Manish Hirapara

Boynton Beach, Florida

PeakActivity
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Learn about Florida Entrepreneur Manish Hirapara:

From selling sodas on the golf course when he was only 9 years old to starting his own bike repair shop when he was 12, being an entrepreneur always came naturally to Manish Hirapara.

“There’s always been an entrepreneurial streak in me, but I also took that and applied it at big companies,” he said. “I’ve had different levels of success in entrepreneurship, so it’s definitely been something that I’ve always sought out and will continue to do.”

While working with Office Depot, one of the top 10 online retailers in the world, Hirapara discovered a need in the eCommerce space that he knew he could answer.

“I found that there were a lot of people getting bad advice or trying to do things themselves and ending up not being successful in their endeavors. For us, it was finding that there were a lot of people who desired to get better educated or who wanted professional opinions,” he said. “We found we were able to understand what their challenges were, and we were quickly able to help them and set them on the right path.”

Now, Hirapara is the CEO of the market-leading company PeakActivity, providing guidance and execution to enterprises and industries needing to digitally transform.

Known as ‘Peaksters,’ Hirapara’s team can be described as dreamers, thinkers, marketers, designers, technologists, and engaged partners.

“We were able to hire great talent and put it to use for our customers, so our team has really been the driver of our growth,” he said. “People are looking for technology solutions, expertise, and talent to help them grow their business and that’s what we provide.”

“In the expertise area, our senior leaders can help executives get a good handle on how to grow their business using both technology and digital marketing, but they usually don’t have the in-house resources capable of fulfilling those strategies,” he said. “What we then do is provide them the talent that they need to continue to grow their business. We straddle the line between a strategy company and a technology firm, and our talent is what ties it all together.”

Based on four core values, Hirapara has instilled a culture in his Florida-based company that is very similar to one you would find in Silicon Valley.

“The first value is loyalty. We don’t consider PeakActivity just a company; we’re a family. Our second value is ‘Move. Matter.’ All members of the PeakActivity team are invited to express any ideas they might have to improve our processes, products, or services,” he said.

PeakActivity’s third value centers on creating positive energy with open-concept office space, creating an efficient, laid-back work environment that fosters personal growth and encourages collaboration.

“Our final value is ‘There’s no I in team.” We celebrate individual accomplishments as team successes. Team members routinely break away from their own projects to help co-workers work through roadblocks,” Hirapara said.

“You’re not ever stuck as an employee on one project or one initiative. You have the ability to move between the business and technical world while being able to work on the cool, next-generation stuff that’s coming out.”

Keeping a Competitive Edge

“Our competitive edge is in our people,” Hirapara said. “We have very senior leaders who have done some amazing things in all walks of life and we have credibility in that we’ve done it for very, very large customers in a a lot of different industries. We’ve got the depth of industries, the depth of customers, and in our staff, we’ve got the people that have the experience to make the right decisions up front.”

PeakActivity also keeps an edge above the rest in its market by always trying new techniques to simplify and speed up the innovation process.

“While combining several best practices from a wide range of industry leaders, we have distilled a myriad of processes into a 3-step methodology for applied innovation,” he said. “The three major steps of the process are: research and document the client’s current state, map the client’s future, and develop a clear strategy for execution. This 3-step method focuses heavily on delivering strong business growth through managed digital service delivery.”

Overcoming Challenges and Looking Toward the Future

Over the past three and half years of building PeakActivity into what it is today, Hirapara says he’s faced the same challenges any other business faces – having the right financial systems in place and hiring the right people.

“Growing yourself to death is a real thing, so as quickly as we’ve been growing, we have to be cautious in how we move forward, making sure we have the right resources and the right level of support,” he said. “With that comes the right hiring process and making sure we’ve got the right levels of talent that are reflective of who we say we are.”

Looking toward the future, Hirapara is hoping to expand PeakActivity’s technology portfolio, as company leaders see common patterns with their customers.

“We see opportunities that exist within the market that aren’t being met today, and we are continuing to try to make things easier by building ahead of their cycles,” he said. “We’re trying to be their innovation partner and for us to be a great partner, we need to anticipate what their needs are and build something to meet those needs.”

What It Means to Be an Honoree

When asked what it means to him and the ‘Peaksters,’ Hirapara said being selected as a 2019 Florida Companies to Watch Honoree was a feeling of reassurance and appreciated recognition.

“It’s quite an honor. Sometimes we can be our own worst marketers and for someone outside of our company to recognize the things we are doing and the success we’ve had is important,” he said. “We’re so busy working with our customers and doing the things that we have on our plates, we don’t take the time to toot our own horn. For us to take a step back and be recognized as an honoree by GrowFL is really quite fascinating.”

For his team, Hirapara says that considering all the new hires who come in the door each week, the new customers they’re partnering with, and all the new projects they’re working on, the nomination wasn’t a surprise.

“They feel it every day, but they know it’s a dynamic and fast-paced work environment that’s growing and changing,” he said. “I think for them it’s affirmation that, yes, they’re in the right place and the company is doing great things.”

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

“The first thing is taking the leap of faith. If you believe that you can do it, then go for it. The second thing would be to understand and recognize that the most important things in a business are sometimes based on financial implications. Go out and find revenue streams as quickly as possible,” he said.

“Move. Matter. Get into the space and start doing something because you’ll learn a lot more trying than you would just thinking about it.”

Notable Philanthropic Involvement

To give back to their community, Hirapara created PeakActivity Cares, a way for his team to share their products, services, labor, and monetary donations to multiple philanthropic causes. Through this program, they help local organizations in need with their marketing and communication strategies, contribute software development services pro bono, and organize team workdays to get the entire PeakActivity family directly involved in helping out their neighbors.

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