Matching Talent With Demand
Daniel Callaghan (MBA '09)
Daniel Callaghan (MBA ‘09) drew up his business plan for MBA & Company while he was still at IESE, where he was president of the Entrepreneur Society. "I did an exchange at Yale which is where the second half of my idea met the first," he says.
MBA & Company is an online marketplace for companies to post short-term consulting and research projects that are bid for by the top of professionals worldwide. The client specifies the job, the industry, the market, budget and timelines. A newsletter goes out to those who specifically match those skill sets and interests. "It’s not crowdsourcing in that only one person ends up working on the project," he says.
To sign up to the network the candidate must have a minimum of five years’ professional experience and a postgraduate degree from one of the top 50 business schools. The client pays a fixed percentage fee when the job is completed to their satisfaction. "The smallest project last year was worth £100 ($160), the largest £250,000," Callaghan says. "The lowest-paid job was £250 and highest £4,000."
He spoke to Prof. Pedro Nueno while he was still at IESE and the plan was presented to FINAVES. "At that time we had 200 registered candidates on the website. FINAVES liked it but said it was too early stage and they wanted to see it again when there was more meat on the bone," Callaghan says. "The business plan I wrote at IESE was selected as one of the best in Europe. It won an award in the UK and elsewhere. This helped us to get lots of good press coverage in publications such as Business Week and The Economist."
This publicity didn’t attract investors but enhanced to the project’s credibility, he says, adding that he only had about £1,000 of start-up capital. Then FINAVES came on board in October 2010 and he relaunched the project with a full team in Jan 2011. "Before that it was me doing it in my spare time. Their investment accelerated our business. We went from a few $100,000 to nearly $2 million turnover in our first year."
A good PR team and close links with major business schools have helped the business grow. It has also run campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn but Callaghan says that what really drives the business is word of mouth. The platform now has 15,000 members in over 100 countries with plans to expand its business across Europe and the United States.
"We want to become the business that enables companies all around the world to get high-quality consulting and research professionals without the burden or the costs traditionally associated with this activity," he says.