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Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Achuthanand Ravi, CEO and Co-Founder of Kula, a recruitment automation platform that has raised over $14 million in funding.

Most Interesting Points from Our Conversation:

  • Professional Journey into Tech and Recruiting: Achuthanand’s transition from an engineering role at Microsoft to a career in recruiting illustrates a unique path that combines technical skills with people-focused operations. His experiences at Stripe and Uber, where he was involved in leadership and engineering recruitment, provided a solid foundation for Kula.
  • Inspiration from Other Entrepreneurs: Citing Girish Mathrubootham, founder of Freshworks, as a mentor and inspiration, Achuthanand highlights the influence of successful entrepreneurs who have built global products from India, demonstrating the importance of mentorship and role models in entrepreneurship.
  • Design Thinking in Product Development: The impact of the book “Creative Selection” on Achuthanand’s approach to building Kula underscores the value of design thinking and user-centric approaches in developing tech products, especially for founders without a traditional background in product development.
  • Kula’s Unique Value Proposition: Achuthanand describes Kula as a system of action that specifically addresses recruiter workflow challenges, differentiating it from other HR tech tools that focus on organizational workflows. This recruiter-centric approach positions Kula as a unique solution in the recruitment automation space.
  • Mission to Make Everyone a Recruiter: By aiming to make every individual within an organization a recruiter, Kula is working towards democratizing the recruiting process and making it a team sport. This vision challenges traditional recruitment paradigms and highlights the importance of collaborative hiring practices.
  • Global Approach from Day One: Kula’s design as a global platform from its inception reflects a forward-thinking strategy in today’s distributed work environment, catering to a diverse customer base across North America, EMEA, APAC, and India.
  • Navigating Go-to-Market Challenges: Achuthanand shares insights into the challenges of identifying scalable go-to-market strategies and the importance of experimentation in finding effective distribution channels for SaaS products, a critical step for startups looking to scale.
  • Future Vision for Kula: Looking ahead, Kula aims to expand its capabilities beyond top-funnel recruitment activities to include mid-funnel processes, with the overarching goal of empowering every individual within an organization to contribute to recruiting efforts, thereby transforming the recruitment landscape.


Adopt a Design Thinking Approach:

The impact of design thinking on product development, as influenced by the book "Creative Selection," illustrates the importance of user-centric approaches in building SaaS products. Even for founders without a background in product design, adopting a design thinking mindset can lead to more innovative and user-friendly solutions.

Focus on Specific Workflow Solutions:

Kula's success in addressing recruiter workflow challenges demonstrates the effectiveness of developing solutions tailored to the specific needs of a target user base, rather than broad organizational needs. This strategy can be a differentiator in crowded markets, providing clear value to users.

Embrace a Global Mindset from the Start:

Kula's approach of being a global company from day one is a testament to the advantages of thinking beyond local markets and considering a diverse customer base early in the product development process. Tech founders should consider a global perspective to maximize their potential market and address universal pain points.

Identifying and Experimenting with Distribution Channels:

One of the primary GTM challenges Achuthanand mentioned was identifying scalable distribution channels for Kula. The process involves continuous experimentation to determine whether inbound or outbound strategies are more effective. For B2B tech founders, this emphasizes the importance of agility and willingness to test different approaches to find what works best for reaching their target customers.

Making Every Employee a Recruiter:

Kula's mission to make every individual within an organization a recruiter speaks to a broader GTM philosophy of embedding their tool into the fabric of the company's operations. For tech founders, considering how your product can become indispensable to an organization's workflow and culture could be a pivotal aspect of your GTM strategy.

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