Online Survey business has a multi-billion dollar growth potential annually – Hamid Farooqui


With technology, companies are now able to achieve faster and a thorough understanding of their product or service positioning directly from its desired audience and that too at a lesser cost and with zero error precision. And organisations are proactively using this technology of online surveys to understand its internal and external audience satisfaction metrics.

SoGoSurvey was launched in 2012 by Hamid Farooqui and Suhail Farooqui and this bootstrapped company started generating revenue in the second year of operations itself by servicing clients global clients like EBay, Swiggy, Citibank, UNICEF, Marriott, IBM, HP and FedEx to name a few.

Team NewsBarons spoke with Hamid Farooqui, CEO at SoGoSurvey about the demand of online survey, their foray into the Indian market and their plans to raise to raise funds.

NB: Explain the working of SoGoSurvey?

Hamid: SoGoSurvey is a web-based application that makes it easy to create, distribute, and analyze multi-lingual surveys, forms, and assessments in no time. Start from scratch or save time with a template from our survey bank. Drag and drop the right questions into place and streamline the participant experience with multiple forms of skip logic and pre-population.
When the survey’s ready, fully customize the appearance to match your branding, and even set up instant confirmation messages to thank participants. When you are ready to launch for web or mobile, go live in style. Create and store contact lists, then choose the right distribution methods – unique invitations, links for websites or social media, and more. Plus, track participation instantly and send reminders to only those who haven’t yet replied. When you have sufficient responses, run real-time reports using our powerful, best-in-class reporting engine. Choose from a wide variety of reports, including Bar Graphs, Cross Tabs, Individual, and Statistical. Customize each report to meet your needs. Then, save, download, and share dynamic links. SoGoSurvey makes data management and privacy simple and safe. Add on 24/7 support every day of the year and a no-risk 15-day money-back guarantee, and it’s everything you’re looking for.

Hamid Farooqui, CEO – SoGoSurvey

NB: Differentiate online survey model from the traditional practices? 

Hamid: Earlier companies were conducting paper-pen based surveys which made the entire feedback process far more expensive, time-consuming & error-prone. Over the years, evolution of online survey tools has eliminated these drawbacks; thus making survey creation simple, distribution quick & analysis accurate. There are many online survey tools – some are expensive but good quality while others are inexpensive but bad quality product. SoGoSurvey is very inexpensive yet, one of the best in terms of quality, power and simplicity.

NB: What is your USP and how do you differentiate yourself from other similar service apps and traditional companies?

Hamid: Our USP is to offer really powerful, highly user-friendly online survey software at a super-low cost. When it came to online survey software, users have had two difficult options:
(i) The affordable, low-end, low-power solution, and
(ii) The more powerful solution that breaks the bank

We saw a need for a tool that would be high quality but for low cost and that’s how SoGoSurvey was born. And that’s not all. It comes with training and extensive support that existing customers are raving about. We’re changing not just how you collect feedback in a secure, collaborative setting, but also how you fundamentally view feedback from customers, employees and other stakeholders. Our solution is easy for the beginner and powerful for the expert. This is what makes us stand out with the competition in the space.

NB: What are your various product offerings?

Hamid: Like most SaaS based companies, we follow a subscription based freemium model to generate revenue. The customers can use our survey tool by signing up for a free trial account and use it for real work and then upgrade to the paid plans paying either monthly or annually, thus ensuring that it does not hit their budget all at once.

NB: How has your experience been in the Indian markets?

Hamid: About 10-15% of our total users are Indians. There has been an increase in the number of signups from India & this portrays the increasing trust of people in online systems.
Currently, we cater to a lot of fortune 500 companies as well as top educational institutes in the US. We are tripling our customer base every year since inception & expect to continue the same in 2017.
We do have a pan India presence and anyone holding a credit card can opt for a SoGoSurvey account.

NB: What has been the investment till date for setting up base in India?

Hamid: The total investment in the company is about 2 million USD. We have used this money to build a great cloud and mobile based survey platform. Most of our initial investment was spent in product development (approximately 60%). Rest was spent on infrastructure, equipment and hosting.

NB: What is Mission 2020?

Hamid: The potential for business is enormous – in billions of dollars per year. We have been doubling our revenue year on year & expect to the same in 2017. We are on path to profitability

NB: Are you looking at raising Funds?

Hamid: SoGoSurvey has been funded by family and some very close friends. The total investment in the company is about 2 million USD. There hasn’t occurred a need for extra funding after the initial angel round as SoGoSurvey started to generate good revenue by the 2nd year of operations. However, to fuel faster growth to the next level, we may consider VC investments in future. The idea is to take funding from a VC who along with money brings expertise and experience to the company to fuel further growth.