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‘Don’t wait for the change, Just be the change’. Vijay Yalamanchili, the founder of Keka has literally implemented this phrase. While searching for a HR software for his growing services business back in 2015, the frustration due to poor user experience and clunky interfaces among options available, Keka was born. Being in the same shoes once upon a time as their current customers, Keka understood the pain points when it came to HR. It believed the Indian HR ecosystem deserved much better and productive software. The company believes in creating a culture of self-accountability among employees, which is also considered its prime differentiating factor. The software empowers organizations to develop the right competencies and behaviors among the employees, which are essentially required for its overall success.
With a mission to create more-than-satisfactory customer experiences, Keka dumped the clunky interfaces that had become antiques. Keka enables HR professionals to save time and focus on their vital assets, their employees, while leaving the mundane and tedious tasks to its software.
Back in 2015, Keka was established as a squad of 5 before ascending to become a stellar team of over 550. It did the same while gaining a colossal amount of recognition and love for its co- creation. Over the years, Keka has revolutionized the universe of HR with software that revolves around employee experience rather than just being organization-centric.
Sharing few insights about the company, Vijay said that, “Keka remained bootstrapped for 6 years as it thrived on the revenue the company generated. In its first ever funding round, Keka raised a total funding of $57 million in Series A through WestBridge Capital, this November. Around $1.6 million were also raised in 2021 through trading subscriptions on Recur Club.”
Furthermore, the CEO proudly admitted that the company flourished merely on word-of-mouth for years. It also has a strong partnerships team in place. The main focus is on being part of major HR tech events throughout the year.
As an advice to the followers in this ecosystem, Vijay highlighted that, “Discipline is key when it comes to investing for growth from profits and it’s also a salient feature of a strong company. Understanding the pain points of the sector and ensuring that innovation and technology is put to its best use for doing the same is crucial.”
In addition, he signified that Keka sincerely believes that it is extremely vital to maintain fiscal discipline in order for any business to prosper. Before embarking on a new journey, Keka ensured that it broke even to permit itself to invest in the next leg of growth instead of merely depending on funding to fulfill its growth trajectory.
Being asked about the competition in the current space, Vijay revealed that, “When we talk about the HR tech needs of large organizations, there are a few global players who dominate here but when it comes to the SME HR tech market in India, Keka is clearly the leader. The company keeps the employee experience at the core of its design and that’s why its solution closely aligns with the needs of SMEs.”
Elaborately, he added that the current market for business is extremely competitive and organizations need to stay on top of their game in order to have an edge over others. One key obstacle experienced at the time was the conversion of the manual process to a more centralized and standardized payroll process with an efficient payroll software that enabled HR or the payroll administrator to manage payroll operations smoothly while eradicating errors. The problems were resolved by simplifying complex data and offering ease of use.
Amidst all these challenges and constant strives, to move forward and create a vast space in the ecosystem, Keka is now eyeing global expansion and will be venturing into US and European markets for the time being. Keka’s current clientele includes over 6500 companies spanning 30 countries. It also intends to double the figure by 2024 and increase its international clientele by 30-40%.
Though the company strongly believes in simplicity, Keka’s products are claimed to be scalable, configurable, and easy to use even by any non-finance-related person.
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