Small and medium business owners in India and across the globe lose more than 25 percent of their time in payroll compliances and Human Resource (HR) operations. Activities like creating payslips and emailing them consume more energy and time.
Kolkata-based startup Asanify is aiming to solve this issue. The HRtech startup simplifies human resource management, payroll, and salary payments for small businesses by providing a gamified and engaging platform that automates employee lifecycle, and automatically files payroll compliances.
Asanify’s proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) platform empowers employees to download payslip and apply for leaves right on Whatsapp or Slack.
Asanify provides its services to over 1,000 startups and small businesses, including Shuttl, Cooper Standard, Propelld, and Khanal Foods, among others. It is a YC Startup School graduate startup and was selected for NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Virtual Incubation programme. Asanify has been officially recognised as a startup from DIPP as an MSME from Udyog Aadhaar.
Founder and CEO Priyom Sarkar, in a conversation with YourStory, says, “Any startup with around 25-employees, which does not have a dedicated HR or payroll, can completely automate HR and payroll functions through Asanify.”
Priyom’s father is a small business owner and has been running payroll manually. He ended up with payroll compliance issues that eventually took two years to clear, “Taking valuable time away from the business,” Priyom says. “Managing payroll compliances and payments manually is error-prone, and takes valuable focus away from building the business,” he adds.
As a CFA, Priyom understood these compliances well. “The 50 to 60 million SMEs in India, that form the backbone of the economy (about 30 percent of the GDP), lack resources,” he says.
Thirty-seven-year-old Priyom is a CFA (level two), a BTech graduate from Jadavpur University, and an MBA from Indian School of Business. Before taking the entrepreneurial plunge, Priyom worked with PWC and Reliance Industries Limited, where he helped launch Jio 4G.
In fact, he also worked with Viacom18 as the AVP and Head – Growth and Innovation, International Sales. Priyom was part of the team that helped launch the video streaming platform Voot and scaled it to 100 million users.
Priyom says that he gets “Excited about improving the employer-employee relationship.” Earlier, when leading the post-merger integration of media company ETV with Viacom18, Priyom had to interview more than 300 employees.
“It made me realise that no HR platform in India can provide an engaging experience for operational tasks such as filing expenses, and applying for leaves, among other things,” he adds.
Thus, Asanify was born in 2019. It has a lean team of engineers, HR, and compliance experts.
How does it work?
Asansify targets startup founders who are trying to grow their business, and do not wish to waste their time in non-core operations. It automates people processes, starting from hiring to onboarding, until their exit. Additionally, it disburses salaries to employees to different bank accounts. The platform not only calculates but also deposits and files payroll compliances such as PF, ESI and TDS, in respective departments.
According to Priyom, Asansify acquired its first set of clients from his personal network.
The HRtech startup’s marketing channel comprises chartered accountant and company secretary firms.
“Small businesses typically outsource their accounting function to these CA and CS firms. By providing Asanify portal as an add-on, these small CA firms can complete their offerings beyond just tax filing or CFO services,” Priyom explains. These CA or CS firms also get a free subscription to Asanify for internal use – as these firms are small businesses themselves.
Asanify’s HR chatbot module is used by large enterprises as well.
Asansify charges a monthly-subscription from its clients. “Unlike traditional software, we require no lock-in or long-term contracts. Our customers can cancel anytime,” he says.
The startup’s packages start from Rs 99 per employee, per month. It claims to have a 100 percent retention rate, and the customer base has grown by more than 50 percent during the pandemic. Asanify is growing more than 100 percent month-on-month. It is targeting about $1 million ARR by the end of this year.
Bootstrapped initially, Priyom’s former colleagues, friends, and mentors have put in an angel investment of around $50,000.
According to Grand View Research, the global HR management market was expected to be valued at $38.17 billion by 2027, recording a CAGR of 11.7 percent between 2020 and 2027.
Asanify competes with players like Zimyo, Greythr, Zoho People, and BambooHR, among others. However, Priyom says, “Our biggest competitor is Excel.” Asanify stands different from its competitors with its simplicity and ease of use.
Going ahead, the HRtech startup plans to introduce financial products soon. “We want to make the process of buying medical insurance for employees as simple as buying a phone on Amazon,” Priyom says.
Asanify is also in talks with Indian and US-based VCs to close its seed-round soon.