Arun Kumar is the founder and CEO of Kerika, a privately held software firm that has developed a task management and team collaboration app that’s designed specially to meet the needs of distributed teams. Kerika is used by people around the world, ranging from children in middle schools to global manufacturers and government agencies, to manage their work and get more done.
Mr Kumar is also an inventor, who has been awarded two US patents for inventing nested collaboration spaces. At Kerika he leads the product design and customer success efforts, while also overseeing a distributed workforce with team members in the United States and India.
Prior to founding Kerika, Mr Kumar had a long and successful career in the software, consulting, and financial services industries. He led Morgan Stanley’s efforts to create the Jiway stock exchange in London, which was the world’s first cross-border exchange with an integrated back office that brokers across Europe were able to use to drastically lower the cost of buying and selling shares across borders. He has also served as a non-executive director of a software firm based in Stockholm.
Mr Kumar started his career in the software industry, as a user interface developer at storied Bell Labs, before moving into consulting. He has built and led teams in New York, London, Stockholm, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Mr Kumar was educated at The Doon School, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Washington State University.
Kerika is a privately held software firm, based in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, that focuses exclusively on helping distributed teams get more done. Its app is the only task management app that was designed from the beginning to meet the collaboration and coordination needs of teams that are distributed across multiple locations — Kerika’s focus on distributed and remote teams long predates Covid.
We want to bring modern, effective methodologies from industries like software and manufacturing to the more general white-collar world of knowledge workers in corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies. Kerika has popularized the use of Kanban boards, which originated with automobile manufacturing, to environments as diverse as school classrooms, professional services firms, and even government agencies.
In nearly all cases, our customers had never used a visual task management and collaboration tool before; they came from a world of overflowing email inboxes and spreadsheets. Our product has the best user experience in the industry, and this has made it easy for non-technical people to quickly come up to speed with the idea of Task Boards. It’s not often that you will find an app that’s useful and usable enough to cover the needs of people as diverse as school children in the Canary Islands, global automotive manufacturers, and government officials.
Kerika is headquartered in the United States and relies upon a global team that spans several countries, with software development based in India. Over 80% of our users are from non-English speaking countries so we started an AI-based program to create versions of our app in dozens of languages.
We have always believed in the idea that all high-performing teams will eventually become global teams, and so from the start we organized ourselves as a distributed team that spans many time zones and languages. And from the beginning we have believed in the concept of ‘eating your own dog food’ and we used the Kerika app to run our entire business, effectively ‘using Kerika to build Kerika’.
As a small company with dozens of larger competitors, Kerika relies very much on great product design to differentiate itself in the increasingly crowded market, and nearly all of its user growth has come from word-of-mouth: until recently, we did no marketing at all.
What we hear consistently from our users is that Kerika is the easiest project and task management app that they have ever tried. And that’s what we are all about.