In the early 1990s at UC Davis, students Ranil Piyaratna and Geetesh Goyal became friends–and then proceeded, for years, to not go into business together.
Goyal attended dental school before finding he was more interested in filling positions than in filling teeth. He and Piyaratna reunited to solve workforce problems for life-science companies. They founded Atomic Staffing, which became, in 2010, Neozene. Then CEO Goyal and CFO Piyaratna saw opportunity: If they built high-quality pipelines, they could deliver “human capital” to a broader range of businesses. “We could have delivered on 10 times the business we had,” Goyal says. “And I was pretty confident my recruiting methodologies could transfer across industries. If a client has a critical need, it doesn’t matter if it’s in software, hardware, agriculture, shipping, or logistics. It was like, ‘We can solve it!’ So we cast a wider net.”