This startup is bringing ‘human’ element into today’s HR tech world
An HR tech world needs a human touch. That’s precisely what two friends and colleagues used to discuss while car-pooling. Ashish Manchanda and Riti V. Srivastava wondered why only organisations like Google can create disproportionate value for its stakeholders, whereas others struggle.
And how value and culture can just go deeper than just a fancy office, freebies, flexi timings, and free food.
“We knew a solution existed, but the challenge was to look at different organisations differently and how to solve this, using technology,” says Ashish.
Ashish says that their HR tech startup Culturro is in the business of making companies more productive. Its tech platform – Agnya – not only listens to the workforce but also provides actionable insights for the CXOs, HR heads, and line managers.
What does the platform do?
Agnya identifies workplace experience and its drivers and provides actionable insights. It also influences behaviour modification in individuals to create the desired workplace experience. Post action, it constantly monitors the progress.
In a nutshell, Agnya is simple for the end employees to use and answers three basic questions for any decision-maker in the organisation.
- What is the workplace experience my employees are going through? Highlight the good and bad areas.
- How is it impacting the performance of my people?
- How can I fix the problem and enhance performance?
Senior decision-makers also get corrective measures for the entire organisation.
“At the back, our Artificial Intelligence-based NLP bot provides ongoing view of a company’s workplace experience and its drivers. We understand the underlying emotions prevalent across the organisation and provide a confidential ear to all employees. Our Machine Learning (ML) algorithm measures ongoing employee productivity levels while giving a view of the company’s culture. We are able to compare it with relatable benchmarks and drill down to the micro level to pinpoint the problem areas across demographics,” says Ashish.
He adds, “The powerful recommendation engine provides actionable suggestions to initiate change across people’s behaviour, processes, policies, and ad-hoc initiatives. These are the insights based on which we provide recommendations and behaviour modification triggers to correct and maintain workplace experience for employees and hence increase the lifetime value (LTV)”.
The challenge was in changing mindsets. Ashish says that most organisations were used to doing things in a particular way. The team, therefore, started working with a few selected customers, that helped create case studies.
Culturro, which started with three people in Gurugram in 2017, now has a team of seven. While Ashish is an MBA from HEC Paris, Riti is an MBA from Pune University.
Today, HR tech is witnessing rapid growth. There are startups like Skillate, Dockabl, Zimyo, and several others looking at people management.
A report published by People Matters TechHR says, “While adoption of technology in HR is increasing among Indian companies, levels of automation in crucial HR functions like identifying high potential individuals, succession planning and strategic workforce management remains considerably low”.
The study also found that while tech adoption is prevalent and on the rise, with 70 percent companies having some level of automation in the HR processes, it remained low in critical areas like identifying and incentivising High Potential Employees (HiPos).
In HiPo management, only 23 percent of Indian companies have automated more than half the HR functions.
The numbers and growth
Since its inception, Culturro has worked with eight clients across technology, manufacturing, consulting, and services sectors.
“In addition to our full-time clients, we are currently running pilots for clients in fintech, digital marketing, and ecommerce sectors. We started monetising in August 2017 with our first cheque of Rs 15,000. Since then, our revenues have steadily grown and we recently hit an MRR of Rs 3.5 lakh per month. Our current pipeline, totalling an employee headcount of ~5,000 employees, is poised to take us up to an MRR of Rs 10-12 lakh per month, which will translate into ~3X increase,” says Ashish.
The revenue model is purely SaaS, which is priced on a per-user, per-month basis. Pricing is based on features required, length of contract, number of employees etc., but in general, they range from Rs 400-800 per employee per month.
There are certain add-on services which Culturro provides based on client requests and these follow custom pricing.
“We have plans which are suitable for startup clients as well as enterprises. Some of our notable customers include multinational companies and funded startups like Wunderman International, GetMyParking, Mukunda Foods, and Tookitaki,” says Ashish.
He adds that Culturro currently operates on a gross margin of 55 percent which came up from 30 percent from the previous year. He says that with their current infrastructure, they can scale up to 5,000-6,000 additional users with minimal infrastructure increase.
“By the end of FY21, we aim to strengthen our market presence by signing up 30 clients and having up to 6,000-8,000 user base on our platform. That will take us up to Rs 16-18 lakh in MRR," says Ashish.
By FY22, the startup aims to be present in multiple geographies across 70+ clients and close to operational breakeven.
"This is the timeframe by which we also plan to close our Series A and launch into scale mode. By 2025, we aim to reach Rs 100 crore in topline with close to 1,000 clients on our platform,” says Ashish.
(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)