Aspiring Minds: Empowering People to Succeed by fostering a Positive Environment

 Himanshu Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO,   Varun Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CTO

Himanshu Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO

Aspiring Minds has successfully built an organizational culture that fosters employee growth through a politics free environment, radiating a supportive, secure vibe and immense scope to learn & grow. At Aspiring Minds, individuals are given the opportunity to take ownership of their work and the autonomy to devise various strategic initiatives & implement them. The flexible and supportive environment provides its employees the leeway to think and work in their own way. The best part is that managers & peers do their best to help them succeed in their endeavours. Add to this, an opportunity to build, develop and evangelize high technology products matching global standards! Aspiring Minds has been building workclass Artificial Intelligence products for more than eight years and has provided immense opportunities to talented individuals to make exciting innovations without any form of inhibition.

“Our people learn a huge amount on the job and continuously grow to take-up new responsibilities. They find great satisfaction in the work they do and don’t feel the need to pull-down others to move forward,” says Varun Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CTO, Aspiring Minds.

Aspiring Minds conducts assessments for 900+ job profiles at optimised time and costs. Its clients include 100 of the Fortune 500 companies. The company aims to level the playing field and enable the right people to get the right opportunity, thereby creating a significant impact on people’s lives and make the overall economy efficient. “Our people not just dabble with cutting-edge technologies, but work on something meaningful, solve real problems of skills & jobs, and develop globally competitive products. It’s the driving force for all of us,” remarks Varun. The company’s well-developed R&D program that comprises of young talented minds mentored by our Board of Advisors and senior management who are alumni from MIT, IIT, IIM and Harvard, and specializing in Machine Learning and Psychometrics Assessment, and provides the employees exciting opportunities for work and growth.

A Non-Hierarchical Culture with an Open-Door policy
Aspiring Minds values quick learners with innovative thinking and not just go by their experience or brand of the company/college they come from. It rather let the individuals demonstrate their ability by taking tests and through in-depth interviews. The company values talent and deploys them on live projects right from the beginning. To begin with, new recruits are placed on projects with simpler engagement and a mentor to help them out. Individuals have the opportunity to prove themselves right from day-1. As the new hires progress, they are given increasingly complex tasks. The company provides continuous feedback to its employees, based on which they go through training programs imparted via internal & external facilitators and online courses.

Aspiring Minds has a non hierarchical structure, which allows the knowledge to percolate naturally through all the levels. Its open door policy allows employees to reach out to the seniors across verticals and departments whenever they feel they need guidance. The boundaries are fairly fluid and one would often find a new recruit or a fresher working with senior management on a new
initiative or a strategic project. Aspiring Minds’leadership team possesses a great mix of technology & business development expertise. They not only address their people via quarterly town hall meetings and give a forum to ask questions, but also make themselves accessible for employees via email or chat.

A Women Friendly Environment
While its automated assessment process leaves no space for gender bias, the firm regularly conducts workshops to train its managers & HR to further nullify any chances for the same. Manifesting this is the significantly higher number of female managers at Aspiring Minds, who remain accessible for its women employees to frankly discuss about any of their problems. Furthermore, the company also proactively performs biannual surveys to understand its female employees’ problems and address them to create a convenient environment for them. Aspiring Minds facilitates women who are returning from maternity leave to ease-back into work comfortably by providing them with great flexibility.

"We’re sharpening our hiring time& process to be smarter, crisper and decisive"

While Aspiring Minds doesn’t ask women to work late, it ensures their safety by providing cab facility for them if they decide to stay back due to some work eventuality. This explains why the tenure of female employees is quite high at the company, where in a few have been associated with the company for over nine years. “We want the women in our organization to succeed. Our success depends on them. We strive to do everything we can to ensure that. Not just women, if any of our people had a health issue or financial problem, Aspiring Minds is there for them,” avows Varun.

