A little about me
Shikhar Bhuddi – Growth
My name is Shikhar. I was born and raised in the countryside, at the foothills of the Himalayas. Since my early school days, I have been interested in STEM, and I was naturally curious to explore the world of physics and mathematics. Growing up, I also liked playing sports outdoors much more than sitting inside and spending time watching TV. Whether there was scorching heat or incessant rains, I was out playing cricket, volleyball, or football.
I’ve mostly been studious. I used to be the top of my class in school, and eventually, I went to one of the premier engineering universities in India. The university was pivotal in shaping my personality as a whole, as I explored many things outside of my curriculum. Beyond my main focus on engineering, I studied organizational design, principles of management, and conflict management.
I come from a family that loves building businesses, and that passion certainly rubbed off on me. I started dabbling in the world of entrepreneurship during my university days. I would spend time working on small yet impactful products – and yes, on occasion I may have skipped a class to do so. I developed at least half a dozen mobile apps by the time I graduated; most of them failed or pivoted, but I learned enough from them that I knew I didn’t want to work in a standard corporate environment. With varied interests in marketing, product development, sales and business development, I chose to work at idea-stage startups and help them build something meaningful. Years later, here I am, running my own venture.
Why I joined UpdateAI
One morning, I got a connection request from Josh on LinkedIn. He was looking for someone to help him set up the commercialization motion for UpdateAI. One of the first lines I read in the description was – “UpdateAI operates on the thesis that the top performing companies listen to what customers have to say.” That resonated with me immediately.
Over the past several years, I had seen really beautiful products fail to become businesses purely because they did not listen to the market enough. I liked the idea of UpdateAI, and I could see that I was a good fit for the company’s open position. I spoke to Josh over a Zoom call, and I could see that we had alignment on the preliminary ideas of GTM. A few weeks later, I was working with the team!
What I do at UpdateAI
I take care of all things go-to-market here – from setting up outbound marketing motion, inbound marketing, product analytics, growth stack, etc. On a day-to-day basis, I work to solve for “What do we sell, how do we sell, and who do we sell it to?”
Why I'm so excited about UpdateAI
The post-sales experience of customers is much different than the pre-sales experience. I think not enough people from marketing, product, and sales spend time understanding how and why their existing customers are using their product.
Fortunately, UpdateAI can help CS managers become customer evangelists within the organization – it can help build a culture that’s customer-first. Democratizing the voice of the customer is what every organization should strive for, and it is the most important growth lever for new-age startups. And it goes without saying that solving this problem is really exciting to me.
Which core company value I align with the most
“Be Customer Obsessed.” I think this is the one key value that every organization needs to have. Acquiring a new customer is much more difficult than retaining existing ones. That means making sure existing customers love the product helps SaaS companies build their growth flywheel, using referrals as the acquisition channel.