We talked to Nina Vellayan on how Xeeva is a comprehensive, AI-powered spend management platform, and this is what she had to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nina Vellayan: Although it is a terrifying and risky time for everyone, my family and I are trying to stay strong and support each other throughout it all.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Xeeva?
Nina Vellayan: I have spent my career working with various companies, including private and public companies, small and large companies, and enterprise SaaS. Before joining Xeeva, I was an investor and acting CEO of Stewardship Technology. I have also held senior-level executive and investor positions within financial, payments, and software technology organizations, including CEO of FrontStream Payments, COO of Official Payments, and a divisional President at Sallie Mae. It was a no brainer when I joined Xeeva in early 2020. I was most attracted to Xeeva because I thought the products were innovative. I saw so much potential in the company and its solutions that I immediately wanted to jump in and help the company continue to grow and thrive. Xeeva’s technology and its ability to cleanse, categorize, and enrich spend data intrigued me. The team also really drew me in. I could tell that Xeeva is made up of intelligent and driven individuals from just my first few interactions. They were very welcoming and eager to work together, strategize new ideas, and align on a shared vision.
How does Xeeva innovate?
Nina Vellayan: We continue to innovate by adding value to our existing products and services and developing new and improved products and services. We recently announced the details around our latest product release, highlighting all of the enhancements and upgrades we’ve made to our solution suite, including Spend Analytics, Sourcing, and Procure-to-Pay. Additionally, in October, we hosted a virtual Customer Council event to review our product roadmap with our customers and partners. We’ve already been hearing very positive feedback from them about the changes we’re making. We also continue to innovate by staying competitive and building value to our brand with our teams’ help, including product, marketing, sales, etc.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nina Vellayan: The pandemic has affected our business, just as it has for many enterprises worldwide. It’s difficult not being able to meet in person and attend events like we usually do. With that being said, we continue supporting our employees and allowing for as much flexibility as they need to feel comfortable with the new processes and expectations.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nina Vellayan: Joining a new company amid the pandemic has had its share of challenges. Not being able to develop relationships with the entire team or our customers face-to-face has been very unfortunate. On top of that, every day, we have to make difficult choices to put our employees’ and their families’ health and safety first. This has been a unique experience, but this experience has taught our team and me that we must be prepared. We must be ready for the unexpected and adaptable to anything that gets thrown our way. And lastly, it has taught us to not take anything for granted. Something as simple as going out to lunch with a coworker seems unimaginable to us now, and so we must never take the simple little pleasures for granted.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Xeeva in the future?
Nina Vellayan: For me, communication is vital in stressful situations. As long as our entire team is up-to-date with everything and maintains an open and comfortable environment, communication is beneficial to clear up any miscommunication or misunderstandings.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nina Vellayan: Our main competitors are companies that are also in the procurement and spend management space. We plan to stay in the game by staying ahead of the game. We plan to continue to innovate and differentiate our solutions and our brand. We will stay focused on our journey to enhance the features and functionalities of our offerings to empower our users to utilize AI to surface insights, realize savings, and control indirect spend with a faster time to value.
Your final thoughts?
Nina Vellayan: The bottom line is all we can do right now is hold on to our strength, resilience, and hope during these challenging times. As long as we remember that we are all going through it together, it makes the circumstances feel a bit easier and comforting to cope with. I hope we all continue to stay safe and make smart choices to all meet again in-person soon and go back to enjoying those little moments with the team.