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    Rudraditya Bhattacharya Interview: Reaching Millions By ‘Knowing thy customer’

    December 7, 2021

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    At Darwinbox, we like to be ahead of the curve. We do it by analyzing the needs of our users, understanding the market demands, and keeping up with the ever-evolving technology. It is how we have garnered a massive user base of over 1 million users around the world, and it is also how we made our way into the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

    We owe this success to our team and our extraordinary leaders. Even in times of adversity, they have led from the front and scaled new heights. Rudraditya Bhattacharya, Director for Sales and Partnerships, South Asia, is one such leader.

    We sat down with Rudro, as he is fondly called, to have a chat about the digital transformation of HR and how the sales teams are having to catch up with the trends to readily fulfill the emerging user needs. He has some great insight on how effective sales strategies delve into the most atomic needs of the users and how exactly tapping into that hemisphere can bring about the biggest successful ventures.

    Here are the excerpts from the interview: 

    Darwinbox: How have you seen the appetite for HR tech change in the Indian enterprise landscape post the global pandemic?

    Rudraditya: The Indian enterprise HR tech landscape was already at the cusp of an inflection point with more and more organizations adopting technology to redefine their employee strategy.

    There is something called a hype curve or the hype cycle that shows which products are riding the wave of the customer's buying cycle. The global pandemic has done two things:

    • It has brought a lot more naysayers to technology, to invest in basic HR tech, which was either rudimentary in their organization or was virtually non-existent.
    • The organizations which already had base products started looking for more advanced solutions to bump up the spending on advanced HR tech solutions.

    Employee Experience is one such sub-verse of products that got bumped up in the hype curve primarily due to the pandemic.


    Darwinbox: While each customer’s use case of HRMS is unique, where have you seen the most traction for Darwinbox’s HCM suite? 

    Rudraditya: The need for HRMS is the same for every organization. Mostly, it revolves around getting a master system for storing and managing the records of all employees. However, the extent of complexity, depth, and breadth of the product is the ultimate deciding factor on what kind of product will be the right fit for an org. Darwinbox, at its core, is an enterprise-focused platform and that is where we see most of the traction. Through Darwinbox, we have added quite a lot of value to organizations that show traits like these:

    • They have overly complex org structures: Multiple business units, departments, cost centers, and unique roles add a lot of complexity to these org structures. And, associated with these org units, there are multiple rules, policies, and processes for different user groups. Darwinbox handles these assignments very easily with a high degree of configurability.
    • Different employee types within a distributed workforce. Different employee types such as large field forces in insurance, NBFCS logistics, FMCG, or pharma get managed with ease within Darwinbox. And the adoption of the HRMS, at scale, is driven by our highly intuitive native mobile app. The multiple shift rosters of manufacturing or BPO setups are easily handled with the flexibilities provided by the time & attendance modules. So much so, that during the pandemic, Darwinbox was the first platform of its kind to release a host of features such as facial recognition and QR code-based touchless attendance modalities. Work from home enhancements made employee productivity tracking a breeze for orgs.
    • Multi-geography entities with offices across various locations (either within India or across different countries). Standardizing the larger policies yet retaining the possibility of making changes at local levels gives the system administrators a whole lot of autonomy using Darwinbox. Fine-grained permissions framework and deep configurations that can be driven to the lowest set of employee assignments make the platform’s implementation and upkeep supremely effortless  


    Darwinbox: Tell us some Darwinbox customer-win stories that stand out for you. 

    Rudraditya: In our very first year, Delhivery happened to us. It was super surreal and even today sometimes we find ourselves wondering if we would have trusted Darwinbox if we were in their shoes. 

    Here's a little piece of trivia: the entire pitch to them was done on either a piece of paper or with whiteboards. 

    They truly were the anchor that we needed. They believed in the design of the product and trusted in our story. The rest, as they say, is history. 

    We always believed that our competitors are the international leading HRMS platforms. Very early on, we used to compete for accounts and managed to win against them, but the sweet victories were made up of the instances where we replaced them for the first time. 

    The most notable accounts that we managed to win were Emcure Pharma, Dr. Reddy's Lab, Arvind Group, Allcargo Logistics, Kotak Life Insurance, Tokopedia, Paytm, and Myntra. And every one of them was the replacement of one major international bestselling platform. 

    Apart from that, there are more accounts that continue to be significant and memorable for our team includes the likes of JSW, Vedanta, JG Summit Group in the Philippines, and Indorama in Indonesia. All of these are really what cemented Darwinbox's rank among popular global conglomerates. 


    Darwinbox: What have your 10+ years of experience in Sales taught you about the key ingredients for a successful sale?  

    Rudraditya: Being in sales is no different from being a teller at the bank. It is a person who attends to you and gives you money at the counter. All that the bank teller and the salesperson are trying to do is give you something you need.  

    For either to be successful at their professions, they need to know what the customer is looking for – coins, notes, and/or what denominations. They must pay attention to things like “is the customer filling in the right details?” or in our sales lingo, “is the need being documented?”  

    To draw this parallel, and to envision what you need for a successful sale, you must put yourself in the shoes of a bank teller. Let me simplify it for you, here is what you need: 

    • You need to know your customer - validate what he/she needs.  
    • See if the customer knows what they are asking for - document their needs as much as possible so that later you can draw a definite concurrence for what is being asked for and what is delivered.  
    • Ensure that there are no heartburns on either side.  
    • Solution well for them - this is the part that a salesperson needs to do very carefully - ask the right questions, just like the denominations for a teller.  
    • Last but not the least, ensure that what was asked for, and what the solution is - gets delivered.  

    It is imperative for a good salesperson to see the sale to the very end, that is what ensures that the customer will be satisfied and come back to you for their future needs. 


    Darwinbox: You have been awarded ‘The Economic Times Young Leader 2016’ title. What is the one thing that young leaders of today need to: Learn, Unlearn and Relearn?

    Rudraditya: The journey of my career has definitely been a huge learning curve. And, if I were to give a headstart to the young leaders out there, I'd say that they must: 

    • Learn - How to manage people's expectations. It is immensely important to know the people you are willing to lead and to have an action plan to cater to their growing aspirations. A good leader is only as good as their team and taking care of them is the thing that one should never lose sight of. 
    • Unlearn - How to not let your personal biases cloud your judgment. With experience, sometimes you lose objectivity and try to make decisions based on your guts. It is especially important to rid yourself of these biases and treat each situation as completely different so you can keep innovating every time you decide. 
    • Re-learn - I believe in leading by example. Before you became a manager, you were an individual who was good at what you did. It is important to always know what got you here. And the only thing that is constant is change. A good leader will keep themselves abreast of these enhancements, changes, and modifications to effectively lead by example. The day one stops learning newer things is the day the respect you garner from your team dissipates.

    If you want to hear more from people working in various areas, check this space for our full collection of interviews. 

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