Nina Vellayan: Vamping Up procurement industry with Xeeva
Top 10 Most Inspiring Businesswomen of Influence in 2021
With the spirit of helping others grow their business with proper management, Nina Vellayan, President and CEO of Xeeva, is leading the company with intelligent and innovative solutions. Before joining Xeeva, Nina worked with a variety of organizations, including private, public, small, and large companies, and enterprise SaaS. These valuable experiences allowed her to expand her skill set and diversify her expertise.
She adds, “I was an investor and acting CEO of Stewardship Technology. I have also held senior-level executive and investor positions within financial, payments, and software technology organizations, including CEO of FrontStream Payments, COO of Official Payments, and a divisional President at Sallie Mae.” In 2020, Xeeva’s innovative approach attracted Nina to the company. She saw a lot of potential in the company and its solutions. So, she immediately jumped in to help the company continue to grow and thrive. This marked the dawn of her journey with Xeeva.
Setbacks along the way
Nina stepped into the company during the time of the pandemic. She states, “Not being able to develop relationships with the entire team face-to-face has been very unfortunate. Additionally, every day, we have to make difficult choices in order to put our employees and their families’ health and safety first.”
However, these challenges prepared her and her team to be ready for the unexpected. No matter what comes their way, they have to adapt and offer the best services.
She adds, “It has also taught us not to take anything for granted. Something as simple as going out to lunch with a coworker seems unimaginable now, so we must never take the simple pleasures for granted.”
Bringing change with Xeeva
Xeeva started in 2014 as a business services and enterprise software company selling procurement software to the automotive and manufacturing industries in Detroit.
She adds, “Xeeva is a leader in indirect spend management solutions that optimize the entire procurement process. The journey begins with analyzing indirect spend data to then surfacing savings opportunities. The sourcing platform helps organizations realize savings utilizing our Supplier Marketplace and, finally, provides a consumer-like shopping experience for requesters and buyers with a compliance and policy engine and catalog updates in our Procure-to-Pay platform.”
Xeeva realized that 25% of a company’s overall spend is on indirect items. However, the C-suite has very little visibility into what’s being purchased, through which vendors, and at what price. Based on this revelation, they started developing their data-driven, AI-powered XVA Platform to help mid-market to large enterprise companies gain visibility into their indirect spend, create sourcing events, and purchase items with a consumer-like experience and a focus on compliance.
Their XVA Platform is the AI technology that powers our cloud-based SaaS suite consisting of: Spend Analytics, Sourcing, and Procure-to-Pay. Xeeva Spend Analytics visualizes cleansed, categorized, and enriched data. Xeeva Sourcing is a strategic sourcing solution that leverages deep spend category expertise and superior supplier and product data to identify optimal suppliers, reduce time to contract, minimize indirect spend, and simplify compliance within corporate sourcing guidelines. Xeeva Procure-to-Pay simplifies the procurement process.
She shares, “Over the last six years, however, we have expanded into eight different industries, including industrial manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, energy and utilities, chemicals, and more. We are continuing to expand our products and services in order to provide the most value possible to our customers. We are also continuing to build out our team and bringing in talented individuals across all departments. As Xeeva continues to grow and thrive, our employees continue to do so as well, and it is a very rewarding process to watch and be a part of.”
Life as CEO and President of the company
Wearing the hat of CEO and President of the company, Nina builds on the company’s momentum with the development of additional initiatives to maximize client experiences, expand its offerings, and accelerate growth.
As she stepped into the shoes of the CEO during the pandemic, she witnessed closures, layoffs, and furloughs of their clients. This caused them to refocus on ways to drive savings and cost-savings initiatives across their organizations, and they looked to Xeeva to help.
She expresses, “There’s a digital transformation happening, and due to that, organizations are turning to our intelligent spend management applications, powered by our XVA Platform, to surface insights that drive savings and bottom-line improvement in profitability. As a result, our customers realize 10-30% savings on their indirect spend after quickly deploying our solutions.”
Procurement has historically been known to be slow to adopt new technologies. As more companies are going through a digital transformation with their procurement processes, Xeeva’s spend management solutions will help them realize value.
She states, “We plan to stay in the game by staying ahead of the game. We plan to continue to innovate and differentiate our solutions as well as our brand. We will remain focused on our journey to enhance our offerings’ features and functionalities to empower our users to utilize AI to surface insights, realize savings, and control indirect spend with a faster time to value. With the constant evolution of technology, we are able to use our data to understand our customers, expand our offerings, and identify pockets of profitable growth.”
She believes that transparency and openness bring the inflow of new ideas to the whole team. She focuses on the point by expressing, “Innovation occurs because our employees feel empowered and aren’t afraid to share their ideas and opinions. We also make sure our team never stops learning. Our employees have the ability to train in new areas, develop new skills, and get professional certifications, leading to greater knowledge of cutting-edge concepts.”
Future plans for the company
Nina states, “Our mission and vision are to help organizations unleash greater savings through data-driven spend management, utilizing AI technology to surface insights, realize savings, and control indirect spend.”
Further, she adds, “We will continue to best assist our customers by looking at their future needs, surfacing new savings opportunities, and making better business decisions based on their spend data.” Over the next few years, they plan to improve their modeling, add to their 40 million SKUs, and keep building out the features and functionalities within their solutions.