Company Story

JantaKhoj joins National Association of Professional Background Screeners APAC Chapter

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Total Discrepancy Break Up January 2015

MORRISVILLE, N.C., USA, 9th Feb 2015 – The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) announced today that JantaKhoj InfoServices is now a member of The National Association of Professional Background Screeners APAC Chapter.

Worldwide each year, employers, organizations and governmental agencies request millions of consumer reports, keeping homes and businesses safe.

Founded in the U.S. as a non-profit trade association in 2003, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) was established to represent the interest of companies offering employment and tenant background screening services. Just as importantly, however, the initial members wanted to establish and promote a high level of ethics and performance standards for the screening industry. The Association currently represents over 700 member companies engaged in employment and tenant background screening across the globe. Member companies range from Fortune 100 companies to small local businesses, conducting millions of pre-employment and tenant background checks each year as part of the hiring and leasing process. NAPBS Member companies are defined as “consumer reporting agencies” pursuant to the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and are regulated by both the FTC and CFPB.

The NAPBS APAC Chapter’s charter was officially ratified in the first quarter of 2011 and follows the same guiding principles as its parent association. By joining the NAPBS APAC Chapter, JantaKhoj recognizes the mission of the association; to promote ethical business practices, compliance with the FCRA, equal employment opportunity, and state and international consumer protection laws relating to the background screening profession. NAPBS provides educational programs aimed at empowering members to better serve clients while adhering to standards of excellence in the background screening profession.

NAPBS proudly welcomes JantaKhoj as its newest member in the screening industry!

How NOT to handle customer support – Dell DataSafe support review

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This post is not related to background verification or People Search, but focuses on customer service and support. While the rant may appear to be coming from personal experience, the impact has been on the business and hence it becomes suitable for JantaKhoj blog.  Since 2004, I have been a Dell buyer, earlier owning an Inspiron laptop and later on Studio 1555. Now, one application which comes bundled with the OEM software is Dell DataSafe, an online backup application which allows the folders to be sync’ed up automatically with online backup servers. Since my storage requirements were above the minimum free quota, I bought the annual subscription for 10GB online storage.

Recently I had a hard disk crash. Thankfully I had purchased the extended warranty so the disk replacement and associated on-site service was covered. Full marks to Dell up to now as the service was quite prompt and to my complete satisfaction. After installed the other software like Windows 7 and Office 2010, I was able to restore all my files from Dell DataSafe to the new disk. Again full marks to Dell.

But one file – the Outlook Archive file (.PST), which had a large number of official emails from last two years or so, was pretty large at 5.67GB. I tried restoring this file quite a few times. In the initial stages, the file transfer would get interrupted as the wireless connection at office or home would encounter a temporary glitch. So I ran it on the home LAN which was fully solid and let the batch job run overnight. One or the other error code would show up at the end of 12-15 hours cycle.

I raised it to Dell first time via their email support on 10th October 2012. I did get response from their India office but the local team could not resolve it over phone. There after the customer support’s true colors started coming out. Even after multiple calls and emails (which got more and more desperate with my increasing exasperation) and repeatedly sending log files, screenshots and problem details, over next even weeks, the problem lies unresolved. I can understand that the local technical team may not be conversant with a special/niche application like Dell DataSafe but then why is Dell selling this solution when they cannot provide support – for paying customers.

I have pretty much given up hope of any resolution. And for sure, I will never be buying any Dell product for personal or business usage. In this specific case, Dell DataSafe and its technical support became the Achilles’ heel for Dell – Dell is a formidable provider of computers but was extremely vulnerable on Dell DataSafe technical support. For online backups, MyPCBackup, DropBox or even Google Drive is possibly a better solution.

New Sales Offices in Delhi/NCR and Bengaluru

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New Sales Offices in Delhi/NCR and Bengaluru

It is an exciting day! From today, 1st October 2012, we are opening up sales offices in Delhi/NCR and Bengaluru. This means that we will be able to engage much better with our prospective and existing customers in these two cities. We have had customers from both these locations earlier too but now with the physical presence in the two cities, we can meet and serve a larger set of prospective and existing customers.

