Business plan

The ambitious business plan of Narayana Murthy’s son, Rohan Murty

Rohan Murty’s Soroco works with global corporations to streamline office tasks.

Rohan Murty saw his father make Infosys Ltd. one of India’s national champions by developing a new technology services outsourcing strategy. Now the 39-year-old is taking on the no less daunting task of using data to make white-collar workers more efficient.

Soroco, a former Harvard billionaire, is working with global companies to streamline office tasks, using techniques similar to the pioneering efforts of Toyota Motor Corp. decades ago to eliminate waste in manufacturing.

The company collects data to study employee software usage patterns across teams and suggests fixes to fix problems, increase productivity and reduce costs. The solutions may be better technology, automation, standardization and the prevention of duplication of work.

The startup, based in both Boston and Bangalore, gets a real-time view of how team members are working using machine learning. Customers include drugmaker Bayer AG, engineering giant Robert Bosch GmbH, candy and pet food maker Mars Inc. as well as select Wall Street banks and global online retailers.

“The manufacturing industry has built and refined processes to make blue-collar work more efficient, but the digital age has no parallel,” founder and CTO Murty said in an interview recently in Bangalore. . “Soroco built the white-collar equivalent.”

He’s not the first to come up with the concept, which is dubbed task mining in industry parlance. Giants such as Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and SAP SE all have similar offerings and have struggled to reduce the day-to-day inefficiencies of white-collar work.

Mr. Murty thinks he has found a more effective approach. Soroco’s software can collect data and map patterns across entire teams, revealing inefficiencies and waste that senior managers can’t see, he said.

“It’s common to see management antagonizing the team doing the work,” said Murty, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a doctorate from Harvard University, both in computer science. . “Soroco helps align the two toward a common goal.”

In one example, a global pharmaceutical company faced customer complaints about delays in processing orders, discounts and returns. Soroco says its machine learning software detected steps that required a significant amount of manual work and recommended automation across multiple sites. This reduced handling time by 75%, leading to a sharp reduction in complaints, according to the startup.

Mr. Murty teamed up with Arjun Narayan, a computer scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and George Nychis, a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University to create Soroco in 2014. The startup is looking to grow at a time when the pandemic has accelerated the proliferation of digital. devices and applications used by more than half a billion office workers worldwide.

Mr. Murty estimates that people interact with work-related software about 70 times more often than with major social networks.

Besides stiff competition, Soroco could also face internal resistance from employees who feel threatened by the scrutiny of how they work, according to Amardeep Modi, vice president of researcher Everest Group. Addressing these concerns, Soroco says the entire exercise is anonymous and done without compromising the privacy of individuals.

Most companies are obsessed with the wrong kind of workplace questions – like how many days employees are working from home or in the office – said Sandeep Dadlani, who until last month was Mars’ chief digital officer. .

“Any technology capability that enables companies to understand and understand how employees work can help pinpoint the productivity problem, improve lives for teams and at scale,” said Dadlani, now chief digital and technology from healthcare conglomerate UnitedHealth. Group inc.

Infosys involvement

Mr Murty owns 1.45% of Infosys, which has a market value of around $80 billion, making him the second largest individual shareholder in the outsourcing giant founded by his father Narayana Murthy. Murty’s sister Akshata, herself a billionaire, is married to Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Soroco, with about 250 employees and 40 patents, is not yet in a rush to seek external funding, Murty said, adding that its customer base had tripled in the past year.

–With the help of Ben Stupples.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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