Rise and Shine with AscentHR: The Most Admired HR Solution Provider on the Horizon

The Indian human resource industry was reeling under the quagmire of clunky payroll software and impersonal employee portals when a star rose on the horizon: AscentHR. It revolutionized the way the entire human resource sphere functions.

When you step into the world of AscentHR, you witness the phenomenon of how human resources transforms from a back-office burden to a strategic advantage. This rising star in the HR tech scene is more than just software; it’s a complete ecosystem designed to empower people, streamline processes, and fuel organizational growth.

Yet, the first question you might be asking is, why AscentHR? The answer lies in its major distinctive traits.

*Beyond Compliance, Towards Engagement: AscentHR goes beyond just ticking compliance boxes. Its intuitive platform fosters employee engagement with learning, performance management tools, and seamless communication channels. Watch employees thrive as they take ownership of their growth and development.

*Innovation in Every Byte: AscentHR isn’t content with the status quo. The team constantly innovates, integrating advanced talent acquisition tools, intelligent performance analytics, and automated workflows to make HR processes effortless and insightful. Expect the unexpected as they push the boundaries of HR tech.

*A People-First Philosophy: At AscentHR, technology serves humanity, not the other way around. The company’s platform, StoHRM, is designed with user experience at its core, offering mobile accessibility, customizable dashboards, and intuitive interfaces that make HR management a breeze for everyone.

*Built for Scale: Whether you’re a nimble startup or a sprawling enterprise, AscentHR has your back. Its scalable solutions adapt to your evolving needs, empowering you to easily manage talent, payroll, and compliance, regardless of size.

*A Champion for Inclusivity: AscentHR champions diversity and inclusion in the workplace. According to Mr Subramanyam S, the Founder, their platform supports flexible work arrangements, promotes equal opportunities, and fosters a culture of belonging for all employees. Watch them lead the way in creating a more equitable and thriving work environment.

The Saga of Employee Empowerer

The origin of AscentHR traces back to 2002 when Subramanyam realized a need for a solid and homegrown HR solution that would help Indian businesses in their journey to HR transformation and help them manage their human resources more efficiently.

Shortly after its inception, the company rolled out its first HR solution, Power Paya multi-country payroll engine configured for 28 countries. This release marked a milestone in the company’s journey in the APAC region, with Bangalore as its operational epicentre. The solution was primarily aimed at making complex payroll processes simpler. The solution prioritized growth opportunities in HRO services and set the ball rolling for the company’s evolution. AscentHR’s business journey started with just ten employees and a handful of customers.

Since then, the company has been focusing on growing organically – from taking its solutions and technologies and expanding them worldwide to building support models around sales and partner ecosystems. In addition, the company also focuses on achieving growth through mergers and acquisitions to keep the entire model running smoothly.

The company has enhanced its value chain from payroll and benefits administration to a full-service HR solutions company covering multiple global geographies. The company has gone from ten employees two decades ago to over 600 catering to over 700 customers representing diverse industries and segments.

Today, the company has earned a reputation for reliability, customer-centricity, and customized solutions, steadily growing from a humble beginning to a family of multiple connected entities spanning PEO, RegTech, LeisureTech, FinTech, and technology advisory services.

The Three Benchmarking Aces

AscentHR has emerged as one of the most admired HR solution providers. From the outset, its guiding philosophy has been ingrained with the three organizational tenets – Adaptability, Accountability, and Accuracy. These values remained a constant source of empowerment as the company expanded, evolved, and matured as a living and growing entity. Today, these values have become AscentHR’s DNA, setting a benchmark for fellow Ascentians to aspire to emulate.

With these values as its guiding philosophy, the company has been unleashing efficiency for its customers since 2002. In fact, 2023 marks AscentHR’s 21 years of being in a thriving business. These values underpin everything at AscentHR – its people and the innovative HR solutions the team builds.

AscentHR believes in connecting all the parts of the company’s ecosystem and stakeholder community. Their success relies on these values as the key ingredients to their relationships with their employees, customers, business partners, and the wider community.

Crafting distinctive HR solutions and delivering exceptional services driven by their values has helped the company attract marquee customers, business partners, and staff. AscentHR now enjoys a position of prominence enjoyed by few other companies. The company has earned a reputation for excellence and customer-centricity, making every stakeholder proud of their affiliation.

