We talked to Himanshu Narula, CEO of Empfly, about managing travel and expense of employees, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Himanshu Narula: Frankly speaking, it was challenging and, at the same time, interesting. Interesting because I got more time to spend with my newborn baby and family. Challenging because I had to survive like most of us who were not prepared for any disastrous situation like this. For me, I could either yell at the situation or fight it back by remodeling my business plan as someone very rightly said, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Empfly.
Himanshu Narula: After B.tech, I got a chance to work for companies like J K Group and Mahindra & Mahindra in the sales & marketing division. While working for these companies, I was in touch with my school friend Basudha (who is my cofounder &, fortunately, my wife now). We always had a zeal to do something other than what we were doing (what we call a normal life). We brainstormed and identified a few use cases which if streamlined for companies, would solve many problems, which is very challenging for the companies as well as employees. Due to lack of technology, employees were wasting their productive time on unproductive tasks, and employers were not able to regulate the data & the process.
How does Empfly innovate?
Himanshu Narula: We create products based on real use cases & the feedback from corporates and collating it with company standards across the globe so that we always provide the best solution in the domain we choose. All our products- Empfly TEMS (Travel & Expense Management System) & Empfly Identity & Access Management (IAM), & EMPLock have all the state-of-the-art functionality which can be used cross-function & cross-companies.
Tell us more about Empfly products?
Himanshu Narula: Empfly TEMS not only automates the travel management lifecycle but also offers a travel marketplace with customized implementation of approval and escalation matrix, budget policy for any expense incurred for any both travel and non-travel activities of employees. We have a Fuel management system which is a great tool for Sales employees. There is End-to-end accuracy, transparency and control, which prevents spend leakages.
Empfly IAM is a AI-powered Facial Recognition system for access control, and attendance makes it completely touchless and transparent to manage. You can build a stunning workplace for you, your employees, visitors & stakeholders.
EMPLock is a comprehensive app created for salesforce. Salesforce is the backbone for any product-based company and monitoring that salesforce has always been the biggest challenge. EMPLock ensures tracking the field employees and their productivity with accuracy.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Himanshu Narula: Our Product is to manage travel and expense of employees, COVID-19 stopped everyone at a place, and hence nobody was traveling. Our business got a big hit; initially, we were very clear that we needed to ensure all our employees, families, people around us must stay safe and healthy. We helped multiple people personally within the organization and outside the organization to ensure we give back to the society. Later we decided to pivot, and we created Empfly IAM and EMPLock, where we are offering Artificial Intelligence-based touchless identity management for both employees and visitors. Also, location tracking of field staff with location lock option clubbed with face recognition software and expense management software. The complete product suite is especially designed for FAMS (Finance & Admin Management System).
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Himanshu Narula: Indeed, COVID-19 has made all of us strong and made us realize that there is a supreme power above and you have no control over things, you can only do what is in your hands, and yes, we followed it rigorously. We were very much convinced that our employees are our family too, and hence we will not let any employee leave our organization due to no business. We made tough decisions by cutting paychecks due to lack of funds, but each and every employee is happy with that, as they knew the condition.
Employees are the biggest asset of any organization.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Himanshu Narula: We are competing against SAP Concur, Zoho, IBM, ADP, to name a few. We produce innovation at doorsteps; standardized global solutions to personalize customer’s needs. We make what most customers want and create a SaaS model so that it’s pocket-friendly and that too in a managed service package.
Your final thoughts?
Himanshu Narula: Have faith in yourself, help everyone you see, you know. Do good and keep working hard & be agile. Do whatever you want to do, and sooner or later, you will love doing it.
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