Apptentive Co-founder and CEO Named One of the PSBJ’s 40 Under 40 Honorees
We’re so proud to announce Robi Ganguly, our Co-founder and CEO, is one of this year’s 40 Under 40 honorees! For the past 18 years, the Puget Sound Business Journal has honored 40 business leaders from across industry sectors who are making an impact on their business, and in their community. Robi was one of 40 people selected out of nearly 400 nominees.
To celebrate, we decided to do a fun Q&A session with Robi to learn more about his leadership style, biggest milestones, what he’s most proud of, and more.
Here’s what he had to say!
Q&A with Robi Ganguly
Q: Can you describe your leadership philosophy for us?
A: My view is that making sure the team is involved in setting and achieving ambitious goals is the best way to build something together. Ensuring the team is aligned around the vision and excited about it while reinforcing the opportunities for them to make decisions and own the building of that vision are really important to me as a leader.
Q: What are some of Apptentive’s biggest milestones in the past year?
A: This year was big for major milestones! Our customers have surpassed 140 million conversations with their mobile consumers on over 670 million devices around the world. To put this in perspective, while brands traditionally reach only 1% of their customer base, Apptentive has helped its customers boost engagement to 23%; reaching 20 times more customers than the conventional rate.
Internally, we’ve made several key hires in the last year, including: Charlie Morss, our VP of Engineering; Marisa Nolan, our VP of Sales; and Vageesh Kumar, our Director of Product Management. We’re so happy to have them!
Needless to say, it’s been a great year.
Q: This award honors those with an entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no doubt you have that! Can you tell us more about how that spirit pushed you to found Apptentive?
A: Apptentive was founded in 2011 by four friends on a mission to make it easier for companies to build stronger relationships with their customers. We found that most tools were either reactive (waiting for customers to reach out to companies) or too pushy (broadcasting lots of messages that cannot be responded to). We wanted to use software to create a beautiful experience for companies to start conversations with their customers, but also listen to them, respond accordingly, and use insights gained to build a more customer-centric app and company. And create it we did.
In 2012, Apptentive entered TechStars Seattle and raised a seed round involving Google Ventures, Founder’s Co-op, Social Leverage, and Golden Venture Partners. In 2014, we raised a second round led by SurveyMonkey and used it to grow our team. Today, we work with the most successful companies in many verticals. We’ve been doing this longer than anyone else and are privileged to help our customers communicate with their consumers in a personal and scalable manner.
Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of from the last year?
A: In 2015 our team tripled in size, and we continued helping our customers and improving our product. However, I think the fact that we continued to refine who and what we are is a testament to the organization we’re building. Customers, revenue, and accolades are wonderful and we are fortunate to have some very loyal fans. Our best thing, however, is that we’re becoming better at defining what the world looks like, according to us, and bringing it into reality.
That’s a wrap! Want more 40 Under 40? Meet the other 2016 honorees here.
Do you have any additional questions or comments? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!