Streamlining All Your HR Processes

The human resource landscape is continually evolving. AscentHR ensures that it remains adaptable and ahead of industry trends, providing innovative solutions to its clients. AscentHR helps its client organizations nurture the human resources they need to grow. The team supports their clients’ employees with HR and payroll tasks through seamless workflows and processes. As organizations adopt new ways of working and use new technologies to operate, they also evolve in parallel.

As they grow and face new challenges, their three organizational values guide their people in the actions they take and the decisions they make every day. The company uses these organizational values as a strategic approach to optimize its performance. This, in turn, empowers their clients to tackle their HR challenges effectively through customizable and scalable solutions, which is key to AscentHR’s brand identity – “Powering People Practice”.

To navigate the evolving market effectively, the company leverages its well-thought-out organizational structure to support its business goals. The company has several market divisions and functional groups, each headed by an executive leader. They rely on this structure to ensure business focus, rapid implementation of strategies, and enhanced governance.

Additionally, AscentHR’s business has scale, infrastructure, experience, and domain expertise. They consciously consider the market and workforce trends driving growth in the HRO services industry. They take advantage of opportunities to deliver their HR solutions and services.

As a global Professional Employer Organisation (PEO), they help clients drive their DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) by building a talent pool that reflects a wider society with flexi-engagement models and delivering a superior employee experience.

With a host of proprietary solutions, AscentHR caters to various business requirements, from end-to-end payroll services to business expense and reimbursement management, financial services and personal financial wellness, online survey services, business compliance management, and vendor compliance management.

The Mark of Mighty

Over the last two decades, AscentHR has made an indelible mark on the HRO services industry, and they continue to evolve their products and services with the best technology by understanding their clients’ unique needs and challenges. For instance, the latest offering they’ve built – StoHRM, is a comprehensive, scalable HR system that helps small and medium-sized enterprises with everything they need to manage human resources efficiently and effectively. But they don’t stop there. They continue to evolve the software by upgrading it to achieve HCM excellence and long-term success.

Their developers constantly work on modernizing their HR and payroll platforms to make them more accommodative and flexible, and they add value in the form of new releases to improve the user experience further. In short, their strategy for excellence is to make their systems future-proof, ready to use, productive from day one, and flexible to adapt.

Recognized as a driving force behind AscentHR’s achievements, Subramanyam’s management ethos and leadership style are culture-centric and transformational. His approach is to make an indelible mark on HRO services by inspiring AscentHR teams to bring out exceptional solutions and services that cater to clients’ unique HR needs and challenges.

Known for his strong financial and business acumen and his ability to comprehend complex regulatory environments, Subbu is a strategic leader. He is adept at foreseeing the evolving market needs and trends and leveraging technology to meet those needs.

Subramanyam’s approach to leadership and building teams combines trust, empowerment, and guidance. He primarily focuses on establishing relationships of trust, empowering employees with the necessary tools and resources to perform their jobs, creating a culture of guidance, and helping people move in the right direction to drive outcomes collaboratively.

Fostering Constant Tech-Access

The essence of human resources lies in innovative solutions and enhancing the employee experience. According to Subramanyam, at AscentHR, they understand the expectations one has of technology. Today, virtually everyone in the organization uses HR tools and platforms. Employees expect those tools to be user-friendly, effective, and engaging as they perform tasks efficiently on their phones.

That’s why AscentHR’s solutions are built to optimize employee experience. Subramanyam says, “When technology is more accessible, mobile, and user-friendly, our clients’ employees are more engaged and productive, positively impacting the bottom line.”

For instance, the features and functionalities of their solutions and applications come with access control based on an employee’s role within the organisation. This approach helps secure privacy and confidentiality and enhances ease of use by allowing users to focus on what is relevant and most important to them.

Additionally, all their solutions are powered by a suite of HR analytics tools, providing clarity and insights into complex employee data. This enhances the decision-making process at every level of the organization.

Simply put, they balance functional efficiency and workforce satisfaction by placing the user’s experience at the centre of any solution they design.

Innovation is the Key

Subramanyam furthers that managing HR operations and payroll is becoming increasingly intricate and time-consuming. This is specifically true among small and medium enterprises, although they are opening up to HR outsourcing and cloud-based HR automation. Additionally, the percentage of SMEs adopting HR outsourcing services steadily increases yearly. The start-up culture is also growing parallelly, specifically in India.

