Vikram Ashok, CEO of Graphite, on VatorNews podcast

Bambi Francisco Roizen · September 27, 2023 · Short URL:

The evolution of the human capital industry and on-demand talent markets

On the VatorNews podcast, Bambi Francisco Roizen speaks to Vikram Ashok, CEO of Graphite, an on-demand talent platform. One side of the marketplace platform are enterprise companies seeking skills and expertise while the other side of the market consist of experts and high-level executives who want to work independently. 

Here are some highlights:

- Vik started in private equity and found himself tapping expert networks to help him get smart on different industries. He was essentially a customer of expert networks or consulting firms. Then while he was a competitive golfer, he started providing the same consulting services (finding experts) for the portfolio companies he worked with.  

-  Tech platform for on-demand work. One side are Fortune 500 companies seeking strong expertise on a project basis. The other side of the platform consist of experts seeking projects. A lot of different teams inside corporations are focused on strategy, finance, data science, marketing, operations, supply chain and working with business unit leaders that have identified a skill gap or capacity gap and are seeking to leverage flexible expertise.

- Why aren't and Indeed focusing on this market? Vik believes it's because of a customer and market focus positioning and brand focus on full-time work. While these pioneers revolutionized work online, they've kept to the full-time focus.

- The labor market has shifted toward freelancing. Drivers include the desire for more flexibility (ability to move from project to project and to keep the work varied plus the ability to work remotely). 79% of full-time independent workers say they're happy working on their own. There's about 73 million freelancers in the workforce today and that number should grow significantly. About 20% of those freelancers are earning more than $100k a year. 

- This group of 20% would typically find their projects through their own networks. Now with Graphite, workers can more efficiently find additional work. 

- How do you get independent executives to engage with Graphite? Graphite's value proposition is that it can help these executives can find the jobs as they're curating the projects. Executives are motivated to provide information so they can land the projects. The more data they provide, the higher probability they can be matched. 

- Executive search firms can use Graphite to enhance their services. Some of the larger executive search firms are starting to offer project-based work. These exec firms are seeing demand from their clients for interim work but aren't equipped to manage flexible work. There needs to be a dedicated expertise to execute on this new market of interim work. 

- What are corporations using to find flexible workers? Historically, Fortune 1000 companies have used traditional labor acquisition methods: consulting firms, staffing firms, job boards: Indeed/Monster, or even LinkedIn. Graphite is the next evolution of the human capital industry.

Listen in and hear how the human capital industry has evolved since technology brought the labor market online in the last 30 yrs! 





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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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