Barkha Sharma, CEO & Founder of AI Powered HR Assistant - Bash.AI, speaks on the first round of funding the company received, earlier this year. It surely has been a 'HAPPY NEW YEAR' for team BASH.AI.
1. AI is designed to cure efficiency. What are the products/ service solutions that you provide to cater and fulfil this need?
Our focus is on increasing productivity in a workplace by automating routine tasks of the HR function. We wouldn’t deem our product as a cure. But a supplement which helps in reaching to a more productive environment. 'So more like a vitamin than an aspirin.'
We have four modules currently
•Welcome Aboard : aimed at employees who have accepted the offer but are yet to join.
•Post Hire Orientation : a virtual buddy to bring the new joiner in-tune with the company and policies.
•HR Helpdesk : the core engine answering all the queries an employee might have for the HR.
•Employee Engagement : to get the pulse of the employees. More of an emotional and aspirational barometer.
2. Where do you stand in competition in your market space and what plans do you have to make competition irrelevant?
We wouldn’t ever want to make competition irrelevant. They are the ones who keep us on our toes along with customer feedback.
What is Batman without Joker? Just a crazy rich guy wearing a weird costume in a hideous looking car.
Our plans are simply to keep customers happy with meaningful insights which they would have had earlier. Also, our focus on productivity in the HR function has helped us in building a roadmap for the future where we can define a clear ROI for the company choosing our solution.
3. Detail out some of your most remarkable milestones that the organization has achieved.
When it comes to remarkable milestones, we have always believed that every time we get an email from a client who tells us how happy they are with our product, we consider that a milestone. Clients and partners have loved the product and they are glad that they can calculate the value that our product has added to their organisation.
Another thing we’d consider as a milestone is when senior folks from the industry look forward to our next module and provide their valuable feedback. In short, all the appreciation that we have seen since the launch of the product till date, we consider each and every single one of it as a milestone and we intend to continue the same.
Among all the plenty, mentioning few below :
•We raised our first round this year. Really glad the investors trusted us and the vision
•Customers trusted us and have been immensely proactive with feedback which has helped our product development a lot.
•We had visits to the Silicon Valley and the Middle East and the experiences there, have been truly heartening.
4. What’s most exciting about your traction to date?
The fact that we have invested Zero money in the marketing and a sales team. Everything has been incoming leads for the past one year. We have been hustling the entrepreneur hat previously. Never has this been a case.
5. How will AI disrupt the current industry landscape that you are operating in?
HR as a virtue of its function collects a huge amount of data in analysing, which takes a lot of time. AI can help streamline this process drastically and also, cut down on errors. This completes the task in minutes, whereas before it used to take weeks to get completed. In today’s economy, speed is crucial for any business for the following reasons :
•Opportunity to create more business solutions
•Getting accurate analysis swiftly
•Spotting trends using pattern recognition
•Speeding up processes
Effectively collating data from multiple data points in the span of minutes has the potential to improve employee satisfaction and efficiency. HR departments can customize AI to their ideal requirements and shorten the time usually taken in hiring employees. AI can collate data, for example, salary history, performance ranking, etc. and provide it for decision making. AI can be used to train employees and understand their strengths and weaknesses.
The following are the ways HR can benefit from AI integration:
•Predicting patterns and providing solutions based on them
•Identifying which employees to retain to increase efficiency
•Managing workflow to optimize processes using automation
•Identifying training needed for maximizing employee potential
•Reducing errors and biased decisions
•AI has the ability to learn and improve from its own errors
6. AI in its current form is not a form of consciousness (it does not have the mental flexibility and common sense essential for human decision making) but rather a form of soft intelligence. Give your views on the future of AI and where do you see yourself with its future advances?
You rightly mentioned the soft intelligence bit. We see it staying this way until there is a lot of adoption and a lot of data from usage side.
In HR, AI will work to reduce the workload but at the same time employees will be needed to make the decisions and understand individual scenarios. Also since these systems contain caches of sensitive data, vigilance has to be maintained so that the system functions properly. The constant need for creativity, empathy, understanding and teamwork guarantees the necessity of humans in the HR workplace.
We understand the HR function needs a perfect blend of both. That is where we see ourselves in future.
Barkha Sharma (CEO, BASH.AI)