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How Cuckoo Tech Cracked The Gamification Code For T&A


Our team brings you an inside look: How the Indian firm created this breakthrough innovation, a blend of workplace psychology and the automation Technology...

Dhwani Mehta, Managing Director of Opportune Technologies is obviously a happy man. He chuckles, “It’s a personal victory for me. All my childhood, and in my college days, I was scolded for being a video game fanatic. But now my team has created Cuckoo Tech, the gamified Time and Attendance solution. And everyone is congratulating us for making this breakthrough. Life is funny, isn’t it?”

This chuckle is a culmination of an arduous journey. He tells us, “In one of our master mind sessions with clients, industry experts and creative mentors the experts pointed at the agony of Time and attendance function. In all organisations--whether it is manufacturing shop floor, retail stores, or banks and hospitality sector—we see employees and HR managers breaking their heads over unmarked attendance, and leave application issues. HR managers are frustrated running behind people. In that master-mind debate, a challenge was thrown to us, can HR automation be an answer to correct this?”

A Tough Challenge to Own

The Time and Attendance capturing is a compliance issue, linked to salaries. Any little discrepancy can create major dissatisfaction, have adverse effect on employee morale and the productivity of the organisation.

Mehta says, “Opportune has a history of taking on such challenges. We pioneered cloud technology and internet of things for HRMS solutions. But this T&A challenge was a little different. It was more of a psychology issue than the automation issue. It was like charting into uncomfortable zone.”

Opportune took an ambitious call and enrolled an NLP expert to put things in human perspective. The expert created pleasure-pain maps of the workplace and a representative scenario emerged: The employees are under tremendous pressure due to higher targets, quick turnaround time expectations and strict monitoring. Pain spots are many, and pleasure points are just a few.

Mehta understood, Time and Attendance needed a paradigm shift in thinking. He says, “The writing on the wall was clear, we must convert T&A from pain to pleasure. We went the end users and spoke to them. Our grilling one-to-one sessions with the employees suggested us the solution: Gamification of compliance processes.

Now, as a result, the Cuckoo Tech 3.1 Gamified is here. The most accurate Time and Attendance solution for compliance, but unlike earlier times, now employees want to adhere to these processes because they get points for every correct adherence. And these points can we converted into rewards. It’s an employee engagement programme in its own right.”

Business Challenge

The Cuckoo Tech Time and Attendance solution was the leading T&A solution, used by some of the best organisations in the country. So why to go for another level of super-upgradation at a huge cost? Especially, when no one in the world has done it yet? These were the imminent questions.

Mehta reflects, “It’s the main reason Indian companies don’t go for real innovation. Imitating available solutions is a safe bet. It’s tough too to innovate. But our technology Director Pankaj Shah is a genius at creating original automation solutions. He and his team were ecstatic from the beginning.

It was my responsibility to give them all resources and they promised, in a year’s time Cuckoo Tech will be making employees smile. All my business questions were put to an end when I saw their drive and energy to make T&A gamification happen.”

The Innovation Challenge

It is always a challenge to develop new developments, while maintaining the quality levels on current customer demands. Dhwani Mehta feels, it all became possible because of Pankaj’s international experience and rigorous adherence to quality levels.

An inside joke at Opportune is—Pankaj Shah is an alter ego of Steve Jobs! Technical team lead Parag told us the reason, “Pankaj is a tough task master and never compromises even with micro-tasks. While everything must be done in a cost effective way, it must be done in the best possible manner. Sometimes we see him in our dreams and talk codes with him!” The team laughs out loud as he narrates his experiences.

This blend of youth and experience must be the secret behind the new gamification breakthrough. Pankaj Shah says, “I am proud of my team. They went into an overdrive to crack the gamification code. It took thousands of hours of untiring effort and late night pizza sessions. While gamification is being used in learning and development and other such HR functions, we were the first to crack it for T&A anywhere in the world. Looking to this energy in my boys and girls here, I can say, I made a right decision returning back to India.”

Opportune did a beta test with their employees. After Pankaj Shah’s stamp of approval it was released for the client beta testing. He informs with a broad smile, “The performance was so good, and clients want to roll it in the whole organisation.”

The Next Challenge

As a games expert, Dhwani Mehta knows every game has a next level. And those challenges motivate the young minds. He says, “My team is now hungry for new challenges. And I am getting ready for the next master-mind session!”

Based on the conversation with Dhwani Mehta, Pankaj shah & Technical team of Opportune Technologies.


Dhwani Mehta

Director Opportune Technologies Pvt Ltd

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