When Arjun Gupta returned home after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston University in 2011, he noticed a severe shortage of affordable skills development programs for Indian talent looking to upgrade their skills. Within a year, he launched Firstventure to bridge the knowledge gap between industry and academia. “Over time, we saw that there was a significant opportunity to provide the employees of the company with a rewarding experience. As a result, the company switched to Courseplay, a scalable, SaaS-based talent experience solution for enterprises. We wanted to provide enjoyable learning content, involve employees and also measure the impact of all these activities, ”explains Arjun Gupta, founder and CEO of Firstventure and creator of Courseplay.
A scalable talent development solution for companies
Courseplay’s AI-powered talent experience platform provides clients with intelligent insights and recommendations for better employee performance. Whether it’s enabling companies to develop their employees, simplify onboarding or improve workforce performance, Courseplay offers end-to-end solutions for training, engagement of employees, workflow automation and impact measurement.
“With the constant evolution of technology and market demands, professional roles are being redefined over time. This means that the skills required to perform a particular job must evolve at the same rate. This calls for companies to constantly train their employees to fill skills gaps that arise ”, emphasizes Arjun. From an employee experience and talent perspective, employees value work-life balance more than ever. This has intensified further with the workforce becoming dispersed, flexible and agile over the years. Arjun says these developments have presented a very clear opportunity for companies to automate learning and development and employee experience activities and thus provide a very clear story on the growth of every employee in the company. . The pandemic has once again reinstated the need to embrace automation in talent management.
“Some of the more successful companies not only pay attention to employee productivity checks, but also find out if their employees are really happy at work. With telecommuting at an all time high, it has become imperative for managers and businesses to make sure their teams have everything they need to get the job done. This might not be limited to resources in the form of software, tools and training, but also in the form of career guidance, counseling and motivation ”, explains Arjun. This is where a platform like Courseplay became relevant because it goes beyond simple learning. “We capture 360-degree data on each employee to provide a detailed picture of that employee’s professional growth in the company. By capturing data on performance, behaviors, coaching, mentoring, development plans, actions, etc., we are able to tap into all aspects of the employee’s learning journey, ”explains the founder.
The fact that Courseplay is used by brands across all industries, from SpiceJet to Mothercare to Emami, speaks volumes about the platform’s potential and relevance. With over 100,000 activities in the form of e-learning titles, behavioral scorecards, coaching reviews, performance management, reviews and more, the breadth and depth of services is here. ‘one of the reasons that make Courseplay a clear choice for these companies. The platform also has one of the best pricing plans out there, and this, Arjun notes, was made possible by building the platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.
Partner with the right technology
Courseplay has been on AWS since its inception. “We designed Courseplay to run specifically on AWS. When it comes to scalability, security, and simplicity, AWS has always been the market leader in cloud computing services. There was no doubt about the technology partner we wanted to go with, ”explains Arjun.
Courseplay’s entire cloud infrastructure is fully hosted on AWS and operates a number of AWS Managed Services for regular platform operations, as well as to build and deploy unique functionality. For example, Courseplay database requests are handled by Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) using Amazon Aurora. “Amazon RDS not only brings automatic scaling, but also offers automatic failovers – the ability to automatically and transparently failover to a reliable backup system in seconds. All training content on Courseplay is encrypted at rest and securely stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and delivered using Amazon CloudFront. Additionally, all application requests are met by an Elastic Load Balancer which allocates the request to the appropriate Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. (Amazon EC2) application server depending on the load.
“With Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and Amazon S3, we are able to run servers on demand and scale them very quickly based on customer usage. This ensures that the benefit goes beyond mere flexibility and translates into cost savings of up to 20-30% which we can pass on to our customers, ”says Arjun.
As the security of a platform has become the tipping point for businesses, Courseplay relies on AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF). It not only provides protection against security threats and bots, but also helps control how traffic reaches applications. “AWS provides automatic DDoS protection and features like Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Security Groups go a long way in keeping our customers’ data safe,” says Arjun. In addition, the startup regularly aligns itself to adhere to the security best practices shared by AWS. “This ensures that we are up to date when it comes to taking the best possible approach to cloud security,” he shares.
Building the platform by leveraging AWS has many benefits for startups, Arjun believes. On the one hand, it allows startups to offer scalable and secure solutions at a price that might otherwise be difficult if it weren’t for AWS. Second, the user interface is easy to understand. “As someone coming from the non-technical world of economics and then becoming a technician, I think the simplicity of the AWS interface compared to other options in the market has been a very big advantage for us,” says Arjun.
Forward and up
Over the past three years, Courseplay’s revenue has grown at a constant rate of 40-60%. As is the case with many other industries, the pandemic has been a force multiplier by sparking greater interest in technological solutions. “Employers who were once inflexible are now experimenting and innovating with new ways to engage employees. Customer interest in digital transformation, talent experience and training automation has definitely increased more than ever and we see these changes in the market becoming permanent in the long term, ”said Arjun. However, he also points out that there is an interesting correlation. “As the demand for HR technology tools continues to grow exponentially, we have observed a very clear correlation between the downward trend in COVID-19 cases and the upward trend in business spending in the sector.” , did he declare. The startup hopes to raise its first fundraising this year.
Courseplay is also looking to expand into the Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern markets. “These markets are slightly more mature markets than India and are constantly on the lookout for innovative tools. We have seen tremendous interest from these regions, ”said Arjun. “As we expand our geographic footprint and expand our customer base, we will continue to add new capabilities to the platform. Here we see a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with AWS and advance our growth journey, ”he adds.