Hamid Farooqui, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of SoGoSurvey – a fast growing SaaS (Software as a Service) company that he co-founded in 2012 talks about the inception of the company, technology, startup scenes, and a lot more:
What inspired you or moved you to start this company?
Hamid Farooqui: I grew up reading stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and many other great entrepreneurs – how they were able to create pioneer technology companies right from scratch. And with this curiosity of knowing about them, I always felt like I wanted to do something big, something inspirational and exciting. So, I had gone through a routine education, a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Masters in Computer Science from the State University of New York. Back in my mind, I always dreamt of starting my own company and ‘SoGoSurvey’ is the result of that dream.
How does surveying help in the corporate sector? Why do you only have a client base in businesses and companies?
Hamid Farooqui: Surveys help in every vertical of the corporate sector. They help you run your business better. A decade ago in India, it did not matter what employees thought about their jobs, as there were not many choices. They were just happy to have a job.
But, the world has changed in the last 10 years. And even in India, companies need to worry about ‘Employee Engagement’. They need to worry if their employees like their jobs and the environment they work in otherwise companies will start to lose good employees, which can have an impact on the business by causing serious destruction to the company.
We all know about the advantages of technology, what according to you is the basic disadvantage of it?
Hamid Farooqui: There are not many disadvantages of survey technology. But there can be different problems including if your surveys are live and not managed well by using the right features then there is a possibility that vested elements could hijack and give multiple responses and then push the data in one direction. This could give you the wrong results and make this whole study completely meaningless and irrelevant. But if this study is managed well it can be extremely beneficial to the users.
Where do you see this company in 5 years from now? Any new plans you are going to implement?
Hamid Farooqui: We are expanding and growing rapidly. Our monthly growth is over 15% which translates to more than 200% in a year. We are hiring a lot of people in USA and India. The way in which we are growing, we definitely see ourselves as the billion-dollar unicorn in the next 5 years. We plan to add new features that involve ‘Sentimental Analysis’ in our reporting, ‘AI with Natural Language Processing’ and make our ‘Customer Experience tool’ smart and powerful. These are some of the areas of focus at this point.
Elaborate your thoughts on ‘startup scenes in the emerging market’. How can technology help a startup grow?
Hamid Farooqui: The Startup scene in India is terrific at the moment. In fact, this is the best time to start a business. Big companies in India should do more Mergers and acquisitions (M&A,) as more M&A’s in a capitalist society will help the startup culture rejuvenate the market prices and make people work harder and produce better results.