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Qandle is a young startup focused on re-engineering HR Technology from employees’ perspectives. Founded by Chayan Mukhopadhyay and Himanshu Aggarwal in 2016, Qandle aims to build connected, engaged, and empowered workplaces. It has launched an all-in-one cloud-based HR software solution that impacts the entire employee lifecycle from hire to retire and makes each step smooth and hassle-free.
Qandle - Company Highlights
- Startup Name-Qandle
- Founders-Chayan Mukhopadhyay (CEO), Himanshu Aggarwal (CTO)
- Industry-HR Tech
- Total Funding-1.2 Mn (Pre-seed)
- Team Size- 40 Employees
Qandle - About and Vision
All-In-One HR Platform - founded in 2016, is a young startup focused on re-engineering HR Technology from employees’ perspectives. The brand provides HR Tech solutions that ease the way HR departments operate in companies. It has created an array of different tech-based solutions to fill in the gaps in the usual HR operations.
The company’s vision is to build connected, engaged, and empowered workplaces. In the short term, the brand plans to continue growing sustainably and profitably, while in the long run, the startup aims at being a leading HR tech solution across the globe. The brand believes that with the right employee experience-focused technology implementation, there can be a sea-size transformation in the way the HR industry operates in India.
Qandle - HR Tech Industry Details
According to many credible industry reports such as People Matters, Bersin, IDC, etc. the size of the HR tech industry varies between $50-100Bn. It is growing at 10% CAGR.
Qandle - Founders and Team
Chayan Mukhopadhyay (CEO) and Himanshu Aggarwal (CTO) are the founders of Qandle.
Qandle Founders and Owners
(L-R) Himanshu Aggarwal, Chayan Mukhopadhyay - Qandle Founders
When Chayan met Himanshu, who was proficient with tech, and discussed the idea, he already felt convinced. Himanshu himself had the same experience in terms of clunky HR tools at the organization. He was confident that this idea can be very successfully implemented through refined tech skills.
Chayan Mukhopadhyay | Co-founder & CEO, Qandle
Chayan is an MBA graduate from IIM Bangalore (2009-11). Before that, he completed his B.Tech in ECE from IEM (Institute of Engineering and Management, Kolkata). Chayan started his career in 2011, with American Express as Associate Manager. After working for 2 yrs with Amex, next Chayan switched to Jabong as Senior Manager- Operations. He gained good experience and rose to the designation of Deputy General Manager and Head - Marketplace Operations in 2015. He wanted to start building something of his own. That is when he started Perkkx, followed by Qandle, which is his HR Tech venture along with Himanshu.
Himanshu Aggarwal | Co-founder & CTO, Qandle
Himanshu is an alumnus of IIT Roorkee. He completed his Engineering in 2007 and started his career as a Software Engineer with Techkriti. After working there for 2 years, he had 2 years stints each with Ibibo Group and Naukri.com as well. Then he joined the founding team of a US-based Foodtech startup Munchado and worked there for about 4 years. He is a cybersecurity expert and has been a tech consultant to multiple growing companies including Shopclues and Askmebazaar. He started Qandle along with Chayan in 2016.
On paper, Chayan looks at the business and the product side of things while Himanshu looks at the Tech side, but in reality, Chayan and Himanshu discuss everything and they both jointly look at all aspects of the business.
The current company size is about 40 employees. The team is intentionally kept lean. Work culture is - Get the work done. Qandle hires for just 3 things - attitude, ability, and willingness to learn.
Qandle History - How it started?
The idea was first conceived by Chayan. At his previous workplaces, he had experienced the challenge of working on clunky software solutions for different aspects of HR such as leave and attendance, performance, recruitment, reimbursements, etc. While he was working with American Express, it would take him over 30 minutes to submit his mobile bills. However, what struck him most was that organizations had to conduct training sessions for employees on how to use HR tools, which implied that the tools were not very user-friendly. Next, when Chayan worked with more companies, his experience with these tools was no different.
What further highlighted the lack of a perfect solution was that at least one of these tools would change every 6 months, and since these tools didn’t speak to each other, it would cause a lot of issues.
However, this alone was not the launchpad for Qandle. When Chayan first entered into entrepreneurship, he launched an employee benefits platform- Perkkx. However, when he met HRs to pitch it, he figured the true pain point - an end-to-end HR tool. They wanted to know if Perkkx could provide an HR tool that worked seamlessly. That is when Chayan saw the gap and decided to address the same by launching Qandle.
To explore the model Chayan and Himanshu connected serendipitously. Himanshu had been a techie all throughout his career. They discussed the idea with each other, realized they had complementary skills and decided to launch Qandle together.
