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J.A.R.V.I.S. for enterprises: How Leena AI is making HR management smarter

Founded in 2018, Leena AI wants to improve organisational workflow and employee engagement through smart human resource management.

J.A.R.V.I.S. for enterprises:  How Leena AI is making HR management smarter

Tuesday December 13, 2022,

4 min Read

"J.A.R.V.I.S., are you up?"

"For you sir, always."

The relationship between Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Iron Man and Jarvis is iconic. What would it be like have to a real-life J.A.R.V.I.S.? 

UAE-based Leena AI decided to build one - for employees. 

Founded in 2018 by IIT Delhi college mates Adit Jain, Mayank Goyal, and Anand Prajapati, the enterprise conversational AI enhances employee experience via HR helpdesk automation and employee engagement software.

The startup was launched in India, but the team shifted its base to California in 2018. In early 2019, the team expanded to the Middle East, setting up its new headquarters in Dubai. 

In its current form, Leena AI helps enterprises ease processes like onboarding, IT support, operations, employee experience, creating a workflow for employees, and more.

In the beginning

Earlier, the team had built the platform as ChatterOn, an AI chatbot platform. Businesses could use it to create their own chatbots without writing a single line of code. 

“We made the rookie mistake of entrepreneurship. We were trying to be everything for everyone, without being anything for anyone,” Adit says. 

Though the model worked in its free version, with more than 30,000 businesses signing up, selling the premium version was challenging. 

Digging deeper the team realised many of those who had converted were trying to find a solution through chatbots to manage different systems, applications, departments, and the workforce within the company.

“Essentially, the problem was access to information. And that’s when we came up with the idea of Leena AI - a Siri, Alexa, or J.A.R.V.I.S. for enterprises,” Adit says.

A fun fact about Leena AI: it is named after a Swedish Playboy model Lena Forsen. In 1997, her centrefold image was used to engineer the digital image format that later on became the JPEG. 

Leena AI

Leena AI

The workings

The platform essentially helps employees resolve daily queries such as leave eligibility, number of leaves left, payslips for the month, IT system repairs, and others. All they need to do is say ‘Hey Leena’ and ask – and the AI gets to work.

This reduces the need to input details on complicated HR systems or send a volley of emails to the HR department. 

“You can think of Leena AI as automation in HR. An employee can use it to resolve matters like seeking laptop replacements and other operational queries instead of approaching the HR manager,” says Adit in a conversation with YourStory Gulf Edition. 

Leena AI’s 350+ clientele base includes names like Puma, P&G, Sony, AirAsia, Coca-Cola. Kuwait-based Boubyan Bank, and more. 

Leena AI

Leena AI

What about data privacy?

Enterprises and organisations approach Leena AI with specific requirements based on employee needs. The team gets back with customised solutions and offerings on the platform, with a detailed report on the money saved. 

A J.A.R.V.I.S., Siri, or any other AI engine sounds extremely helpful, but also raises questions about data privacy. 

Adit says the region has laws that ensure data security and privacy. 

“We have to make sure the data remains within the region. The laws differ in different countries, but are strong and aggressive as the region is taking responsibility for not just its data but also that of its citizens,” he says. 

Operating in the MENA 

Leena AI gets 30% of its revenue from the MENA region, making it the startup’s second biggest market after the US. 

Adit says building a business in the region means navigating a particular set of pros and cons. He adds that the region currently seems to be  insulated from the rest of the world. Markets in the Middle East are buoyant even as the global recession, energy crisis, and wars are affecting other countries. 

“I think the region is the best place when we talk about business growth. Having said that, it needs time to crack,” Adit says. He adds that any company expanding in the region needs a year to build its presence and establish itself. 

Leena AI is present in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Egypt in the MENA. The company completed its Series B round of funding of $30 million in September 2021 from investors like Bessemer Venture Partners, Bayer, and Al-Jazeera.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Middle East and African workforce management software market are likely to record a CAGR of about 13.85% between 2022 and 2027. 

High-scale cloud service providers are entering the region, especially after the pandemic drove an increase in the adoption of cloud-based workforce systems.  Companies operating in the space include Oracle, SAP, Qualtrics Employee Experience, Kudos, and Office Vibe. 

Leena AI aims to grow as a value-driving product in the next three to five years. 

“Our vision is to create a J.A.R.V.I.S. for every employee in the enterprise. And we are marching very, very aggressively towards that,” Adit says.

Edited by Teja Lele