How Amara has emerged as a key player in HRTech industry with AI chatbot
CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Vikas Kakkar, Founder of Amara
- Please brief us about your company – Amara.AI?
The company was founded in November 2016 with the goal of automating the HR process, and we began with a recruitment automation product called HireXP, with Amara serving as a voice-based feature to keep candidates warm by asking them relevant questions throughout the candidate and recruitment lifecycle. The system was able to predict which candidates would join after accepting an offer letter.
Amara was later extended to assist with employee engagement. Amara was conceived in 2019, and we began testing with a few companies in 2018. Amara is an embodied chatbot empowered by artificial intelligence (AI). In other words, she is a robot programmed to chat with employees intelligently, in a human avatar. She can reach out to employees at critical touch points in their employee lifecycle and find out those who are disengaged or at an attrition risk.
Amara is a highly customizable chatbot with advanced features and the most affordable solution on the market, with the following unique features:
– Continuous employee engagement
– Diversity and Inclusion module
– Employee wellbeing module
– One time survey
– Quarterly pulse surveys.
– Employer branding module
- Amara’s journey so far and what are the aims for next year?
So far, the journey has been a roller coaster ride. We’ve seen a lot of things go in favor and then completely collapse a few days later. It’s difficult to pull off when you’re bootstrapped, but it has its own set of benefits and is fun. We have not hired many people. Our team is still small, but we have provided the best services to our customers, and they all appreciate our efforts and continue to stick with us through thick and thin.
We’ve created a great product at a reasonable price, and businesses like our approach. During the pandemic, we assisted businesses of all sizes. We became cash positive shortly after our launch and remain so to this day.
The year 2023 appears to be very promising, as we plan to onboard large enterprises that are already in our funnel. We also intend to scale a few more international geographies.
- How did the pandemic affect the industry and how is Amara useful post pandemic?
As the COVID-19 pandemic kept going on with no signs of stopping, it caused a lot of problems at work. Human resources spent most of 2020 and the first half of 2021 in crisis mode, figuring out how workers could work remotely, attempting to provide additional mental and physical health support, and focusing more than ever on C-level strategies to keep their organizations afloat. As the dust settles and businesses get used to the new normal, human resources have taken on a new role.
Amara played a crucial role in helping companies systematically reach out to employees and understand the pulse of their employees during the lockdown by answering the most pressing question: How are our remote workers doing?
After the pandemic ended, it simply continued. The majority of employers now recognize the importance of continuous listening to employees in creating a superb workplace. As a result, they are better able to address issues as they arise, regulate engagement, and increase retention. This also leads to significant financial savings.
- What is the current market status of the brand? Any expectations?
The market is very receptive to innovative approaches, and our company is widely recognized as one of the top performers (according to a report by G2 Crowd) in employee engagement across Asia.
Our goal is to increase exposure of the Amara to as many businesses as possible in the next year and we are also expanding to multiple geographies in the year 2023.
- How has the year 2022 been for the HR tech sector? What trends do you expect in 2023?
The human resources (HR) technology sector is now expanding rapidly. The dynamic nature of human resources is a reflection of broader shifts in economics, culture, and society. Increased employee expectations, global competition for talent, and the rise of remote work are all contributing factors. As a result, businesses today are demanding real-time access to HR automation, integration, and end-to-end solutions in order to maintain a competitive edge.
Everything about Human Resources has changed progressively in the past two years – remote or hybrid working models, global recruitment, remote onboarding, increased dependency on technology. Many of these strategies were already in practice before, but the pandemic made them mainstream. Besides adjusting to the shift, HRs globally faced unprecedented challenges such as the Great Resignation, increased cases of employee burnout and mental health problems, and issues pertaining to employee engagement and retention. As we step into the third year of the pandemic, organizations have learned and experimented with different HR strategies. Although the top priorities of HR will keep on reshaping or evolving continuously, one thing’s for sure: they will be people-focused and business-oriented.
Here’s a list of HR trends that we can see or continue to see in the year 2023.
- Focus on employee well-being and mental health
- Work-Life Balance
- Adopting Hybrid Work and Metaverse
- Upskilling and Reskilling Employees
- Creating a Diversified and Inclusive Workforce
- HR Tech Software and Tools
- What challenges and barriers do you see in the industry and how you are planning to address them with your services?
Human Resources technology has improved greatly over the past few years, despite its late arrival. Adopting HR technology now has the potential to revolutionize many significant HR practices, from recruitment to performance management, thanks to advancements in areas like Artificial Intelligence.
HR technology implementation, however, has become more difficult in recent years. In many cases, this is because businesses are slow to adopt HR software.
The main challenges are:
- Return on investments
- Adoption by Managers and Employees
- Security & Compliances.
- Data Analytics.
Having said that, HR technology adoption can easily help businesses save a significant amount of money. On the one hand, HR technology offers several cross-functional advantages. Improved hiring quality, compliance management, increased employee engagement, better performance management, continuous performance evaluation, and so on are examples of these. It is critical to educate HR leaders and companies on the importance of having predefined goals and establishing a quantitative framework to measure everything, including ROI.
- How is an AI chatbot useful for organization and employees both?
AI be utilized in HR to increase retention and enhance employees’ experience? Ai chatbots like AMARA can reach out to employees at critical touchpoints in their employee lifecycle and proactively find out disengaged employees.
Amara not only allows companies to gauge and improve how employees feel about their lives at work, but also provides a path to increased productivity and by extension, revenue. By providing an accurate assessment of employee engagement faster than any conventional method of collecting feedback, Amara gives company leaders the time and information they need to boost employee engagement and access its countless benefits.
- How AI chatbot and digital technology are bringing a shift in the industry?
Since the 1990s after online job portals, the HR department did not undergo the radical transformations that other departments did. In recent years, however, things have changed. Emerging technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), RPA (Robotic Process Automation), and ML (Machine Learning) have upgraded essential human resource processes to the point where everyone is now discussing the next generation of HR.
Today, HR Technology is neither an option nor an opportunity; it is a necessity. As a result of the rate at which it is transforming all significant HR functions, from recruitment to onboarding to employee retention, its significance will increase over time. Long-term competitive advantage will accrue to businesses that can adapt and build a comprehensive, technology-driven human resources department.
The environment of human resource management has changed as a result of AI. HR chatbots have entered the workforce and automate the majority of HR departments’ responsibilities, including hiring, payroll management, managing skill or professional development, and providing any other new opportunities to improve employee experience. This cutting-edge automation lowers costs and human involvement. In order to have individualized but effortless interactions with employees, every workplace is currently implementing new conversational interfaces. This cutting-edge automation lowers costs and human involvement.