For many years, both small and large organizations had been struggling on excel sheets to take critical compensation and benefits decisions. It was not only a taxing process but also an ineffective method as a lot of critical aspects were left ignored. These decisions then had a deep impact on cost and business bottom line.
In his decade long career in HR function, Anuraag Srivastav, Founder, PayReview, personally experienced the problems in the processes and that’s how his new journey began. He quit his full time job to create a solution that makes the entire process more efficient and impactful.
Solving the complex compensation problem with a small yet passionate team
“After being part of the HR function for a long period of time, I have personally experienced the struggle on excel spreadsheets and witnessed how organizations often miss critical strategic insights,” shared Anuraag. He saw the challenge as an opportunity and focused his efforts on building a solution that enables HR leaders to create a better experience for employees.
But he was not alone in this journey. Anuraag had a small but passionate team supporting him.
Reminiscing the initial days of building PayReview Anuraag said, “Initially, Dinesh, our tech wizard, preferred to code in late night schedules from 8 pm to 2 am as during the days he would be busy with other work. As we were short on resources, I can still recall visiting the developers at their homes in the wee hours of Delhi’s chilled winters!”
Anuraag recalled how it took them a lot of time to iterate, as compensation as a category did not exist in India and mostly people used to confuse it with payroll. They had to solve the complexity of compensation. It was not going to be easy but they kept on working on the solution.
“Compensation is a complex problem to solve as lower pay invites attrition risks and higher pay brings in affordability concerns for companies. Mind you, 81% of employees are not comfortable with their rate of pay!” shared Anuraag.
Through multiple scenarios in the form of algorithms, PayReviews solution has been helping people make the most relevant strategies fit to their business and budget. PayReview also allows HR leaders and line managers to collaborate as they make these pay decisions.
Talking about the platform, Anuraag said, “HR leaders can create a project on any platform where line managers can also reallocate the increment or relook at the budget that has been given to them and they can adjust employee level increments, accordingly.”
The platform also improves the experience for the employees as the entire compensation decision making process becomes more transparent to them with PayReview. Through the platform they can see full total rewards statements and also view how the salaries have been changing over a period of years. They can even look at the promotion history and be aware of their own performance and how they may have to work on it to reach where they aspire to be.
“PayReview Analytics module is probably the best I have ever seen with respect to the compensation domain. The inference which comes out of different dashboards is truly a great support for strategic business decisions and for people strategy,” shared Shibu Unnithan, Senior AVP – PMS, Comp & Ben, People Strategies – Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited.
While PayReview has been working with 75+ enterprise clients, it continues to be on the journey of experimentation and iteration, as the talent priorities and work trends keep changing.
The great emergence of PayReview
Expectations from the HR function have increased. In the last one and a half year, compensation and benefits strategies became the talk of the town. Initially, businesses were relooking at their decision to make them more cost-effective and reduce redundancies. Today the entire strategy is being revisited to ensure it caters to the changing needs of the scarce talent pool, addressing the challenges of hybrid work, and also enabling better performance. In short, it has become more complex.
Businesses now expect defined ROI on initiatives and not mere better employee experience.
“With social awareness, employees demand fairness in their treatment. You can no longer take cost advantage because of an excess supply of talent. You can’t say just in the end that because of the bell curve, fair increments have been denied,” added Anuraag.
Based on the demand and feedback PayReview has been receiving from their enterprise customers, they built features and created solutions which can cater to a wider audience.
They started with Salary Increments, and lately added multiple strategic value added products like HireReview, BenchmarkAssist, IncentiveNow, WorkforcePlans and SmartBudgets. Soon they will also address Long term incentive (ESOPs).
Focusing on sales enablement & positively influencing productivity
“Due to logistics and administrative nightmare, organisations used to have one cycle per year, now they are experimenting with multiple cycles catering specific solutions for any peculiar problem rather than one size fits all,” shared Anuraag.
Quarterly bonus payments are almost becoming a norm now. Operational efficiency is increased to 86% as increment cycles can close in two days instead of a week by bringing real time scenario analysis and skipping multiple iterations to maintain budgets.
“Workforce plans are helping organizations avoid layoffs, whereas Incentives are driving productivity in the right direction. Organizations are taking informed decisions while recruiting candidates as they are more aware about internal and external parity and thus, better enabled with PayReview,” shared Anuraag.
Speaking on the growth PayReview has witnessed over the years, Anuraag added, “We are thankful to a wide distribution network of channel partners who trusted us to extend the reach of HR B2B SaaS products across geographies.”
Since the last three quarters, PayReview has been consistently adding at least 1 customer per week while bringing fairness to 2.2 lakh employees.
“We extended our reach to SoutheastAsia in Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia. The partnership with People Matters, in events like TecHR have been helpful to us in creating good brand recall,” shared Anuraag.
Way forward: Strengthening financial wellness agenda
R&D has been the core at PayReview which comprises 40% of our development efforts. “We don’t mind shelving a solution if it does not meet expected demands,” said Anuraag.
Currently, PayReview is leveraging analytics big time to nudge users to take the right actions. An induced machine learning in people – job matching has been planned as a competitive landscape.
PayReview expects to reach 1 million employees in the next 3 years. Among their diverse client pool, PayReview has seen a huge demand from the SME/MSME players as they also increasingly invest in technology to improve employee experience. Solutions and best practices which were limited to only large enterprises and MNCs, can be accessed by employers of small organisations. The pandemic has further bolstered this growth as taking care of employees’ financial wellness becomes a key priority for businesses.
Although an emerging market of HR technology presents great opportunities for PayReview, they also have to deal with the rising competition.
“We operate in a niche market. Our competition is the mere inefficiencies of your favorite excel tool. At the global level, Beqom is doing well in compensation technology by serving a global audience. We would be conceptualizing best consulting practices into our products and augment with data analytics,” said Anuraag.
To tackle competition head on, PayReview remains focused in terms of the target market segment; understanding their pain points and making provisions for appropriate solutions thereof. Anuraag added how PayReview follows a very systematic and structured approach which makes their solutions very reliable, affordable and sustainable.
As PayReview continues to innovate its bouquet of solutions and expand its reach, Anuraag looks forward towards a brighter future. “We have come a long way. It’s like we already have wings and all we need to do now is to fly!”
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