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How Pandemic Helped Corporate Professionals Adapt to Start-up Practice

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Ilke Karabogali Perzonalization

Ilke Karabogali of Perzonalization tells us how they democratize predictive marketing technology solutions to reach wider audiences.

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

Ilke Karabogali: I recovered from COVID-19 infection in August 2020. Now I’m doing pretty well despite the fact that I’m bored as hell.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Perzonalization.

Ilke Karabogali:  I was a brand marketer at Nokia, then I quit my job and co-founded Perzonalization with my colleague from Nokia.

How does Perzonalization innovate?

Ilke Karabogali: We have developed an eCommerce personalization algorithm that increases online store revenues by 15%. Our platform is handling data from 19M online shoppers each month.

How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?

Ilke Karabogali: We have had and are still having cash flow issues. Some of our big retail clients are not making their payments on time, causing a gap in our finances.

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

Ilke Karabogali:  We have always been pretty cautious about our human resources costs, so pandemic did not affect us at all.

How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient? 

Ilke Karabogali: We use Hubspot (to some extent) and Mailchimp, but the way we add value happens via personal touch. We tend to solve the technical issues in 24 hours. Besides, we put much effort into customer success.

Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?

Ilke Karabogali: No, not during the pandemic.

Your final thoughts?

Ilke Karabogali: I believe the competencies gained by the corporate professionals during the pandemic will help startups like us. The main reason is that; remote working and team collaboration tools – which startups are already used to – have been widely adapted. I believe we’ll have fewer face-to-face meetings with clients and more productivity even after the pandemic.

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