Puja Joshi, Co-Founder, Incluzon

Coming from the small town of Bikaner in Rajasthan, Puja grew up to become an exemplary businesswoman and an innovative entrepreneur. With a dream in her eyes and a plethora of responsibilities, she went into the professional world with the top grade in BTech Computer Science. From this small tier 2 city, with not too many placement opportunities and after many attempts to land a job, she entered the world of human Resources Management at Deloitte and soon enough she was given the role of Business Technology Analyst when they realised her strong suit was in Javascript and put her tech expertise to good use. She was recognised for her work that opened up doors for her in the tech industry.  Finally, she realised her calling in the startup world and worked with companies like Clevoria, Freight Tiger, Rupee Circle and more, where she was an integral part of their tech divisions. With in-depth understanding of the first job market challenges, Puja conceptualised Incluzon in the year 2020.

Over the last two years, Puja has driven Incluzon’s efforts from the helm, including but not limited to presenting the idea for Incluzon in front of the Minister of Education in Tripura. Under her able leadership, Incluzon was also recognized amongst the Top 36 Startups by the Government of Maharashtra. Passionate about giving back to society, Puja has also helped uplift women by giving 100 per cent scholarships for skill-building courses to those who needed it. She has also led initiatives to offer scholarships to students from economically backward sections who had the drive to do better for themselves and their families. “I am a person who loves to build, and every aspect of technology fueled my curiosity. The learning was immense, mainly because I understood the consulting business with tech. Following this, my start-up journey started. I built one start-up, and here I am now building Incluzon,” says Ms Puja Joshi, the co-founder of Incluzon.

Through this process of trying to find a job and finally realising her calling to entrepreneurship, she learnt to be grateful and identify the skill gap she needed to fulfil. “It also taught me the importance of creative freedom and the need to nurture talent. These experiences have been an eyeopener to the realities of the world. They have made me more appreciative of everything I have and have given me the courage to empower my team and improve the life of every student I touch through Incluzon,” she shares. Counting her milestones and achievements, she talks about her entrepreneurial spirit that changed the course of her life, not just for herself, but for her family and the lives of students who come to Incluzon. “Every time I get a student recruited to a job suited to their skill set, I feel I am changing their lives and the lives of their family members who are dependent on them – especially given that most of these children come from similar backgrounds as mine,” says Ms Puja.

Understanding that there is not substitute for hardwork, she built her startups from the ground up owing to the growth she faced by having the right network. She believes that, by nailing these two aspects, hardwork and right networking, the baseline to grow and expand as an entrepreneur will be very strong. Additionally, technology, too, plays an important role to drive businesses today in scaling up. “Another learning is that you should never let go of revenue-generating opportunities as a start-up. The first few years of your business are extremely critical,” she adds.

Adding the Innovative aspect

Ms Puja spearheads innovation at Incluzon by having a pattern recognition system in her mind. She sees how customers behave and decide what pathways to take for the product accordingly. “I strongly believe in the freedom of creativity, and I encourage everyone on my team to brainstorm heavily on ideas so that the final product that we offer our customers is the best in class,” she says. As a leader,

She believes in growing with everyone on her team. Her focus as a leader is to invest in the people she works with, no matter their work profile or where they are in an hierarchical order. She focusses on giving them opportunities to upskill continuously so that they can improve their career prospects. “I make it a point to personally speak to my team members to check on whether there is something they want to learn and then ensure I open up opportunities for them to do so,” says Ms Puja. As a woman, she feels that there are benefits to being one in the field of technology. Although there is not much importance given to gender in the workplace, there are some perks to being a woman, as they are more responsible and accountant. “Women are taught to be responsible and accountable from an early age, making them a better fit for roles such as product manager, project manager and more. In addition, we are driven by emotional values, which alone gives us more integrity as a leader,” adds Ms Puja.

Incluzon is designed to democratize the entry-level workforce hiring process and mitigate bias by increasing the visibility of opportunities to the talent and bringing the skill gap using an ethically constructed AI. The company is determined to build an ecosystem that levels the playing field and provides candidates with a fair chance to pursue a career in their chosen field without bias. Incluzon is not just an application tracking system, unlike others in the market. Instead, our adaptive learning platform is what sets us apart. Incluzon’s AI is meant to evaluate graduates based on their potential and competencies rather than their resume branding. The platform includes various safeguards to ensure that insights, talent validation, technical and cultural mapping, and suggestions are not hampered by systemic prejudice and that no one from the talent pool is neglected or underrepresented. In addition, the months-long hiring cycle for new hires can be completed in hours with the company’s designed platform.

Being an entrepreneur in the education startup industry, Ms Puja understands that this is not just a business and cannot be treated as a mere transaction. Every step taken and even decision made affects the lives of thousands of people. “

As an entrepreneur in the education industry, Ms Puja understands that this is not just a business and cannot be treated as merely transactional. Every step taken and every decision made can impact the lives of thousands of people. “When we change one student’s life, their entire family benefits, and that is the thought process that drives me to stay committed to my mission. My only advice to young women entering this space is to do their R&D and think through the decision because many responsibilities bind success in this space. You cannot blame the system, but you have the power to devise solutions that can enable value creation, and that is a crucial pillar for success,” she shares.

Ms Puja owes her success to her mother who has been her most considerable influence. As a strong, powerful and passionate woman who opened her restaurant at the age of 50, Ms Puja always looked up to her as she manages and overlooks the entire operations and is the key decision-maker at her business. “She inspires me every day to strive higher. Her commitment to her business has paved the way for me to continue giving my best and not let the weight of anyone’s opinions become a hurdle in my journey,” Ms Puja says. Additionally, she also gets her inspiration from founders of unicorns in the tech space. She understands that each entrepreneur has their own journey and the stories of the challenges they face and overcome help her to feel that she too can accomplish anything. “Everyone talks about their success, but only a few can understand the amount of work they have put in to be where they are. Reading about them speaking to them encourages me to keep moving forward,” Ms Puja shares.

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