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EdGE Networks – Solving Talent Acquisition and Workforce Optimization Challenges Using AI and Data Science

EdGE Networks was founded in 2012 and is an innovative HR technology solutions provider focused on helping organizations meet their talent-related challenges.

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The HR technology market is undergoing a disruptive change owing to digital technologies and the millennial workforce. The industry comprises of multiple segments: Talent Management Tools, Recruitment Platforms, Application Tracking Systems, Learning Management Systems, Engagement Platforms, etc.

Today, there is a shift in focus from a system of automation and record to system of engagement. This has resulted in the genesis of People Management systems which are employee-centric with focus on empowerment, learning, retention and outcome. Hence HR is looking for solutions that build engagement and not just those that are easy to integrate, as it was a few years ago.

Bangalore-based EdGE Networks was founded in 2012 and is an innovative HR technology solutions provider focused on helping organizations meet their talent-related challenges. Its strength is in harnessing Artificial Intelligence and Data Science to solve the toughest talent acquisition and workforce optimization challenges faced by organizations.

In an interaction with BW Disrupt, Arjun Pratap, Founder & CEO, EdGE Networks shared his venture journey like how he started, startup description, traction numbers & more.

Idea Generation and Product Details

During my first venture (a digital learning platform), I realized there was tremendous need and scope for nextgen HR technology solutions, that could help organizations build future-ready workforces. Looking at the rapid pace of change taking place in India and the world, it became clear to me that HR technology powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science and Machine Learning would be the best route to enable workforce management and transformation. AI coupled with analytics was gaining ground within the HR domain and the time was ripe to build HR solutions for large enterprises looking to take their workforce to the next level.

The very basis for starting up EdGE Networks is the universal problem that organizations grapple with: to connect the right person with the right job. With this as our motto, we dug deeper to unearth the underlying issues that contributed to this corporate epidemic. Today, we offer three solutions:

Talent Acquisition: Our flagship product, HIREalchemy, is a cutting-edge talent acquisition platform powered by artificial intelligence and data science that transforms the hiring experience. Using our comprehensive skills repository and machine learning algorithms, the platform analyses the JD & determines the primary and inferred skills; auto-sources the right fit by parsing and analyzing both structured and unstructured information from profiles in internal database & external portals; throws up resume matches by scoring and stack ranking them. What takes organizations over 30-45 days to fulfill leading to a loss of nearly $800,000-1.5 million is done in 8-9 days, saving millions of dollars for large businesses.

Workforce Optimization:  Our Internal Workforce Optimization (IWO) solution helps transform workforce. It lets HR assess skills, train, and keep talent ready for deployment. We start with enhancing internal supply visibility through a robust skills repository enabling internal fulfillment and reducing cost incurred in external hiring. We help create intelligent job descriptions with appropriate keywords, lack of which is one of the key reasons for inaccurate resume matches. Using advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms, we profile resources, identify skills gap and chalk out Intelligent Learning path for each employee.

Talent Analytics: Our advanced analytics algorithms with predictive capabilities empower you with real time data topped with actionable insights that accelerates business decision making. Our statistical models provide in-depth relational and contextual analysis derived from rich data. Demand & Supply forecasting, Attrition analytics, joining probability analysis, hiring cost analysis are some of the analytics models that we offer.

Unique Value Proposition

Our unique value proposition to clients is that we use Natural Language Processing (NLP) Algorithms with a Data Science and AI based approach to analyze job descriptions and profiles/resumes, and provide a scored and stack ranked set of people for the job in question. This is further bolstered with our ability to do this for an internal workforce and to acquire talent from portals. Done using advanced technology with minimum human intervention - the disruption we create is the value of time and accuracy, delivered consistently.

While our product and solutions are based on some of the most cutting-edge technologies, we have also worked towards creating a responsible and agile organization that is ready to partner with customers to build game changing HR tech solutions.

As a niche HR technology provider, we don’t directly compete with any other company. Some of our offerings or product lines are similar to specific offerings of players in the space and our competitive advantage is in:

Machine Learning: Our strength is in harnessing data science using machine learning combined with NLP to solve the toughest talent acquisition and workforce optimization challenges faced by organizations. As we work on large sets of unstructured data, deep learning comes as a natural fit to accurately determine the parameters that make right person for the right job a reality. Implementation of RNNs using GPUs have not only made our base models more accurate but also much more efficient and scalable. We provide relational, contextual analysis which increases the depth of analysis derived from rich data.

EdGE Labs: R&D is the corner stone of EdGE Networks which infuses innovation in our product features. Named as EdGE Labs, the R&D lab was set up in 2012 with a focus on Data Science powered by high-end GPUs & EdGE Graph (a repository of 800K skills + 4 MN JDs + 20 MN profiles). We have a collaborative approach to innovation and have built a co-innovation network which is an ecosystem of technology, academic, business and domain experts. This has resulted in a very intelligent solution that solves real business problems in a futuristic way. Several innovative solutions emerging from our lab have won awards - Deloitte Fast 50, NASSCOM Emerge 50. Research Areas: Deep Learning I Artificial Neural Networks I NLP I Predictive Modelling I Word Embeddings I Efficient Query Engine

Tangible business benefits: Our product and solutions have a layer of analytics built into them which allows us to measure the business impact juxtaposed with data shared by client. We have impacted both revenue and profits of our clients resulting from improved time, cost and accuracy of talent management. Our solution provides 40% reduction in hiring time, 2x improve in quality of hire, 36% reduction in revenue leakage.

Funding Raised & Monetisation Model

In 2013, NSDC funded us with a grant and a debt besides two angels and myself putting in the seed capital. Currently, we are exploring the next round of funding.

Our revenue model is multi-pronged:

1.B2B SaaS Model: These are mainly large enterprises where we use direct sales method. Customers are charged a predetermined fee for services rendered during a contract period, paid monthly/quarterly.

2.SMB SaaS Model: A plug and play SaaS Talent Acquisition suite catering to small enterprises. Freemium pricing model.  

3.Channel Partners Model: A joined GTM with revenue sharing generated from bundled service with partners such as Taleo and Kenexa.

4.Alliances Model: Strategic alliance with HR service providers – RPO, Job boards, BGV, Assessment firms, ATS, etc. who pay for service used.

Clients Feedback

We are currently working with large organizations like Wipro, HCL, Dell, Mircroland and more. Our clients see benefit and potential in our offerings and trust us as partners in their journey. 

The increasing focus and promise of Artificial Intelligence combined with Data Science has also presented us with many opportunities for innovation.

Achievements

Some of our most significant achievements over the last 12 months have been:

• 100% increase in revenue

• Over 600% increase in the job descriptions analyzed - currently stands at 2.2 million

• Over 450% increase in resume database - currently stands at 17 million resumes

In addition, we have been recognized by prestigious forums including: we were selected as one of the six Indian AI startups in Google’s 4th edition of Launchpad Accelerator program; we are selected as one of India Emerging Twenty (IE20) Awards 2017 by London & Partners.

Expansion

Having established a strong base in the Indian market with 2 of the Top 5 Indian IT firms and Top 10 global IT firm as our clients, we have forayed into the NA and UK market. We have stationed sales representatives in each of these markets.

Market Growth

The HR Technology market, the one we operate in, is worth $15 billion. Today, Artificial Intelligence and analytics are the driving factors in HR Technology world with cloud and social becoming a hygiene factor. AI is a force that will drive the new employment economy. From talent acquisition and workforce optimization to workforce transformation, AI will act as a strategic enabler to HR and get them a seat at the strategy table.


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