As 2022 kicks off, we sat down with Sogolytics co-founder and CEO Hamid Farooqui to reflect on the past and share what he’s looking forward to in the new year.
“The beginning of the year is the perfect time to reflect on our vision, our strategy, and our opportunities to reimagine the user experience,” said Mr. Farooqui. “We’re never comfortable to just rest on our laurels — we always have to innovate.”
The growth of Sogolytics
“The voice of our customers is the driving force behind what Sogolytics is today,” shared Mr. Farooqui. This attention to customer feedback has inspired growth from a survey tool to a complete experience management solution. “Our users wanted to do more, so we implemented a variety of automated distribution options, stellar one-click reports, CX and EX dashboards for better interaction at a glance, natural language processing, predictive analytics, and so much more.”
When asked what has surprised him most throughout the growth of the company, Mr. Farooqui pointed out the importance of user interface, system performance, and usability. “With each release, we keep refining the usability and improving the performance of our system. In 2021, we invested 25% of our product development budget into this initiative, and in 2022 we intend to invest up to 60%. The small details really do make a big difference, and it’s worth the effort to get it right.”
Plans for 2022 are forward-focused and have filled the team with excitement, says Mr. Farooqui. “We have an amazing product, ambitious team, and expert support,” he added. Recently hired CMO Eric Eden brings extensive experience in strategic SaaS marketing and demand generation. “Eric can connect with anybody, regardless of position, and is an industry veteran. He’s just an amazing guy. The excitement of the team is palpable, and we all know this year will be transformational for us. We’ve got the infrastructure in place, and now we’re aligning strategy with our vision to meet our goals.”
The right team
Mr. Farooqui shared his key requirements for success as having an excellent product or service, the right leadership in all areas, and the right energy from everyone on the team. With a solid product and outstanding customer service, the focus is now on strategic growth while maintaining the drive to succeed. CMO Eric Eden joins a marketing team that exemplifies that energetic drive and strategic thinking, including Natasha Safronova, Director of Product Marketing, Balaji Kumar, Lead Generation Manager, and Zahid Farooqui, Digital Marketing Manager. “It’s exciting to be hiring and expanding our marketing team at a time when we really want to get the word out. This is all for the future vision of our company, and I’m more than excited to show just what we can do.”
“My employees inspire me,” continued Mr. Farooqui. “They’re part of my feedback loop, and I am always working to close any gaps.” Mary McCormack, Senior Account Manager, connects with clients to ensure their needs are being met and to customize their services. Melissa Krut, VP of Success, is driven by clients’ understanding and use of the platform to take their insights to new heights. That continual feedback loop is a top priority for the team in refining both products and processes.
“We have an outstanding team, and it’s not just those in leadership positions who make the difference. We developed the SHINE and Value Awards to showcase talent and inspiration across the company,” Mr. Farooqui explained. Sogolytics’s SHINE Award recognizes someone who generates an amazing new idea or solution that improves the ways Sogolytics works, the products and services they deliver, and/or the company as a whole. The Value Award recognizes someone who demonstrates one or more of the organizational values: Security, Quality, Creativity, and Service.
Hamid Farooqui in the hot seat
As Sogolytics continues to grow the team, it’s time to open the door a little wider for an insight into the personalities behind the brand. First up, of course, is Mr. Hamid Farooqui.
Are you a planner or are you more spontaneous?
Planner on the business side and spontaneous in my personal life. I once travelled to Beijing without having my lodgings completely booked. I did the reservation while I was in the airport in Beijing! On the other hand, I’m highly structured in business and plan out sometimes months in advance to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Which do you prefer, micro- or macro-management?
I prefer macro-management every time. That’s the way you scale a company – trusting your people to get the job done. But, if things are not going right, leadership must be willing to step in and get involved at a more granular level.
Who would you hire, the person with more experience or the more innovative?
The innovator. I will always be inspired by and support a vision that makes sense and is viable. Sometimes the greatest achievements can be found in that space.
Would you choose a book or a movie?
I like both, but it just depends on what I’m looking for at the time. I really like books that inspire me with some fresh ideas, but if I’m looking to relax, I enjoy watching movies with my family.
Do you drink coffee or tea?
I feel like I’m saying “both” a lot, but it’s true. In the office I prefer coffee but drink tea at home. This is a multi-select question, right? 😉
If you’re just getting to know Sogolytics…
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, Sogolytics is an award-winning experience management and survey technology provider. Organizations like Uber, Walmart, UNICEF, 3M, and Citibank as well as hospital systems, financial services companies, and government institutions use Sogolytics to securely gather business intelligence and create exceptional experiences for their customers and employees.
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