200+ Paying Customers for SME Call Management Solution in 7 Months : The Story of MyOperator & Ankit Jain
Call Management for Small Businesses is one of the major pain points and lot of Cloud Telephony Solutions have emerged to solve this problem. The ease of set-up, features and pricing differentiate the players in the market and there is still lot of market to capture on. MyOperator, a flagship product from VoiceTree Technologies is business call management system for small businesses. Founded in 2010 by Ankit Jain, VoiceTree Technologies is a Cloud Telephony Company, offering simpler and affordable telephony solutions to small and midsized businesses.
Story behind the Startup
After finishing his graduation at BIT Mesra in Computer Science and working for a year @ Uniphore Software System, another voice based startup, Ankit founded Voice tree focusing on rural voice based infotainment mobile channels. The product did not sustain by revenues, although it managed to gain good call volume.
Down with no path ahead, Ankit at certain point (a year back) decide to quit, but ‘voice’ was the real passion for him. He then decided to pivot and start looking for solutions for SMEs as they were already in telephony services for some, to manage the cash flow.
MyOperator was again started on service model for couple of SME customers and soon they started exploring possibilities as making it a product for the Indian market. Ankit Says, “We started slow, understanding real pain points for businesses upgrading our product from time to time and acquiring customers”.
Currently, MyOperator hosts a variety of products targeted at SME – Conference, FAX, Toll-Free , CODAC and Missed Call Marketing. With features such as Detailed Call account, Advanced Call Tracking, Real Time Monitoring and Unlimited PBX Scalability, MyOperator acts as a platform for organizing phones in SME in a simpler and affordable way. The product has impressive list of customers – Aam Aadmi Party, Ghadi Detergent Powder, Snapdeal, Yebhi and Lenskart among many others.
There are quite few established players in the SME Voice Solutions Market and how MyOperator differs is by the fundamental way in which the product is molded out. It is based on how regular employee in a company would be handling calls, which are not necessarily a call center or support center. As the product has emerged from being a small service to few initial customers to a full pledged product, the team have understood customer’s pain points along the way and incorporated them in the future releases of product.
It definitely worked, going by the numbers. Though they had around 10 odd customers on service model before the launch in March 2013, VoiceTree now has crossed 200 Paying Customers benchmark.
The Road Ahead
The Startup has currently achieved break even and is continuously expanding the team to keep themselves on zero profit. “Looking forward, for our further expansion we are seeking external funds but will be selective about it”, says Ankit.
MyOperator is currently limited offering their infrastructure offering only to Delhi, but are now expanding with good speed to offer the same, pan-India.In the coming 6 months, plans are initiated to release the enhanced next version of product on a global level.
The Startup will look at opportunities to cross sell their product ‘CODAC” that provides ‘Automated Confirmations’ to businesses which has an impressive list of customers such as Micromax, Snapdeal, Lenskart and others.
“Reading the markets, our product is placed in a niche where Packaged offering for small businesses is a time saving, high ROI investment, increasing the perceived value of the business for its customers. Our emphasis is on creating a single cloud application to manage the entire business phone communication.”, says Ankit.
Growth Hacks for Startups
We get Ankit to share some things that worked for him to achieve such massive scale of success in a relatively short time:
- Start selling the product before you actually have it even ready. It helps you what are the pain points on which customer can pay you money (and hence are strong pain areas). Even sales process need iteration and learning and should be covered with product iteration.
- “Just do it attitude”. Never give ‘too much’ time on plans and decision. Keep trying and learn always.
- Start building team before you need. There is always a learning period for everyone. So hiring should start a quarter before you actually need them for role in full swing. We emphasis on hiring an in-house HR (recruiter) at very early stage and keep hiring as core important process. Motivating team, aligning them toward a common company vision is mandatory part of founders.
TTP’s take on MyOperator
Ease of use and Affordability are the 2 things that would help a business to adopt a new solution and MyOperator has got it right on both fronts. The product has gathered an impressive list of customers in a short period of time. Currently serving customers mostly in Delhi, it remains to see how the product would fare with existing customers of other cloud telephony products pan-India.