Flexible yet Performance Centric
Albeit Aspiring Minds has a work centric & customer centric philosophy that lays emphasis on work delivery, it doesn’t cage in people with rigid work hours. While it permits them to work from home and at flexible hours, the positive, supportive and exciting work environment at office motivates its people to want to come to office each day. Aspiring Minds also has plethora of employee engagement activities, where in it celebrates all festivals & occasions, and organizes team building activities, quizzes, games and movie screening. The annual party and Sports Day are the favourite among employees.

A performance centric organization, people at Aspiring Minds understand that doing one’s work well and delivering to challenging situations, is routine. Aspiring Minds vests keen importance on career planning during the annual appraisal cycle, where the discussion mainly revolves around the new responsibilities one is willing to take and value one can add to one self & the organization in order to grow as a professional. This draws us back to the rationale behind the company’s less than two percent annual attrition rate at the mid & senior levels. The scope for growth has gotten even wider with Aspiring Minds spreading globally over the past two years, which keeps its people on their toes. To further equip them, Aspiring Minds has recently initiated training programs on leadership, team management, effective communication, delegation and others.

Having already built a competent senior & midlevel management, Aspiring Minds aims to enhance those layers in India, U.S. and China to support multiple geographies & products. Recently, the firm has made senior level hiring in its U.S. office. “We’re sharpening our hiring time & process to be smarter, crisper and decisive. This is being supplemented with continuous feedback through surveys, review and improvement in people policies. The key is to bring aboard people who enjoy working on new
challenging tasks and latest technologies and helping them deliver big,”signs off Varun.

Key Management
Himanshu Aggarwal, Co Founder & CEO
Himanshu directs Aspiring Minds’ business strategy and management. Prior to Aspiring Minds, he founded one of India's leading personal finance portals. For nearly five years, Himanshu provided research and development expertise to Network Appliance Inc., a leader in network attached storage devices. He is an IIT-Delhi alumnus and holds eight U.S. patents from his work at Network Appliances.

Varun Aggarwal, Co-Founder& CTO
Varun is an entrepreneur, researcher and author. After completing his B.Tech from NSIT, India, he earned his MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He co-founded Aspiring Minds in 2008 to drive meritocracy in labor markets. Varun heads research at Aspiring Minds. He has authored over 30 research papers and his works have led to the world’s first machine learning-based assessment of coding skills and world’s first automated motor skills assessment. In conjunction with colleagues, he runs ML India to build India’s AI ecosystem. His debut book ‘Leading Science and Technology: India Next?’ has been critically acclaimed by the industry and academia.

Professor Tarun Khanna, Board Advisor
He is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School, where he has studied and worked with multinational & indigenous companies and investors in emerging markets worldwide.

Jatin Sharma Senior VP-Strategic Initiatives
Jatin handles key strategic initiatives at Aspiring Minds involving scaling-up in global markets. He holds Masters and Bachelors in Computer Science & Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

Manuj Sethi, Senior VP-Client Engagement
Manuj focuses on Corporate Client Engagement and business intelligence at Aspiring. Prior to this, Manuj has had a stellar career as a technologist at Mindtree and has been part of sales and business development at leading MNCs.

Sushant Dwivedy, Senior VP-Client Solutions
Sushant heads the Enterprise Business at Aspiring Minds India. He has over twenty-five years experience in the Indian IT industry, having worked in hardware, software, networking and managed services business for companies.

Gurgaon, India (headquarter), San Jose (U.S.), Beijing (China), Manila (Philippines) and Abu Dhabi (UAE).

Blending the power of Artificial Intelligence(AI) with the science of psychometrics, Aspiring Minds optimizes hiring process for companies. Their comprehensive portfolio of assessment and interview solutions measure cognitive abilities, language proficiency, personality traits and functional skills, and allows corporations to select for 100s of different job roles. Aspiring Minds'talent assessments and video interviewing solutions are used across industries such as technology, BPO/RPOs, BFSI, retail, banking, manufacturing, automotive, and life sciences and are administered to over five million candidates annually in 3,000+ organizations globally.