[Tech30] With Fitbots, companies can effectively measure their investment in employee upskilling


Tech30 company Hizen’s Fitbots platform works as a combination of an HR tech and edtech platform to help companies keep their employees relevant and abreast of emerging tech in their field.

In an industry like IT, where continuous learning is a must to keep abreast of what is happening in the market, companies need to invest in their employees’ knowledge expansion by providing reskilling and upskilling options.

But the numbers are quite dismal in India. Today, only eight percent of the graduating employees are employable. According to a Nasscom report, nearly 40 percent of India’s total workforce needs re-skilling over the next five years, to keep up with technology trends like automation, which is pervading every major industry. In such a technological landscape, the IT industry is waking up to an ever-rising demand for skilled talent.

This is where Tech30 company Hizen, with its platform Fitbots, comes in.

Vidya Santhanam, co-founder of Hizen (product Fitbots) at TechSparks, 2018

At an annual employee meet, Vidya Santhanam and Kashinath K S, who have worked as a HR and an IT professional, respectively, at the multi-million-dollar IT services firm Mindtree, took stock of this dire need of companies to upskill talent and keep track of their outcomes. The duo wondered if continuous learning in corporates could make the employee relevant in the organisation at all times. They realised that keeping track of outcomes would be far easier if data on completion rates, problems with learning and HR involvement could be built into a product. In 2017, the two began building a product called Fitbots under the company name Hizen Intelligence Systems.

The struggle is real

“We believe that we can make an impact in the world where organisations are struggling to find talent and employees to reskill and make themselves relevant,” says Kashinath, co-founder of Hizen. Kashinath is a big data expert and Vidya is also an HR coach. Kashinath clocked a majority of his work experience at Cognizant and is an alumni of BITS -Pilani. Vidya worked in Mindtree for eight years.

Seeing that organisations are not spending enough time to understand how they should reskill, retain and reinforce employee attitude to build for the organisation, the duo created Fitbots, a combination of an edtech and corporate HR platform. This would allow a company’s employees to choose a field of study they want to reskill themselves in. The HR will be able to track and help the employee go up the value chain in the corporate ecosystem. The platform thus brings both the HR and edtech aspects, two often fragmented and separate worlds, in one place.

Combining HR and edtech

Hizen has also created an HR enterprise intelligence suite that aids in talent transformation and enables HR to discover leadership. It also allows employees to learn with AI, while the algorithm tracks skill levels of the employees and changes the learning module to test the skill of the employees. It also shows the organisation how to create better metrics for employees, a reason we were particularly excited about to feature the company as part of the Tech30 lineup in this year’s recently concluded TechSparks.

Fitbots is still in its infancy stage. It has a few pilots and expects customers by the end of the year. The company did not want to make forward-looking comments as they are making the technology robust. They have tied up with an edtech company to provide open learning courses.

A big market out there

According to IBEF, the size of the edtech industry is $91 billion in India alone. The HR product market will be $30 billion in size globally by 2025. Currently, it is a $20 billion market.

According to Gartner, the global business value derived from AI is projected to be $1.2 trillion in 2018, an increase of 70 percent from 2017, and AI-derived business value is forecast to reach $3.9 trillion in 2022.

“AI can enable people to learn better and corporations can use AI to enhance their skill capabilities,” says V Ganapathy of Axilor Ventures.

Some of the largest HR companies in the startup segment are Darwin Box, Belong, Monjin. Fitbots has plenty of options ahead and can work with software companies to help them upsell the HR and edtech combo. Here’s hoping they help bring out better learning outcomes for their clients and their employees.



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