Interview: Cloud technology to replace IVR – new business ideas
Cristian: Hi Aniketh and welcome to www.entrepreneurship-interviews.com. I don’t get that many interviews from India, so when I do, I’m very interested to find out about entrepreneurial ventures. Most people think about India as an outsourcing country, but there is genuine entrepreneurship and problem solving businesses there?
ANIKETH: Off late, entrepreneurship in India has seen an upward trend. Technology, especially, has the capability of simplifying a lot of processes leaving a lot of venues for entrepreneurs to venture into and excel. India is one of the most populated countries in the world; a population filled with enormous talent and skill. The talent available here is a huge asset for any entrepreneur and the population accounts for one of the largest customer base in the world.
Cristian: You recently launched a spinoff business dialstreet.com What is it about?
ANIKETH: Yes, Dialstreet is the latest offering from Solutions Infini. Dialstreet is a lead management and call tracking tool designed for SME and Enterprises, alike. This tool comes with integrated analytics that helps in tracking leads generated through calls which, in turn, helps increase sales conversions and also measure your RoI on your marketing campaigns. Dialstreet also doubles as an intelligent business communication channel that uses call recording, customized IVRs and call routing to simplify business communication on the whole. And, we list business using their Dialstreet number in more than 200 marketplaces in the country, thus increasing visibility and aiding lead generation.
Cristian: A few years ago I used to work for a big e-commerce company that had quite a big helpdesk support for the buyers. I remember we had specific issues with the IVR system, but I’m curious what issues is dialstreet.com trying to solve?
ANIKETH: Dialstreet negates the need of establishing a dedicated contact center for your calls. Your Dialstreet number can act as your single point of communication for a variety of needs. You can then program an IVR and a call flow that lets your callers talk to a relevant department or person using the options on the IVR. The call then gets routed to the department giving your customer everything that he needs to know. This sort of call management reduces the need of dedicated staff and saves loads from your capital and operation expenses.
Cristian: Everybody is talking about the cloud. But what are the cloud benefits for dialstreet.com?
ANIKETH: The advent of cloud technology has helped a lot of companies by providing inexpensive alternatives for their requirement. The basic need of purchasing dedicated equipment or software has been eliminated with the introduction of cloud technology. The key cloud benefit of Dialstreet is that you do not need any dedicated hardware or PRI lines to manage a large call flow. Dialstreet provides you with a virtual platform that does this for you with a bare minimum of supervision. The need for hiring specialist staff is also eliminated as Dialstreet manages your call for you.
Cristian: By the way, where is dialstreet.com available? Only to India?
ANIKETH: Currently Dialstreet.com is available in India only. But we do have expansion plans in different countries which is only going to materialise next year.
Cristian: And what types of companies is addressing? Small companies for which having an in-house IVR system is a burden? Medium size companies?
ANIKETH: We are addressing two segments – SME and Enterprise companies. SME, particularly, are willing to adopt new technology such as cloud telephony to reduce the burden on their call management.
Cristian: By looking at the features list I noticed a few things our old IVR system from the e-commerce company couldn’t do: no hardware setup! Call recording, integrated analytics and more.
ANIKETH: We are blessed with a technology team filled with the brightest of minds. A lot of dedicated research and development has led to the stage where we can confidently say that we have a robust tool that does everything that we claim with absolutely no hardware. The integration of analytics and lead management is something that we felt was absolutely necessary for any SME. We have included these features to enable Dialstreet to be more than a mere virtual receptionist.
Cristian: And how much does it cost?
ANIKETH: Dialstreet would typically cost an SME $25 to $40 a month for this level of call management. The costs would go up slightly for enterprises due to the higher call volume and higher usage that they usually experience.
Cristian: What else does Solutions Infini do? (for the readers, that’s the company behind dialstreet.com)
ANIKETH: I feel proud to say that Solutions Infini is India’s fastest growing messaging company. Solutions Infini is into building robust enterprise messaging solutions that cater to the messaging needs of any organization; be it promotional or informational messaging. We also cater to the voice needs now and Dialstreet marks our entry into the cloud enabled SaaS space in India.
Cristian: I think you started back in 2009 just in the beginning of the crisis? Not many would have the courage to do this. Was it a good idea?
ANIKETH: The idea was pretty simple. We wanted to bring in simplicity to the way companies communicated. Our confidence in this idea was what made us take the plunge inspite of the economic crisis that the country was going through and it paid off. Our investments were strong and we had a clear picture on the RoI. And, today I can confidently say that we are in a position to take our organization to the next level.
Cristian: How difficult is to start a business nowadays in India? And how did the crisis impacted?
ANIKETH: Starting a business in India is quite easy. It’s the events that occur after you start that carries a lot of complexity. The economic norms in India and the Employee laws and regulations were a little difficult to work under. And the level of expertise that we had was also insufficient to handle issues that arose from these laws. But we managed to power through, and here we are today, as India’s fastest growing messaging company.
Cristian: Anything else you would like to say to the readers?
ANIKETH: Entrepreneurship is all about dedication, focus, passion and high motivation. If you can put these aspects in place then anyone can start their own business. Our company is poised to be leading global players in Messaging and Voice space and we are very sure that we will get there really soon.