Kamal Karanth & Anil Kumar ET launch Xpheno for super specialty hiring


The new outfit will deal with niche talent, such as UX/UI engineers, cloud architects or network-security managers for the IT sector and positions in regulatory affairs, pharmacokinetics, pharmacovigilance and biostatistics, for the pharma sector.

The former heads of two leading staffing companies—Kamal Karanth and Anil Kumar ET— have joined hands to launch a new outfit. Karanth is the former managing director of Kelly Services, India & Malaysia, while Kumar is former managing director, RGF India.

The new outfit, Xpheno, promises to be a true blue super speciality hiring company, which will deal with very niche talent, such as UX/UI engineers, cloud architects or network security managers for the IT sector or regulatory affairs, pharmacokinetics, pharmacovigilance and biostatistics for the pharma sector.

Karanth says, “All the staffing firms do a cradle to grave kind of recruitment, but we would only do mid niche roles, which are either hard to find or emerging skills at premier rates.”

The new outfit will only deal with positions which offer a salary of over Rs 1 lakh a month—be it contractual hire for a month or a direct hire—and in sectors such as IT, life sciences, consumer retail or engineering.

Xpheno, which currently works with 30-odd clients hopes to raise Series A funding in the next three to six months, with an aim to enhance technology and enter newer markets within the country. Currently, it has operations in four cities—Chennai, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The Company believes that the cost of a bad hire is mostly underestimated. While many equate it merely with salary expenses, the eventual impact could actually be multi-fold.

 As Kumar says, “Companies seek partners with sector expertise whilst recruiting leadership talent, in a bid to minimise the cost of wrong hires.”

“We believe that successful organisations are created with exceptional talent, and great talent is difficult to find on one’s own. The decrease in the tenure of senior executives is compelling organisations to create a continuous talent pipeline,” he adds.

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