Advantage Club is a global platform for employee engagement and financial wellness, with benefits like perks, rewards, and early wage access on a single platform. Their focus is to redefine employee engagement beyond the pay and perks.
Numerous studies have proved that there are many factors that influence employees to stay back in an organization for a longer period of time. With increased competition in the market, it has become more important to keep the employees engaged and driven.
They felt the need for one-stop solution and hence the inception of Advantage Club. It has now grown into a platform through which corporates can engage more meaningfully with their employees, while brands can easily reach out to the customer segment of their choice.
We are publishing an interview with Mr. Sourabh Deorah (Co-founder and CEO) & Ms. Smiti Deorah (CO-Founder & COO):
Q.: Please tell us about the founders
Ans: Established in 2016, Advantage Club is a brainchild of UCLA postgraduates Sourabh Deorah and Smiti Bhatt Deorah who identified employee benefits as a space to create disruption using data mining and analytics.
Sourabh is the Co-founder & CEO of Advantage Club and is responsible for the strategic direction, product development, and overall business success. Smiti is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Advantage Club. In her current role, she oversees various functions, including business development, marketing, customer relations, and content operations.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles – How you see them evolving over time. What would be each of their Skill Sets? – Elaborate also if any of the team members has specific domain expertise.
Sourabh Deorah is the Co-founder & CEO of Advantage Club and in his current capacity, he is responsible for the strategic direction, product development, and overall business success. Advantage Club is redefining the employee engagement world with Sourabh’s unique experience in generating 1.0 scalable product ideas and running large teams. It has evolved into a trusted platform via which businesses can engage with their clients/employees more meaningfully, and marketers can quickly reach out to the customer group of their choice. His strong belief in innovation and implementation has garnered Advantage Club a strong reputation in the industry.
Smiti Bhatt Deorah is the Co-founder & COO of Advantage Club and in her current role, she oversees various functions, including business development, marketing, customer relations and content operations. Smiti envisions Advantage Club to disrupt the traditional employee experience and engagement industry. She firmly believes that corporations need to engage with their employees beyond the provident fund & corporate discount schemes extensively. Under her leadership, Advantage Club revolutionizes employee engagement and the client relationship market. It has grown into a platform through which corporates can engage more meaningfully with their clients, while brands can easily reach out to the customer segment of their choice.
Raj Tanwar is the Chief Strategy Officer & HR Head at Advantage Club and with more than two decades of experience and expertise in HR in varied industries across geographies, he is helping the company in its mission to make employee engagement easy and beneficial for both employees and employers. As part of the Leadership team, he is responsible for the brand’s overall strategy and guiding its expansion and operations.Raj Tanwar is a recognised HR professional known for his deep expertise in HR operations and strategy. He formerly headed Concentrix’s global digital talent strategy, encompassing 40 countries. In his current role with Advantage Club, Tanwar is managing growth and expansion of Advantage Club both across product and geographies.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. How did you get your first customer? Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Advantage Club offers solutions under six categories – rewards & recognition, sales contests & automated incentives, early wage advantage, perks, advantage cards & communities.Each solution can be further customised based on the client’s (company’s) requirements.
Under Perks, Rewards, Recognition, we offer point redemption, exclusive discounts to the Advantage Club user, rewards like recognition, appreciation, work anniversary, etc, and can avail/ redeem points from various B2C platforms. Different e-certificates can be also given to the employees for special appreciation/ recognition. Early wage access can provide payroll integrated loans at zero rates. Multi wallet tax-saving card includes visa card for meals, fuel, LTA, uniforms, phones, etc. It also offers fun zones like single/multiplayer games along with hobby clubs.
Q.: What is your USP? * What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: Advantage Club takes pride in providing a scalable, customisable, cost-effective program to take employee engagement to the next level. We are providing end-to-end solutions for HR Tech employee engagement powered by technology. It is one single platform that brings a wide variety of recognition programs including milestone/anniversary/years-of-service awards, early wage advantage, real-time spot bonus, automated incentives, peer-to-peer appreciation, onboarding programs, wellness programs, quarterly & annual performance awards, gift card program, exclusive offers across 10,000+ brands, etc., to name a few.
Advantage club has evolved with time to keep up the pace with changing employees’ needs and wants. The platform has become India’s largest employee engagement platform by providing services to 370+ corporates in such a short span of time including Lafarge, PNB MetLife, Delhivery, and many more. With a plethora of alternatives, our partner organizations can arrive at a model that works best for them.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: Every company would want to engage their employees and specially people driven businesses would have high demand for the same. A lot of our clients fits this hypothesis including Concentrix, Teleperformance, Hexaware, Mindtree etc
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: In the initial years we used to believe that we can do everything ourselves and realized that won’t work at scale. Hence right now we are a 110+ strong team at Advantage Club and soon it is going to be 200+.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: We charge nominal fees from corporate partners for our product. Idea is to keep the solution very cost effective for driving the scale.The value that we add to the corporate is at least 20x of what we charge.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: We have raised funds from Y Combinator, Growx Ventures, Axilor Ventures and others. They have all been very supportive and instrumental in AC’s growth.
Q.: Is there any interesting success story of your startup? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: When Covid hit in March 2020 we were in the middle of transition and everything seemed lost but we actually went from being live in 5 countries to 100 countries after 6 months in the pandemic . Ability of the team to maneuver quickly helped us scale 18x in the last 20 months.
Q. : Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in detail. (e.g., What is the current turnover? From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment etc.)
Ans: We are currently driving a 200+ Crores budget via the platform halfway in our $1m – $10m journey. We are growing 15% MoM and plan to get to $100m annualized revenue in 3-4 years.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how? Ans: We are on track to be a holistic platform for everything related to Employee engagement and employee experience
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them? Ans: We compete with many companies and at the same time we do not compete with anyone. We have a multi-product approach which is very unique to us. We believe organizations do not want to have different solutions for each of the engagement modules and they rather want to have a single platform for all their engagement initiatives.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: In the next 6 months we want to be live with 2.5million users and we are currently at 1.5million users. We also want to increase our revenue to 3x as we plan add multiple new initiatives to make employee’s work life more exciting and fun.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs? Ans: Startup journey is not a sprint but a marathon. Success will come your way if you are solving a real problem and are persistent enough.
Thank you. All the best!