Lahar was one of the early collaborators on the Xotigo project, finally coming on-board full-time into the team in 2022.
You’re one of the key players in the team, how did you end up in Xotigo?
Lahar: Well, a more relevant question for me is “why” did I end up in Xotigo, and the short and honest answer for that would be: Xotigo’s product and the people behind it.
I am passionate about technology and innovation, and these act as my yardstick for every role, project, or task I undertake. Before Xotigo, in a career over 18 years in technology and consulting, I always strived to build products / solutions that solve real-world business problems, help users become efficient, and is downright easy to use. Achieving all together each time, every time, is my passion. When I heard of Xotigo’s product and its vision, I instantly saw a close connect between its vision and my passion, and that was my first motivation to join.
Of course, it helped that I already had around 7 years of experience working in the Automotive Supplier industry, and this brings me to the 2nd factor for joining Xotigo – the management team, namely Andreas, Eugene, and John, with whom I have worked successfully for many years and had great fun together. It simply makes your life easy when you work on big challenges with super talented people, not to forget the great company culture built automatically with like-minded people.
What is unique about Xotigo’s product?
Lahar: There are several unique aspects of the Xotigo Sales Management Suite of products, however I would like to highlight the unique value proposition. As this suite is a niche offering for the Automotive Supplier industry, every module and feature has been built keeping the industry business processes and best practices. The best feedback I hear from our customers and quite regularly is “Hey, I can so easily understand and use this solution to manage our sales lifecycle from the acquisition phase to the running business, and it seems all our processes were already built-in and automated to eliminate many redundant tasks”. There is a lot of heavy-lifting and continuous innovation to ensure that we constantly live up to this feedback, and more.
Building an industry standard product is a daunting task, what’s your approach?
Lahar: I agree, building an industry-standard product can be a complex and challenging task, but with a well-structured approach and a great team, it becomes more manageable.
First and foremost, we strive to have a continuous product roadmap that focuses equally on short-term optimizations, strategic improvements, and radical innovations. This roadmap is fueled not only by our vision and strategy, but also equally by customer feedback and ongoing market research.
Second, we take outmost care in handpicking talented professionals across the globe, who are passionate about building innovative products and in continuous improvements.
Finally, we do the required due diligence to ensure that our products meet all applicable statutory, compliance, security, and data protection requirements.
And finally, what’s something that you are excited to be working on right now??
Lahar: Sorry for the cliché, but life in a young, growing company is anyway exciting without any special projects. There is so much to do with so many creative ideas flowing around, especially about building new features and modules. Our product roadmap plans concrete innovations for the upcoming three years, which means that we need to continuously invest in building the right technological skillsets and the functional knowledge in our people to make these innovations a reality. For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be a game-changing enabler in various functions, and quite relevant for our industry. However, it’s power can be harnessed only with the “just right” product that works cohesively with our existing modules and developed effectively by our people. My focus now is to scale this workstream and make our modules AI-ready at the earliest.
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