In this ”Walk the Talk with an Entrepreneur” session i am presenting to you an interview with Pallav Pandey (pic below) COO & Cofounder of Knowlarity Communications, a cloud telephony company based out of India.
How did you come up with the idea for cloud based telephony solutions for Knowlarity communication
Small and medium size enterprises in India are the growth engine of Indian economy. Collectively they contribute $110 Billion of revenue with high growth rate and provide employment to 75% of workforce in India through the manifestation of the relentless entrepreneurial dreams. And, all these entrepreneurs run their business on that small piece of mobile phone.
Myself and Ambarish (Cofounder & CEO) dreamed to enable these millions of entrepreneurs with innovative, inexpensive and hosted telephony based business products.
Cloud enabled solutions as a whole are making it affordable for small businesses to automate their office workflow. Products offered by Knowlarity are filling an important gap in the domain of intelligent telephony solutions (Fax / PBX) that were not affordable for enterprise businesses before.
What is the USP of Knowlarity Communication.
Knowlarity has built a scalable sales model where we are able to sell products in a cost efficient manner to SME businesses. Knowlarity’s competitive advantage is that we have been able to design a sales model taking into account the recurring nature of cloud business, something which bigger enterprises are not accustomed to do since they have been selling products based on high upfront license fee. Apart from being affordable our products are scalable on demand and have lower set up times, this is an important consideration for SME businesses that are inherently nimble in their operations.
Knowlarity communication is targeting global SMEs by offering range of products, do you find challenging to push your products in SME segment.
Yes, we had difficulty initially in making them understand the concept. However than we customized the products as per the sme basic requirements on the problems they face in their daily lives and developed products that they need in today’s scenario.
The company is pioneer of cloud telephony in India and creates state of the art products for SMEs and innovative award winning solutions for enterprises. Knowlarity is a young and vibrant company and served more than 40,000 customers in India.
- We explore how Cloud technology and services can help people and companies address their problems and challenges, and realize their possibilities, aspirations and dreams.
- We apply new thinking and ideas to create more simple, valuable and trusted experiences with technology, continuously improving the way our customers live and work.
- No other company offers as complete a cloud technology product portfolio as Knowlarity.
We offer consumers a wide range of products and services from efax to Super Receptionist and from web computing to Mobile Phones. This comprehensive portfolio helps us match the right products, services and solutions to our customers’ specific needs.
Which product is selling fast in the market and for which product you would like to see more traction.
We see demand for our solutions across enterprises ranging from small to large enterprises. Our product portfolio mix addresses needs of all enterprises, Super Fax and Super Receptionist being packaged products cater to specific needs of SOHO and small enterprises and products like Super Caller, Super Tollfree and Super Conference are designed to address needs of mid sized to large size enterprises.
Whom do you compete with directly in International market.
With respect to International competitors, players like J2 Global and Twilio are direct competitors. They would find it difficult to penetrate because of two factors a) their platform supports VoIP which is allowed in a limited way under indian telecom regulatory norms b) majority of their sales is done online and it would be difficult for them to sell in developing countries where majority of population is offline.
Exotel, another young exciting startup is also in similar space, do you feel threatened by them in the domestic market.
Cloud telephony space is at a nascent stage in India which is expected to grow to grow exponentially in the coming years with enterprises shifting towards cloud enabled products. Foreseeing this growth there are Indian Players like Ozonetel and Exotel which have started to offer these services.
Their current play is more towards providing an API and expecting the developer community to design solutions using the same. We feel that this might be too early for Indian enterprises that need packaged products addressing their main pain points, in this regard we have a head start on our competitors.
Cloud Telephony Services is a scale game – you can run asterisk on a desktop and start offering services and get past first hundred customers quickly. But the systems start to fail with higher call volume – appreciate we are dealing with parallel voice circuits and not just data packets which can scale easily using Amazon Web Services. Its a reliable communications game – nobody wants a services that works great “most” of the time. A lot of R&D and VC investment went into making Knowlus platform scalable and reliable.
Knowlarity would gradually promote its API as the market become as the developer community becomes more mature and we expect this to contribute strongly towards our growth.
Knowlarity raised investment from Sequoia Capital, Any advise to entrepreneurs who are planning to raise venture capital
Startups need to identify a niche that they can dominate and then expand from there.