MindTickle; Enriching Employee Learning and Engagement
The founders of MindTickle came together with a vision of creating a lasting value at the intersection of fun and learning. Inspired by the success and high involvement of online social games, they wondered why the power of games shouldn’t be harnessed for disrupting the human capital management applications in the enterprise.
This is how MindTickle was conceptualized to provide software-as-a-service (SaaS) products for any enterprise that combines the power of social media, game mechanics and mobile technologies.
MindTickle intends to deliver “Delightful learning and engagement experiences” by creating a suite of Enterprise Gamification SaaS products, the first among which, is an new hire employee orientation product called AllAboard, designed to supplement or replace the new hire orientation process through an engaging social gaming experience that is enjoyable for users, yet hassle-free and cost-effective for the company. AllAboard has helped MindTickle’s clients address several issues typically faced in new hire on-boarding e.g., unavailability of trainers, poor participation rates, lack of standardization and difficulty of tracking.
Recently, MindTickle also launched an online team engagement product, HiFli, that uses Gamification for ice-breaking among employees across different teams and offices, and helps build rapport and break the silos. Offline activities such as off-sites and team dinners are logistically challenging and expensive. Moreover, traditional team activities have become increasingly infeasible as the businesses are becoming more geographically diverse. MindTickle’s HiFli, is an online team engagement game that encourages collaboration and teamwork. It can be used as an employee engagement event or simply a Friday Fun activity for de-stressing and ice-breaking. HiFli creates fun and engagement – employees collaborate within teams and compete against one another across geographies – anytime and anywhere.
MindTickle is a product company, where, while an upfront investment is required in terms of product design and implementation, the returns can be non-linear as long as they create products that address a genuine pain point and can take them to market efficiently. Therefore, MindTickle is focused on creating world-class products and a scalable go-to-market and are not margin-focused at present.
The MindTickle pricing model intends to make it easy for their customers to get started with a low upfront cost. “But since we price as per a per-user subscription model, the revenue model promises to be very robust and profitable in the long term,” Co-founder Mohit Garg tells YourStory.
MindTickle has partnered with channel partners in Europe and India, and are in discussions with distribution partners in the US. Their products compete against offerings from US companies such as SilkRoad, Bloomfire and MindFlash.
MindTickle’s products target the knowledge economy around the world. The continuing growth in IT, ITeS, telecom and financial services has set the stage for a large addressable market for MindTickle. The IT/ITeS sector in India alone, accounts for over 500k jobs added each year. Similarly, other Asian economies such as Philipines are adding new jobs in large numbers. New hire on-boarding and team engagement has an addressable market of over $100 million in India and more than $1 billion globally.
Their products are targeted towards medium and large sized companies that employ knowledge workers. The benefit of their products is even more significant for companies with geographically distributed locations, as their products help enhance and standardize employee learning and engagement across offices. Their customers include reputed companies such as InMobi, SAP Labs, Yahoo! India, Bajaj Finserv, Zee TV and Flipkart. In addition, MindTickle products have enabled ice-breaking and networking between students and alumni or premier institutes like IIT, Bombay and ISB.
MindTickle believes that the enterprise application space can benefit immensely from the adoption of social, gamified and mobile (SoGaMo) technologies. As digital natives start to dominate the workforce (as we like to call the gamer generation), traditional methods of motivating them are becoming increasingly ineffective. However, game mechanics that have proven to influence behavior in the B2C space, hold a lot of promise in engaging these new age employees. With the unprecedented rise of social networks and mobile workforce, there is a significant change in the way enterprise will work in future. Mindtickle plans to leverage this very effective and powerful combination of Social, Gamified and Mobile (SoGaMo) experiences, to engage the next gen workforce.
MindTickle was co-founded by Mohit Garg- an MBA from ISB Hyderabad and MSEE from Standford University, Krishna Depura- a graduate from IIT Roorkee and ISB Hyderabad, Deepak Diwakar- a BTech from IIT Bombay and Nishanth Mugali- a graduate of IIT Guwahati.
MindTicklers (as they like to call themselves) are passionate about doing something creative and different in life. Prior to co-founding MindTickle, the team got together as a result of this common passion, and worked on several creative projects together – created socially collaborated wiki movie, organized online treasure hunts for Mood Indigo, the IIT Bombay cultural fest, ran a paper bag project, and participated and organized theater and quizzing events for several years as a group. Inspired by the fast paced growth of social platforms such as Zynga and Facebook, the team was convinced that there is a huge market for engaging users in a fun and social manner. After a few pilots of online treasure hunts with IIT Bombay, MindTickle was convinced regarding the potential of gamification in the Enterprise learning and education space.
MindTickle has a sales presence in the US, Europe and India and a development center at Pune, India. While the founding team had been working on gamification concepts for a few years as a personal interest, MindTickle was officially launched in August 2011 and has now grown to a high-impact and very talented team comprising ten members, that includes accomplished author (of bestseller Biz World) and educator, Ravi Handa, who is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur.
MindTickle recently completed its first round of institutional financing. The company is backed by top tier angels and VCs from both India and the US.
“MindTickle is evangelizing the concept of Gamification, and we are the first to market with the application of Gamification for employee learning and engagement. And, as all first movers, we have to put in more effort in proving the concept and to get a customer buy-in. However, we have found that analytics and data is very useful in this process. We are very willing to invest in low cost high impact pilots with our customers for an opportunity to showcase the impact by means of – user participation data, engagement metrics that demonstrate the willingness and self-motivation on part of the user to engage with the learning / HR program, combined with quantitative and qualitative feedback from the users.
We have also faced resistance to our SaaS only model, as some customers want to host our applications on their servers. MindTickle believes that enterprise applications continue to be dull and exciting, because they have not had the benefit of fast iterations, machine learning and analytics. All these aspects of enterprise applications can be very robust and powerful with a MindTickle like SaaS model, and very hard to implement and operationalize with the client hosted model. But the trend is very favorable, and we are finding that many of our clients also share the same point of view and Indian companies are readily jumping on the cloud SaaS bandwagon,” Mohit concludes.