Karunya Sampath, Co-founder & CEO of Payoda Technologies

Karunya Sampath-Co-Founder-CEO-Payoda

Interview with Karunya Sampath, Co-founder & CEO of Payoda Technologies

A leader in the tech space with over a decade long experience at a few reputed Wall Street firms in New York, Karunya Sampath founded Payoda along with Anand Purushothaman as joint endeavor to transform the way businesses leveraged technology.

Besides being the co-founder of the company, she spearheads the overall operations while setting the vision and defining as well as executing key strategies as Payoda’s Chief Executive Officer.

Over the years, she has helmed a number of critical roles and responsibilities in the company such as Executive Management, shaping the culture of the company, growing the leadership and strengthening the bottom line, which in many ways is sacrosanct for the development of any company.

Since the inception of Payoda, she has worn multiple hats and played diverse roles across domains like technical management, product management, HR and finance management etc.

Additionally, she is also on the board of a few eminent product companies in the healthcare, social and high-tech space.

A software engineer by education, Karunya Sampath worked extensively on various technical roles with product and platform teams at leading global companies.

Outside work, she is a spiritually-inclined individual who has been practicing meditation for more than 15 years.

Besides, she has mentored many scores of people at eminent corporate and educational institutions through life skill workshops.

A sportsperson in her young days and a mother of two at present, Karunya continues to lead an active life with dedicated hours for workouts and sporting activities. In her personal space, she is on a quest to become a deeper spiritual seeker and practitioner.

Tell us a little about yourself

Karunya Sampath is an experienced Founder with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology products and services industry.

Karunya is skilled in Operations Management, Organizational Development, Sales Management, Product Management, and Business Strategy. She has a Master’s degree focused on Computer Software Engineering from PSG College of Technology.

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey

We founded Payoda, Inc in 2005 in NYC to be an innovation-focused startup. For the next 12 years, we bootstrapped the company and in the process built products in healthcare, insurance, social media, network infrastructure, and cyber security.

We also had a services division that worked with a mix of startups and Fortune 500 customers where we were able to extend our software engineering expertise and innovative culture.

It has been a tremendous learning experience working with customers worldwide, establishing best practices across functions, building a winning culture, and making Payoda a great place to work.

I think it was the best decision to embark on the entrepreneurship journey. It has been lots of hard work, ups, and downs but a very rewarding experience.

Kindly brief us about Payoda Technologies, its specialization, and the services that it offers

Payoda Technology Inc. is a Digital Transformation partner to diverse industries around the world. Our technology solutions and services cater to global businesses enabling them to be efficient, focused, and innovative.

We deliver advanced technology, services, and workforce solutions designed to maximize opportunities that exist at the intersection of data, technology, and innovation.

With our expertise in End User Research, Human-Centered Design, Product Design, Product Engineering, and Analytics, we use cutting-edge methodologies to transform your business.

Payoda offers software solutions, products, and services to clients across North America, Europe, and Asia.

What do you think are some of the most important technology trends to watch out for in the next 5-10 years?

AI, extended reality (includes VR, AR), 5G, IoT linked Cybersecurity and Biotechnology for healthcare.

And Blockchain would continue to create growth in the supply chain, voting system, and digital identity.

How do you see the adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) evolving in the coming years?

AI, in particular, is expected, with businesses leveraging its capabilities to automate tasks, improve decision-making, and enhance customer experiences.

As AI technologies become more accessible, we can expect more small and medium-sized businesses to integrate AI into their operations.

Blockchain technology will continue growing, with more use cases identified beyond cryptocurrencies. In particular, blockchain is likely to be adopted for supply chain management, digital identity, and smart contracts.

It would also be interesting to see governments explore using blockchain technology for secure voting systems and other public services.

The IoT is also expected to become more widespread. With more connected devices and sensors, businesses can gather more data and derive greater insights.

This will lead to increased automation and optimization of processes and the development of new products and services.

Can you discuss any notable successes or challenges Payoda Technology has faced while implementing new technologies or adopting new approaches to software development?

