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Channel Chief: Vaidy Panchabikesan, Regional Sales Director, Kissflow

Channel Chief: Vaidy Panchabikesan, Regional Sales Director, Kissflow

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Vaidy Panchabikesan, Regional Sales Director, Kissflow, is an India headquartered SaaS Software provider. The company offers a comprehensive range of solutions for the modern enterprise. This includes its unified Digital Workplace, Low-code and No-code platform, a cloud-based procurement solution and more. Panchabikesan describes his management philosophy as the “Power of Simple” and believes in providing his team, channel partners and end-user customers with tools that simplify processes and best position them for success. He explains to us how the low-code, no-code platform vendor is developing its business and growing the channel in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market.

Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?

As regional sales director, I am in charge of all aspects of Kissflow’s business across the Middle East and Africa. My first objective has been to grow the regional team and we now have dedicated sales and channel development managers on board. As part of our growth strategy, we are also looking to hire regional customer success managers in the near future.

Kissflow has traditionally generated business through inbound activities. Our established customer base in the region has largely resulted from our online presence and brand reputation that have led organisations to approach us, sign up for a subscription and subsequently build a long-term relationship. Over the last year however, we have actively moved towards an outbound sales strategy with the appointment of a 40-member channel sales team based in Chennai, India. This channel-driven go-to-market strategy is especially relevant to our operations in the Middle East where our objective is to move towards a model wherein 90% of billing is through our channel within the next two years. This of course translates to a tremendous opportunity for our channel partners.

Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?

Currently, we have a scalable channel model wherein we work directly with channel organisations who resell our low-code, no-code platform to customers. However, our intention now is to empower our partners to enhance their value proposition by themselves, leveraging our platform to rapidly develop innovative and custom solutions which they can then package for their end customers. We are therefore keen on recruiting system integrators (SIs) that are focused on custom development into our channel ecosystem.

How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?

One of the benefits of utilising our low-code, no-code platform is that it can drastically shorten solution development cycles for our partners. Applications that would otherwise take months to develop can be brought to market in a matter of mere weeks – with the added benefit of this being made possible without the need for highly skilled coders. Given the shortage of IT skills in the region, this approach helps partners overcome the paramount challenge of attracting, training, and retaining skilled technical resources. This approach translates to a more rapid realisation of revenues. With the Kissflow low-code, no-code platform, channel organisations can develop applications faster and with less overheads, and effectively multiply their revenues by four times.

Combined with the fact that as resellers, our partners would be able to create sustainable revenue streams from the regular renewal of licenses, there is truly a significant opportunity for the channel to grow with us.

What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?

We’re seeing an emerging need for “hybrid skill sets” in the channel as three mainstream technologies – low code, robotic process automation (RPA) and digital process automation (DPA) – begin to merge. Ultimately, each of these technologies is geared towards hyper-automation and as these domains unify, platforms, such as those provided by Kissflow, will enable individual resources at channel organisations to be capable of managing the entire paradigm – from the design process to development and delivery.

What is your management philosophy?

I believe in the “Power of Simple” and proudly work for an organisation that applies this philosophy to all aspects of business – from our products and channel model to our pricing structure and people management practices. In line with this, I believe in providing my team, our channel partners and our customers with the tools that simplify processes and best position them for success.

When you look back at your career, what has been the most memorable achievement?

When I started my career as a developer about a decade ago, I was expertly advised that the true potential for career growth lies not in development but rather in sales. This was the turning point in my career as I then pivoted towards sales and marketing. Shortly following this, was another milestone in both my professional and personal life when I moved to the Middle East to join the sales team for a mobile application development platform. Based on these personal milestones, I can confidently say that this kind of transition can yield positive outcomes.

What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2021?

According to Gartner, 40% of IT budgets will be directed towards low-code, no-code platforms and this trend will continue till 2024 as the addressable market approaches a value of US$40 billion. Along with this, we can expect to see momentum in the data analytics and Artificial Intelligent space as organisations look to effectively utilise their vast data stores to drive business intelligence.

What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?

I don’t see a distinction between my professional and personal life and so, rather than trying to strike a work-life balance, I focus on ongoing personal development across all aspects of my life. I am an avid fan of cricket and over the last four years, I have taken to playing badminton with a passion. An aspect of this sport that is especially appealing to me is that it requires mental toughness and keen focus to achieve the right positioning and placement, and effectively mitigate an opponent’s strengths.

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