According to the American Psychological Association (2006), “even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40% of someone’s productive time.” Bots by piggybacking on the rise on messaging have a great potential to bring this number down.
Considering such opportunity in HR, BASH introduces an Artificial Intelligence driven Human Resource BOT that simplifies most of the non-core yet essential HR activities. It has a user-friendly front-end chat interface that mimics an HR in a company. Employees get a virtual personal HR Assistant for them.
“There’s not a specific moment to it, but a combination of multiple instances. One funny yet weird incident at my last workplace, it was only during my notice period did I get to know that there was an option of leaving office early by raising a simple request. I spoke to the concerned person in the HR department as to why I wasn’t aware of it. The response I got was ‘you didn’t ask’.”- recalls Barkha Sharma, The Founder
A bot trained with all the routine queries and information could have solved her issue there. Possibly, during the on boarding process itself, it could have made a lot of sense and granted her opportunity to be aware of other HR policies and perks. So the idea with BASH is to use conversations to get information rather than trying to gather it from lengthy manuals or poorly designed portals.
The biggest benefit, a bot will never answer, “you didn’t ask” 🙂
What Problem does it solve?
Currently, the majority of the softwares or technologies used in the HR function facilitate only non- employee facing activities (back end functions). There are limited technologies that facilitate or assist the interaction between the HR function and employees, and all the interactions are manually managed, e.g. HR queries, notifications to employees on HR updates etc.
Improving the employee experience cannot be underestimated and the Gen Y employees should be treated similarly as a valuable customer. Experience is CORE!
BASH uses AI and chatbots to improve processes and improves the overall employee experience. In return, their employees are more productive and the company saves money.
Barkha has over 8 years of experience with Talent Acquisition. She has worked extensively in Recruitment, Organisation Development, Process & Performance Improvement, Team Learning & Development, Resource Management, and People Management. At Bash, she helps the product development with her subject matter expertise. She possesses great people skills which have led to her being well connected with major company HR departments who are a critical stakeholder in adopting the product. Barkha is an avid reader with a keen attention to detail.
They also have a team of 5 more who work on the tech and product mainly. Their CTO has past experience of working with NLP and AI chat bots.
Monetization Model, Current Traction & Challenges
The venture has a subscription model. The customer pays per employee for the modules they want to use. Bash is live with three modules in multiple startups.
For all the talk about the winter coming, founder personally feels the winter is already here! Automation, AI and machine learning aren’t buzz words any more. This awareness acts as both challenge and opportunity. They are talking about a function that hasn’t adopted technology with open arms. There has been relatively higher friction compared to other functional areas. Trying to sell them AI and machine learning is relatively tricky.
One of the other challenges is that HR is that function where you need to have empathy and emotions in conversations. This is where AI goes a bit off track. That’s why our focus is on routine queries currently.
The opportunity to it – Automation saves MONEY. There is no bigger selling point than this.
Takeaways across key stakeholders
- Employees – by processing their general inquiries and requests real-time. Hence lesser time to the response which results in better productivity and time-saving.
- HR Department – by assisting in processing all the non-core essential HR functions.
- Management – by ensuring a smooth operation of employees’ relation & real-time grievances management with insights & reporting. Mainly saving money!
The team plans to add more modules going forward. As per founder-
“The current focus is on business development. Getting more customers who want’s to be part of the changing ecosystem. Learn more and use that learning for more decisive call for the future, rather than assuming what the future holds for us.
The venture is bootstrapped. But the team is in talks with a Private investor/ acquaintance for a seed round. We shall hear about this soon.
Founder’s advice to budding entrepreneurs
“Putting your feet in the water is not swimming. Take the plunge in the deep end. That is when you learn. Quit your job! Face your fears! Then taste the victory! Then only everything would be worth it.”
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