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Chuck Burnout & Other Employee Grievances Out The Window inFeedo aims to become the Apple of employee experience

By Soumya Duggal

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Tanmaya Jain, founder & CEO, inFeedo

Standing at the precipice of shutting down operations in August 2016, business partners Tanmaya Jain and Varun Puri had a eureka moment on a bleak Monday morning: they discussed the difficulty faced by many organisations in gauging which of their employees are content and which are disengaged enough to possibly quit. If only one individual at every company could be tasked with the sole responsibility of engaging with the employees to understand their feelings and experiences and passing them on to the leadership, who otherwise remain unaware of such things.

"We realized that any one human resource business partner (HRBP) could not humanly do this forsome 300 employees, and organizations needed to adopt conversational AI to do this at scale," says Jain, founder and CEO, inFeedo, a conversational employee experience platform. "Inspired by the book called Sprint by Jake Knapp, my team and I ran a sprint for five straight days and at the end of it, Amber was born. We had five CXOs ready to pay us for what we had built, without even having the final product ready. A few months later, we got the opportunity to present Amber at The Vault show, India's version of Shark Tank, and we never looked back."

Today, Amber, inFeedo's people analytics and employee experience platform, is deployed as the 'Chief Listening Officer' at scale to help HR leaders find hidden gaps in their hybrid culture, toxic managers and employee wellbeing. According to Jain, it has helped multiple CXOs control attrition and build a culture where every employee loves to go to work (even on the universally-detested Monday mornings, apparently!). Amber is being used by more than 200 enterprise customers globally and impacting the lives of over 500,000 employees, he says.

The HR tech industry is one of the most burgeoning industries today, and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, CXOs are investing heavily into technologies that help them engage with their workforce in a more meaningful way. For instance, HR leaders are realizing that annual and non-personalized surveys are not enough to engage with today's dynamic workforce. "How can a standardized survey truly capture the experience and sentiment of different people across domains with mixed tenures? How can anonymous feedback help you make data-backed decisions?" asks Jain.

"Similarly, manually engaging, collecting and then analyzing feedback of employees is not a sustainable practice, especially when HR:employee ratios go as high as 1:300. HR leaders are today banking on platforms such as Amber which use conversational AI to bridge these gaps," he claims.

Big ideas often germinate rather early, evolving through many ups and downs before maturing fully. For Jain and Puri, their journey to put people analytics and employee experience at the forefront of HR tech started in 2013 when the two were still in college together. The duo observed how people were often taught to follow a set template or path while any out-of-the-box thinking was often shot down owing to protocols of "hierarchy". "We soon realized that it was the same in a corporate setup. Organizations often neglected their employees and their well-being. We decided to tackle this problem head on," explains Jain. Facing many setbacks throughout their three-year entrepreneurial journey while in college, they were ready to give up in 2016 when that fortuitous Monday morning gave a new lease of life to their business partnership.

Six years later, Jain and Puri have aggressive growth plans for inFeedo across two areas: market expansion and product innovation. "We want to double down on the mid-market and enterprise segment with organizations that have employees in the range of 500 to 120,000 and expand our focus to the US. At our last fundraiser, we wanted to grow six times in 2.5 years and we are on track to achieve this. From a product perspective, while the industry is moving horizontally and building more traditional products, we want to continue investing heavily into the depth of our existing product. We recently partnered with Arianna Huffington's Thrive to further strengthen the science behind effectively tackling employee burnout." The company raised $12 million in a Series A round in March this year.

The company is currently focusing on becoming a one-stop solution for HR leaders by creating a safe space for employees to freely express themselves. Jain puts it more glamorously: "Amber aims to be the Apple of employee experience."

Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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