Meet Sathya Smith, CEO and Founder at People Management Platform: Piper

Piper provides managers with an integrated solution that enables them to become great leaders.

The role of manager is really difficult. And, traditionally, organisations have given very little thought to what being a “good” manager really entails. Instead, individuals are promoted to managerial roles and left to learn an entirely new set of skills on the job and by themselves. Employees then bear the brunt of managers’ inexperience.

Piper gives managers a suite of tools, analytics and integrated learning modules that develop them into the best versions of themselves while helping their employees thrive. In other words, enable them to hone the skills needed to be a great manager. In doing this, Piper disrupts the way employee engagement is measured and performance management is conducted. The truth is that absolutely no one sets out to be a bad manager. Every manager wants to be successful and Piper makes that happen.


How did you come up with the idea for Piper?

When I was a venture partner at LocalGlobe, I advised early stage companies, many of whose founders had never been managers before. Suddenly, they were thrust into this role and struggled to find their feet because they hadn’t yet developed the set of skills required to manage people. During the first lockdown of 2020 these requests for help really increased because people didn’t know how to manage their teams remotely. Even really seasoned managers struggled to adapt to the new ways of working. Lockdown meant they weren’t able to see their employees in-person and completely threw off their ability to gauge people’s engagement and motivation levels or to assess well-being.

Researching this space, I realised there was a major gap in the market. What was needed was a new category of solution that combined technology, behavioural science and hard data to derive insight and analysis. A way to integrate learning in everything managers are already doing.


How has Piper evolved during the pandemic?

Piper was born out of the pandemic. There have been a lot of experiences in my career that have hinted at a solution like Piper but it was really the urgency, panic and desperation I saw during spring 2020 in a lot of managers across industries and experience levels that propelled me to start.

As the world of work has ebbed and flowed over the past two years, Piper has evolved as well. We’ve seen tremendous validation of not only our solution but the approach we’re taking. We feel that we’re in a very strong position to launch a whole new way of thinking about, defining and becoming a manager.

What can we hope to see from Piper in the future?

Big things! Our driving principle is that every single employee deserves a great manager who will bring out the best in them. This is at the heart of all our future plans. We’re early into our journey but you can expect to see a tech-first, human-centric approach to enabling, equipping and empowering managers to be better.

Piper is changing the game for managers.