He adds that as they continue to observe these shifts, they realize that their services must be tailored to address the unique needs of various business segments, helping them increase their HR efficiency by leveraging innovative HR tools.

To take advantage of this market opportunity and further strengthen its growth potential, AscentHR recently adapted StoHRM, their comprehensive enterprise HRMS tool, to make it available to small and medium businesses. StoHRM echoes the team’s commitment to providing an integrated HR cloud solution designed to meet the specific needs of HR professionals in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

StoHRM is a SaaS-based workforce management platform built for SMEs, as well as large enterprises, to help them manage their HR processes with a DIY (Do It Yourself) approach. With a focus on enabling HCM on the cloud, the solution automates the HR processes that support the entire employee lifecycle.

Tech AscentHR

In the realm of human resources, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency. At the core of their growth blueprint lies their ethos of innovation and integration of cutting-edge technologies evolving as products, reinforcing their confidence in continuously delivering unmatched value to their esteemed clientele.

AscentHR’s HR software solutions and applications help clients adapt to change quickly and seamlessly, providing them with unparalleled digital transformation experiences.

They continue to expand their offering and mature their applications through their roadmap initiatives, investing approximately 15% of their revenues annually in R&D efforts to harness the power of emerging technologies.

AscentHR’s technology stack is diverse, with market-leading cloud platforms, DevOps automation, backend and frontend technologies, and mobile app development technologies. It is a carefully curated ecosystem of programming languages, quality assurance frameworks and practices, and tools to ensure top-notch and innovative project outcomes. They rely on these technologies to craft scalable and tailored solutions that meet their customers’ unique requirements.

Looking ahead, solidifying their position as a tech-driven trailblazer will be a clear focus for growth. AscentHR is dedicated to enhancing operational efficiency, delivering impactful results through next-gen products, and reinforcing its strategic focus across the dynamic APAC-MEA region.

An Amazing Team

The workforce is the cornerstone of any successful organization. Understanding it, at AscentHR, the leadership fosters a culture of growth, skill development, and empowerment among their employees. Subramanyam says, “Our greatest asset is our people. That’s why we invest substantially in employee development and building our culture to ensure that AscentHR is a great workplace.”

Ascentians come to work every day to empower their clients to nurture their human resources. They achieve this mission by hiring, developing, and retaining the top talent in the industry. Their employee engagement model is multifaceted. Besides regular communication through an internal employee magazine, internal mailers, and town halls, they also carry out regular employee engagement surveys, with a good score in 2023. In 2023, they became an “Amazing Workplaces” certified organisation, indicative of an effective working atmosphere for employees with AscentHR.

They also work through their website and social media handles to keep their employees and stakeholders engaged and informed. They also provide their employees with a free-to-use financial planning tool called Jofin to enhance their financial well-being.

They strive to foster an environment that challenges, inspires, and rewards their people. Innovative performance management framework, teamwork, and their three corporate traits – Accountability, Adaptability, and Accuracy are woven into their corporate values. These values have been reflected in their employees’ actions and behaviors.

Up and Above in Professionalism

AscentHR tailors its L&D programs to cover various areas to meet its employees’ upskilling, reskilling, and career needs. The courses are interactive and engaging, developed by their in-house qualified trainers and subject matter experts. The L&D programs serve as an important element of the continued success of both the employees and the organization.

Their robust performance management system, consistent across all their functions and locations, allows their employees to channel their efforts towards their goals and realize their full potential. Additionally, they are committed to training at every level, from interns to executive leaders.

Besides focusing on developing their existing employees, they also provide internship opportunities to undergraduate students. Through their structured internship program, Begin Your Ascent, they induct graduate students pursuing their final year of studies into their organization, introducing them to the “real world of work” by giving them basic domain knowledge and fundamental on-the-job training that can’t be learnt in classrooms. This summer internship program lays a foundation for the interns to select their career paths and build their networking skills, helping them foray into new career fields and realize their career aspirations.

The results of these dedicated endeavors are visible in terms of continuous process improvements and how they do their business.

Outsmarting Obstacles

As a leader in India’s human resource horizon, AscentHR faced its share of challenges. Sharing an instance where his team’s resilience and ingenuity triumphed over adversity, Subramanyam says that resilience keeps the human spirit high in the face of unprecedented challenges. The global health crisis in 2020 was an unprecedented challenge for everybody, and “We were not an exception.”

