TechoparkToday.com(May, 2015): From aamchi Mumbai and Bangaluru’s Basavangdi, to America’s Motown City and the upscale suburbs of Indianapolis, and now at Infopark Kochi, the journey of Mukund Krishna, Founder and CEO of Suyati Technologies, has been as colourful and diverse as his entrepreneurship dreams.
SoCXO (www.socxo.com), the latest offering from Suyati Technologies, made news when it had a host of companies
operating out of Technopark signing up for the product. And we thought it was time TechnoparkToday.com catch up with Mukund Krishna to take a sneak peek into his life, company and dreams for the years ahead.
Last week, we spoke to Mukund at his Infopark Kochi office. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:
Congrats Mukund. Now, SoCXO has become the leading all-in-one employee advocacy platform in India.
Thanks. I give the entire credit for this to my team. They have been working hard over the last 2 years to create a world-class social employee advocacy platform.
What do you feel as your biggest achievement in your career spanning 25 years?
I would rather say that there have been two major achievements in my career.
The first one – my stint in Powerway Inc, a leading e-commerce supplier chain management software company based out of the U.S. My stint as Director, Product program management in the company saw me leading multiple project teams with budgets exceeding US$ 4 million. I turned around ‘make or break’ projects, managed the aggressive ramp-up of an off-shore development team with budget of more than US$ 2 million and managed and mentored Program Managers to assume leadership roles.
The other biggest achievement has of course been Suyati. Right from planting the seeds of the company 6 years back to now being one of the leading marketing technology service providers – the journey has been a highly satisfying one. And of course, I feel that nothing can beat the happiness and satisfaction that comes with interacting and exchanging ideas with a 200+ highly talented workforce.
From employee to entrepreneur – how has been the transition?
To be honest, it was a tough transition. I had given up a job offer with a hefty pay packet in Bangalore and Pune to start Suyati. In the initial days, I often had niggling feelings as to whether this decision was right. The only thing that kept me going was the trust my team, family and my initial set of clients placed on me.
What made you choose Kerala as the destination to start Suyati?
I was working as Country manager to Sigma Micro, a US based technology company, and when they wound up their operations in Kochi in 2009 due to recession back home, I decided to take over the facility, and they became my first client for Suyati Technologies.
As to what made us choose Kochi for Ind-Sigma, it was a combination of practical and personal reasons. I wanted a tier-2 city that offers great standard of living without the pollution and the congestion of a metro. It also had to have a highly trained workforce that could work on top-notch global projects. Kochi satisfied all these. Plus my wife is from Kochi, and whenever we travelled to Kochi during our holidays, I found myself falling in love with the greenery and the relaxed atmosphere. And the Kerala sadhya!
Now, coming again to Suyati’s offering, SoCXO. Can you briefly describe what it is all about?
SoCXO stands for Social Chief Officer. The platform drives brand ambassadorship among employees by enabling them to share curated, pre-approved brand content to their network on social media. The content could range from offers, infographics, newsletters, case studies to press releases and even marketing videos. In other words, SoCXO enables the workforce to be a part of the company’s corporate communications in a fun, easy and rewarding manner.
Why should an organization use SoCXO?
All of us know that the reach of a brand’s page on major social media platforms is taking a southward dip with every passing year. A few years back, Facebook said in one of its official posts that company pages organically reach only about 16% of fans. But of late, some brands have been saying that their posts reach no more than 5% of their fan base.
SoCXO can help an organization easily breach this barrier. Through SoCXO, employees can effortlessly share company content to their personal feeds and reach a bigger base of people.
And a very important reason why an organization should use SoCXO? Many studies have shown that the trust which a person has on a company or its senior management is much less than the trust they have on its employees. By using SoCXO, an organization can convert this challenge into an opportunity. When your employees voluntarily engage with your content and then share it to their friends and followers, the trust for your brand on social media becomes greater.
Our clients have also reported 3X times organic web traffic and leads and increased brand awareness by having their workforce use SoCXO. The HR teams of our clients have benefitted out of SoCXO too. They were able to step up social recruiting and increase job referrals with the help of the platform.
Is SoCXO helpful for an employee?
Yes, why not?
By sharing relevant content on to social media, an employee is able to brand himself as a thought leader. SoCXO makes this social sharing easier. The platform also makes it effortless for an employee to suggest relevant content too, thus giving him/ her more visibility in the organization.
With SoCXO, employee ambassadors need not just share what is curated and given to them. They can add their comments to company content before social sharing, thus adding a personal flavour to the posts.
With the help of real-time leaderboard on SoCXO, some of our clients have implemented reward programs for their active and passionate employee ambassadors too.
What made you think of developing a product like SoCXO?
I am an avid social media user. Also, I believe in sharing more relevant information to my followers and friends on social media. Till a few years back, I used to spend more than an hour daily browsing various news portals and other websites to understand what is happening in my areas of interest. I used to then curate the content and further share them with my friends on social media.
So it just struck me one day – why not make this process easier and less time consuming for people like me? Why not a platform where one person can curate interesting and relevant content at one place for many people?
With SoCXO, an employee just needs to login to read what is relevant to him. And if he is interested, at the tap of a button or a click of the mouse, he can share that piece of information on all the social media platforms where he has a presence.
Yes, initially, SoCXO was developed as a personal branding tool for corporate executives and professionals. But later on when we understood the potential that companies can unlock through SoCXO, we started selling it to organizations too.
What is your dream for SoCXO in 5 years?
If I can sum up my dream for SoCXO in 5 years, it will be – ubiquitous advocacy
People are getting more and more attached to brands they like. What more! They are becoming more vocal about that too. So, in 5 years, I want to empower a person to voice his liking for a brand from anywhere, anytime and from any device.
Apart from the application SoCXO, do you engage in any activities that spreads the word in India about brand advocacy and the best practices associated with it?
Of course, we do.
We have regular podcasts featuring the best minds in social selling and employee advocacy. Over the past 2 months, we have had social media greats like Neal Schaffer, Chad Pollitt and Mark Schaefer holding forth on the tips and strategies to get the best out of employee advocacy. We also publish blogs and articles written by eminent social media personalities. We have also brought out e-books to help you start employee advocacy in your organization and sustain it in top gear over a long horizon. You can tweet to @kmukund7 for a copy of the e-book.
To sum up the interview, can you list your biggest passion outside work?
Mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and budding engineers, and teaching children about financial planning.
This interview with Mukund Krishna was conducted at the Corporate office of Suyati Technologies at Infopark, Kochi on… Know more about Socxo at their website: www.socxo.com.