Executive InterviewsLatest

Meet Shihab Muhammed – From a Survey Tool To a Complete Omnichannel Experience Platform

Today we have selected Shihab Muhammed to take his interview. He is Founder/CEO of SurveySparrow.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

The transition to remote work seemed difficult in the beginning. Our team initially struggled to cope with the
situation and find an effective work-life balance. We now find ourselves comfortable more than a year into the pandemic as we have now learned to live with and effectively deal with the tough times.
This comes after a series of efforts aimed at ensuring the financial and emotional stability of our employees,
ranging from employee benefits and reimbursements to vaccination drives for employees and their families
and professional mental health counseling.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?

I’m an electronics graduate hailing from Kerala, South of India. I landed in Zoho (with a backlog) as a young
engineer and picked up the basics of coding. Through my interactions with several humble professionals, I
learned how to fly high while staying grounded.
After a delightful journey with Zoho, I joined Freshdesk (now Freshworks) as the third employee. Along with
the company, I scaled, transforming into a business leader and later putting together SurveySparrow as a
conversational and intuitive feedback tool in 2017.

How does your company innovate?

As a feedback company, we listen to our customers, incorporating their suggestions to transform the product effectively. We continue to deliver solutions, addressing their pain points in the best possible way without compromising our core vision.
We hold our customers with the highest regard, viewing them as our extended team, fuelling innovation with
each feedback. This has been our mantra right from the start.

How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

For an early-stage startup like ours, the challenge brought about by the pandemic was mountainous. COVID-19 gripping the globe pushed us to brace for two impacts – one, risking the lives of our employees by continuing work from the office, and two, putting at stake all the hard work that we put into gaining the trust of our customers by stopping functioning altogether.
With quick but proper planning and execution, we put the pieces together and continue to work remotely as a team. We are now more productive than ever, with annual growth exceeding 300+ percent, which is a ray of
hope for all of us in these tough times.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

The sudden shift to remote work called for efficient strategies and training for employees. Umpteen questions
stood before us. We had to coordinate an entire team working from home – no breezy task indeed. We huddled
up, jotted down how we functioned in our office, and contemplated moving it to an online version.
In the end, we learned of the need to stand by each other and take up resilient actions to mitigate the current scenario of work. And yes, I strongly believe that our unity will help us overcome this crisis. It is just a matter
of time.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

With a physical workspace, we never required many tools. The pandemic brought with it an urgent need for virtual collaborative platforms. We’ve made extensive use of tools such as Slack, Zoom & Google workspace.
These have helped our team stay connected, be organized & nurture productivity. We set simple goals for every member on a managerial level, reminding them not to boil the ocean. We clearly defined the desired actions and outcomes. By setting goals at an individual level, we could bring in more clarity in the surrounding chaos.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

SurveySparrow entered the marketplace when there was stiff competition in the experience management field. But our key competitors in the present day are Qualtrics, Medallia, and Surveymonkey, all of them being in the game for a decade.
Our key mantra has always been listening to customers. Our innovative methodology has helped us come a
long way in a short span – spreading our roots into 149+ countries, boasting a 100,000 plus customer base.

Your final thoughts

Countries everywhere are still fighting the pandemic. We’re a race of survivors, and we’re going to win this battle and overcome these times. I agree the battle is hard & long. But let’s look forward and focus on the brighter side because all we have through these difficult times are these & nothing else. I urge all of you to stay physically distant but socially connected. Please take care & be safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button