The SOUND story of ToneTag

This company is leveraging sound to develop its brand philosophy and embed it into its employee-engagement practices, as well as in the minds of its workforce.

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Here is a company with a business proposition that is embedded in the minds of its employees. Interestingly, the company is doing so through simple day to day activities planned for its workforce.

Singing songs at work is not an uncommon practice at this workplace. What is more, the employees get a special welcome when they arrive for work, on the first working day of the New Year — a sitar recital by Mansoor Khan.

“Sound plays an important role in our lives. All our activities revolve around sound or absolute silence. The vibrations that we get in the room from the sound waves of the songs are extremely energising,” says HR head, Vinay Trivedi, ToneTag.

ToneTag harnesses the power of sound for effortless and secure communication between devices. This enables contactless proximity payments, market solutions and on-the-go mobility solutions.

Sound waves are essential for business development but not an exclusive domain of the technology team because every employee working at ToneTag is emotionally connected with sound — it forms the fabric of the workplace culture.

“We are not only transferring data over sound, but emotions and also energy over sound. It is mesmerising to hear the morning raga (sitar recital) at the workplace, acting as an energy booster. Our meditation practice further strengthens our core belief— ‘the importance of sound’— as it provides an opportunity to hear sounds in one’s head,” says Trivedi.

A lot of the Company’s activities, if not everything, are related to sound. From recruitment to onboarding, sharing stories forms an integral part of the culture.

“We don’t onboard employees we storyboard them, through the powerful use of ‘sound’. To induct the new employees, we go by the pool side and share stories. The stories excite them — the story of our existence, our global ambitions, and so on. Stories help to create a connection and a bond,” remarks Trivedi.

Sound waves are the most natural form of communication on the Planet, and ToneTag is using them as a medium to create a workplace culture.

Employers are thinking hard to develop out-of-the-box innovations to keep their employees engaged, but is there a hidden agenda that gets missed on the surface?

Vinay Trivedi

“We are not only transferring data over sound, but emotions and also energy over sound. It is mesmerising to hear the morning raga (sitar recital) at the workplace, acting as an energy booster”

The only mission ToneTag is focused on is to make its employees see the reality of how sound waves can impact life and business. “Now, each and every person in the organisation — be it from the sales or technology departments— is all the time working on how sound waves can help. For instance, a lot of thought goes into choosing the right music for the payment model. We keep experimenting with sounds,” narrates Trivedi.

One thing that is 150 per cent clear in the minds of the employees is that sound is the basis of a lot of natural formats of communication and each one out there is looking at various ways in which they can build and use cases to transfer data from point A to point B over sound.

Everyone in the organisation, be it the sales person or the finance person, speaks the same language— the language of sound.

Moreover, storytelling is very important for the brand. In the same spirit, Tuesday mornings are reserved for a special meeting with only one agenda— Gossip! An initiative churned out by the HR lab to foster friendliness and destress at work. The leaders wittingly bring up topics/rumours that are trending at the workplace and use this opportunity to clear the air. All the employees turn up in traditional attire on Tuesdays.

What does sound have to do with traditional attire, you may wonder. Well, the trend started around the time of Independence Day and continues till date, wherein employees dress up traditionally every Tuesday.

It helps to nurture, the ‘Make in India’ spirit among the employees and also creates a strong impression of being proud of one’s country and brand in front of global clients. Citing an example, Trivedi says, “On one occasion, an employee who was dressed up traditionally received generous compliments from a foreign client and that doubled his confidence.”

The management and employees of ToneTag clearly want to do things differently, and not follow systems blindly.

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