The future is to bring the “Human back” and we are doing it in present: HR Head Tone Tag

Fintech and retails solutions company Tone Tag has come a long way since it began in 2013. Headquartered in Bengaluru, the company today has reached over 50 million customers, and currently has a base of 3.1 lakh merchants. 

They are eyeing to reach a customer base of 100 million in the next quarter. The company offers contactless payments that could use sound waves to enable offline payments from one device to another. 

 In an interview with the Head HR Vinay Trivedi, ObserveNow tries to decipher what futuristic technologies the company is using to create a workplace of the future, and what is different about working for this start-up. Trivedi also sheds light on the HR tech he is using at Tone Tag, to redefine the HR department of the company. 


Edited excerpts from his interview:  


Q1. What makes ToneTag an ideal company to work for and how are you redefining your workplace for the future?


At Tone Tag, we make the “Right Sound” in creating a mindful work place to motivate our employees. We harness the power of sound for effortless and secure communication between devices which enables contactless proximity payments, market solutions and on-the-go mobility solutions. 


We not only transfer data over sound but also emotions and energy over sound. Few instances of using sound for motivating our employees - welcoming the first day of the new year 2019 with the Sound of “Morning Raga” played by one of our staff, Singing the national anthem once a week in full Josh and feeling the adrenaline rush within, experiencing the powerful inner voice through meditation at work being done once a week and Singing songs in official weekly morning meetings. We are not only redefining our work place culture for Future but we are also going to be “Trend Setter” for an ideal work place.


Q2 How is ToneTag India upgrading itself to staff the upcoming boom of millennial workforce?


While we create a soundful (read mindful) work place, we also work towards better employee health with initiatives like Yoga at work place 3 days a week. We also create employee-friendly policy’s like a paid time off for not only employee’s birthday but also for the birthday of their spouse or special moments like wedding anniversary. 


Flexi work time is not a matter of policy but way of life here at ToneTag. As a proud Indian Start-up, we encourage our people to come dressed in Indian ethnic attire to work once a week not limiting the same to festivals. Our induction is designed to Storyboard new joiners instead of onboarding them. 


We share inspiring stories about the organization instead of boring presentations. Soundwaves are the most natural form of communication on the planet, we use them as a medium to create a motivated workplace culture.  This not only attracts millennials but also inspires them to innovate at work place. 


Q3:Tell us about the new HR tech that you are using to shape your HR department in next coming years?


Being a technology company, core of our mind-set is to use technology effectively and efficiently. From social media tech (Effective utilization of platforms like LinkedIn etc.), to simple but effective use of HRMS system, we do a whole range on investment on the tools required. 


However, for us more than the technology (guess it’s very normal being a tech enabled company) we care for the “Human Element” in everything we do. Our belief is this generation will need a personal touch more than any other generation in the last 4 decades. The future is to bring the “Human back” and we are doing it in present.


Q4: What do you do to ensure the HR department's objectives are aligned with organization's strategic goals?


Objective alignment not just HR department’s but entire companies with the bigger vision is essential for us to catapult our growth journey. We follow 2 tier process, OKR for certain levels to align leader goals to department goal to company goals.


We also use individual KRA based goals at junior level. This two-tier goal setting gives us the flexibility to have a greater alignment also helps us in having relevant goals at relevant levels. I have seen in the past to have just one type of goals often limits capability of the company to sometimes make all goals relevant, thus leaving one or 2 goals as formality goals.


Q5: What are Tonetag India HR policies for securing the rights of LGBT at workplace? What has changed in the organisation since 377 decriminalisations? 


I think this whole section 377 piece is being overplayed by companies to earn brownie points. In fact, my belief is by giving more focus on this we are at risk of further alienating them. It is like the case of reservation, no one talks about it but everyone has a point of view. 


We are going through a change, but tell me did we not hire them in the past? Of course, we all did and we will continue to hire. The only policy that needs to be there is people do not judge, discriminate based on colour, caste, creed, gender, sexual orientation. As an organization, we have zero-tolerance policy in place for any form of discrimination. 


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