Mahe Bayireddi
CEO & co-founder
Phenom People

(5.0)
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  1. Mahe’s purpose in life is empowering people to find their purpose, and Phenom is the manifestation of that driving force. Phenom exists to help a billion people find the right job. This isn’t hyperbole. Mahe established such an ambitious goal at the core of Phenom because he won’t accept anything less than a world-changing outcome. But he knows he can’t achieve this alone. His ability to inspire others to reach so high has set him apart as a leader and entrepreneur for decades. Mahe will be the first to tell you what he did wrong with his previous ventures as a founder — and how he learned from those mistakes. Failure is not a bad thing at Phenom, as long as the lessons from missed opportunities are diligently applied to the next ones. Mahe has instilled this behavior into Phenom’s culture from day one. Mahe’s independent ingenuity is a product of his upbringing. From a young age, he worked in his father’s pharmacy in India. He ensured his own family’s prosperity with a precocious commitment to quality, getting the right medicines into the hands of his neighbors. He traveled to the United States in his early 20s, knowing he’d have to overcome the challenges of being an immigrant founder. These biases trailed him through the first years of Phenom, when he was seeking early stage venture capital to jumpstart the company’s growth. Over a hundred investors turned him down until he found the right cohort of supporters. Mahe’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has become an integral feature of Phenom’s product. Among its many functionalities, the TXM platform uses AI-powered insights to help companies identify and correct their diversity gaps. Today, Phenom drives strong organic growth, enabling strategic M&A and venture capital sourcing. Phenom is making significant progress toward helping a billion people find the right job. Every decision Mahe makes is through this lens. Mahe believes deeply in AI’s ability to humanize talent experiences. While it doesn’t replace HR’s critical role in companies, one challenge — especially in the earlier stages of the company — has been subverting that misperception. Today, a wave of HR teams — facing greater pressure than ever to hire the right candidates and unlock the true potential of their employees — are realizing how pivotal AI technology is to discovering and retaining the most capable talent. Mahe’s foresight of this trend drove him to found Phenom and invest much of his own money in his vision, but even he couldn’t have predicted how quickly the pandemic would accelerate the market’s need for Phenom’s technology. Nevertheless, Phenom continued to grow despite the economic down cycle, equipping customers with the resources to succeed in times of both volatility and stability. Whether he’s poring over spreadsheets or talking to CHROs, Mahe is always in tune to exactly what our customers need — even before they realize it. He is a listener first, and because of the insights he has gleaned, Phenom has been able to launch products over the last year to improve customer pain points with strategic innovation. Mahe also sponsors a work culture that is #NotNormal and celebrates all of the ways our company and employees are unique. By creating a work environment that is as robust as our mission to help a billion people find the right job, our staff comes to life with the same qualities that define Phenom’s core values: curiosity, responsibility, intensity, self-confidence, and positive thinking. Mahe believes people should be happy and inspired by their jobs—and we serve our employees by creating memorable moments throughout their entire employee experience. This has led to an employee retention rate greater than 95%. Encouraging a culture of universal collaboration, Mahe has office hours open to all 1,000+ employees. Each week, anyone from the newest entry level employee to a veteran director can schedule time to discuss anything they want with Mahe. He often speaks about how these conversations inspire many of his decisions and ideas as the company’s CEO. Mahe also ensures the company dedicates time toward giving back. Phenom does this on various levels. For example, Phenom maintains an employee hardship fund for members of the Phenom family in need of support. Furthermore, Phenom Cares, our philanthropic initiative, is our way of encouraging employees to immerse themselves into the community and give back. Over the years, we’ve supported charities and events including the SPCA, Boys & Girls Club, clothing drives, as well as local communities in India. Despite all he has accomplished, Mahe is also one of the most humble people I have known, which makes working with him a joy. He is a true visionary — yet one who is adeptly skilled at turning ideas into action, and empowering those around him to do the same.

    Staff, submitted on

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