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Kognoz: Startup that’s using tech to improve HR strategies

The management consulting firm uses behavioural science and technology to improve business, human resources, and people outcomes

Lokesh Nigam, co-founder, Kognoz
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Lokesh Nigam, co-founder, Kognoz

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Kognoz was crafted to maximise human potential and seeded with behavioural science, effective use of technology and leveraging human potential. It was conceptualised in a time when the dynamics of consulting started deviating from its essence, became superficial and inclined towards program management. Kognoz came into being with the intent to re-establish the use of science and deliver solutions based on deep understanding of work phenomenon

Kognoz is a management consulting organisation with a focus on improving business, human resources, and people outcomes. It enables behaviour science and research-based consulting, learning, and technology solutions for the business and workforce. Working in the space of business and people transformation, Kognoz promises maximisation of human potential. "We bring people with deep-tech knowledge and business systems expertise to our transformative consulting solutions that ensure the thorough execution of strategies," said Lokesh Nigam, co-founder of Kognoz, a startup on the path of making a big impact in research-driven approach in HR technology and applied behavioural science. In an exclusive interview to Bizz Buzz, Nigam said that his fascination towards human behaviour in various situations and environments drove him to start a new venture to try his entrepreneurial skills


How was Kognoz conceptualised and built? What was the inspiration behind the company’s establishment?

My fascination with human behaviour led me to explore behavioural science, providing me with a deeper understanding of how the human mind works and influences our actions. This skill set has allowed me to recognise patterns and comprehend interpersonal dynamics, enriching my problem-solving abilities. In retrospect, I have realised that consulting aligns naturally with my inherent problem-solving passion. Moreover, I have always had a strong entrepreneurial drive. This is how I got the inspiration of establishing Kognoz that embodies the culmination of my journey. The name itself encapsulates our essence – a fusion of knowledge, cognition, and technology.

Kognoz was crafted to maximise human potential and seeded with behavioural science, effective use of technology and leveraging human potential. It was conceptualised in a time when the dynamics of consulting started deviating from its essence, became superficial and inclined towards program management. Kognoz came into being with the intent to re-establish the use of science and deliver solutions based on deep understanding of work phenomenon.

Can you share an overview on Kognoz's performance, journey, current clients, and future expansion plans?

Kognoz’s growth journey started from its initial work in the consulting domain where it worked with the vision to assist its clients transforming people and businesses. It entered a new phase with the introduction of technology in the HR space and built partnerships with Darwinbox and Cornerstone as their consulting and implementation partners bringing and offering differentiated experience to life for its clients. And now, Kognoz is entering the product domain which is a conversational intelligence tool that enables companies to hire quicker, better and simpler. Our AI conversation intelligence tool will accelerate the talent acquisition process, automating the interview hiring experience.

In terms of statistics, Kognoz gets its 50 per cent revenue from consulting division in international markets and 50 per cent from the technology domain. Now, the company is looking forward to achieving 80 per cent from its upcoming new products division. In the space of consulting, we are delving deep into behavioural science studies and consulting and paving the way forward to strengthening ourselves as the Human Capital Management (HCM) technology partners.

What is the USP that sets Kognoz apart from its competitors, showcasing the company's unique strengths and advantages in the market?

Kognoz’s unique selling proposition (USP) centers around its research-driven approach in HR technology and applied behavioural science. We leverage a network of spokespersons, host exclusive roundtable events, conduct research studies, and target previously untapped professional segments to set themselves apart from its competitors. This combination of expertise, exclusivity, and commitment to improving employee experiences distinguishes Kognoz in the market. Apart from this what makes Kognoz unique from its competitors is our strength which lies in synthesising ideas to deeply understand client situations.

We seamlessly blend consulting, behavioural science, and technology for sharp insights driving well-informed decisions. By integrating behavioural science insights into functions like HR and marketing, our in-house tech resolves operational complexities, especially in hiring. Our tech, rooted in behavioural science, empowers clients with elegant solutions and meticulously researched knowledge, ensuring unwavering confidence in their decisions.

Is bot driven interview the new trend? Please share your view on it...

In a world where technology is continually reshaping the job market, a notable shift in unfolding-AI-powered interviews is gaining prominence. According to a recent study by Resume Builder, approximately 43 per cent of recruiters intend to employ AI for job interviews by 2024. This paradigm shift introduces new obstacles and opportunities for job searchers who want to impress both humans and algorithms.

As AI's influence grows, the incorporation of AI in job interviews is quickly becoming a reality. Job searchers must adjust to the changing environment and must use AI to enhance their applications while sharpening their interview abilities. The confluence of humans and artificial intelligence in the employment process provides a fascinating insight into the future of recruitment. Candidates must strike a balance between impressing algorithms and engaging with the human decision-makers behind them in this situation.

What are the main challenges you foresee with technological advancement in the HR landscape? As per your understanding what are the solutions for it?

The field of HR technology has advanced significantly during the past several years. Thanks to technological automation, procedures that were once laborious and manual are now simpler than ever. Despite this development, HR tech tools still have limitations and difficulties, much like all tech products.

How can you overcome bias in AI and privacy and threats posed to data security?

AI-driven HR tools may inherit biases leading to discriminatory decisions. Kognoz and BIOSS offerings for assessments, consulting, and leadership development, play a crucial role here to overcome this challenge. It enhances employee engagement and within the organisation, creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment. This can help mitigate bias concerns by fostering a supportive atmosphere where individuals from diverse backgrounds can excel.

Coming to privacy and data security, HR technology collects sensitive data, raising concerns about privacy and security. Implementing robust data encryption, accessing controls, and compliance with data protections like GDRP can help in overcoming this issue. Kognoz’s immerse tool, which is a research-based survey tool can contribute to addressing this challenge. It helps organisations understand the nuances of their work environment without compromising privacy. By focusing on climate rather than individual data, it offers insights into workplace dynamics while respecting privacy and security.

What about employee resistance emerging as a new problem?

Employees may resist technology changes due to job displacement fears. Providing education and training on the new processes or technologies can help employees in overcoming the fear of job displacement. Learning@work, which is an initiative by Kognoz offers on-the-go learning, aligning technology integration with employees’ needs.

HR professionals need new skills to manage HR technology effectively. One of the major reasons for the skill gap is advancement in technology. Learning@work, which is a learning ecosystem that stemmed from the need and criticality of faster skill development in organisations for business success, which helps employees in a speedier path to mastery of critical skill focus areas and prioritizes the importance of social learning, where learners can engage in peer-to-peer learning, knowledge sharing, and collaborative problem-solving.

What are the ethical concerns?

Use of AI and data analytics raise ethical questions about employee surveillance. Immerse ensures ethical employee sentiment assessment. BIOSS empowers confident decision-making by creating effective talent pipelines and addressing ethical issues related to talent.

Santosh Patnaik
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