Startup Interview with Amrinder Arora, Co-Founder at BizMerlinHR

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SoftwareSuggest

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: July 22, 2020

Dr. Amrinder Arora – author of multiple books on computer science and artificial intelligence; mentor to a large number of tech-savvy emerging entrepreneurs, speaker, co-founder, and CEO of BizMerlinHR – has an impressive data analytics and artificial intelligence career in both commercial and government settings.

But above all, he is a true problem solver at heart. While working in the consulting services sector, he was able to witness the vast inefficiencies in the human capital management and resource allocation processes. Those first-hand observations led to the genesis and the ultimate success of BizMerlinHR.

Dr. Arora is a leading expert in artificial intelligence and the author of the book “Analysis and Design of Algorithms.” He has received numerous excellence awards from the Food and Drug Administration, Association for Computing Machinery, George Washington University, and Bowie State University.

He was also recognized as one of the 30 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs in 2016. Dr. Arora earned his doctorate in Computer Science from George Washington University and Bachelors in Computer Science from IIT Delhi, and also serves as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University.

In conversation with Amrinder Arora, Co-Founder & CEO at BizMerlinHR

How did the idea of building BizMerlinHR come up?

BizMerlinHR was originally envisioned as the “AI” plugin to be used on top of HR products created to provide rich actionable HR analytics and insights so that you can manage your team in a fundamentally different way. Over the course of time, with more customer launches, it filled and expanded the entire hire-to-retire landscape.

HR’s role has grown manifold in the last decade, and the gap was wide open with just a handful of global HR software looking beyond the capabilities of time, attendance and recruiting. BizMerlinHR was the product that was designed to give HR a global outlook that gave them all the automation and scalability they need to succeed.

Whether it is using the flagship ATS that gives smart recommendations about candidates, the ridiculously simple Company Wall of Fame, the strategic Resource Forecasting and Optimization solution, or the irreplaceable Career Pathways, BizMerlinHR is fundamentally different from other HR tools.

“We started BizMerlinHR when we realized the massive changes sweeping Human Capital Management. The core value that helped us overcome challenges was to always focus on the pursuit of smart tools and value addition to the customer. Traditional HR tools make it easy for people to collect and organize information, but in the end, one gets exactly what they stored, not an iota more. Smart tools need to accomplish more than that. An HCM solution cannot be called ‘modern’ if it cannot give you insights that you never knew possible. This has been our guiding light for BizMerlinHR,” explains Amrinder Arora.

We came to know that you have also designed products other than BizMerlinHR. Tell us something about those.

Along with BizMerlinHR, which is the flagship HCM platform, our suite of solutions also includes career planning, succession management, workforce planning, a public-facing job board and related HR applications that are geared towards midsize enterprises that have all the ambitions and requirements of large enterprises but want to move to an easier-to-deploy system in the cloud and something that is in line with their own agile and modular mentality.

Walk us through your journey right from authoring a book to the inception of BizMerlinHR.

The end game is always about knowledge and information. Whether it is a lecture, a book, a product, a seminar, or any other mechanism to exchange information, the underlying thread is always the same one – an earnest desire and effort to learn and share one’s knowledge.

There are a plethora of HCM software solutions available on the market today. What makes BizMerlinHR stand apart from them?

We stand apart in many ways and in many places. For starters, BizMerlinHR is used by users in 15+ languages spread out over 160+ countries. We understand the global nature of today’s businesses and this expertise clearly displays in our software, and beyond the software in our global customer success strategy that is powered by partnerships across the globe and a 24×7 account management and customer support coverage irrespective of where you are.

While there are many unique features of BizMerlinHR, such as an auto-updating competency matrix, system recommendation for candidates, automatic detection of career pathways, etc., a key strength of BizMerlinHR remains the highly configurable and the automated nature of the key BizMerlinHR solutions including comprehensive Employee Records, Easy on Boarding, PTO/Leave Management, Instant Feedback, Performance Reviews, Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Goal Management, Competency Management, and Succession Planning.

Define the work culture at BizMerlinHR.

BizMerlinHR is an organization with a young and vibrant workforce. It encourages a self-driven attitude which is meant to deliver results. Thus couldn’t be possible in a top-down traditionally managed organization.
We promote collaboration between team members; thus, creating a bond where each and every employee looks forward to the organization’s success and cultivates a similar interest in the success of each customer.

Most often, our customers are amazed by the extreme lengths that our frontline employees go to resolve their queries. Whenever our team receives a customer request, we do not distinguish between the issues – whether it is a software issue, a billing problem, or even an error with a third party application over which we might have very limited control. Instead, our customer success team extends a helping hand to our customers irrespective of what efforts they need to put in to resolve the issues.

Our customers avail of benefits like increased efficiency, decreased costs, and enhanced productivity from our culture, whereas our employees enjoy a more open, transparent, measurable, and responsive environment. Everyone wins.

What are the ideological principles that BizMerlinHR follows to maintain its brand value?

The underlying ideology is that software must serve the people and the organization. We are living in such a dynamic environment that every day creates a scenario that could create different challenges and require a quick turn around to overcome those challenges.

One such scenario is Covid-19 which led to so many changes in the HR world – for example, more and more teams were productive because someone in the organization made a quick decision to put together a remote working policy, or a new clock-in/clock-out policy, or the new sick policy as approved by the local authorities.

This would not have been possible without smart HR systems like BizMerlinHR, which allow virtual onboarding, video interview calls, remote check-ins, and policy templates for easy access and quick sharing.

Any new developments that your users can expect from you in the coming years?

BizMerlinHR remains entirely focused on human capital management solutions. However, within this solution space, there are numerous sub solutions, such as Career Planning powered by Competency Management, where you will continue to see BizMerlinHR play increasingly substantial roles. Further, due to increased synergy between our partners and BizMerlinHR HCM, we will be further strengthening and streamlining our integrations with Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Atlassian.

What keeps you inspired and motivated?

Inspiration lasts longer than motivation – my inspiration was to create something that simplifies the lives of people. But the real strength to start every morning comes from a deep realization that the privilege to work on something so exciting and with the best team in the world is not afforded to everyone. That is something to be grateful for, any day and every day of our lives.

If you weren’t building BizMerlinHR, what would you be doing differently?

My core expertise lies in computer science, specifically in Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence. So, if it wasn’t in the field of HR, I would be applying it in other domains, just like I had an opportunity to do so before founding and leading BizMerlinHR.

Is there any piece of advice you would like to give to emerging entrepreneurs?

To identify a gap by becoming a bridge builder is what it takes to create an impact and open the bridge of success for others. Ultimately, it boils down to perseverance. If you believe in your vision, you must accept setbacks and challenges even if at that moment they look insurmountable. As you grow, the challenges always grow with you, and you are then able to laugh away the challenges of yesterday and are ready to take on the bigger challenges of today.

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