down. Nonetheless, I used my failures and rejections to my advantage. For a while, I felt upset and was too harsh on myself. But I needed to get back on my feet, so I devised a strategy that involved working on modest projects for my portfolio, learning independently, and attending conferences and meetings. Even if it’s a little step, it may make a difference. I eventually designed and founded my own company.
Yes, we will eventually fail or be rejected. However, this should not be used as an excuse to give up. Despite the fact that I am a timid and quiet person, I have learned the importance of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I had the opportunity to meet a large number of new individuals in the IT sector. I learn a lot from them, but I also try my best to share what I’ve learned.
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” -Chris Grosser
What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in the tech industry?
My message to aspiring business leaders would be to work hard towards your goals, be persistent, stay focused and keep your motivation on high levels. In the end, what you give will be what you get.
Finally, what does the future look like for you and TJF?
I want to build Tech Jobs Fair as a worldwide brand. My goal is to keep moving forward and, at the same time, remain aligned with our company’s objectives. We want to gain the complete trust and support of our audience, which will motivate us to move ahead in our mission of contributing to everyone associated with us significantly.
We are planning the global expansion of the Tech Jobs Fair, starting with London, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Dublin. I want TJF to be a global brand and to create a startup and tech ecosystem around the globe. I hope to help more people from tech backgrounds to find employment, motivate them to do tech innovation, and educate them about entrepreneurship.
We are aiming to establish Tech World – Tech Communities across the world. Aspiring business leaders’ message: Work hard toward your goal with passion and keep persistence to achieve it. Keep motivating yourself and keep motivating things around you and help more and more people now and people will help you directly or indirectly in your goal.
List of Awards of Ashok Dudhat:
- Top 10 Indian Leaders In Germany – 2022
- Featured in the Top 100 Innovators and Entrepreneurs magazine
- World’s Best Emerging Leaders 2021-2022
- The 10 Most Influential Business Leaders to Follow in 2022