INTERVIEW WITH THE FORMER Yahoo! AND LINKEDIN VICE PRESIDENT, WHO CHOSE TO WORK FOR A BULGARIAN COMPANY
Leanplum is a leading mobile marketing company. The company is co-founded by Bulgarian Momchil Kyurkchiev and its main technological hub is in Sofia.
The company appointed Anil Khatri as Chief Technical Officer. He worked at Yahoo! and LinkedIn as Vice President. Money.bg talked to him about the lessons he has learned in these companies, why he chose Leanplum and how to create a successful company.
- Mr Khatri, you spent quite a lot of time at Yahoo! and LinkedIn. Why did you choose to work at the smaller Leanplum?
- For me Leanplum is an amazing opportunity to participate in the creation of truly innovative and emerging technologies with one of the best teams in the field. This is why I am excited. The use of the technology we develop creates a wide range of opportunities for companies and consumers and contributes to the development and improvement of entire industries.
The exciting thing about working for Leanplum is that we have highly qualified engineers in order to solve the challenges of modern marketing and advertising. Especially in Sofia, our R&D team is among the most exciting experts in the field, who love to solve complicated engineering problems.
I also appreciate the culture here at Leanplum - we have employees from 26 countries and certain values that we hold. Moreover, we do not put barriers between personal and professional life, which has proved to be a great way to make much more fulfilling relationships and happy people in general.
- What did you learn from your work at Yahoo! and LіnkеdІn?
- The are few things that i think are the most important. The first is that culture is very important for the development of the company. It is extremely valuable to be interested in all your employees and help them grow in a personal and professional environment. The second is that you have a core of great professionals in different phases of product development, this is the key factor for success. Excellent engineers attract other great engineers to their team, and of course sometimes even better, which generally improves the work environment. This is valuable from personal perspective.
This whole thing with hiring the best people, give the opportunities to take risks and responsibility and help them with difficult situation when you have the experience to do so is a fantastic way to build a successful company.
- Is this the recipe for a successful technological company?
- There are many examples and recipes for successful companies, including Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tinder and others. The common among them is that in the core when these companies are launching and the high standards they are holding. The first 1,000 people you hire are very important for the culture of that company and the general direction. It is important to empower people and provide them with the necessary instruments and develop the feeling of common mission that the organisation is following.
- You mentioned work culture. What are the differences between US and Europe? And why nowadays Europe does not have such big tech giants?
- Europe and the US are very big and different in geographic and demographic aspects. The Silicon Valley is very different from Minnesota and Sofia is very different from London. As far as working culture is concerned, we can not talk about a big difference between countries. The founders of a company and the first employees of the company are the ones who are responsible for rhythm, direction and values of a organisation.
I have lived in Silicon Valley for the most of my life and I know, in particular, what factors make this part of the world so successful. The large concentration of entrepreneurs, engineers and investors in a relatively small geographical area creates the necessary prerequisites for a well-functioning ecosystem whose results, innovations and successful examples we see on a daily basis.
- Let's talk about Leanplum. How the company is changing mobile marketing , what is making it stand out?
- The main way in which Leanplum is transforming the mobile marketing is realising the need for instant communication and implementation of solutions which turn the mobile devices into such a platform. The good thing about the mobile devices the quality of data and that the level of engagement by users is high. This allows us to create the next generation of marketing cloud which tracks 25 million mobile devices on daily basis and allows for giants like Tinder, Tesco, Grab create long term, beneficial relationships with their customers through personalised campaign in real time.
The thing that makes the platform special is that it enables marketers to build their own individualised communications with consumers, which is very different and valuable compared to sending the same irrelevant ads to huge groups of people. Through the new technologies and the advances in AI we make communication in an intuitive, relevant and two-way.
- How do you use AI?
- There are teams in Sofia, New York and San Francisco, who are working with AI to improve mobile marketing space. Every day we are working with a huge amount of data, covering billions of request we have more than 400 million users. This allows us to use the technology more efficiently and reach out to people in a more sufficient way whenever they need it. The information is complete and effective for our customers as well as end users.
- Who are some of the most important clients of Leanplum?
We have numerous partners and we build long-term relationships. It is important for us as a company to help our clients grow and realize their full potential. Examples of companies that trust us: Тіndеr, Grab, NBC, Mozilla, Zynga, and others.
- What are the biggest challenges mobile marketing is facing?
- Mobile marketing challenges come from the way digital advertisers, following the process from advertising in publishing - reaching an unfamiliar audience. This approach has proved ineffective. With time and technology development, the impact of ads on search engines became 40% more effective than the ones on print media. The use of digital printing to send irrelevant offers can not work well at a time when the mobile environment is much more direct, intimate, and efficient.
Another important challenge is the promotion of personal protection of personal data. It is also important to have a reliable, intuitive, and ambitious platform that will enable you to take a long-term and meaningful step between companies and their customers. That's what our team at Leanplum does.
This article originally appeared on Money.bg
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