Mettl : Online Assessments Made Easy

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Mettl is a powerful online assessment platform. It helps you create your own assessments for recruitment (across various experience levels), training effectiveness (before / during / after training) and engagement (contests). It is ideal for companies who want to run multi-competency assessments for their prospective hires, existing employees and enrolled candidates. Mettl focuses deeply on the science of assessments in addition to the technology around it, thereby offering more valid and reliable assessments.

The Mettl platform covers skills across three broad areas:

  • Ability and aptitude
  • Behavioural and Personality
  • Technical and Functional

Within these three sets, there are wide and deep skill maps which have been developed by Mettl based on the feedback from their customers and partners. For example, in IT industry, under Technical skills, one can choose a top level skill like Java, or can select a sub-skill within that like Core Java, Struts or Design Patterns.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit chat with Mr. Ketan Kapoor, Co-founder and CEO of Mettl. Let see what does he want to share with us.

Techaloo : When did you start your journey?
Ketan :
After finishing my studies from IIT Roorkee and IIM Bangalore, I worked in startups like Insango and Indepay Networks. While working on my next big idea, I met my school friend, Tonmoy who is also an IIT+IIM alumnus. We both, in a rendezvous, felt the need to address the education and employment issues in India and while at it we started off a training and assessment firm. While exploring the markets, needs and customers, we realized that the assessment space in itself was massive and unexplored. There was no single, one stop shop for skill-based assessments in the market. We narrowed down our focus on a scalable online solution that would help address a recognized global need and Mettl was born.

 

Techaloo : What made you motivated to join the entrepreneurship community?
Ketan : The urge for doing something innovative and solving a big problem was there right from the school days. In the process of solving the education and employability issues in India, I entered into the entrepreneurship community.

 

Techaloo : Where are you based out of?
Ketan : Mettl is headquartered in Gurgaon with offices in Bangalore, Hyderabad and San Francisco.

 

Techaloo : Why the name Mettl?
Ketan : The dictionary meaning of the word ‘mettle’ means inherent quality of character and temperament. Since our platform is meant to test the actual quality and skills possessed by an individual rather than just testing his/her knowledge we named our company ‘Mettl’.

 

Techaloo : What was your vision while starting Mettl?
Ketan : Like YouTube is for videos, Mettl’s vision is to become the same for assessments. Mettl wants to be the one stop shop for all kinds of assessments.

 

Techaloo : What hurdles did you face while starting?
Ketan : There were multiple hurdles like any entrepreneur faces. Few of the notable hurdles were:

– Raising initial capital: It was a tough time to convince my family about starting off. Raising initial capital after losing a steady income was a challenge.

– Getting the right team in place that believes in the vision: This is a very critical hurdle that every entrepreneur faces. Building a team that sees a bigger picture along with you for the organization is not an easy task.

– Getting the product / market fitment: Merely coming up with an Eureka idea/product doesn’t give you a headstart. The real challenge is finding the Suitable market for your product/idea.

– Steering the company in the right direction continuously: A start-up’s ship sails through extremely windy storms. You have to be a really efficient sailor to ensure that you don’t divert from your direction.

 

Techaloo : Have you got any kind of funding? Or are you planning for the same?
Ketan : We started with pooling in our savings in 2009, and an initial investment was raised the very next year from family and friends. One of the first investors of Mettl was Naveen Tewari, CEO of Inmobi who also became one of the mentors. In 2011, it raised capital from Blume Ventures, an early stage investor, and a year later from nine different investors led by venture capital fund Kalaari Capital. Mettl will  look at raising funds in the next 12 months for its expansion plans.

 

Techaloo : Explain a little more about how Mettl platform works?
Ketan : A user can create assessments by themselves on Mettl by creating their account on www.mettl.com. They have a very intuitive UI and an assessment dashboard that guides the user step by step. In the process of creating the assessment, the test admin can use their own questions, upload them and use Mettl’s platform to deliver and monitor the test. There is a provision to use the content to create the tests too. Mettl’s specialized content varies across many skills. Once the test answers are submitted by the candidate, the answers are mapped versus the correct ones by an application that rests on the servers. In case of the coding questions, the code runs through compilers and many test cases to check the code quality. After the answers are checked, an automated report is generated within a few minutes and is available in the Test admin’s account for review.

 

Techaloo : What does simulation based assessments mean?    
Ketan : We at Mettl truly believe that in a work environment, the best way to measure somebody’s skill is to make him/her do the exact same thing during the assessment. So to measure coding skills, we developed a coding simulator which automatically measures how good a given code is. We have also developed simulators for the Banking and Financial Services industry and will soon introduce simulators to measure somebody’s quantitative aptitude and English speaking skills.

 

Techaloo : What is proctoring and how does Mettl prevent cheating?                
Ketan : Mettl has developed advanced proctoring or auto invigilation algorithms which can be used when a candidate is in a remote location while taking an assessment. Web proctoring ensures that the candidate will not be able to move away from the test window at any point during the test. The proctoring options are available while scheduling an assessment and prevent candidate cheating.




