People Mentality Inc will be featuring a series of HR Tech partners to share more about their background stories as well as how users can benefit from engaging them. No tool is perfect, but every one of them is unique in their own way which is where the value lies for the various users. Find the best tools that suit your needs, mix and match based on your context and grow your business from there!
In the second issue of People Mentality Tech Feature, we are excited to have with us John Lim, Co-founder of Unibly, to share his thoughts on his mentoring app. Let’s find out a little more about Unibly and how we can tap on its features.
Sam: Hi John, could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
John: Hi, I’m John, the Co-Founder of Unibly, a technology startup that helps companies to easily start/manage their mentoring programs. I believe that mentoring has the power to improve organizational cohesiveness and create a culture of knowledge-sharing.
Prior to starting Unibly with my business partners, I was working in a Venture Capital firm and ran a Startup Accelerator Program. During my free time, I enjoy reading about business and psychology. I also enjoy good food and the company of good friends.
Sam: What sparked the Unibly journey?
John: My co-founder Joash and I started Unibly when we were still in university a few years back. We both personally benefitted from mentoring and wanted to promote the concept to more people.
We saw the opportunity after noticing that many mentoring programs fail to live up to expectations. Very often, the mentoring turns out to be mere networking, and fizzles out after a few interactions. The reason for this is because program administrators did not manage to properly facilitate the mentoring process. Most program administrators expect magic to happen after matching the mentor and mentee together. However, the fact is that magic requires engineering and hard work. This includes constantly sending reminders to both mentors and mentees to meet up, keeping track of their progress, sending them resources to guide them along, encouraging them with motivational quotes etc. Program administrators usually lack time and energy to do all that so we created Unibly to automate these tasks for effective mentoring.
Sam: How did the name Unibly come about?
John: Unibly stands for universal assembly. We hope to see people from all over the world coming together and forming quality relationships with one another.
Sam: Could you describe a little bit on Unibly’s journey from the time it started to its current state?
John: Unibly started as a side project with no technology involved. It started with us cold-reaching out to senior professionals for career advice, before introducing them to our friends who wanted similar advice. Eventually, we grew this pool of contacts to around 200 people. That was when we decided to create a Tinder-like app to facilitate matching and chatting.
We later decided to turn Unibly into a commercial platform after a few of our contacts approached us to ask if they could use Unibly for their organisations’ mentoring programs. After many product iterations based on client feedback, we have Unibly as it is today.
Sam: What was the most memorable moment during this startup journey?
John: The most memorable moment was when a mentee approached us to provide feedback about how she had benefitted from Unibly and mentoring. That was when we knew we were making a difference.
Sam: What were some key lessons that you took away from your startup experience so far?
John: One main lesson that I learnt is to expect the unexpected. In the business world, things can happen all of a sudden and catch you unawares. In such circumstances, it is important to remain calm and maintain clarity of thought.
Another lesson that I learnt is to just do it. The worst feeling one can have is to feel stuck. When you keep moving, your circumstances change and you get exposed to new ideas and opportunities.
Sam: What are your thoughts about the HR Tech space?
John: The HR Tech space is still very focused on administrative tasks such as payroll. But I see potential in Transformative HR Technology as the younger generation of HR professionals are more people-oriented and companies place increasing emphasis on human capital.
Sam: Who would you recommend to use this tool?
John: I would say that the first group will be educational institutions where they can use the tool to groom our next generation of leaders. The other group will be innovative companies because human capital is key to the success of their respective companies.
Sam: Where can people find out more if they are interested?
If you are consider mentoring as a good to have, I’ll implore you to think again. As a beneficiary of mentorship from several awesome mentors, I would say that mentorship is a MUST-HAVE for everyone if you are looking to grow your career. Of course, a mentor does not necessarily need to come from within the organization. Anyone who’s willing to give and possess and abundance mindset can be a mentor in different areas.
It was a great chat with John and interesting to learn how an initial idea that did not involve technology became one that was developed as a technology on its own to enable an important process in our career. I believe it’s an integral tool in making mentoring more effective and easy for everyone.
Hope you enjoyed the latest issue of People Mentality Tech Feature and we’ll bring you the story of another HR Tech company real soon!
Together we can create a better workplace for tomorrow!