According to him, their challenges were two-fold. While adopting agile working methods, they also had to adapt quickly and work harder to understand their customers’ needs and challenges. This was important as they were tasked with the huge responsibility of overseeing payroll management for their clients. As usual, they had to ensure that the employees’ salaries were paid on time. Additionally, new government directives were to be decoded within strict deadlines.

Due to the impact on revenues, several companies introduced staggered pay cuts, capped salaries, re-calibrated incentives, re-configured job roles, and other damage control measures. These changes translated into frequent and ad-hoc adjustments in the payroll input. The AscentHR teams had to demonstrate a higher level of diligence to ensure on-time payroll and with 100% accuracy.

Even amidst the challenges posed by the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ascentians demonstrated resilience in delivering reliable payroll and compliance services, keeping countless lives from disintegrating, and adhering to many statutory compliance requirements that kept changing.

Subramanyam says they introduced new work methods and policies that nurtured their emotional well-being to motivate their employees to perform enthusiastically even during difficult times. “We increased communication and developed a constant feedback loop, allowing issues and concerns to be voiced and heard.” Implementing this feedback loop was crucial to uplift employee morale and provide support to navigate various challenges, from unreliable Wi-Fi connections to feelings of isolation.

Driving a Holistic and Healthy Work Culture

Today, every HR aspect goes beyond the physical realm, touching on facets like employee health and wellbeing (physical and psychological). Subramanyam adds that AscentHR keeps employee well-being at the top tier of its priorities. “We understand that employee health and well-being are indispensable to building our competitive advantage simply because these factors directly impact employee attendance and job performance.”

Promoting employees’ health and well-being leads to a more productive workforce. Subramanyam says that’s why they embrace these concepts and put them into practice by adopting multiple strategies, from office equipment ergonomics and safety policies and protocols to integrating employee wellness initiatives. AscentHR’s employee wellness initiatives cover four key aspects – physical well-being, social and community well-being, financial well-being, and mental and emotional well-being to drive a holistic, healthy work environment.

They engage their employees through a robust rewards and recognition program that provides meaningful and employee-valued incentives, inspiring positive vibes throughout the organization.

AscentHR’s in-house HR teams drive employee-centric programs and policies. They conduct regular team-building and fun activities, sports and games, social events and celebrations, employee surveys and feedback. Their L&D function offers learning and professional development opportunities.

They empower their line managers to offer flexible work arrangements, such as flexi-time and reasonable workloads. They also create a positive work culture through senior management visibility, ensuring their leaders are visible and approachable.

They also support employees’ financial security goals and aspirations through their financial planning platform – Jofin.

Let’s Grow Together

Looking to the future, Subramanyam divulges his vision for AscentHR. Originating as a specialized managed services firm, it has evolved over two decades into a pioneering force in HR technology and business solutions, driven by its adept utilization of cutting-edge technology.

*Global presence. Subramanyam informs that they currently have eight offices in three countriescapable of providing payroll delivery in 34 countries. “As we continue to grow geographically in emerging markets, we are where our customers are and need us the most.”

*Innovation. He furthers that they remain at the forefront of developing and implementing HR technology. AscentHR has over two decades of experience in business support, automation, consulting, staffing, and compliance. Leveraging the latest technologies and platforms, their products and services continually evolve, driving value across industries and segments.

*Collaborative approach. They work with their customers and business partners to deliver value in each project. They will continuously strive to leverage and expand upon this collaborative approach to propel us into the future.

*Delivering results. “We will continue to collaborate with our customers on their HR strategy in terms of HR workflow, processes and analytics so that they are equipped to achieve new levels of efficiency and the best business outcome.”

Witness the Human Resource Revolution

We are proud of our journey so far. We have graduated from managed services to leveraging on tech and evolving comprehensive and robust products, enabling new GTM opportunities.”

AscentHR isn’t just a software provider; it is a game-changer. The team is redefining how we manage, engage, and empower our most valuable asset: our people. At AscentHR, their employees are passionate about blending creativity with technology to deliver integrated, robust and scalable solutions to help automate HR workflows. “Along with our other entities, we provide a broad range of products and services to cater to various industries and business segments,” concludes Subramanyam.

So, keep your eyes on AscentHR. As they continue to innovate and grow, expect them to disrupt the HR landscape and shape the future of work, one satisfied employee at a time. Ready to witness the HR revolution firsthand? Take a closer look at AscentHR and join the team on an inspiring journey to unlock the full potential of your workforce.