Qandle - Product/Service
Qandle leverages different technologies for various solutions depending on the relevant, expected impact, and affordability for the client. It has launched an all-in-one cloud-based HR software solution that impacts the entire employee lifecycle from hire to retire and makes each step smooth and hassle-free.
Qandle - Name, Tagline and Logo
The name is a play of letters on Candle. It signifies how we aim to spread light around us by enlightening companies about how to manage, engage, and empower their most valuable asset - employees.
Qandle's logo looks like a magnifying glass, it is also a play on the letter Q, as the team named themselves Qandle because they didn’t get the domain candle.com. The logo signifies how companies need to look and listen closely to their employees in order to grow and win in the marketplace.
Qandle Logo and Tagline
The tagline - Smart HR for the Modern Workplace, signifies what Qandle stands for. Qandle wants to work with companies that care about their employees, organizations that want to create connected, engaged and empowered workplaces.
Qandle - Business Model and Revenue Model
Qandle follows a classic SaaS (Software as a Service) model where they charge the customers a subscription fee per employee per month. The amount depends on the modules subscribed, the number of employees, and the frequency of payment chosen (discounts are offered for quarterly or annual advance payments as opposed to monthly advance payments).
Qandle - Startup Launch
"We used our network and cold emails to get the first 20 customers. The journey of 20 to 100 was easy, as we ensured the initial 20 customers were happy, and then they recommended others" Says Chayan Mukhopadhyay, Co-founder & CEO, Qandle.
There are no growth hacks that work for the long term, except being customer-focused and ensuring customers are happy. That is the only thing Qandle does.
Qandle - Marketing Strategy
Qandle's most successful campaign has been ‘word of mouth’. When happy customers recommend others, they purchase the solution without the company having to do much work. As mentioned earlier, keeping current customers happy and satisfied is Qandle's only growth strategy.
Qandle - Growth
Qandle has been cash neutral since March 2020. It operates primarily in India, all across the country.
Notable clients of Qandle - Spinny, Quality Council of India, Shadowfax, Vidyamandir Classes among others.
Qandle - Funding and Investors
Qandle has raised total funding of USD $1.2 Mn to date.
Qandle - Advisors and Mentors
Multiple people including Arun Chandramohan (Ex MD and Founder of Jabong.com). We are part of 2 accelerators as well - Village Capital Future of Work India and Newchip.
Qandle - Competitors
"Our biggest competitor is paper and spreadsheet as most companies in India are using those, and these are error-prone, inefficient, difficult to archive and require a lot of manpower. Other companies who are trying to solve the same problem as we are, and who we admire are Darwinbox and SAP Successfactors" Chayan added.
Tools used by Qandle to run the startup
Its own software - Qandle, Google Workspace, and Whatsapp
Qandle - Awards and Achievements
Biggest achievement - being able to grow profitably since March 2020, i.e. when the pandemic struck. Managing cash flow is crucial for the survival of any company, and the team is proud that they have been able to do that so far.
Software Suggest Recognition awards 2021 in 5 categories:
1. Best support
2. Best value
3. Easiest to do business with
4. Fastest implementation
5. Best software
Software Suggest Recognition awards 2020 in 2 categories:
1. Most popular
2. Customers’ choice
Software Suggest Recognition awards 2019 in 2 categories:
1. Best usability
2. Highest quality
1. Top payroll software
2. Top HR software
Financesonline awards 2018 in 2 categories:
1. Great user experience
2. Rising star
CIO awards in 2 categories:
1. 10 most recommended employee management software solution providers 2019
2. 20 most promising HRMS solution providers 2018
Qandle - Future Plans
Qandle's aim is to expand the number of clients they serve and make its solution even more intuitive and configurable.
Qandle - FAQs
What is Qandle?
Qandle is a startup focused on re-engineering HR Technology from employees’ perspectives. The brand provides HR Tech solutions that ease the way HR departments operate in companies.
Who founded Qandle?
Chayan Mukhopadhyay (CEO) and Himanshu Aggarwal (CTO) are the founders of Qandle.
Is Qandle an Indian Company?
Yes. Qandle is an Indian company headquartered in Gurugram.
How does Qandle make money?
Qandle follows a classic SaaS (Software as a Service) model where they charge the customers a subscription fee per employee per month.
Who are Qandle's Investors?
Arun Chandramohan and Redwood Internet Ventures led the Pre-seed funding round of Qandle for USD $1.2 Mn.
What is the tagline of Qandle?
Qandle's tagline is - " Smart HR for the Modern Workplace"