Founder Interview with Pankaj Bhargav CEO of HRMantra



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 18, 2021

The past two decades have seen a steep rise in HR and Payroll management software in most industries. The reason for the widespread adoption of such software is their ability to streamline, record, and keep track of all payroll, attendance, and recruitment, significantly reducing HR professionals’ work.

The pandemic has taught us how well-utilized HR software can assist and business and take care of their workforce. However, not all HR and Payroll software are the same or are suitable for all types of organizations.  ‘HRMantra’ is one such software that has gained widespread acceptance and appreciation from various industries. It is well-known for its user-friendliness, affordability, attention to detail, and flexibility. Let’s get to know more about HR Mantra from its Founder and CEO, Mr. Pankaj Bhargav.

In conversation with Mr. Pankaj Bhargav, Founder & CEO of HRMantra Software Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Bhargav, you have been one of the pioneers in developing HR & Payroll software in the country; tell us about your career journey?

Ans: I am fortunate to be born in the 1960s as we have seen so many changes in our lifetime. When we were little, there was no TV, and when it came in 1973, we had to go from one house to another, peeping into a black & white TV for Sunday evening movies. When we finally got our first TV at home, it was like a dream come true. The 1st time I attended a programming course was during pre-PC days in 1984, and it was so exciting. In 1991, India got its economic freedom when Dr. Manmohan Singh, as the Finance Minister, removed the License Raj & all businessmen started expanding into so many new areas. I also caught the entrepreneurial bug and dropped out of the JBIMS MMM course to start my own business in 1993. In 1995, the internet started in India, and suddenly, one could think of launching a globally scalable business. Instead of BC & AD, we should divide human history into ‘Before Internet’ and ‘After the Internet.’ And now the smartphone has made the world completely flat. One can be staying in Jhumri Talaya and working on the cutting edge technologies globally. Our generation can help India grow 100 times in 50 years from around US$ 200 Billion in 1991 to US$ 20 Trillion in 2041, a ‘never before- never again’ feat possible by any country around the world.   

How has the HR & Payroll software changed in the last 20 years? And How do you see the future of HR?

Ans: I have been in IT since 1989, and when I started my placement business in 1995, the Internet had just started. I created the 1st domain by a placement company in 1995. We created a submit resume format to submit their CVs, and we used to download these into a candidate database management system. When we used to get a certain requisition from any HR Manager, we could shortlist the relevant candidates and fulfill their positions quickly. 

Most of the Personnel Managers handling their operations were fully paper-driven, and I realized that there was a huge opportunity to automate their processes fully and so decided to pivot my business model to launch an HR Software called HRMantra in 1999. Since then, it has been a dream run. I thought within ten years, we would meet all the requirements of all the HRDs across all industries and businesses of all sizes, but it is 20 years now, and there seems to be no end to demands. Technologies change so fast that any weak-hearted individual with funds less than Rs 500 crore is not ready to devote 15 years of his life.

Has coronavirus pandemic impacted your company, and how have you pivoted? Can you share some pre-pandemic and post-pandemic impressive stats/ numbers at HRMantra?

Ans: The coronavirus pandemic has affected all businesses worldwide greatly. Over 30% of businesses have shut down, and 30 crore people have lost jobs. The number of bankruptcies is increasing by the day as most businesses had massive debts, were over-leveraged, and couldn’t sustain their operations. Fortunately for us, we have always taken the approach of keeping our expenses much less than our income even if our growth was slow, and this attitude has paid off. We had automated almost all our business processes long back. The coronavirus pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for us. The only work of software coding, which we thought could be only securely done in an SDC with a LAN isolated from the internet, is now being done online much in a faster, better, and more secure manner. All our employees log in and work from home stress-free.

You have recently been writing about Global Digital Currency? Tell us something about your solution to stop the world economic collapse.

I have been carefully watching all countries print their currencies like it is a bottomless pit and realized the world system would crash soon. The coronavirus pandemic will be the needle that will soon prick this unsustainable balloon causing unimaginable misery worldwide. There have been 56 episodes of hyperinflation in the last 200 years. In particular, the US has a larger responsibility in keeping a tab on its Dollar deluge as it is the global reserve currency. Sadly they are flooding the global economy with trillions, and there is no escape from a severe global meltdown. US$ has become junk, and we are going to see a depression worse than the great depression of 1929. Other currencies are also losing their value, and so now there is no other solution but for all the countries to come together to launch a GDC. 

Every country, big or small, will become an equal member of this GDC Bank and, each member country will be given as many GDCs as their GDP size is by this GDC Bank. No GDC member country will be allowed to print its currency then. It can double the global GDP and remove poverty as well as reduce inequalities worldwide. US$ will lose its sovereignty. There are over 25 significant benefits of a GDC, and I encourage everyone to watch my video on its benefits on YouTube. While we are devoted to saving our clients over 30 minutes per employee per day through our HRMantra software, I saw a more significant pain point in currencies deluge. Therefore I gave a fair, unbiased solution, which, if adopted, can stop the world’s economic collapse.

What sets apart HRMantra from its competitors?

HRMantra has been in the development of HR & Payroll software for the last 21 years, and we have realized that this is a deep domain game needing at least 15 years of 100% dedication to developing a complete end-to-end hire to retire HRMS software. Additionally, technology keeps changing so rapidly that keeping up with market trends and keeping our clients satisfied in a cut-throat market like India is possible only for long-term deep-pocketed players. We have 100s of competitors fold up, predominantly VC funded companies, as they want quick returns within five years. So we have kept a strategy of being profitable from day one and being self-funded and regularly adding functionalities. Today, as you can see on our website, there is a page called “Why HRMantra,” in which we have clearly articulated 250+ reasons to opt for HRMantra over any other such global player.

What does success mean to you? Do you have a personal success mantra?

Success means doing anything better today compared to how we were doing it yesterday. So when we add one more feature which a client wants, we feel good as it is nice to reduce the time they waste in doing HR processes. So our HRMantra software scope and depth have increased by 1000 times in 20 years! Give everything that the customer wants and thus become indispensable for them is our success mantra.

HR and Payroll Management Software are steadily on the rise. Do you think that the market will get saturated soon, or will there be a new league of more advanced HR software developed in the next few years?

Look at the smartphone-today it has become indispensable for all of us, but it is too long away from becoming saturated. Similarly, the HR & Payroll scope is increasing by the day, and when we keep on enhancing our product, we know that we are expanding our lead over others. BOT will add an exciting new chapter in advanced HR software, and we want to be light years ahead of others in that race. 

What new and exciting updates can we expect from HRMantra in the near future?

We have recently added multilingual features and voice capabilities in HRMantra. Our MiliBot is getting more and more trained every day, and we are integrating HRMantra with lots of 3rd party APIs. By mid-next year, we will also be adding sales & marketing modules and billing features in the HRMantra software.

Now that HRMantra has become a well-known name, what motivates you to keep aiming higher and staying ahead of the competition?

Till the 17th century, India was the no. 1 economy globally, comprising 30 to 40%. Before 2050, we are keen to see India regain that spot and become the world’s leading company.

One biggest lesson you learned during your illustrious career.

One must trust his intuition and keep going ahead in the direction of achieving it. We aim to have 1 in 10 employees worldwide as our user, and we will surely reach our stated goal.

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