Bijli - Our Story
Bijli was not a conceptualised idea. It was not meant to be a product.
It's been a culmination of a lot of years of effort and understanding of building a business and understanding how teams work.
Through our journey at Tailored Tech, where we built and managed over 75 apps & websites, we realised the various pains a business faces in just working together.
As the team grew from 5 to 25, we realised that managing a team wasn't easy. Balancing process, communication and speed was a challenge we faced. Delegating responsibility and building accountability was even harder. Getting Insights in real-time was the hardest.
Having 2 offices and juggling between both weekly - we often missed updates & escalations that were key to decision making. We found it hard to understand what people in the team were working on in real-time. This made it even harder to manage team pressure and workload during critical periods. Our culture at office was extremely open and transparent, yet communication delays often meant fire-fighting every now and then. We used cutting-edge products to communicate, to manage projects and to collaborate. Yet, something was missing.
In a world where we are often being pushed information, communication tools required a lot of back and forth to get a simple update or escalation. Productivity here - depended a lot on what we integrated. Getting insights from various tools required us to login to each tool to gather metrics related to our team.
There was no way to just automate our work so we could focus on the business instead of in the business and the team could work independently and still always be informed.
Collaboration does not mean communication needs to be synchronous. For collaboration to be productive collaboration, we realised sometimes communication needs to be asynchronous.
We hacked together a product, codenamed - 'SnapTeam', in May 2017.
Built in two weeks - we put together a product we wanted to use on our own team to see whether an asynchronous communication engine would help solve a few of our issues and allow us to spend more time on decision making rather than fire-fighting. The base product - allowed anyone to check-in when they entered work, mention what they were working on in real-time, and provide updates once they were done. Alerts were triggered to people who were interested when colleagues checked-in & out of work or provided updates. A team view allowed anyone to see in real-time - who was working & on what, who was available (for quick help or a break), and who was on leave.
For insights, we put together a quick timeline view of how a team member went through his day and how much time he / she was spending in office and what activities needed to be streamlined. We used such insights to calculate actual project profitability vs. estimated profitability.
When you are onto something, your gut and mind keeps pulling you back no matter how far you stride.
Should We Invest?
SnapTeam was a very good experiment and was pivotal in our journey. But it was lacking in features we needed to streamline processes. If we wanted to grow and continue to work asynchronously, we had to add a few core features that would allow us to get through our day.
As we looked inwards and at the data we gathered, we realised work really flows in a certain direction for most of us across teams and industries:
1. We come into office and figure out what we want to do today / this week. Sometimes it's already planned by someone else.
2. We then start working on these items like a task-list.
3. Through the day, a colleague asks you what you are working on.
4. At some point, you have a meeting where you provide updates on the work you've done.
5. Every now and then, you give feedback to your colleague or boss (informally or formally) on your work. However, you really wish someone and asked you how you were feeling today.
6. During your evaluation, your boss tells you that you need to improve your performance or keep doing what you are doing. But sometimes you wonder whether there was any science involved in that evaluation. At times you wish you had known this earlier so you could take corrective measures.
7. When you or your boss look back at the P&L Statement and estimates for time an activity should take, inevitably you've overshot your budget or time estimate. You wonder if there is a way to be alerted proactively!
And many more of these insights pointed to the fact that our core systems weren't giving us a proactive, asynchronous and easy ways to update and stay updated, gather or give insights within the team.
SnapTeam was a great start in that direction - but if we wanted to pioneer an asynchronous, automated work culture with the ability to make real-time decisions based on insights, we'd really have to invest.
With capital built through our core business, and unable to find similar products in the market, we just needed to align our mindset and pull the trigger.
The question was never should we invest - rather it was when should we invest.
Bijli has only the basics - done right. It has everything that you need for "asynchronous collaboration, automated working & actionable & real-time insights".
Asynchronous allows every individual to work at their own time & provide updates when possible. This reduces distraction and waiting time involved in back & forth, synchronous communication. Emails - were sluggish & Chat is synchronous. We think we've found the balance.
Automation allows every stakeholder to get these asynchronous messages within streams at the right time. It filters out the noise and brings you what's important. We've bundled the product in a way that will eventually enable you to automate your work and spend more time working & let the system automate those you need to update or update you automatically with information you need to know.
Actionable & Real-Time Insights allows every decision maker information at the right time & the right place. We bring multiple metrics to your finger tips and very soon you'll be able to spend less time in & out of other systems finding & inputting data & spend more time making decisions based on such insights.
Our Journey towards a new way of working has just begun!
Our Mission & Destiny
Becoming the gateway & backbone for enterprise tech. Becoming every organisation's nervous system.
If we are to build this vision - we cannot do this alone. We need the universe to be on our side and we need our destiny to align.
It's a lofty mission. The world of enterprise tech has no rules, no boundaries. It's not generalized and it's definitely not possible for one company to cater to. But there is a space - a space where we can get to - a layer which we can deliver - and if we do - it will help bring method to the chaos, it will help enable innovations at a scale we haven't seen to an audience which is eager to adopt the latest tech but is restricted by scale, security and processes.
While we can't control our destiny - we can build an ecosystem that will manage & enable those within the ecosystem to thrive.
Join us towards this mission. Become a part of our ecosystem.
Let's help teams work - so that they can make our world a better place.
- Bijli Team