Three management lessons from the growth of Perkbox

19 September 2018 -

Saurav ChopraMake rapid changes. Think of the end user. Obsess about tech. Insights from one of the UK’s fastest-growing companies

Gabrielle Lane

Online employee engagement platform Perkbox was recently named among the UK’s fastest-growing tech businesses of 2018. What management lessons can we can learn from its explosive growth? CMI Insights got an exclusive interview with its CEO, Saurav Chopra:

1. BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO MAKE CHANGES

The first iteration of Perkbox was actually called Huddlebuy and launched in 2011. It enabled small businesses to purchase products and services as a group and benefit from the discounts usually offered to larger retailers. The venture secured backing from some of the tech world’s most notable investors, including the founder and CEO of Zoopla.

“An initial funding round raised £350K, but we soon had just three months’ worth of money left in the bank,” admits Chopra. “We decided to change our business model and provide lead generation for companies wanting to target SMEs through innovative social media campaigns.”

However, a sense of business purpose was lacking. “It wasn’t fulfilling our passion to make employees and workplaces happier. As a result, we decided to focus on employee engagement,” says Chopra. “Our mission became to ‘help build a better society one relationship at a time’, starting with the workplace.”

Read more: How to define your business purpose

2. THINK OF THE END USER

Employee engagement is a very well-established industry. “We’ve come in and created a different way of looking at it,” says Chopra.

Read more: How to devise a great benefits package

Perkbox partners with business owners, HR departments and decision makers, but it does this through a B2C brand so it can connect directly with users.

“We’ve positioned Perkbox as an exciting brand, one that employees look forward to using. This is really important to our growth,” says Chopra.

Read more: How to be more entrepreneurial: 5 lessons for your company

3. FOCUS ON TECH

What does it take to be a market leader? Chopra believes it’s all about technological capability.

Perkbox recently hired its first chief technology officer, Paul Schultz, ex-head of mobile at Yahoo. His brief? Strategy, platform architecture and global engineering roadmaps.

Chopra believes the key to employee engagement is accessibility. “Paul will complete Perkbox’s transformation into a mobile-first platform delivering amazing user experiences for employees and HR teams.

“The aim is to serve ten million employees by 2020,” he adds. “In this last quarter, we’ve worked particularly hard to expand our tech team. It’s now doubled in size in just over three months.”

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