Community has been playing an increasing role in the structure of organizations. Top leadership has realized the immense benefits that arise out of its web-like nature. A community can take any form – a discussion forum, skill directory or even a social media group. Yet most communities share the same anatomy, people being the common denominator.

To facilitate candid conversations and enable employee engagement across organizations, Ashutosh Dabral, founded The Hush App, an Indian community workplace discussion app. Team ELEVATE got a chance to catch up with him and here’s what he got to say:

What led you to choose anonymity as a product feature?

Many of the career and workplace issues that employees have cannot be raised with their identity attached to it. Anonymity allows people to ask tough questions without any fear of retribution.

How important is community for legacy organizations?

Building a community is important for all kinds of organizations. Employees engage more when they feel a sense of community and share a common set of beliefs, values, and ideas.

What lessons did you bring to Hush from Yahoo?

The culture and how to empower employees. One interesting thing about Yahoo is that their alumni network is really strong and reminds one about his bonding during college times. We hope to emulate the same culture in our organization too.

That one thing of ‘Hush’ that investors absolutely loved.

The highly engaged user base and the ability for our users to discuss any important workplace or career issue openly is what got our investors excited.

Tell us more about ‘Hush Premium’.

Hush premium is a way for our users to get career counseling and help from experts. They can “pay” for these services via Hush Points which they earn by interacting on the Hush platform.

Share some of the initial startup hurdles that you guys faced.

Any new product takes time to be trusted by the audience. Getting the word out in the initial stages proves to be a hurdle too.

How do you think you are changing the modern workplace?

By democratizing opinions. Right now, opinions at the workplace aren’t looked at in isolation – hierarchy, gender, race and other factors have an impact on how people perceive that opinion. Hush allows each opinion to be looked at on its own merit.

What other features are you planning to launch in the future?

We are building a lot of features around jobs, helping people figure out authentic information about companies and other things that are important for our key user base – the employees.

What channels do you use to acquire users?

Word of mouth and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) have worked best for us.

How does a startup stay relevant in this hyper-competitive arena?

A startup has to find a value-oriented and cost-efficient solution to people’s problems.