Payoda has a track record of successful technology implementations and has overcome many challenges by working collaboratively and creatively.

A notable success to think of would be to a leading US Telecom solutions provider, whose most calls in the call center ended with the customer being dissatisfied.

So, our client required a solution that would empower customer service representatives and assist them in promptly and appropriately responding to customers.

We proposed an NLP-based Smart Customer Service Automation Tool that would allow the client to improve customer satisfaction with each call response.

Here, the customer service representative received information about the customer’s personality and suggestions for crafting an appropriate response aligned with the customer’s concern and brand guidelines.

How do you balance the adoption of new technologies with the need for stability and reliability in existing systems?

Stability and reliability in existing systems can be challenging but essential for successful technology implementation.

Organizations should develop a technology roadmap in a strategic and controlled manner so that existing systems are not disrupted.

Conduct a Risk Assessment before implementing new technologies, and develop a mitigation plan. This can help ensure that the new technology does not compromise the stability and reliability of existing systems.

After which, Test and Pilot, train and support employees, and finally, identify any issues or challenges and allow adjustments.

How does Payoda Technology stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies, and how do you encourage your employees to do the same?

The best way to stay on top of industry trends is to understand the current market needs and challenges.

This obliges us to identify the right technology to meet market demand and address the challenge with technology or a combination of technologies.

Regarding the second part of the question, we encourage our employees to use our self-built learning platform, Katral – meaning “Learning” in Tamil.

It is an all-in-one, cloud-based offering integrated with accreditations & and certificates, content catalog & media library hosting with 24/7 tech support.

What was the inspiration behind turning into an entrepreneur?

Karunya Sampath: It was an inherent quality to create someone exciting, take risks and be more responsible for the outcomes.

We felt freedom when we came out of our jobs and started working on the initial stages of Payoda. Also being part of the tech community in the US, we were seeing how software was changing the world and we wanted to take part in that transformation.

What role do you see cloud computing playing in the future of software development and IT operations?

Karunya Sampath: Cloud computing has already transformed the software development and IT operations landscapes. Teams can use cloud services to manage and monitor their systems more efficiently, with greater scalability and flexibility.

It enables faster prototyping and experimentation, resulting in more innovation and a shorter time-to-market.

It also enables advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to be integrated into software applications to provide greater insights and improve performance.

Cloud computing will become even more important as the demand for more agile and scalable IT operations and software development grows.

How do you think the current global technology talent shortage will impact the industry, and what strategies do you have in place to address this challenge?

Karunya Sampath: The global technology landscape is such that there is always an abundance of skill sets and talent. In our industry, we must continue to upskill.

Learning and development through in-house opportunities are one of the strategies that we believe will add value to the business.

A work-integrated learning program that encourages students from non-engineering backgrounds to adopt technical careers – is also a strategy that we’ve initiated.

What steps do you take to ensure that the technology solutions you provide align with the business goals and objectives of your clients?

Karunya Sampath: At the base of every service we provide, is a thorough understanding and analysis of customer needs and market demands.

Payoda embraces a culture of innovation and learning and development, so we keep an eye out for any trending technologies that can provide effective solutions for our clients.

Seamless communication throughout the process and regular check-in with our clientele ensure quality deliverables.

What advice do you have for businesses looking to innovate and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving technology landscape?

Karunya Sampath: Innovation is fundamental to this ever-changing technology landscape. Each day comes with new learning and it’s important to stay adaptive to the market demands.

Businesses need to encourage a culture of innovation, so employees are empowered to upskill and learn new technologies.

With more experience in diverse technologies, businesses can scale vertically and horizontally. And finally, research, monitor, and improve your business solutions keeping the customer in mind.

What are your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Karunya Sampath: It is vital to always start an entrepreneurial journey with a product or service you are passionate about. The beginning of every start is to have a solid business plan in place and to ensure market research in terms of opportunity, competition, and revenue is understood.

Be frugal and curious and ensure networking is given priority. Road-test your service and work on active feedback.

It’s also important to know when to take risks and when to play safe. Most importantly, keep an eye on your finances and work smart.

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