Written by Kayur Desai, Group Manager, Sales and Marketing for Emerging Markets at Intuit QuickBooks A day in the life as a tech leader at Intuit is certainly a varied role, however at the heart are principles that drive our ambition and achieving our goals. Core business strategy focus and culture Leadership is an important role in all business — determining the course of action and designating responsibilities among teams. Particularly, as a tech leader, it’s important to focus on the core business strategy while upholding a company culture that is both innovative and collaborative. Our strategy primarily embodies focusing the power of many to drive the prosperity of one. Here at Intuit, providers of software for accountants, our reputation helps in attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry from across the world, cooperating as one to constantly improve our platform. With a strong, diverse team willing and ready to help each other, along with our global network of partners, we gain real world insights from the 50 million customers using our platform. These insights are used to then be delivered back to the customer in the form of an enhanced product experience. A strategy I’ve adopted to help support both our people and company culture is putting aside time for each of us to share a personal high and low, encouraging the team to open up and get to know each other on a personal level. Being a global team, it’s important to integrate us as one and create a sense of belonging in the company. Our team members are seen as individuals, so it’s key to make meetings and the workday as enjoyable as possible. Improving customer service to deliver delight Our co-founder, Scott Cook, said: “Be dramatically willing to focus on the customer at all costs, even at the cost of obsoleting yourself.” This concept is vital in the ever-evolving world of tech. Our number one strategy, Design for Delight (D4D), is to help our teams be at the forefront in development and to go over and above to meet our customers’ expectations. We put this concept into practice to evoke positive emotion throughout the customer experience by producing software and products that dramatically improve our customers’ lives alongside the below three principals. Deep customer empathy: This allows us to gain a deeper understanding of our customer, what their pain points are, why, and how they are currently doing something — and it gives us the inspiration to innovate and come up with solutions to change their lives, so much so that they can’t imagine going back to the old way of doing things. Go broad to go narrow: It takes many ideas to get to one great idea. When brainstorming, it is usually more productive and beneficial to go for quantity first, then narrow these down to the best one. Rapid experiments with customers: Rapid experiments help us make better decisions based on actual user behaviours. These decisions are based on facts and experiments that help us gain insight before development to help our teams align with the customer. With this in mind, we roll out the following process with our customers: Find the most important unsolved problem for the customer and focus on this. Spend time observing customers. Be on their premises and see what they do and how they use our product or service. Once we know our customer’s problem, we find a solution. Work towards an ideal solution for the customer. Leveraging our tech We are continuously developing and improving our tech to support local accountants, bookkeepers, and small and medium enterprise owners. By applying our D4D strategy, we have noted specific trends for businesses in South Africa and consequently modified our QuickBooks product to assist with these trends. For example, late payments are one of the biggest challenges in the country — automation from cloud accounting software for small businesses plays a vital role in invoicing, and can assist in tracking paid and unpaid invoicing, and sending follow-ups for unpaid invoices so business owners don’t have to. Another trend is that business owners are using mobile messaging services such as WhatsApp to send invoices — this is a great way to communicate with clients and suppliers for matters that require a fast response. Intuit QuickBooks makes it easier for small business owners to manage their finances and stay on track rather than on the back foot. Our software enables them to track sales, keep track of stock, create and send invoices at the click of a button, as well as know exactly how their business is doing, anytime, anywhere. Work-life balance is key With the fast-paced lifestyle of a tech leader in a leading global company, it is just as important to find a good work-life balance. I always ensure that I find time to spend with my family, for example, taking my son to soccer and watching him practice, as well as making sure I have time to exercise. We are lucky that Intuit is very family oriented and the company understands the importance of having time to destress, rewind, and making sure we are revitalised to tackle a new day of empowering our teams to power prosperity for our customers.