I’m joining the team at Kahuna as CEO

By: Sameer Patel | August 16, 2016 | Kahuna, Press

Today is my first day at Kahuna. Here’s why I joined:

I look for two winning elements to get completely fired up about a new opportunity:

  • First, is the customer pain point a big and gnarly one, and does it need solving right now?
  • Second, do individuals on the team have the tenacity and heart to do truly remarkable things?

As I learnt more about Kahuna and got to know the board and the team, it was clear that this opportunity has both, by the truckload.

Can I get excited about solving the customer pain point?

My previous roles have given me the opportunity to engage with executive teams at leading global brands. What’s blatantly apparent from these interactions is the heightened sensitivity to the fact that as advancements such as mobile and data technologies permeate our personal lives, the consumer has wildly more sophisticated expectations for how she wants to engage and transact with a brand.

The research is now much more grounded and has moved past one-off anecdotal findings: Forrester Research astutely points that “70-90% of the buyer journey is complete prior to engaging a vendor”. And when brands engage with consumers on their terms, they see “an average 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth”, per Gallup.

With these realities as a backdrop, the market is ripe for modern solutions that help brands respond to this new set of consumer expectations. Kahuna is recasting the marketing technology stack by exploiting state of the art technology advancements, whilst still providing brands with a palatable ramp that bridges mature approaches with modern customer engagement modalities.

Can I draw inspiration from the team and channel their energy to even greater heights?

Anyone who has worked with me in the past will tell you that I draw energy from my team. As I spent more time with the team at Kahuna, I was so inspired by the heart and fight that they put into making our customers successful. I am convinced that my primary job is to package up, focus and amplify this amazing energy, and to help every one of them be all that they can be. Together, we will build a resilient company and culture that we’re super proud of.

The last decade has been subsumed by the race to build features that automate marketing processes for the provider. This next innings will focus on making the customer’s journey the primary design principle. And that is at the heart of what we will always do.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank our investors and Adam Marchick, Ben Boyer, Charles Hudson and Omar Hamoui on the Kahuna board, for giving me the reigns.

Link to the press release, here. See you @Kahuna.

I’m so so stoked.



About Kahuna

Kahuna enables a new level of authentic engagement between brands and their customers wherever they are — the web, email, mobile, social channels —through personalized communication at scale. Powered by big data and machine learning, we help create delightful experiences for every customer with the perfect message, delivered on the right channel, at just the right time.
Kahuna is trusted by Yelp, Yahoo!, GoPro, Dollar Shave Club and other leading brands.  Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Kahuna was founded in 2012 and counts Sequoia Capital, SoftTech VC, Tenaya Capital as its lead investors. Kahuna was named Best Places to Work 2015, San Francisco Business.

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Author: Sameer Patel

Sameer Patel joined Kahuna in August 2016 as CEO. Prior to Kahuna, Sameer was GM/SVP at SAP/SuccessFactors where he led the team responsible for making SAP a leading provider of customer and employee collaboration solutions, serving over 35 million subscribers. Prior to SAP, Sameer worked consulting and systems integrator business. He has keynoted over 50 industry and venture capital/private equity events and has been quoted in publications like The New York Times, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and HBR. Sameer received his Bachelor’s in Finance and Economics from Babson College and his Master’s in MIS from Boston University. He enjoys writing about leadership and high-performing enterprises on his blog, Pretzel Logic.

Fun fact:

Sameer has worked in seven countries, was a nationally-ranked squash player, and has swum 3 open water races. His current passion is subjecting his family to his (mis)adventures in the culinary arts.



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