Ketan : We have our in-house psychometric team which takes care of the validity and reliability for behavioural and personality assessments. Each psychometric assessment comes with its norms and validity / reliability scores.  For ability / aptitude and functional / technical assessments, we measure validity by mapping Mettl assessment scores with performance in a work setting. In all the surveys that we have done so far, there is a universal acknowledgement that Mettl assessments have a very high validity, especially the skill simulators. Each assessment report also comes along with a score / frequency curve which maps the spread of scores for all the people who take that assessment. Our customers tell us that each such a score / frequency curve tends to become a normal / bell curve implying that the test is indeed differentiating between the relevant and not-so-relevant candidates.




Ketan : We work with some of the top names in the industry and have gone through rigorous scrutiny around safety and security of data, support for concurrent assessments and integration with the existing systems that are currently used. Our servers are hosted in one of the most secure data centre and use the latest advancements in cloud computing. They are also are scalable on a need basis.




Techaloo : Do you offer personalized training/ on-site training?
Ketan : While Mettl is simple to use system, and moreover self-learn, we do offer the jumpstart that one may look forward to through personalized training and assistance.We can offer custom training programs that can fit your requirement @US $350 per day and this training is provided online with audio and video. We can also organize training at your desired location which is charged at US$ 500 per day and you have to bear the travel and accomodation charges.

Travel (currently available only from India) is charged additionally for the trainer, and lodging/boarding is borne by you.

The language of communication currently is English only.

 

Techaloo : How are you different from your competitors?
Ketan : There are niche players in the assessments market like there are players who only specialize in coding simulators based assessments. Mettl is probably the only player globally which provides end-to-end solutions for all the assessment needs.

 

Techaloo : What countries are you getting your users from?
Ketan : Mettl today works with over 100 clients who include leaders in IT, ITES, Telecom and the Banking industry such as Cognizant, Wipro, Capegimini, HCL, Accenture, Ericsson, Sears, Marico, Wiley, Monster, PwC, Makemytrip, Cleartrip and Inmobi. Mettl also has clients from countries like Indonesia, Singapore, USA and Philippines.

 

Techaloo : How is the response till now?
Ketan : Response for Mettl’s product has been really good so far. Mettl’s skill-based simulators and advanced proctoring technology is in good demand.

 

Techaloo : Are you planning for any mobile app as well?
Ketan : Mettl’s existing platform works fine on tablets and mobile but they are exploring the possibility of a native app.

 

Techaloo : What are Mettl’s upcoming features in the recent future?
Ketan : Mettl’s team is currently working on Advanced Proctoring Technology which allows the test admin to see all the candidates live, as they take the test, remotely. Read more about Advanced Proctoring here – http://blog.mettl.com/2013/10/08/prevent-cheating-by-advanced-video-proctoring/

Mettl is also working on the self-help platform, so that moving forward, zero intervention will be needed from Mettl’s team and the customer can help himself for an end-to-end assessment needs.

Apart from that, Mettl is also adding new simulators to test skills to their existing roster of Coding, Voice, Spreadsheet and Case-Study Simulators.

 

Techaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
Ketan : Techaloo is doing good work in awakening entrepreneurial spirit among college students.

Meet the team

 ketan

Ketan Kapoor, Co-founder and CEOKetan is an engineer from IIT- Roorkee (1997-2001) and a MBA from IIM Calcutta (2002-2004). Before co-founding Mettl, Ketan was responsible for marketing at ‘Isango’ – a start-up which is today one of the world’s largest collection of tours, trips & activities. He was also instrumental in setting up the eco-system for India’s first mobile payment & transaction platform at Indepay networks. Ketan brings a lot of focus, drive and energy to the team
 Tonmoy Tonmoy Singhal, Co-founder and COOTonmoy is an electrical engineer from IIT Kanpur (1998-2002) and a MBA from IIM Bangalore (2006-2008). Before founding Mettl, he has worked at Texas Instruments and The Boston Consulting Group. Tonmoy is widely travelled and has short working stints with JP Morgan and World Bank. He also holds three patents in the area of security algorithm design. Tonmoy is extremely detail oriented and a perfectionist.
 Guneet Guneet Sahai, Head – Technology TeamGuneet is a hands-on technology person who loves to write code more than anything else (well almost). An Electrical Engineer from IIT Roorkee – Batch of 1999; he has worked with Indepay Networks & was instrumental in delivering technology solutions aimed at setting up India’s first e-commerce product over fixed line telecom devices that did a reasonably large number of purchase transactions. Besides being part of founding Engineering teams at companies like Xebia & Fiorano Software where he got ample exposure to product development; Guneet has also worked as an independent Technology consultant earlier where he helped various organizations on technology front.
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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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