A tech industry veteran, Yamini Rangan has more than 20 years of experience ranging from engineering to product marketing and enterprise sales. As Chief Customer Officer at Dropbox, Yamini oversees sales, marketing, customer experience, partnerships, and business strategy and operations.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering, a Master’s in Computer Engineering, and an MBA from Berkeley, Yamani was a great person to talk with about how a business like Dropbox, pivots, evolves and expands to meet the identified needs of its users.
M.R. Rangaswami: What are the key ways that Dropbox is becoming an essential software for businesses?
Yamini Rangan: When we originally started Dropbox in 2007, we believed that life would be better if all of your important information lived in the cloud — and that idea took off. Dropbox reached hundreds of millions of people around the world. But along the way, we also saw that our users were bringing Dropbox into millions of companies and we realized that what these customers really valued about Dropbox wasn’t just the storage but the sharing and collaboration – there was a huge unmet need. So, we shifted our focus from keeping files in sync to keeping teams in sync — connecting people to their most important information at work.
We think the opportunity here is only growing. Newer collaboration tools are turning the workday into a blizzard of interactions and a fragmented work experience for users. Our vision is really to transform the way people and teams work together. We know every company in the world has to work on content, and we’re building the platform that brings the context and conversations around it into one place, so businesses can get more work done, faster.
M.R: As far as customer experience, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities for Dropbox going forward?
Yamini: Dropbox has a very broad customer base – from individual users to small teams to teams with 10,000+ members that are spread geographically who rely on Dropbox to share and collaborate to get work done.
The challenge, and our opportunity, as we continue to grow our customer base is creating a customer experience that is both unique and consistent to each customer – across every size and from every industry. In order to do this, we are setting up “listening posts” as a consistent way to gather feedback from our customers through multiple channels, including social, support, sales or partner conversations. From there, we are focused on implementing what I refer to as “learning systems” to act on customer feedback. For example, we have created a monthly process where we share the most common feedback from sales and support to engineering. This helps us learn and improve as an organization. Our mission is really to create a frictionless customer experience in every interaction they have with Dropbox.
M.R: How do you spend your Sundays? In other words, what do you like to do in your free time (if you have any)?
Yamini: I would love to say that I have improved my golf stroke or I rock climb on weekends ;-). But between work and being a busy mother of two boys (11 and 9 years old), there’s not much free time. Most working moms will agree that weekends go by too quickly and you’re just catching up on basics!
Typically on Sundays, we cook breakfast as a family and go for a walk in the mornings. Afternoons are spent getting the kids ready for school, prep for tests and cooking for the week. On a rare weekend, if all is quiet, I spend the afternoon listening to TEDTalks – I’m a huge fan!
M.R. Rangaswami is the co-founder of Sand Hill Group and publisher of SandHill.com.