Raj Ramanan shares insights from his more than 20 years of experience in consulting, private equity, and local digital technology with the Salt Lake City tech community
Scorpion’s COO Raj Ramanan recently joined Silicon Slopes Managing Director Garrett Clark for a candid discussion about what’s been happening at Scorpion, our recent move to Lehi, and his point of view about the role of COO in this dynamic world of tech.
Raj first took the opportunity to explain what Scorpion does and why our focus on the customer consistently drives retention rates over 90%. “We assign a dedicated person to talk to them about strategy…How do we modify their marketing to still keep up their lead volume? How do we change allocation from paid media to SEO? The machine sort of informs what to do, but the human is the virtual CMO working with them to protect their business,” said Raj. “And we have examples. In our LA office we have a wall of letters from home services clients who have said, ‘You saved my business.’ ‘You helped me put my daughter through college.’ ‘You helped us buy another truck and expand.’ That is so much a part of the Scorpion culture to tie what we do to company outcomes.”
Highlights of the discussion also included some of the unique aspects of Scorpion’s culture - both its genuine care for people - employees and our clients, as well as a strong legacy as a gifting culture. The combination of these attributes creates a place where employees feel connected to each other and Scorpion’s mission of supporting local business owners and their communities.
Scorpion moved its headquarters to Lehi in April 2021 after 20 years of making the Greater Los Angeles area home. Higher cost of living, and the increasing cost of doing business in California were two reasons that led Scorpion to look for a new place to set up shop. But Raj explains that only after an exhaustive and comprehensive search for a new location did Salt Lake City come out on top. Cities like Raleigh-Durham, Dallas, Chicago, Boise, Austin, Denver, San Francisco were also considered. But it was the relatively lower cost of living, access to top talent, and quality of life and recreation that led Salt Lake City to be the location of choice, and it is a bet that so far has paid off. Raj explained, “We now have a healthy number of transplants [from other offices] and a nice pipeline of new local talent.”
Garrett and Raj then shifted the discussion to what it means to be a COO, attributes that are critical to the job, and what makes a successful dynamic between a CEO and COO to create a results-oriented relationship. Raj’s perspective is that the role of COO really depends on a number of factors. He described the most important factor as their rapport with the CEO as a high-trust, low-ego relationship that provides an opportunity to pivot around the CEO, compensate for their needs, and counterbalance their strengths. He explained that his focus is not on product, but more on the tactical needs of the team from helping to manage both his team and the executive team with OKRs, dialing in metrics, and adding transparency around our plan to achieve our vision for the future.Thanks again to Silicon Slopes for the invitation to join this discussion! You can watch the full interview between Garrett and Raj here.