Q&A with Ravi Kikan, Director – Marketing, Online Sales & Growth at ZingHR

Media 7 | July 29, 2021

Ravi Kikan, Director – Marketing, Online Sales & Growth at ZingHR, holds a CXO role for businesses, and startups and helps in building GTM, scaling business growth and multitasking cross functional team with a common vision to fulfill their short-term and long-term goals. He has been advising and mentors startups and has also conducted lectures in several business schools. He is a proud author of several books including ‘How to Validate your startup business,’ ‘Bounce Back Now’ and ‘How to Raise Funds like a Rockstar.’

Inbound and outbound marketing has to be balanced while you plan your marketing strategy. Every business has different business needs and outcomes so accordingly both methods have to be balanced.


MEDIA 7: You are a proud author of three successfully published books and a mentor to budding entrepreneurs across different industries. What has your professional journey been like?
RAVI KIKAN:
I started in corporate working with both domestic and MNCs and was exposed to various sectors in media, PR, tech, financial services. I leapt from there to my new love of startups and ventured into my first media startup which failed despite being a great business idea with a proof of concept. From there on I started working with startups and in the last 10 years, I have worked, mentored, consulted or advised over 500+ startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. My failures and successes both were instrumental in giving me a direction on how startups and aspiring entrepreneurs should focus and look at basics from the ground level. I also happen to run one of the largest digital communities on LinkedIn with over 650,000+ global members - https://www.linkedin.com/groups/56766. This gave me an impetus to share, build and create content for professionals, startups and aspiring entrepreneurs across various facets in their journeys.


M7: Could you please briefly discuss how ZingHR combines Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help their clients maximize their outcomes?
RK:
We have many large enterprises that are using our AI-powered chatbots for employees. The ZingHR chatbot is designed to act as a virtual HR. It can simulate and carry out a real-time conversation with employees and respond to all HR related queries instantly, hence enabling a smarter way to engage 24X7. Machine learning algorithms are the key factors to automate the entire talent acquisition process, right from onboarding to the critical decision-making process. Machine Learning powered HCM solutions enable organizations to derive intelligent insights that help navigate these challenges, reduce the cost of a bad hire, and maximize the ROI on the resource time and cost spent on recruiting. Our HR software solution leverages machine learning capabilities to help organizations make quick, unbiased, and smart hiring decisions based on the candidate profile.


Remote working, digitizations in processes, workflow automation are all going to be a part and parcel of everyday non-traditional workspace and entrepreneurs who go with this flow will definitely see great success.



M7: What is your approach to market research, both customer and competitor-focused? How do you tackle changing client expectations in a dynamic digital market?
RK:
I always believe that, before we start building a product or service, we should validate your business idea or proposition. If there is a product-market fit, you launch the product/services else, you build something that a customer wants and is willing to pay for it.
When it comes to customers, it is simple - help them to navigate and understand the best part of your product. ZingHR is a leading HRTech company and my onus is to ensure that growth-bound enterprises should adopt it for progressive outcome focussed results.
I generally do not look at competition from a fear POV. I look at them in understanding how they are providing value to the existing or prospective customers. Our global competition in the HRTech space is between some amazing companies and we are proud to compete with them. We are the only company that has a host of 30+ modules in the HRTech space which no one really has. Our objective remains as a mobile-first, customer-first organization.


M7: In your digital marketing approach, how does ZingHR balance inbound and outbound marketing?
RK:
Inbound and outbound marketing has to be balanced while you plan your marketing strategy. Every business has different business needs and outcomes so accordingly both methods have to be balanced. At ZingHR, what we do initially is to find out the sales pipeline, understand the target audience and then plan which method will be appropriate to target the potential clients which lead to closure. This has to be a mix of Inbound and Outbound from building thought leadership content targeting the buyer personas, balancing paid and organic media, event marketing, email nurturing, content marketing, social media, top-of-the-mind awareness and much more. When these tactics are aligned it can help to drive maximum ROI on your spending.


M7: What are the key marketing approaches you have implemented at ZingHR to generate leads recently? How effective have they been?
RK:
As mentioned earlier, we are balancing the right mix of inbound and outbound marketing approaches to generate leads. Inbound marketing is permission-based and draws your customers' attention while outbound marketing is push-based, however, it can drive outcomes in the business to get you leads. A combination of both methods makes sense. So far Inbound and Outbound have been effective for us.


I always believe that, before we start building a product or service, we should validate your business idea or proposition. If there is a product-market fit, you launch the product/services else, you build something that a customer wants and is willing to pay for it.



M7: What do you see as the most noticeable change right now happening in the workforce, encouraged by the rise of digital technologies?
RK:
A very noticeable change is the maintenance of the channel of communication through the crisis, all thanks to digital methodologies. There is a level of trust that has been generated. People are learning how to do work disparately and with far less oversight. They are learning via remote, virtual formats. They are using analytics and following automated seamless internal processes. The need to constantly upskill and relearn has led to a huge disruption in the workforce ecosystem. The need for being agile and lean is a priority.


M7: What is your advice to entrepreneurs today who are facing some of the biggest challenges on digital platforms in the post-COVID-19 era?
RK:
Definitely, the outbreak of the coronavirus has been a letdown for many organizations and esp. startups. But as we are seeing the balance being restored slowly and steadily, one piece of advice to entrepreneurs will be to be aggressive in terms of getting back there and adopting digital change. Brands that can adapt and evolve are the ones that will survive. Post pandemic, we will see a paradigm shift in the work landscape and entrepreneurs need to acclimatize to it. Remote working, digitizations in processes, workflow automation are all going to be a part and parcel of everyday non-traditional workspace and entrepreneurs who go with this flow will definitely see great success.

ABOUT ZINGHR

ZingHR has been the driving force that is helping organizations go beyond Automation, and deliver a solution that could directly impact Business Outcomes and Enhance Employee Experience. ZingHR aims for an Employee-Centric and mobile-first approach. An Enterprise HCM platform for the betterment of the workforce irrespective of geographical boundaries covering the entire spectrum from Onboarding to Exit and beyond. ZingHR currently focuses on giving its users an experience like never before with AI-enabled Technology and User-Friendly Systems supported with over 21+ languages. ZingHR delivers Human Capital Management, Workforce Management, Talent Acquisition, Payroll, Learning Management, Performance Management, Training, Time & Attendance, and Analytics applications, designed and delivered for the world’s largest organizations.

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