Need to create and maintain a productive, safe and friendly working environment explains Vivek Parihar, VP Engineering, Xoxoday

▴ meet-vivek-parihar-at-medicircle-presents-rendezvous-with-smita-kumar
“Employees are the most important resources in any organization thus Xoxoday Empuls, helps organizations to strategically design programs that not only measure and analyze how employees feel about the work environment and culture but also help in creating and maintaining a productive, safe and friendly working environment,” says Vivek Parihar, VP Engineering, Xoxoday

     Business growth is a function of the business lifecycle, industry growth trends, and the owner's desire for equity value creation. Business Growth is a stage where the business reaches the point for expansion and seeks additional options to generate more profit. Choose correctly, and your growth takes off.  Choose unwisely and it could be a disaster hence business growth capital is critical for all scale-up minded businesses.

Vivek Parihar, VP Engineering, Xoxoday, is a serial entrepreneur, a business leader, a speaker, a mentor at NASSCOM, and an author. He has authored two books 20's The Most Formative years Of Your Life and A Personal Life Lesson. He headed the Engineering & Product for Mobile at Yatra's all verticals before lending his expertise to Xoxoday.

Xoxoday, pronounced as ‘zo-zo-day’, was founded in 2012 as a tech-product company which helps organizations to accelerate business growth by driving behavior change. Xoxoday offers business software products to solve problems around employee rewards and recognition, channel sales incentives, and consumer promotions which are used by HR leaders, channel managers, and brand marketers across 700+ global companies to engage their employees, channel partners, and consumers.

Xoxo means 'hugs and kisses'

Vivek explains that ‘Xoxo’ colloquially means 'hugs and kisses'. “People use this word to show love, friendship, sincerity, and affection. We wanted to build a company that can bring more "love and affection" between people groups. This is quite a name for an employee engagement company. Whether this affection is between an employer and their employees, an employee and another employee, a channel partner and another or a brand and a channel partner, or a customer and a brand. We wanted people to give and get more of this affection every day. So, some "Xoxo" every "day" makes the whole and sole of Xoxoday,” he says.


Goal of Xoxoday 

Vivek explains the goal of the organization Xoxoday, “We help organizations to automate and digitize rewards, benefits and incentives for their employee, consumer and channel partner rewards. During the initial years, the company offered gift cards as a core offering which still remains central to its flagship product, Xoxoday Plum. By 2015, Xoxoday developed a full-suite employee engagement product, Empuls - as a natural progression from offering extrinsic rewards to offering solutions to drive intrinsic motivation. We help organizations to build a winning culture through Empuls. Today, Empuls is used by 1000+ organizations worldwide to receive employee feedback using pulse surveys, take corrective actions using nudges, offer wellness programs, engage remotely, and reinforce positive behaviors using recognition. The product also connects the whole organization to share purpose and values, using its groups and communication features. In 2019, the company released Compass as an extension to their core philosophy of motivation and engagement. Compass is built for an organization’s extended employees like contract staff, gig workforce, channel partners, distributors, resellers, agents, or dealers, who may not be on the direct payroll but are major contributors to revenues,” he says.


Is employee engagement technology important?

Employees are the most important resources in any organization. They are the engines that drive an organization towards success. So, understanding how they feel is extremely crucial. Employee engagement technology, like Xoxoday Empuls, helps organizations to strategically design programs that not only measure and analyze how employees feel about the work environment and culture but also help in creating and maintaining a productive, safe and friendly working environment,” says Vivek.

Bringing forward next-gen technology products to help companies better

Vivek explains how Xoxoday makes people engagement & motivation frictionless, “At Xoxoday, we bring forward next-gen technology products and solutions that help companies to engage employees, teams, and partners, better. Our products help organizations to transform transactional work connections to become sincere and build deeper human relationships. Empuls, our employee engagement platform, helps HR leaders, CHROs, and CXOs to effortlessly execute key activities such as award workflows, budget automation, and industry-endorsed real-time surveys. With many key features such as communication feeds, messaging, and groups, the software equips employees to engage meaningfully with their peers and aligns them with the organization’s shared values. Empuls also enables organizations to constantly measure and analyze the levels of employee satisfaction by keeping track of Employee NPS and thus helping them improve the overall employee experience and drive higher productivity,” he says.

What I have achieved is not just because of me or my talent 

Vivek puts light on the subject, “It’s a long story but in short, what I have achieved is not just because of me or my talent. In my past and in the present, various people have helped me every day to become better, wiser, and productive. All these people in my journey, be it my mentor, my peer, or my friends and family, have been helping, advising, and guiding me unconditionally. From all of this what I had learned is - The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. hence the more you share, the more it helps others, the ecosystem grows and some of that karma flows back to you,” he says.

