By adding to its product portfolio, growing the domestic market and expanding into the U.S., Sapience Analytics, aims to become a Rs. 100 crore company by 2020
Distractions are very many in today’s world. Be it for a student or a professional, productivity has definitely slipped multiple folds when compared to even five years ago. Technology and social media are some of the factors contributing to it. “Today, work life and personal lives are intertwined. With access to Internet on smart phones, there is a situation where people spend a lot of time at work without it being the most efficient way of doing it,” says Shirish Deodhar, founder-CEO, Sapience Analytics. Globally, there is a growing awareness about the impact on productivity by modern tools and the only way forward is to learn how to be more mindful. Observing this trend, Deodhar and his team of three co-founders, set up Sapience Analytics to help employees find work-life harmony. “Our product is designed to do two things; help employees achieve more at work with less stress and help the organisation bind the employees in a better way of working so that the productivity is improved,” states Deodhar.
KYC – Know Your Company
Sapience Analytics is a prominent player globally in the enterprise effort visibility and analytics space. The company has developed a workforce management software called Sapience which is a patent pending product supported by insights from analysis of more than 100 million work hours across diverse companies. This product helps organisations build an efficient enterprise by aligning capacity allocation to business strategy while managers can ensure equitable work distribution and guide teams towards achieving their full potential. Sapience helps individual employees to adopt improved work habits that lead to work-life harmony.
The company currently sells its products to small, medium and large companies and its customers span a broad range of verticals including IT Services, BPOs/KPOs, engineering design, financial services and outsourcing governance. “We sell to any company where employees spend a lot of time working on computers,” says Deodhar. The company has also designed a product for smart phones targeted at employees who are always on the move like the support staff.
In a very short span, Sapience has expanded its presence both in India and across the globe with about 60 clients and 1,00,000 users across eight countries. It recently won Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India 2014 ranking 7th in addition to over 11 other Global Awards including the TiE50 award (50 hottest tech start-ups globally conferred by TiE) and Nasscom League of 10 Emerge companies in 2013.
Progression to being mindful
Initially, the company built a product, which not only helped employees with their mindful work, but also helped them with project management. “It used to confuse our customers. Even though the mindful work part was unique, instead of focussing on that, they would focus on the project management part,” says Deodhar. Considering the number of tools available in the market for project management the company decided to remove that offering and focussed exclusively on mindful work and that really paid off. “If you are more aware of how you are working, you will be able to achieve more at workplace and don’t have to spend extra time in the office or after you go home, that is the whole philosophy of the product,” adds Deodhar.
Another learning that the founders had was that a lot of people felt that it was an employee monitoring tool that tracks what an employee does. “We were very clear that the objective of the product was not to track the employees but to help them achieve work-life balance. All we were interested in doing was to give data to the employee so that they could self-correct and self-improve,” recalls Deodhar. So convincing customers and users that it is not one more employee monitoring tool and something very different took time. “And the fact that we were very different has helped us grow,” states he.
An employee’s complete information about how they are working and their work average are made available only to the employee and not to the company. “Companies have a choice of using this tool to allow employees to self-improve or they can collect information but only at a team level,” states Deodhar. One can understand the team behaviour and encourage or guide them accordingly.
“If an employee adopts certain simple practices, which we call as sapience work yoga, he/she will be able to achieve more at work and at the same time reduce stress levels,” says Deodhar. He continues, “It is called Sapience work yoga because just as how physical yoga works, if you adopt it , you become self aware, calmer and you are able to achieve more. It is the same principle at work.” As a result they are more efficient at work. Sapience promises its user companies almost 20 per cent increase in productivity by using its product.
Money brings power
In 2010, the company received funding from India Angel Network to the tune of Rs. 1.2 crore based on which it was able to expand its business. “We signed up two large Indian IT companies,” recalls Deodhar. In 2011, the company raised Rs. 4.5 crore Seed A funding from Seed Enterprises which further enhanced its growth. Towards the end of 2014 Sapience raised Rs. 45 crore from Rehan Yar Khan backed Orios Enterprises which will help the company to expand its presence in the U.S. market. “Right now we are the pioneers in this space and Orios has helped us to take our product globally,” says Deodhar.
Commenting about what an investor looks for in a company, Deodhar says, one, the product has to be innovative and has to be solving a real problem in a unique way. Two, there has to be market traction. It is not enough to build a great product alone as one should be able to sell it too. Three, one must look to grow and scale rapidly and finally, the team must be strong.
In the future
The company, which has grown eight times since 2011, aims to touch a revenue of Rs. 100 crore in the next four years. This will be supported by its plans to penetrate the global market apart from growing in India. It already has around 2,000 users in the U.S. and its recent funding by Orios will help it expand the market further. In fact, it has already set up a subsidiary three months ago called Sapience Analytics Incorporated.
The company’s growth plans are also supported by its new product launches. Through Sapience World, the company plans to sell not just to companies, but also to anyone who wants to become a better professional. “This is a purely SaaS product for any professional anywhere in the world to download and start using,” states Deodhar. Its intuition will help in working better and understanding one’s productivity.
The company has chalked out a strategy for the next four years by expanding its presence in the international markets using the spider-web strategy. Extending products designed for medium and large enterprises to small companies and consumers, selling to the global market, direct sales and selling through partners. “These are some strategies that we will adopt to grow the market and grow ourselves,” concludes Deodhar.
Founder: Shirish Deodhar
Concept: Develops products to help employees achieve more at work with less stress and helps the organisation bind the employees in a better way of working, to improve productivity
Investors: Indian Angel Network, Seed Enterprises and Orios Enterprises
Presence: 60 clients and 1,00,000 users across eight countries
Estimated Revenue: Rs. 100 crore in four years
Critical factors to succeed in the produce software space
Solve a problem
The solution has to be for a large number of people
It has to be solved uniquely
One should be able to sell the solutionIndian Angel Network Orios Enterprises Sapience Analytics Seed Enterprises