If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
If I were to write a book about my life, the title would be “diving deep into a dreamer’s mind”. It’s because my dreams are one of the top reasons that drive me forward and it’s one of the major motivations that I have in order to reach my goals.
Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m Amil Asokan and my business is called Joli.ge and it’s a job board based in the country of Georgia, for companies to find the right talent and for people to find better jobs.
About the business 💼
How did you come up with your business idea?
The idea came to my mind about a year ago when I was really frustrated that there weren’t many e-commerce and marketplaces here, as back in my home country. And I thought that one of the main things that every country should have is a proper job board so people can find jobs and companies can hire proper talents. And the current situation here was really bad. The job board was 20 years old and it didn’t have any functionality. It has been like that since the day born without any updates or anything like that. So, yeah, that’s one of the main reasons I decided to build a new job with a modern design and much more functionality.
How do you handle investors and funding issues in your business?
Uh, So right now I don’t have any investors to date. All the money that went into the company was from my pocket. So, yeah, I wasn’t looking for investors for the past year because I was so confident that my job board would be well received by the people. So I decided to launch an MVP first, see the results and then look into investors.
How will your product change the market?
So if you look at my competitors right now, it’s Jobs.ge and HR.ge. Jobs.ge started 20 years ago and HR.ge started 13 years ago. If you look at both of their sites, they both look similar and they both have similar functionalities. And if you were to post a job in Jobs.ge what you would do is send an email to the person who handles the website along with the payment received through the bank and then the person posts it, which is a really big hassle for the companies because they can’t post the jobs themselves so that it’s one big issue that I fixed with my site. And you can also see that I have fixed a lot of other main concerns that people had with Jobs.ge
What makes a good business opportunity?
If you were to take a look at the competent or Jobs.ge, which is one of the biggest job boards, you can see that the site charges anywhere from 30 laris up to 200 laris for a premium listing from the company to post a job and the site itself gets around 150 to 200 listings per day. And if you take an average of 70 to 80 laris per listing, that comes around 5000 to 4000 dollars a day in revenue. And the company is averaging about $2.5 to 5 million dollars per year with such a poor platform and such bad functionality, which means that people have no choice just to use Jobs.ge because there isn’t any alternative right now.
What were you doing before this?
So before starting Joli and even right now, I’m a freelance graphic designer, mainly focused on user interfaces and also a front end developer. So I have experience working with some of the big startups in the USA, Canada, and Germany for the past 3 years, and I’m also a top-rated Upwork freelancer.
Where do you think you got your entrepreneurial spirit from?
One of the main reasons I got into startups is… because of one of the startups I was working with before as a user interface designer. The company was called Intrro, and I was closely working with its CEO. That one person who motivated me to build my own startup. Yeah, he’s one of the reasons that I decided to do a startup and move forward with it.
Describe a regular day in your life
So my day starts at 9 a.m. and as a medical student, I go to the clinic and come back by 12 pm. As soon as I get home, I start working on Jolie and improving the platform itself. So, I contact a lot of people on LinkedIn who are related to HR services and talent acquisition and asked for feedback or suggestions. And if they have any suggestions, I tell my developer immediately and he implements it in one or two days. Soon after that, I start my marketing process, which takes around 3 to 4 hours, mainly email, marketing, and social media marketing. And after that, I go back into designing some of the user interfaces as part-time and also working with one of the other startups.
How do you handle frustration and stress?
I haven’t been stressed out in a long while. It’s because I don’t always worry about a lot of things in life. I hadn’t been like this before, I was very much stressed in the past when I started business. Like, for example, when I started my Shopify store, I was so worried that I would lose money and I was not going to make enough. Obviously, it failed, but still all those experiences have made me better. So right now, I’m not afraid of failure. That’s one reason I guess I’m not worried so much.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t doing this, I would be doing just another startup because startups are something that I love and I love creating startups. I want to be a serial entrepreneur in the future, so if it’s not this, it’d be something else.
Who believes in you? What would they say about you?
Obviously, my family and friends believe in me. But the most important answer is I believe in myself. I think that one day all my dreams will come true and that’s one of my biggest motivations.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur?
