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From his humble beginnings back in 1993, delivering expense reporting software on old floppy disks and working out of his apartment, to today’s always-on world of big data, Raj Singh has long defined what it means to embrace a world of connectivity and community.

As a co-founder of Concur, Singh has a unique story to tell about the cycle of technological advancement and the development of a business that has both reached remarkable heights and hit devastating lows. We were very lucky today to have him here at the Weber Shandwick Seattle office to talk about his experiences and how he has found success.

In speaking with us, Singh emphasized the importance of taking risks, trusting your instincts and defining who you are and want to be, both as an individual and as an enterprise. At its low, Concur was trading for pennies on the market. The company was operating out of its scope of expertise, losing money and was forced to lay off several hundred employees. In a risky repositioning, the leaders of Concur fought to better align their efforts with the company’s key capabilities, bringing its products from floppy disks to the Web and on to the cloud.  At the same time, Singh dedicated himself to ensuring that Concur’s employees knew that each one of them mattered, as did their broader goals and dreams.

The result of this two-fold strategy? When acquired by SAP in 2014, Concur was the leading management solution for travel and expense reporting. Of the journey, Singh noted that “management owns both success and failure,” and ultimately, he and his team “placed bets on things that we knew how to do.”

In the hour-long discussion, Singh touched on a number of key points. Our key takeaways from the talk?

  • Culture matters
  • Know what you do better than anyone else
  • Trust your gut

 

So, what’s next for Raj? Spending time with his wife and kids on the beach and looking ahead to the development of data science, machine learning and enterprise software.

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