As the co-founder and CEO of a startup that is breaking new ground in workplace analytics, Manish Goel is, by all rights, a visionary technology leader. Passionate about the power of people and how they can leverage their individual and combined knowledge networks to solve complex organizational challenges, Manish is blazing a trail by using Relationship Analytics to better understand these networks. He firmly believes that an individual’s network of relationships is a key measure of their social capital and it is this relationship capital that also forms an important predictor of the individual’s potential success. From an organization’s perspective, harnessing the combined network of all employee relationships is one of its most valuable assets.
Combining years of technology experience with persistence, this astute CEO has led his company, TrustSphere, to achieve exponential growth working with some of the largest organizations in the world and successfully partnering with many leading technology companies including IBM, Salesforce, Veritas and SugarCRM. Under his guidance, the company has been recognized as a technology innovator by market analysts and continues to win various awards around the world. Innovation is a core value that Manish has always inspired among his team at TrustSphere. Consequently, its different solutions have been widely acknowledged by customers for providing unique perspectives that have helped them increase sales team effectiveness, improve diversity & inclusion initiatives and provide insights for their leadership development programs.
To understand Manish’s past is to understand his vision
Manish has over fifteen years of experience in the technology and innovation space, as an investor, a consultant and most recently as the CEO of the technology startup. Belonging to different parts of the innovation ecosystem has given Manish a relatively unique perspective on the workings of the industry and an ability to bring innovation and execution together. He is a believer in the power of diverse thinking. Throughout his career, he has had the privilege of traveling extensively and of working with clients and business partners in over 30 countries. Working with people from such diverse backgrounds and cultures and understanding their different perspectives has been a key ingredient of his success.
Manish started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their Strategic Change Consulting Practice in Sydney, where he was a part of the Financial Services practice. There he worked on various projects across the Asia Pacific region which involved evaluating and executing the role disruptive technologies could play in transforming the way clients operated and competed in this diverse market.
He was then transferred to London where he was invited to help set up PwC Venture Partners – PwC’s Corporate Innovation and Principal Investment Unit. There he worked as an Investment Director with a particular interest in Financial Technology (FinTech) and was responsible for making several investments in startups.
After his time with PwC, Manish established Greenoak Capital Partners, a venture capital firm focused on startup investments, particularly around data and analytics. For several years, he also served as the Chairman of the US-based Online Trust Alliance, a non-profit industry alliance formed to promote and advocate for the protection of online privacy and trust.
Passion for the value derived from shared knowledge is what drives Manish
Manish strongly believes in the power of people and the value of relationship networks. He says that human beings have an incredible ability to achieve. “Our ability to transform, evolve, innovate and solve problems is unparalleled. We achieve most when we work as interconnected teams,” says Manish. “Technology, when used ethically and appropriately, can act as an incredible enabler to help teams collaborate to solve the most important problems of the day.”
When talking about his personal objectives, Manish said, “I thrive on creating a culture to bring teams together to achieve the impossible – to take the moonshots others dare not. Motivating and enabling creative and audacious individuals to make amazing things happen is inspirational.” He further adds, “The belief that we as humans can resolve many of today’s societal problems by working together keeps me motivated. I believe the ethical use of technology is an essential part of how society can and will evolve – whereby technology can liberate knowledge and truth otherwise trapped within layers of data. Being able to democratize these insights for the benefit of individuals and teams means we can resolve problems without cognitive bias.”
Manish is a master of taking calculated risks. That is likely what pushed him towards taking the most daring challenge of his career so far, i.e. establishing his latest venture, TrustSphere. Bringing network technology to the market has been much more challenging than one would think, especially given the potentially sensitive nature of the data being analyzed. Establishing a startup which is now working with some of the largest companies in the world has been an incredible journey and a huge challenge. He has not only established it into a successful company but also guided the team to help them create solutions which solve some of the more complex organizational challenges for business in the digital age.
About TrustSphere, Manish’s latest Startup
Being a recognized leader in Relationship Analytics, TrustSphere’s technology enables organizations to unlock the inherent value of their collective relationship networks and use these insights to make smarter decisions across various business functions including human capital management, sales and risk & compliance. It offers advanced analytics for industries where employee relationships and customer relationships are built and maintained using corporate communication platforms including financial services, professional services and healthcare among others.
TrustSphere is different from social networking tools which map ‘connections’ between people. Its algorithms can measure the strength of relationships and assign a “relationship score” to distinguish from ‘simple’ connections. After analyzing these relationship networks, TrustSphere’s clients leverage these real-time relationship insights by surfacing them in various business applications which support organizational workflow. These include CRM systems, collaboration systems and talent management systems.
Although Organizational Network Analysis is not new, the process of data gathering and analysis for firms to date has been somewhat manual. TrustSphere’s offering is built to be ‘passive’ in nature and learns from existing interactions and is therefore both unbiased and highly scalable. It’s ability to deliver real-time network insights by continually understanding an organization’s network and deliver these into applications which support workflow such as CRM systems is keeping the company ahead of the race.
What makes TrustSphere unique?
- TrustSphere uses data ethically which means that it never looks at messaging content such as the body of emails or instant chat messages or voice calls. The company is committed to the protection of individual privacy.
- TrustSphere’s technology has been built for the enterprise and it has performed organizational network analysis for some of the largest organizations in the world across their entire employee base.
- The overall philosophy of ‘hyper-contextual’ insights enabling companies to use the analytics generated by TrustSphere on a real-time basis directly in multiple applications makes TrustSphere’s relationship analytics platform amongst the most powerful in the industry.
Manish further talked about the company’s plans and said, “We will continue to innovate and build on our current success. We are working closely with our business partners to build even more exciting and value adding solutions to delight our clients.”
Manish’s Secret to Success is Continuous Learning
Manish shares his secret behind his company’s growth and says, “I enjoy learning everyday – from both junior and senior colleagues alike. It’s only by openly sharing ideas and knowledge that collaboration, innovation and growth is possible.”
He mitigates traditional startup risks by hiring smart, passionate people who have integrity and curiosity. As he says “Hiring smart people, creating a culture of guided experimentation and working closely with the broader ecosystem helps us understand when to accelerate and even when to pivot”.
To budding entrepreneurs in the industry, Manish’s advice is, “Don’t be afraid to take on those challenges about which you are passionate. However be prepared to defend your perspective – there will be many naysayers. If you are an innovator, you are likely to be ahead of the market. This means being realistic about how long it will take for the market to catch up with your vision, no matter how correct that vision may be. And find the quick wins. These become the proof points you will need to bring others along the journey with you. Your team is critical. This team extends beyond just fellow employees – but also to your advisors and investors. This wider group is critical to your eventual success. In particular, choose investors who share your vision and who are knowledgeable and patient. Our success to date has been largely due to the continuous support of our investors. Finally – give before you ask. Being generous is a virtue and usually has an unexpected (positive) effect.”