Of course, as before, our pan-India verification network ensures that we can complete background verifications across India irrespective of client and candidate location(s).

So, if you are in Delhi/NCR or Bengaluru, let’s meet soon (why not now?)! Get the contact details on the Contact Us page.

Recalling the Launch Day – Look Inside our Startup

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I recently chanced up this excellent blog – Why founding a three-person startup with zero revenue is better than working for Goldman Sachs from Antonio Garcia-Martinez, Co-Founder of Adgrok (I thank Lalit Manral for sharing this on Facebook). The startup life which Antonio brings out so vividly is probably experienced in one way or another by most of the startups, including JantaKhoj.

It is more than four months since we went live with JantaKhoj.com. But the day of the launch, 27th April 2010, is still so very crystal clear in my memory. After shifting the public beta launch date a few times, the pressure was really intense to go ahead with it on that day. The last minute testing and checks went on through most of the day. The temperatures were rising – both within and around the team. The summer in Hyderabad is relentless and this year was no different. The legendary power-cuts during the peak summer months were back in full swing.

Generally we used to get around one hour of power cut at most but as you know, we can always rely on Murphy’s Law to bless us when it is least wanted! So, on that day, the power cut continued for around four hours non-stop. The office building backup generator supported us for around two hours. While the generator does not support the air-conditioning, we survived with the fans. When generator also breathed its last (the building supervisor mentioned something about more diesel being procured but it did not show up till next day!), we continued working with power from the UPS. But yes, the fans were silent now!

The temperatures continued to rise but our valiant warriors of Engineering kept on hammering on the code, well supported by others in the testing. After one and a half hours more, the UPS also ran out of the battery charge! While the laptops continued to work on their own battery and mobile Internet card, the desktops and LAN also fell silent; the Web connectivity too was lost as the broadband line required the power. Clearly not the best of the working situations on the day of launch!

Thankfully the dedicated server hosted on the top-tier datacenter was safely tucked away from all this mess and Suresh (our Head – Engineering) continued to move ahead with the help of laptop and mobile Internet card. Eventually the primary AC power came back (after an outage lasting more than four hours) and everything started humming again – we were back in the business with full strength. Having seen the ‘worst’, we could only go up now. The effort continued till very late evening and finally, at around 1130pm, the site was thrown open for public beta. The next day, we announced it to the world and have thoroughly enjoyed these four months since then.

JantaKhoj Completes First Year

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Today, on 23rd June 2010, we have completed one year of existence since our incubation. I would like to thank all our stakeholders – site users, customers, business partners, fans, supporters, critics, investors and promoters, strategic advisors, team members, consultants, and friends and family members. It is through your continued support, faith and guidance that we have reached this point.

In this one year, JantaKhoj has moved from just being an idea to being ‘India’s first and largest people search portal’ offering people search and background verifications to individuals and businesses. While there is still a long way to go, we take pride and pleasure in the fact that we have been able to build something concrete and innovative which has been quite useful to Indian community.

I can vividly recall the day, exactly one year ago, when we started in the single room, rented in the premises of another software company in Madhapur/HiTech area of Hyderabad, armed only with our old laptops and the new business idea. Over the next few months, we shaped out the offerings, refined the business plan, expanded our team and moved to our current office. The public beta launch on 28th April 2010 was the culmination of these long months of hard work and persistence.

The media and blogging community has been very kind to us as our press page shows. We continue to reach out to and build our fan communities on Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn and Twitter. The site traffic and number of search engine results have continuously increased since the public beta launch. And we continue to get business from individual consumers and companies.

As we celebrate the completion of our first year, we are extremely excited about the next year and look forward to serving our site users and customers with even greater commitment and enthusiasm.

Wedding Woes and ‘Search People. Research Background’

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Whew!!! With the launch of JantaKhoj.com, I feel like Edmund Hillary after conquering the tallest peak. And so, taking a break from the entrepreneurial tasks and running after ‘n’ number of things, I am back here, to continue sharing the story of ‘Search People. Research Background’ with you.

