So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye
(The Sound of Music)
This all started back on a dark and not very stormy night way back in 2008. It was pretty late when the four of us got together in a nice little café in Mumbai and decided to (finally) take a plunge into the world of entrepreneurship.
From there on it was entire weekends dedicated to ideation, arguing, going around in circles, consuming copious amounts of coffee while we narrowed down on how we were going to make the world a better place.
We started in a small corner of the employee engagement domain with our beloved corporate library platform and never looked back. We got funded in a year the world was imploding because of the financial crisis and moved rapidly into the employee recognition space. Technology evolved along the way and we invested heavily in it. The iPhone redefined the way people used mobiles and “Instant recognition” took on a whole new meaning. It was a roller coaster ride and we held on tight, delirious in sheer delight at the excitement of it all.
We laughed, we cried, we fought, we high-fived on wins large and small, we lived frugally, we spent everything we had on building the company and the brand. Along the way, more intrepid adventurers joined us. They left better-paid jobs (or job offers) and came along for the ride. Some worked part-time for us. Some worked for free when we couldn’t afford to pay them. Some counselled us. Some berated us (in a very nice way). Most stayed on, some parted ways – but in our hearts and minds, they will always be family.
Before I tear up and start blabbering, let me get to the point of this post.
A decade after starting the company, Kwench has been acquired by O.C.Tanner. We now join a much larger global family of people just as passionate about employee recognition as we are. All of us involved in the recognition business of Kwench (including the founders) will join the O.C.Tanner family. It is the end of one adventure and the beginning of several more.
To all the clients, partners, associates, investors who placed their trust in us – a big hug. Mere words can’t express the love we feel for you in getting Kwench to where it is.
Every journey has to come to an end. Every new journey begins with a small step.
It’s goodbye for now.
New trails await. Onward!
The official press note on the acquisition follows:
SALT LAKE CITY, April 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — O.C. Tanner, the global leader in employee recognition and workplace culture, announced today it has acquired the recognition and rewards technology and business of Kwench, an India-based company that delivers cutting-edge, easy-to-use corporate recognition solutions. The agreement will combine the global footprint of O.C. Tanner and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology platforms of Kwench to enhance value to clients everywhere.
Kwench is a market leader in India and works with more than 500 companies across 63 countries.
“We’ve enjoyed tremendous success with our O.C. Tanner India team, and the addition of the Kwench team and technology will combine the strengths of two market leaders to help us better serve our collective client base,” said Dave Petersen, CEO of O.C. Tanner. “While we’ve largely focused on multinational clients, the Kwench focus has been primarily on companies headquartered in India, so this acquisition will fuel even greater growth. We measure progress and success by how many employees and workplaces we can positively impact through our recognition programs and strategies – and we are very excited to welcome the Kwench team into our global organization.”
O.C. Tanner’s existing footprint in India, including a headquarters in Mumbai and a second location in Hyderabad, will be bolstered by Kwench’s local presence and nearly 50 employees.
“We are truly excited to join the O.C. Tanner family and see it as a perfect meeting of minds, culture and aspirations. It is indeed a validation of India’s market potential and Kwench’s capabilities that the world’s largest recognition company has chosen to make this acquisition,” said Sunder Nookala, CEO of Kwench.
“As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, India is an exciting place for business today,” said Managing Director of O.C. Tanner India Zubin Zack. “Employee recognition is fast evolving as a key focus area as companies fight to attract and retain the best talent. These are exciting times for Kwench and O.C. Tanner to combine strengths and bring global best practices to the Indian market.”
About O.C. Tanner
O.C. Tanner is the global leader in software and services that improve workplace culture through meaningful employee experiences. Its Culture Cloud is a suite of apps and solutions, including recognition, service awards, wellbeing, leadership, and celebrations that help people thrive at work. O.C. Tanner provides these and other services for thousands of the most respected companies in the world. For more information visit octanner.com.
SOURCE O.C. Tanner