Vijay Kalangi had an idea. A android or iOS game to analyse people’s ability to be good, bad or ugly in a work environment. When he pitched the idea few years back to few CEO’s of India’s top enterprise organizations, he was laughed at.
Today, the same people are his esteemed customers. Kalangi runs a Bangalore based startup called KNOLSKAPE. Originally headquartered in Singapore, the 120 member strong team creates games to asses employee’s cognitive abilities in a work environment.
The gamification platform throws up interesting anecdotes. For example, most managers in their 30’s or 40’s in India do not like firing employees who are under performing. This is apparently true for IT firms in India according to Kalangi.
Kalangi and a few others bootstrapped for 5 years. Their earlier journey involved them sitting in a room with not more than 4 people. It had the likes of psychologists and an app developer in Singapore wherein they would discuss various ways to make employee assessment better.
“Traditionally assessments are boring and serious. It’s like entering an exam hall with an invigilator. Our model allows employees to play games and then we analyse their problem solving skills through the games,” says Kalangi.
Apart from problem solving skills, the games look at cognitive abilities, interactivity, patience and even how people react differently to different genders. They also tweak the games according to different industries and requirements of companies.
In terms of privacy of data, Kalangi says that their data is encrypted and anonymised. The data sets of customer employees are not available even for their own employees. Only certain aspects of the data are made available to the teams which are working on the gamification aspect of it.
Kalangi and his team is now working with machine learning platforms to improve different aspects of the game and learn more about each individual. “We have millions of data sets on employee abilities and behavioral patterns and ML programs will help us understand how they think better.”