Everline Future 50 Winners – Keep smiling with Perkbox

A few months on from winning a spot in the prestigious Everline Future 50, Co-founder and CMO of Perkbox Chieu Cao explains how happy he was to win and what is next for the employee engagement platform.

What does your business do?

Perkbox is an incredibly simple cloud-based employee engagement platform. Our mission is to transform workplaces worldwide by doing everything we can to put a smile on the faces of employees. Happy teams accomplish great things. Perks and benefits are usually ranked as one of the top reasons employees enjoy their jobs and therefore, stay. However, many small businesses struggle to offer their own perks. Perkbox offers companies without their own benefits packages in place the chance to take advantage of the benefits previously only available at large corporates; this means they can now offer a wide array of perks to keep their employees happy. The Perkbox model offers a great service to a large group of people. Any company anywhere can sign up to Perkbox, allowing for a more level playing field when it comes to both talent acquisition and benefits being offered.

What have been the key challenges for your business?

We have grown fast. We now have over 100 employees, which is fantastic and really exciting for us. At the same time, we’ve developed such a great team and created a really nice working culture. As the business grows, one of the one of the main challenges we face is keeping that culture intact and ensuring it evolves effectively as we expanded. For me, it’s really important that we maintain this going forward.

What are your company’s biggest achievements to date?

I have to say that when we secured our first global client, we knew we had something really special. That was a great achievement, and I’m so proud of what we, as a team, have managed. Seeing how the company has grown and developed is something everyone at Perkbox should be proud of. People are really important to us; they are at the centre of everything we do. In addition to the fantastic growth we’ve seen, one of the greatest things for me, which I think is just as important to our business success, is seeing friendships grow and develop across the company.

How can gaining recognition as a Future 50 winner help your business?

It’s great to be recognised for doing something you love. Recognition as a Future 50 winner helps to reinforce what we are all about and proves we are doing something right in terms of what we are offering clients and how we operate as a both business and an employer.

Why do you think you won a place in Everline Future 50 2016?

Our mission is to help SMEs by giving them the tools they need to grow their businesses. They are the backbone of our economy which is why we decided to focus on them.  Other companies might go after the big multi-million pound organisations, but I think it’s far more important to support growing start-ups and SMEs. We’re also operating in a really dynamic and evolving sector. HR and people management has changed significantly over the past five years. For example, we’ve witnessed the gamification of HR; today, it’s all about rewarding employees along the way, not just waiting until an annual review to reward and praise staff.

Which disruptive businesses outside of your industry do you admire and why?

I recently met someone from Zappos, an online clothing and shoe store. What is really interesting about them is that although they aren’t a start-up, they behave like one. They’ve actually just been bought by Amazon, who are now learning from the way Zappos operates. I think that’s fantastic, that a business as big as Amazon is now learning from a much, much, smaller organisation. That’s true disruption. FinTech has been particularly successful this year.

Looking to next year’s future 50, what do you think the stand out tech sector will be?

HR tech as a whole is a real stand out sector for me. As technology has changed how people work with clients and interact in their personal lives, they are expecting similar developments in their workplace. I expect we’ll see an increase in cloud-based services for HR – which is great for SMEs as it reduces cost and improves the bottom line. What’s next for your business? It’s still early days for Perkbox. We’re just starting out and have achieved a lot already, but we’ve got so much more to offer. We have a great product and a great team who have been central to our success. We’re expanding fast and are already looking to open new offices, not just in the UK but also abroad, which I’m sure you can imagine, a lot of us are excited about. Virtual reality is also a new and emerging tech that is just beginning to take off. I see this as a real growth area in the products and services we can offer – particularly when it comes to learning and development. I think this is going to be a massive growth area for the sector, and that’s something else we’re all really excited about!