Employee Spotlight on Eric Kaled
Eric Kaled is Genfare’s President. Since joining in April of 2019, he has brought a client-centric focus with an eye towards simplifying the rider experience. He brings more than two decades of technology and payment knowledge to the organization, and believes in sharing his knowledge through mentoring and stewardship. Read more about Eric’s vision, strategies, and insights into the industry below.
Now that you’ve settled in, what’s your vision for the organization?
Our vision is to simplify the payment experience for riders, in partnership with transit agencies. We are going to do that by solving challenges in the industry, such as data analytics, remote monitoring, acceptance of whatever is in a rider’s pocket, and the ability to handle cybersecurity. We’re going to do it in a way that provides simple hardware, software, and mobility solutions for agencies of all sizes.
What are the biggest priorities of a President?
The biggest priority is to satisfy and delight customers. If we do that, good things will happen.
I also want to focus on stewardship. Leaders need to give back. I gain the most energy from making an impact on others. That’s why I joined public service. You can give back to the industry and future leaders by providing one of your rarest commodities, time. If you believe that your role as a leader is a steward, then you should believe in mentoring future leaders who could be the next steward of your business.
What do you feel is the most interesting trend in public transit?
The most interesting trend is the ever-changing needs of today’s riders. It’s a different world now. We have to adapt. We need to embrace customer requirements, like point-to-point travel with real-time navigation. We need to accept whatever the rider wants to pay with, and we need to have the analytics to know exactly what a rider is looking for on their route.
It’s not just about having a trip available, but how frictionless the experience is. If public transit isn’t easy, riders are going to shy away from it. If we make transit frictionless, we will change habits and make public transit a top choice (for more of Eric’s thoughts on frictionless travel, please read here).
You’ve brought a client-centric focus to the organization. Can you talk more about that?
I’m truly dedicated to delighting customers. Our number one priority is to optimize the experience of our customers. To do that, we have to build processes and invest. We’re investing in front-end resources, like more efficient phone and ticketing systems to handle issues. Our culture requires standard processes on how to interact with what we call lifelong customers. We call them lifelong because for us it’s not just about a contract – we’re in it for the long haul.
How long have you been working in payments and technology, and how did you get your start?
I’ve been in payments and technology my entire career, since my engineering days after college. It’s always been an interesting field because it combines science and business together to drive change in a positive way.
What drew you to working at Genfare?
Every business can say their product makes an impact. What I like about Genfare is that we deal directly with public services. We’re a partner with transit agencies that are making a positive impact on people and are driving change across the United States and Canada.
Genfare is also a subsidiary of SPX Corporation. SPX has a wonderful culture that gives you autonomy to run your business. It has growth and aspirations not only for Genfare, but for a lot of diverse industrial companies. It’s a fantastic company to be a part of.
What is one characteristic every leader should possess?
The one fundamental characteristic I see in leaders is accountability. A leader will always ask, how can I help? How do I make an impact? “Not my job” is not something we say.
To me, there is no such thing as one leader in a company. I believe that every associate is a leader, because every individual makes a tremendous impact on a large amount of people, whether they know it or not. That’s why at Genfare, everyone is a leader and accountable for our success.
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