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MeritTrac Services was the only company to be recognised by the NASSCOM Innovation Awards this year for an input innovation in the IT industry. So, what is an input innovation, and what has the company achieved? Read on for the views of Madan Padaki, co-founder and CEO, MeritTrac Services.
How important is innovation in a tech firm like yours, and how do you keep up the vibes of innovation in your organisation?
MeritTrac is a technology-driven firm, which is a leader in the space of skills assessment in India. Talent acquisition and management today are a complicated process requiring rigorous tools and standardised operations to help engage with the right talent. MeritTrac helps companies across domains like IT/ITES, retail, BFSI (banking and financial services industry), manufacturing, etc, to optimise their talent eco-system by delivering skills assessment tools in terms of tests to identify and hone competencies across the organisation. MeritTrac's assessment suite covers over 300 areas--from abilities, technology and domains, to functional skills and psychometrics. The envelope is constantly being pushed by MeritTrac, to introduce meaningful innovations in the field of testing and delivery in India.
Innovation is at the core of all the functions at the company. The agenda is set right at the top, and permeates through the organisation. The criticality of innovation and application of technology is necessitated due to the dynamics in the assessment market. The sheer numbers being assessed by MeritTrac means clients require constantly-evolving testing frameworks, which requires a dedicated team within MeritTrac to be created. The second part is delivery, which is also undergoing a radical change with the increasing importance of testing online, which again requires a constant focus on technological innovation. MeritTrac has dedicated teams, implementing innovations with the thought process, driven by me personally, with an eye on the future. On an informal note, we also gather regular inputs from employees through competitions and other HR activities like breakfast with the senior management, etc.
We think all the categories share importance on an equal footing, and innovation in any field definitely creates a positive impact on a company's performance-enhancing value. One cannot have a hierarchy of importance to categorise which field is more valuable. As far as input innovation is concerned, it recognises innovations in terms of capital, talent, or technology that are brought into the firm to accrue efficiencies and create a business advantage.
The advantage with an input innovation can be felt in optimising processes while gaining enhanced efficiencies for the same activities. While it would normally cost us 'x' in expenses and 'y' in terms of resources for delivering services, with this innovation the costs come down drastically to about (these are not exact figures) 80 per cent x and 80 per cent y. Now these savings can be passed onto clients, and used to compete aggressively in the market. So it also involves demonstrating to the market that embracing a new process can be productive. Overall, it also tells employees within that there is a better way of doing things--which is always good for the organisation.