Hers is a long-term love affair with technology.
That sums up Somya Kapoor’s flourishing career as a tech entrepreneur.
Somya has long been inspired by a BHAG: bridge the gap between business and technology.
She's done that, with great aplomb, for over two decades. Today, as CEO and co-founder of TheLoops, she and her team are focused on transforming technical support with data and automation.
TheLoops is a proud partner in ServiceRocket’s ecosystem.
In fact Somya regularly engages with ServiceRocket’s leaders and tech support team.
"We believe the right technology can generate insights that increase productivity and reduce service delivery stress,” says Peter Marquez, Chief Customer Officer, ServiceRocket. "That's our definition of tech-enabled services. Somya and TheLoops help us deliver on its promise."
In a recent conversation, this dynamic leader shared her zest for technology and the significant life experiences that informed her success.
Technology was always front and center
I remember when we closed a deal at SAP, one of the sales guys said, "Somya, I'm going to give you a $5,000 spa gift card." And I'm like, "What am I going to do with that? Why don't you get me the new Blackberry?"
I think it was 2006 when Blackberries were the thing. I’ve always wanted the latest version of every technology that comes on the market. Technology has excited me my entire life.
These days, as a busy entrepreneur and mom, I’d likely reconsider such an offer.
The spark behind TheLoops
In my previous startup we did a lot of IT automation. When we pitched to CIOs, they always said, "You know what? There's a bigger problem on the support site. Can you talk to the support leaders?" That’s when conversational AI was just starting to pick up.
At that point it was challenging to solve support issues. Enter NLP (natural language processing). That became the secret sauce to transforming support for the digital era.
At heart, we were looking to solve a problem.
We created TheLoops to empower support leaders and support personnel with actionable insights. It’s about keeping everyone in the loop so they can be more effective and more successful.
Our mission is to make each and every person within the support organization a superhero. That's why we love working with ServiceRocket.
Starting a startup in a pandemic
I still remember the date: March 5th, 2020. We began our pitch to VCs.
No one responded for a month or more. We're like, “What the heck, where do we go from here?” Because of COVID, there was a lot of uncertainty. People were trying to figure out their lives.
I said to myself, “This is my opportunity.”
We went back and started talking to about 200 customers. Not a single person said no. They were all like, “This is interesting.” We went back again in July and got most of our funding by September.
What I've learned in my career is, as long as customers don’t say no, just keep going. Even if 10 to 15% of your customer sample size says no, just keep going.
How I learned to never give up
I was part of the Gulf War in 1991 in Kuwait and Iraq. My grandparents thought our family was likely dead because communication lines pretty much died the day Saddam invaded Kuwait. We were largely in silence for almost 20 days—there was no contact with the outside world.
We had to find a way out of there and somehow get back to India. My father kept a smile on our faces. I was eight or nine years old then. As a survivor of war, I learned to keep my head up.
One step at a time, you get through.
Creating a culture of inclusion
Thirty five to forty percent of our engineers at TheLoops are women. I've never seen that ratio at any company I've been part of. Because of our leadership (and not just me) we are able to attract that kind of talent.
We encourage the entire team to participate in the innovation process, including the inquisitive part. Seniority doesn’t matter—even interns can ask me or any leader in the company a question.
Ultimately it’s about pride of ownership. Everyone stands behind what we build; everyone has a stake in the company's success.
Partnering with ServiceRocket
I loved ServiceRocket from our first introduction. I saw how empowered Rocketeers were—how they interacted with each other.
I've seen certain organizations, who I won’t mention by name, where there is a fear of speaking out loud. I didn't see that at ServiceRocket.
We're pretty small, but right off the bat, Peter (Marquez) saw the value in what we could bring to their ecosystem.
Being a minority woman entrepreneur
It's definitely not easy being a woman entrepreneur, especially as someone from a diverse background. But, as they say, where there’s a will, there's a way.
Many women think that they can't do it because they have families or kids. I have a daughter. But I'm also passionate about what I want to do.
It's about grit and perseverance—putting your passion into a product that will fundamentally change a behavior.
If you have that passion, then go for it. Don’t think twice.
A passion for technology.
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