How This Pune Based Startup Is Revolutionising Tech Hiring By Using NLP & Azure

As economies reimagine business in the new normal, expanded access to digital skills will be one of the key drivers of inclusive economic growth. Technologies like AI and machine learning are becoming the enablers for every business today and becoming vital for India’s economic and social value creation. 

India needs to build upon its investment, data, and strategy in order to accelerate its AI journey. In doing so, Indian businesses would be required to overcome critical challenges such as — lack of advanced analytics and adequate infrastructure to develop actionable insights; data strategy and data readiness are not seen as strategic priorities; and lack of thought leadership and leadership commitment to investing in AI

One of the challenges has been hiring talent, where recruiters not only have to onboard the right talent but also keep in mind the well-being of the candidates, and ensure the process to be absolutely transparent and fair. This is where Pune-based startup iMocha has been playing an instrumental role in revolutionising tech talent-hiring globally.

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Founded by Amit D Mishra and Sujit Karpe in 2015, iMocha is a startup that provides more than 2,000 skills including digital skills, enterprise applications, cloud, application development and more. For this week’s startup column, Analytics India Magazine got in touch with the founders of iMocha to gain a deeper insight into how it is driving AI and machine learning to provide the skills assessment solution in API platform. 

AIM: Tell Us About Your Flagship Product

Mishra: iMocha’s Live Coding Platform is a live video interview platform for recruiters to assess real-time coding skills in a live programming environment. From the context of the post-pandemic recruitment proceedings, the platform has proven extremely useful for recruiters in the IT sector. Of iMocha’s 500+ medium and enterprise customers, 60% are based in the US, 20% EMEA while 20% are based in Asia (India included). 

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The concept of Live Coding Platform came up in the pre-COVID era, scheduled to release in December 2020. However, due to the unforeseen impact of the pandemic, iMocha had to accelerate the development and release. However, the startup developed the platform over Microsoft Azure and was able to release it in July – 6 months ahead of the planned schedule.

The solution offers the following key features:

  • Inbuilt code editor – With 20+ programming languages, the platform has predefined code stubs for each language and questions, as well as a feature to change language on-the-go.
  • Real-time collaboration – Interviewers can edit candidates’ code remotely and provide custom inputs to improve code efficiency. They can also view live results of code compilation
  • Comprehensive Interview Rating – Each interviewer can individually review and rate candidate(s) and capture consistent feedback on all required skills. They can also revisit interviews key-by-key with Code Replay.

AIM: How Is It Different From Other Products In The Market?

Karpe: Live Coding Platform is enabling interviewees as well as the panel of recruiters to conduct whiteboard assessment from the safety of their homes or any other remote location. As mentioned earlier, using the platform, the candidates can choose between 20+ coding languages with 1000+ coding problems, which are offered within the coding environment. The platform is easy to use, which makes the interview process easier for the candidates. 

AIM: What Are Your Innovative Ways To Use AI Techniques? 

Mishra: iMocha’s online platform enables recruiters to assess potential candidates with over 2,000 technical and non-technical skills assessment tests. Recruiters don’t have to spend any time monitoring the tests because iMocha’s AI proctoring tools guard against possible scenarios of fraud such as copying lines of code, among others. 

Additionally, using Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services APIs, iMocha built their AI proctoring tools, including those to validate whether the candidate was cheating or not, throughout the duration of the test. Azure’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools help recruiters to sift through hundreds of pre-recorded video interviews to shortlist candidates with good communications skills. Azure has significantly helped iMocha evolve various services, be it different PaaS services, using ML, AI, and NLP models, and helped us accelerate our development time.

AIM: Tell Us About Your Recent Funding

Karpe: Our pre-series A is $600,000, and our Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) is $2 million. We have our user base across the US, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia.

AIM: What Does The Future Roadmap Look Like? 

Mishra: Since the launch of Live Coding Platform in July, our customers have conducted over 800 interviews for recruiting new tech talent. The Live Coding Platform – due to its in-built video capabilities – has been well-received by our clients. As a company, we believe in investing in technologies of the future. We are building artificial intelligence and natural language processing capabilities into all our skill assessment products. We have already filed a couple of patents in AI/ NLP. Over the next 2-5 years, we will build different coding, video, and natural language simulations to assess the skills of the future. We also plan to expand our skill library to 5000+ emerging skills.

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by Vijayalakshmi Anandan

The Deep Learning Curve is a technology-based podcast hosted by Vijayalakshmi Anandan - Video Presenter and Podcaster at Analytics India Magazine. This podcast is the narrator's journey of curiosity and discovery in the world of technology.

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