Nowadays I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. This is something I started very recently, and I started enjoying it. I started with How I built this podcast and that was something that I really enjoyed. Some of the biggest companies were talking about their successes, and I felt really motivated with that. I also keep learning new things every day. Now I’m learning a new programming language. So one of the challenges I took two years ago was that I would learn something new every month, and I have done that till date.
How do you balance work and personal life?
So right now, my work schedule is very flexible. But I work every single day, even on Sundays. But when I feel extra exhausted or burned out, I take a day off or go out [to] visit new places.
Resources & Creative Process 💡
What motivates you?
What motivates me is always my dreams, which are to achieve something big in life.
And I’ve always been a huge fan of people in tech industries like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and so on. I was always into tech from a very, very young age and in the future I wanted to do something… I wanted to contribute something to the tech world.
What entrepreneurs do you admire and why?
So rather than saying a big personality, I’d say the CEO of my previous startup company that I was working with. It is one guy I really admire. One reason was because he was a really motivated man and he did his work perfectly, he was such a perfectionist mindset. And I have never seen a guy so motivated as him, and he always shares motivation to everyone else, too. And everything he did, I really admired. And we were really close working on the company even though it just started recently. It’s because of this person that the company is what it is right now.
What hacks do you use to keep yourself focused and productive?
So one thing I always do is: I do this period of short time burst rather than doing a marathon. So I turn off my phone, put my laptop in do not disturb mode and keep working for, like, 45 minutes. That’s a short time burst. And during this time, I’m really focused. And after that, I take a break for, like, 20 minutes and then continue with another short time burst. And doing this really helped me stay in focus for a short time. I don’t think that anyone can stay in focus for a long time so that’s why I do this.
What are your top 3 websites or apps that you can’t imagine your day without?
So my top 3 apps would be Facebook Messenger, Spotify and Upwork. Spotify because I listen to music all the time, even when I’m working, I listen to focus music and white noise. Facebook Messenger because I have a lot of contacts on Facebook and that’s how I reach people. And Upwork because that’s how I earn my income.
What book/podcast would you recommend?
Yes, I mentioned before, one of the best podcasts I ever heard in my life is How I built this. It’s because it’s really motivated me. It’s so amazing to hear the people’s story, how they jump-started their business and how they took it to what it is right now.
Amusing Questions 🤣
Who would be in your advisors board if you could choose from any character, real or fictional? Why?
I would choose one of the co-founders of Airbnb, Joe or Brian. It’s because the story of Airbnb really amazes me because they didn’t have any scalability plan or never thought of the future or how big it could be. And that made them unique because they learned it through the waves, and because of that, obviously they have a lot of experience.
If there was a zombie attack, what gadget would you take with you?
I would take a time machine and travel back before the apocalypse and I’d try to prevent the zombie attack or travel to the future over the attack is over.
Dare to answer 😏
Have you ever been fired from a job? Tell us about it.
No, Actually, I have never been fired from a job.
About Georgia 🇬🇪
How does your business contribute to the local community?
My company helps the local community to find their dream jobs.
What do you think about the startup scene in Georgia?
I think right now a lot of startups are emerging. One reason is because the government is promoting startups and they’re actually given grants to startups and also for foreigners helping them build a good startup community here. But still, I don’t think that there are a lot of startups that are focused just on Georgia. Rather, they’re focused on more of a global approach.
What are the pros and cons of setting up a business in Georgia?
One of the biggest pros is that you can start a business very easily. You can register the business within a day, and another pro is the cost of living and cost of setting up things. It’s really cheap here to build a new start-up and develop it. One of the cons will be… the biggest issue that I have is the language. It’s really hard to communicate with the locals without knowing the native language.
How do you see Georgia in 10 years?
I have very big hopes for this country. I think in 10 years it’ll be very much developed. And if I were to fly back right now and come after 10 years, I think I would be really surprised on how much it improved. So I think it’ll be very developed in the next 10 years.
Where can we go to learn more from you and your company?
So you can see the MVP of the site right now at Joli.ge and to know more about myself you can visit my LinkedIn profile or Facebook. My name is Amil Asokan. To know about my works in the past you can visit my Upwork profile. You can just go to the top freelancers in Tbilisi and you can see my name there.