This HRtech startup helps managers prioritise milestones and step up as leaders

Bengaluru-based B2B HR tech startup NWORX offers a leadership development SaaS platform which enables enterprises to evaluate and improve the performance of their leaders by helping them set goals, prioritise milestones, and prepare for key leadership actions.
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The definition of leadership has seen a steady transformation over the years. Today, leaders are not just seniors or executives at the CXO level. Leadership talent can be anywhere in the organisation. Employees, especially in the startup ecosystem, are expected to step up as leaders, irrespective of their age, years of experience, or role. Thus, it is important for organisations to nurture new-age leaders who can inspire innovation and boost productivity.

This is what NWORX, a Bengaluru-based B2B HRtech startup, strives to do with its leadership and professional development app. Co-founded in 2020 by Shwetal Shubhadeep (COO) and Hariraj Vijayakumar (CEO), the startup offers a B2B SaaS platform which helps enterprises improve the performance of their leaders and teams by helping them set goals, prioritise milestones, and prepare for key leadership actions.

After leaving their corporate jobs in 2017, Shwetal and Hariraj experimented with various HR models till 2020, before launching the NWORX platform, which is available on the web and as a mobile app on both Android and iOS.  

“We wanted to build a platform that enabled leadership performance every day, not once a quarter, not once a year at an off-site, not once in six months in an appraisal conversation, but every day. The more leaders we build, the more impact there is on the whole ecosystem, furthering innovation, productivity, and effectiveness in general,” says Shwetal, in a conversation with YourStory.

Shwetal, who has over two decades of experience in leadership performance, has enabled leaders in both large and small enterprises to enhance their leadership ability. She has worked with first-line and mid-level managers, senior leaders, and C-suite leaders across large global corporations and startups, and individual entrepreneurs. Thus, she has always had a front-row seat to the changing dynamics of leadership skills. This, she says, has helped her finetune the NWORX platform.

How NWORX works

NWORX’s leadership and professional performance enhancement platform enables managers to enhance their leadership performance through prioritisation and preparation.

According to Shwetal, most methods of leadership development require the manager or employee to step away from work and engage in a simulated environment, such as a workshop or a training programme. However, she says, the NWORX platform is embedded in the managers’/employees’ daily workflow and helps them prepare for key leadership actions at work.

Managers and employees can use the app to prioritise key milestones for the week and prepare for them. A first-time manager can set quarterly goals for direct reportees, create alignment with the goals, and receive intelligent advice from NWORX.

Managers can also create an individual leadership plan based on their chosen areas of focus.

Based on the industry, organisation, role, and leadership level, the app offers advice on the goals that are critical and the kind of effort managers can put in to become more effective and efficient.

Shwetal says managers feel empowered because the app gives them on-demand advice. Over time, this leads to confidence in their leadership behaviour.

NWORX also enables organisations to evaluate employees' critical leadership and professional skills, such as the ability to influence and give feedback.

The HRtech startup’s clientele includes large enterprises, global MNCs, and startups across India, Europe, and Africa. The majority of users of NWORX are mid-level or first-line managers in large enterprises and individual contributors in startups across India, Europe, and Africa.

Leadership in the new world

Shwetal says while it is important for leaders to become experts in what they work on, organisations also need fungible leaders who can be placed in different pockets of the organisation to achieve excellence. Both large and small organisations realise this, she says. Both ecosystems approach leadership skilling in a similar manner—they value talent, want to build fungible talent, and are open to experimentation.

However, the difference between large organisations and startups is that startups are in a hurry, says Shwetal. “They want the talent to be very aggressive in thinking about outcomes. MNCs are willing to give a little more rope for people (leaders) to achieve their goals. This is not demonstrative of the patience or impatience of the organisational culture, but it’s because of the growth stage that the companies are in.”

Next steps

The startup currently has 25 members. Its team comprises engagement managers, facilitators, coaches, instructional designers, and learning architects.

The company is currently bootstrapped, and the founders are in talks with investors for Pre-Series A funding. It plans to enter the US market shortly to tap into the enterprise tech market there.

Edited by Swetha Kannan

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