In the end, you become successful - so never give up 

Vivek throws light on why he enjoys being a cheerleader amongst the roles of Consultant, Counselor, and Cheerleader, “Mentorship requires critical feedback with cheerleading. For instance, when I wrote my first piece of code {in my internship} my mentor sent it back FIVE TIMES in code review. It was critical feedback (“divide it into a smaller piece of code, your method is doing too many things blah-blah-blah”) but it was followed by coaching (“he ended up writing code again!”), then he cheered me up and kept telling me how simple it was. In this whole review and rejection from my mentor, the best part was that when it was done he did pep me up, by telling how good I had performed with the whole assignment. All these cheering up session makes you feel invincible after multiple rejections but the lesson always learned is, in the end, you become successful - so never give up,” he says

I believe the best reward is a hug

Vivek suggests magnifying the moment, “Follow up your hug with incentives, motivators, and emotion-catalysts that celebrate the achievement of rockstar performers memorably. There is a lack of holistic solutions to motivate and engage users, be it employees, sales agents, channel partners, or even consumers. And, a platform like Xoxoday Plum addresses this gap. And, that’s why we believe that we are uniquely positioned to tap growth by filling up the above gaps. We are coming up with holistic solutions that don’t exist in incentive marketing. Xoxoday Plum Incentive marketing platform will increase sales velocity, improve ROI of marketing campaigns, and improve the response rate of surveys. This is a unique combination of Product, tech, and business innovation which will skyrocket your campaigns,” he says.


Tough times don’t define you, they refine you

Vivek suggests that nobody in the world has any definitive answers about what is going to work and what is not, neither does he. “For me, I always go by the saying, ‘Tough times don’t define you, they refine you’. COVID-19 pushes us to think beyond the current rules and it tells us how important it is to be super fast and agile. This is the best time to overcome weaknesses and threats. Use this time to get ready for the good times so that we are ready with full might. This is the time we can fix our short and long-term strategies. People who view crises as exciting challenges perform far better than those who attempt to force themselves to stay calm. With the right mentality, it is possible to channel your emotions and produce the behavior that will allow you to successfully manage a crisis — calm is the effect, not the strategy. Call it the NEW NORMAL or the Contact-less economy/society, customer experience will have to be re-imagined to address safety and accessibility as well. Is this the Aha moment for technology advancement, which means we are going back to basics and correcting what is required and important,” he says


On being a part of NASSCOM Deep Tech Club and mentor the young minds 

Vivek answers in the positive, “Oh! The quite obvious answer to this question is GREAT. NASSCOM Deep Tech club brings industry achievers as mentors from industry bigwigs who are building world-class software products from India, playing not on manpower or price but on technical strength. It's an opportunity to meet great people with great minds and thought processes. Every interaction with your fellow mentors provides an opportunity to see problem statements from different perspectives and angles. This is a great initiative by NASSCOM where industry veterans work with the chosen startups to address their current challenges. While mentoring these young minds, I can feel the hunger and aspiration growing among young Indians will lead to a completely new and successful ecosystem. Being a NASSCOM mentor, I can definitely tell you how these young minds make a huge difference in deep tech space. Their commitment towards getting better and building something new is commendable and it gives me immense pleasure to become their helping hand,” he says.


COVID-19 is not a short-term phenomenon

Vivek advises that “COVID-19 is not a short-term phenomenon. In such challenging times, agility and adaptability to the quick-changing business environment will play a key role for entrepreneurs in their journey ahead. The advice I would like to share is what I learned from my Xoxoday leadership team. 

Be cognizant of expenditure and keep strict control over costs and cash outflow.  The need of the hour is to be able to quickly tweak and transform your strategy be it sales, product, operations, or even the business model itself to align with current customer needs and unprecedented market conditions.

In my opinion, the Indian economy is in a tough spot. I believe it will be an uphill battle for the next 5-6 months. But, I being a very optimistic guy believe the economy will rebound and the Government of India is doing very well to make the most out of it.

Apart from this, some of the things we should take care of are:

Health: Health should be your top priority. Take care of yourself and your family’s health and wellbeing. Good time to start indulging in healthy practices with regards to food, hygiene, fitness, yoga, running, etc to keep high immune levels. Family: Spend time with your family and be with them. Attempt to keep yourself adequately updated on the world situation however do not panic or allow your family to do so. Read books, play indoor games, dine together, just like old times. Don’t be a carrier of coronavirus during any social meetings or travel to home. Good Habits: Good habits like healthy living, basic disciplines of life like savings, going back to the basics, cutting down any unnecessary personal spending will be helpful to all of us and our families. With limited indoor options, you can take up developing new hobbies and habits like reading, spend time on upskilling, introspect and utilize this time keeping yourself meaningfully occupied,” he says.

(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)


Contributed By: Vivek Parihar, VP Engineering, Xoxoday
Tags : #medicircle #smitakumar #rendezvouswithsmitakumar #vivekparihar #xoxoday #VP #engineering #growthaccelerator #businessgrowth #rendezvous

About the Author

Rabia Mistry Mulla

'For vessels to change their course, they have to be hit by a strong wind first!'
So here I am penning down my thoughts on health and research after 6 years of planning Diets.
Being a Clinical Dietitian & a Diabetes Educator I always had a thing for writing, alas, been hit by the winds towards a new course!
You can write to me at [email protected]

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