While Flatfile scales our team, we’re excited to have Saurabh (Jas) Jaiswal on board as head of growth/scale. We sat down with Jas to learn more about his background.
Q: Why Flatfile? (And what do you do here?)
I joined Flatfile for two reasons - data and people. As a lifelong data nerd, I was immediately attracted to Flatfile’s vision of enabling seamless data transactions between every organization in the world.
A few weeks of ad-hoc conversations with several members at Flatfile and I knew that this was going to be an experience like none other. I have met my fair share of founders at small and large institutions but David and Eric are unique in their ability to challenge the status quo. It's infectious and something I strongly resonate with.
At Flatfile, I’m focussed on scaling our operations in order to support more customers. This entails adopting consistent processes (first principles) to optimize the accuracy and speed with which we can serve our customers. It starts with defining team specific SMART goals that align with our overarching business objectives. My goal is to support every function within the organization but the past few months have been focussed on go-to-market strategy.
Q: With an extensive background in strategy consulting, can you talk about some of the toughest challenges you’ve faced in those roles?
I’ve been fortunate to work in a variety of different industries ranging from SaaS, healthcare, financial services, consumer products, and real estate. The biggest challenge that I personally and professionally grew from was at a dialysis company DaVita. I joined Home Dialysis (imagine a startup funded by a large corporation) with an enormous goal to change the dialysis offered in the United States. At the end of the 3 years, we not only achieved our ARR goal of $1B but more importantly impacted countless patients who were able to live a longer and healthier life. This entailed managing centralizing care to ~20k patients across 1500 clinics with a staff of ~1000 individuals ranging from dieticians, social workers, nurses, regional directors and VPs.
Q: Measuring growth can be distracting for companies who feel overwhelmed by so much data. How do you approach measuring performance?
When it comes to KPIs, there’s no shortage of data; every click creates 10 new data points. In order to avoid analysis paralysis, I follow this 3 pronged approach:
Articulate business objective(s)
Set SMART stretch goals; should be in alignment with business objectives.
Focus on data that’s actionable/has significant ROI; lead with “Why does it matter?”
Learning quickly and failing fast is essential at a startup. The Reds and Yellows on a dashboard should direct focus to a challenging problem.
Don’t forget to set BHAG (big, hairy & audacious goals) goals with roadmap/checkpoints. Striking the right balance between daily execution and a long term strategy is critical; something that requires constant attention.
Last but not the least, analytics should be balanced through this 4 quadrant lens:
Q: In addition to too much data, businesses are also dealing with a proliferation of technology tools. How do you recommend companies sift through the noise to get what they need (and will use)?
Tools are a means to an end and there’s always the next shiny one (who doesn’t want the new iPhone). However, I firmly believe that there’s simplicity on the other side of complexity and it starts with defining processes. Ask yourself, how would you do it with google docs - which will focus the attention away from tools for a minute.“You don’t always need the five course meal tool”.
Tools should justify the following criteria
Ease of maintenance as much as implementation
Automation vs quick manual workaround (first principles)
Integrations (future agnostic)
Q: What were you binge watching during the pandemic days?
I hardly watch TV but Friends is my go to “guilty pleasure” and I will never get tired of it. So many themes that many of us can relate to. You can find Friends memorabilia all over my house!
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