Startup ‘In Diverse Company’ Aims To Create A Human Connection In A Virtual World

In Diverse Company is a tech start-up that enables human connection in a virtual world. Through its technology, data science and human expertise, people can engage, connect and develop inclusive behaviours in the workplace – 24/7, on any device, anywhere in the world.

With more organisations undertaking digital transformation and working through unprecedented times, leaders are facing new challenges when it comes to employee engagement and learning. In Diverse Company is working with a range of organisations, across different sectors, such as Tech Mahindra, Goldman Sachs and Boots.

The platform using AI to develop behaviour programmes bespoke to organisations that help build and form individual, team and executive-level habits that drive inclusive cultures.

Gairika Mitra gets more details in an e-interaction with Johanna Beresford, CEO at In Diverse Company. Edited excerpts:

How do you think is the sector going to upsurge in the near future?

Traditionally, Learning Management Solutions and many forms of HR technology were designed solely to keep records of employees who had undergone training. In the last 18 months, there’s been a surge in Learning Experience Platforms, which focuses on skills-based training, such as finance or communications. However, the workforce is changing, and employee engagement and experience is now vital for any business, so there’s a greater focus on the user experience, self-service and applications of HR tech. Also, I predict that it’s likely that we’ll see small companies offering learning platforms being acquired by larger players who also see the potential in the sector. Generally, we’ll see an increase in technology adoption across many areas of HR, whether that’s recruitment, application systems, managing the candidate experience, or tracking representation and demographic, to ultimately improve the employee experience. 

What is the exclusiveness of your startup, that’s unique from other gigantic players in the market?

In Diverse Company is the only diversity and inclusion firm enabling human connection in a virtual world. With more and more organisations undertaking digital transformation and working through unprecedented times, leaders are facing new challenges when it comes to employee engagement and learning.

We’re the only tech startup using psychology and technology to encourage difference and to enable inclusive cultures and behavioural change. We also have a dedicated in-house, international academics, psychologists, majority-female coding team, analysts and scientists, providing businesses with access to tailored recommendations that move the culture, behaviours and habits through team learning to a more inclusive environment. Learning is broken down into different elements across different media (research articles, podcasts, videos, etc.). It covers several skills as well as behaviours, allowing every single employee to reap the benefits from online and face-to-face learning and engagement programmes from any device, 24/7. 

Additionally, being a smaller firm allows us to be nimble enough respond to the market and clients quickly, whether that’s demos, feedback, and fixing or changing functionalities. This allows us to be sure that we’re meeting needs and that the platform, Include LXP, is remains innovative and one step ahead. 

What is the latest mode of technology that you are catering to?

The engineering team is passionate about technology and are always investigating new solutions. The team flattens decision making on core technologies rather than modelling technology choice from the principle architect, which allows us to adopt the best and latest technologies into our stack. 

For example, our user interface is built using React-JS, which allows our design community to create intuitive user experiences. Also, Include LXP is a fully containerised stateless Micro-Services deployed into cloud which enables us to be flexible, scalable and future-proof. Our full technology stack is employed by Netflix, Dropbox, Instagram and Airbnb, which means we are also set to grow. 

How important do you think is it for people to rely on technology? Are there any major follies per se?

Reliance on technology must be balanced, as with anything, there are pros and cons. India has a vast population and technology has enabled communication across the country. Especially now, as we’re living through unprecedented times, this is crucial. Many are working from home, and the majority of people used desktops in the workplace, which has led to a large number of businesses having to adopt digital transformation over a very short space of time.

Therefore, turning to mobile-first technology is vital for businesses to make sure that employees remain engaged and supported whatever the circumstance. Our platform, Include LXP, enables that as it helps to drive the right behaviour change, learning and teamwork wherever you are, on any device, 24/7.

Coming to the financial perspective, are you a bootstrapped venture? If not, kindly elucidate on the nature and amount of funding raised.

It’s not news that there’s a lack of investment in female-founded businesses and there is a broader issue of the complexities navigating through that. I’m in a fortunate position where I have personally invested in the business and have backing from other investors. This has put us in a fortunate and healthy position to scale, recruit and open new offices across the world.

What are your immediate and longterm milestones like?

Immediately, we want to open offices in Bangalore and Singapore, onboard new clients and partners across key regions – which incudes India – we’re currently working with Tech Mahindra, which is very exciting. We’re having positive conversations witch tech, finance and consumer good companies who are committed to diversity and inclusion, so we’re looking forward to what’s to come in the next six months.

Our long-term goal is to enable a human connection in a virtual world. Previously, I was working as a senior human resources professional and talent and learning director and became frustrated with diversity and inclusion policies being implemented in businesses. In essence, it wasn’t going far enough and provided little to no return on investment. Launching In Diverse Company is a way to change this and ultimately, improve the way we engage and learn at work.

Lastly, any word of advice for the wannapreneurs?

Build a sustainable business by building something you’re passionate about, as when you become busy or come across challenges such as late nights, balancing work and children, the passion you have will motivate to push on. Also, when it comes to recruitment, hire those who share the same passion and want to make a change. 

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