Oh! I forgot to tell you, that’s our logo tagline. You must have noticed it already though. Anyway, coming back to what I was telling, after reading my first blog, many of you might be wondering why, after working on high-tech products and services, I chose to start a mass-market targeting Website, which allowed people to search on-line for basic information on people and to request background checks on prospective domestic help, servants, maids, drivers, life-partners or employees.

The idea took few years ago when I packed up with my stint in USA and moved back to India. Back in the warmth of the family fold, the first few weeks were spent catching up with family and friends.

Family chatter invariably turned to updates about groom/bride searching woes for cousins. During one such conversation it dawned on me that there was only so much that we could unearth about a person or a family we have met though newspaper advertisements. It is not uncommon to have cautious parents discreetly interview neighbours of the prospective in-laws and some even land up at the place of employment.

That’s when I thought of starting www.JantaKhoj.com to lend a helping hand to people in their research to find the ‘right’ life partners for their loved ones.

You must be wondering if Mrs. Kapoor’s nephew Bunty, who lives in Gorakhpur and has never files a tax return for the small grocery store, would turn up in our people search. Were you resigned to undertake the overnight train travel to Gorakhpur to check if the guy was right for you precious niece?

Leave it to us! Rest assured www.JantaKhoj.com works across many online and offline public databases which may not come up in a normal internet search and will surely give you enough information for a preliminary research on the prospective groom. If required, you can follow up with a more comprehensive matrimonial verification.

Now, with the Website formally launched, all of us at JantaKhoj are wondering how would www.JantaKhoj.com fare in future? Will the risk pay-off? We will get to know soon, and you can follow the journey on this blog.

Signing off for now,
Tarun

The JantaKhoj Story

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Welcome to JantaKhoj!

Thanks for visiting our site and for taking time to read this page.

I am sure you must be wondering what it is all about! Okay…first tell me, leaving a cushy job, flashy job title and a fat monthly pay cheque in a nightmare would easily make even the strong amongst us sweat and be glad that it was only a dream, right?

Then why would a sane person give up all these hard earned trappings of a corporate job, and trade in for the all consuming 24/7 entrepreneur’s life? These are the questions I have asked myself often on the frequent bumps of my voluntary flight from the corporate jungle to hop on the roaring, soaring Indian entrepreneurs’ bandwagon.

But, then again, at some point of time or other, like many of you, I have also felt the need to just type in the name of a childhood friend or an old time neighbour or maybe a nearly forgotten relative, in a web search engine and have the power to re-connect with them. Or at least get some information which tells me where they are and what they are doing. But I have realized (a pretty sad realization) that while the regular web search engines are pretty powerful and can crank through a vast amount of information residing on the web, there still remain many online and offline databases which they just do not cover. So, I am yet to find the whereabouts of many of my childhood friends and neighbours.

And with this, I also realized that this challenge becomes even more acute in India, where there is still a long way for the public databases to come online and become accessible to the search engines. Combined with the fact that India has the second largest population in the world, the need for such people search tools becomes even more significant.

At the beginning of 2009, the desire to solve this problem brought Ajit and me into a series of lengthy, expensive phone calls between Silicon Valley and Cyberabad (Hyderabad). Between these two cyber-hotspots, we continued to investigate the people search and background verification tools within India and elsewhere in the world.

The conclusions were pretty clear. While the developed countries had reached a stage where such services were pretty much commodity, there were no practical or reliable tools in the Indian context. We decided to take a shot at building such tools. Over the next months, we had convinced Suresh (our Head-Engineering) and Smitha (our Head-Verifications and Subject Matter Expert) to join hands with us and had a rented room in another software company’s office, to begin the work. We understood that people search is just the beginning of the search process. And that people are looking to learn more deeply about certain individuals which whom they may be about to enter into a business or personal relationship.

And here we are, a year later, with www.JantaKhoj.com in front of you. Give it a good spin. We hope that you will find the site useful and will return to it time and again, as you run into a new person whom you want to look up or as you think of those nearly forgotten folks from your past. Do let us know if you love it or hate it. You can use the feedback form or mail feedback [at] JantaKhoj dot com. Or, if you like to have a more personal interaction, feel free to chat with us on our Website. We look forward to your bouquets or brickbats.

Signing off for now,

Tarun