Business Today

Ahead of the Game

twitter-logo Taslima Khan        Print Edition: Feb 3, 2013

MINDTICKLE
LOCATION: Pune
BUSINESS: Social and gamified learning platform for enterprises
FOUNDED IN: August 2011
LED BY: Deepak Diwakar, Mohit Garg, Krishna Depura, Nishant Mungali
COOL QUOTIENT: Creates online games which companies can use to make induction of newcomers and learning programmes for employees more fun

Poorvi Agarwal's first day at work was a lot of fun. The sales executive at travel website MakeMyTrip's Kolkata office spent most of her time quizzing on the computer with several others who had joined the company the same day. Were Agarwal and her colleagues goofing off at work? No, they were taking part in a unique induction programme that uses online games as an ice-breaker for new employees.

The games are the brainchild of Pune-based MindTickle, a year-and-a-half-old start-up that provides web-based "gamified" training and orientation products for companies. Started by four employees of online ad network company PubMatic, it uses its two products, Allboard and Hifli, for training and team-building programmes, so that new employees can settle in quickly.

"These products have proven to be great entry points into large companies," says Dinesh Katiyar, Partner at venture firm Accel Partners, who seed funded in the start-up in January 2012.

MindTickle began small, but has already carved a niche for itself. It has a string of 20 marquee clients, including Yahoo! India, mobile ad network InMobi, financial services firm Bajaj Finserv, online retailer Flipkart and software firm SAP. "One of our earliest clients was InMobi, which has completely replaced its offline induction training programmes with our solution," says Mohit Garg, Co-founder of MindTickle.

MindTickle's products are essentially targeted at companies in information technology, telecom and financial services, which recruit a large number of people every year. "The ITeS sector alone adds about 50,000 jobs annually. The market size of induction of new hires alone is over $100 million in India and over $1 billion globally," says Krishna Depura, another of the founders.

MindTickle is solving a fundamental problem organisations face after inducting new hires - that of delivering learning programmes effectively and creating team spirit between offices located in different places. "Sometimes the CEO is in the elevator with the new hire but neither recognises the other," says Garg. MindTickle's software solutions help companies engage with employees right after they receive their offer letters.

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