New horizons for vyn in Asia
3 questions for Mohan Menon, vyn President for Asia.
Your career has focused on leading and creating revenue-generating teams in large enterprises. Which sectors and divisions in Asia do you think have the biggest need for video-based data like what vyn provides?
I don't think it's too different actually, from either the Americas or Europe, in terms of segments and sectors. Asia is to a large extent like Europe. Huge in terms of territory, with different languages and cultures. Sectors that work in the US and Europe would work in Asia as well. For example, any B2B company with dispersed sales teams across a country or the APAC region, be it Manufacturing, FMCG, Infrastructure, Banking & Insurance, Refineries, Government, etc., could be potential customers for our SmartVideoNotes application. Over a period of time, the government sector could emerge as a big user of vyn.
In a lot of countries in Asia Pacific, utilities are still run by the government. Here, we could see potential large-scale deployments for vyn. Having said that, one also has to realise that sales cycles to close deals for government-led utilities could be significantly longer than other sectors.
I just met a very senior executive who recently left Hewlett Packard as Head of Asia Pacific Enterprise – Software. I showed him the vyn use case videos and talked to him about major use cases. Interestingly he replied, “Why can't we use this for customer satisfaction surveys?” He said, every six months we want all our customers to give feedback, often asking them to fill a 2-3 page customer satisfaction survey form. If we can reduce that to a 90-second scripted questionnaire using vyn, where you also get to see the face of the customer, and it gets plugged into a back-end it would make everyone happy. Imagine the possibilities!
So the strategy is to get into an account with one opportunity…and expand.
As a Sales leader, previously overseeing dispersed selling teams, what features of vyn do you think will appeal most to the large enterprise companies you’ve targeted in Asia?
I have worked in the US, Europe and Asia. One thing which is a little different in Asia is the trust factor: Trust plays a big role in any decision-making in Asia. Video actually helps bring that trust factor home to people. Instead of spending time to read a report on a system, with vyn one could see the person whom you trust, recording the video and see him speak to you. I have been in this part of the world for the past 20 years starting in 1998 with Motorola. In my opinion, once you win trust with customers in Asia, it has longevity which doesn't happen as much in other parts of the world. Seeing and hearing something from your team or from somebody you trust means a lot in Asia.
You’ve spent 20 years of your career in Singapore where you’re currently based. Can you tell us why the island is such a good base for business?
First and foremost, Singapore has the best infrastructure to do business in Asia. Starting with the education system in Singapore, the school system is very robust. There are four top-of-the-line universities in Singapore, which provides the talent pool for all industries operating in and around Singapore. To that you add the expat community which brings a wealth of experience and best practices from all parts of the globe living and working in Singapore. A very rich mix of locals and expats, living and working together.
Secondly, I would say financial services and world-class administration. I think the government in Singapore works like a corporate enterprise: Extremely responsive to business needs.
Third, of course, is the best in class transportation network. The public transportation network is excellent. I am sure you have heard of Singapore Changi Airport being the world's best airport. Multiple daily flight connections to all major destinations in the world, and to big and small cities across Asia, make the island a great place for people to live and work.
Singapore is a very small country with a population of about 5.8 million people. World class infrastructure and easy access to APAC markets makes it an ideal choice for corporations to locate their Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore.
And last but not the least, let’s not forget the food in Singapore. The Hawker Centre food courts across Singapore serve some of the best street food in Asia. Come to Singapore for Asian food at its best!
What about the safety aspect? Singapore is known for its low crime rates…
Yes, I didn’t mention this but it’s also possibly the best place in the world to raise kids. Both my kids went to school here before they went to universities elsewhere. I would never lose sleep at night if my daughter who was in grade 7 or 8 came back at midnight, having gone for a birthday party at a friend’s place using public transportation. I wouldn't say it's a no-crime city, but it's a very, very low-crime city. Singapore is known world over for its very strict law enforcement.
Singapore sounds a bit like the Switzerland of Asia.
I would tend to agree, except for the weather. I may be biased after living here so long, but there’s a good many reasons why I’ve stayed.
Connect with Mohan on LinkedIn to start a conversation with him.