INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
How the Pandemic Accelerated Product Market Fitment for Wizikey
Anshul Sushil of Wizikey tells us how they are obsessed with making external communications easy for businesses.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Anshul Sushil: Thanks for checking; we are a family of three, including a 7-year-old young kid, and have managed to stay inbound. We keep ourselves busy with gardening, Table tennis, and a lot of Lego.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Wizikey.
Anshul Sushil: I have an engineering degree from IIT and a brand management from MICA – these two degrees combined have supported my experience in communications and media relations for several Fortune 500 & startups very closely.
I always found it troubling to find companies having so much difficulty in monitoring their industries and not being able to discover the right set of journalists with ease. And when I closely researched, while the industry is worth 100 Bn dollar worldwide, there is a lack of a simple solution which solves the problem – and hence I decided to build Wizikey.
How does Wizikey innovate?
Anshul Sushil: The source of our inspiration for every innovation is understanding what customers really want. Our obsession with putting customers’ needs first has helped us manage the COVID times well. We have launched seven product features, including India’s first data-driven ranking report for companies based on their news analytics.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Anshul Sushil: We had taken steps in three phases:
- The first step was for employees: We were one of the first companies in India to go remote in early March. We did not wait for the government-led shutdown. This helped employees go to their hometowns and prepare well in advance with their families.
- The second was for customers: We stayed in regular touch with them and proactively helped them with subscriptions. Also, there was a lot of time spent to educate customers, that would enable them to communicate regarding their requirements.
- Third, we stayed in touch with our mentors and investors: Their guidance helped us with razor focus to drive the company to growth.
Our obsession with taking every decision based on written documents, talking to customers regularly, and also being empathetic towards employees helped Wizikey to grow 3.3X, and the employee headcount crossed 50. The only thing we missed was the warmth of our colleagues that we used to get by working in-person in the office together; otherwise, we do not have much to complain about.
What are the lessons learned?
Anshul Sushil: Happy and motivated employees are the bedrock of success. I realized this hands-on during the tough times – there were a lot of difficult moments, and I was inspired by their grit and such strong determination to keep building and shipping.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Anshul Sushil: Wizikey has been following OKR since day 1 of its existence, and it helped us to create a culture of transparency and empowerment. It supported us to re-orient ourselves to the needs of the company during COVID times. Also, the combination of Basecamp, Slack, and Zoom ensured that we stayed connected and worked better with each other.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Anshul Sushil: We are competing with about 50+ PR Softwares worldwide, including Cision, Meltwater, Onclusive, Isentia, etc.
Wizikey’s usage of data – right from monitoring the industry to identifying the narrative and discovery of relevant reporters is unique in the world. We are fully prepared to support many more customers with data-driven insights and actions in 2021.
Your final thoughts?
Anshul Sushil: We at Wizikey, are obsessed with the process to succeed more than the goals to achieve. We are proud of what we have achieved in such a short time. We hope the coming times are adventurous and full of learning.
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