TalBrum, a low cost, comprehensive feature-driven Human Resource Information was introduced by proficient, technology-savvy HR professionals to enhance workplace productivity.
Over the last few years, the HR scene in India has seen an evolution with more companies looking out for organized staffing and workforce solutions. But there are numerous problems also, which need instant solutions. Having witnessed the evolving trends and problems of the market, an industry veteran, Vinay Dalal with his mentors and coaches Mr Bijay Sahoo and Mr Bhavdeep Singh and seed investor P Praveen formed a team to step into Hire to Retire integrated cloud-based HRMS products with the sole aim of simplifying HR Management processes, especially for the MSMEs.
The leading man, Vinay holds a great understanding of HR space and their requirements, having worked with organizations like Reliance, Wipro, Computer Sciences Corporation, CMC and DB Corp Group. From the initial phase, he has been involved in many social activities for Health care and Training of the underprivileged. In academics, Vinay graduated from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore and did his MBA from the same university. His last designation was as National Head HR of one of the formats (OSP)of Reliance Jio, where he decided to take the plunge and came up with his venture.
The 25 years experienced Vinay took the company on higher latitude with his dynamic leadership and supporting MSMEs in all ways. To get a deeper insight into Vinay's professional life, TalBurm and his other innovations, Puja Bhardwaj- Editor, The CEO Magazine spoke to him.
Here are the edited excerpts.
TCM: Provide a brief overview of your company including its services.
Vinay: We started the company, Hunar Placement Services in 2015. We have three major products.
TCM: What inspired you to make your career in entrepreneurship and come up with this startup idea?
Vinay: After my corporate stint I was actively involved in social work and wanted to be in the skill domain. And, that is why; Mera Hunar came into the picture.
As an HR professional, I realize that there is a missing piece in the MSME industry. I realized that most of the existing HRMS Solutions do not cater to the MSME industry owing to nonlinear customisation demands, HRMS software largely cater to the larger organization that is where I decided to launch TalBrum.
TCM: What problem does your company solve and how are you different from others?
Vinay: MSMEs need a lot of hand-holding. They need a transformation from Microsoft Excel to advanced software. And, none of the software solutions is helping them out. MSMEs have been working on HR, payroll, attendance on the excel sheet. Our focus is based on the input that I received from my existing clients.
TCM: What were the challenges at the initial phase of your entrepreneurial journey? How did you overcome it?
Vinay: My purpose to come up with this initiative was not to earn money but to help society. For one year, I strived hard with National Skill Development Corporation and nothing came out of it. In that situation, I decided to start my own and started UP Hunar Mela and Jharkhand Hunar Mela. Essentially, the major challenge I had to suffer was when I was trying to interact with government organizations, where the decision-making process was extremely slow.
The second issue was in Talburm when we developed the product, we realize each of our clients takes it as a project. A project is an extremely customized solution for a specific client, where a product is a generic one in which you give a parameter and help out people by customizing it. Convincing that to people was a tough nut to crack.
TCM: How big is the market opportunity? What is the actual addressable market?
Vinay: MSME is a huge market; during the financial year 2017, the total number of MSMEs in the country was more than 36 million that need an advanced solution. Today everyone talks about AI, Machine Learning, and the latest trends in HR. So the market is huge and we are focusing to take them from MS Excel to Excellence.
TCM: How did you arrive at the sales of your industry and its growth rate?
Vinay: If you talk about software, you will probably relate to people, who are technical in HR. I have hardcore HR experience, so I understand the nitty gritty, the problems the HR community faces way better than any of the technology solutions community who has come into the HR space. And, I keep it simple when I see an HR problem, I work for the solution.
TCM: Why do users care about your product or service?
Vinay: Any software like what we have developed would take around two and a half years to develop. Thereafter, we keep modifying the product and customise it according to customers' needs.
TCM: What have you learned about running a business that you didn't know when you started your entrepreneurial career?
Vinay: As a start-up, you have to be multi-pacific. When you are in a large organization, given the process of PCMM, you would assume that when you tell your juniors work it would be done or problems told beforehand. But when you have a start-up, you have to set up the chain with a young upwardly mobile workforce and there is no middle layer so communication became a challenge initially. Here, my problem was to go, talk and understand the fresh college pass out viewpoints and I am still learning to communicate with them managing their career aspirations and monetary rewards.
TCM: Who are your clients? How do you work on your long-term relationship with your clients?
Vinay: There are many clients including from Gionee, VFS, Shikhar foundation and a host of others to working with partners in Singapore and GCC nations. The organization that we are and the experience that we have in HR, we are almost like end-to-end HR consulting services, where while we do not do recruitment for them obviously but we support them to formulate policy, Hire train to retain sustain modules like performance management, training management, etc.
TCM: Throw light on your team and area of expansion.
Vinay: We have an expert team of 17 professionals from different fields. In terms of expansion, we are covering entire India. We have already in Singapore and now moving to Oman and soon we will be in the US. Our registered office is in Indore and headquarter is in Gurugram.
TCM: What was your journey like to get where you are?
Vinay: My journey has been very-very fulfilling. When you guide an organization and reach on a particular inflection point, you will be in a position to be at the pinnacle. In my 25 years of experience, I have always tried to do things with a heart, a mix of more heart than brain.
TCM: What was the most difficult lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?
Vinay: All startups have the fear of failure; and for me, the most difficult lesson I have learned to overcome that fear.
TCM: List the major milestones and awards won by your company.
Vinay: Because of our instant and customized solution, TalBrum and our other innovations have been honoured with many awards. The biggest is not a reward but the autographed ball and a retweet of the legendary Anil Kumble on his twitter wall
TCM: What next for the company?
Vinay: We plan to be operationally progressed, increase our funding and the last one is to double the number of users this financial year
TCM: What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs who are excited about venturing into the same domain?
Vinay: Be consumed by your thought. Fall in love with your product and believe what you do and your idea. Also, try to make your product so strong that sale of the same is a given not an option