Bengaluru based Exotel revolutionizing cloud telephony in India
Cloud telephony which was unheard of in India about a decade ago is slowly garnering attention and Exotel has been one of the pioneers in cloud telephony products. With just four years of its establishment (estd in 2011), Exotel, a Bengaluru based company has been able to make a mark for itself in the Indian market by being one of India’s largest and most reliable cloud telephony products.
Mr Shivakumar Ganesan, the Co-Founder of Exotel says: “The primary goal of exotel is to help businesses, both large and small, to manage their business phone system and never miss a customer call.We enable businesses to use a single number for their business. They can use one number for support/sales or any other function they wish to use this for and connect that number to the entire team using Exotel. The advantage of using Exotel is that, in addition to not missing calls and using a single number, you can also now analyse your calls with our smart analytics, build smart call logic, integrate your calls with your CRM, helpdesk software etc.”
Right after graduating from BITS, Pilani, Shivakumar started working for Yahoo, and was there for five years. He then quit Yahoo to explore new possibilities and considered starting his own company. It was at this point that he discovered his first venture, Roopit, a C2C marketplace. Shivakumar said: “Roopit was designed so that people could get on it and buy/sell any product. It was a venture that was purely established out of a personal pain point and so, I wanted to ensure it worked seamlessly without any glitches. Phone calls and SMS played a crucial role at this juncture. I was getting over a 100 calls a day and I had to manage all of them with just one phone. Naturally, there was a serious need of a product that could manage all my calls. Since I was unable to find any other solution that was affordable, I built my own and that led to the birth of Exotel.”
It was then he subsequently came to realize that this was a solution most businesses would also need and decided that he needed to make exotel work for everyone else. He said: “I wanted to build a team and, of course, I turned to people in my immediate circle. And that’s how Sid Ramesh (CTO) who previously worked with Microsoft, Ishwar Sridharan (COO), who was my colleague in Yahoo and Vijay Sharma (Former Marketing Head) from BITS, Pilani and who was working for Practo joined me as co-founders.
How Exotel works? Exotel provides a quick and easy way for an SME to purchase a telephone number, by-passing the cumbersome route to get a telephone connection. Exotel ties up with various telecom operators and procures numbers from them and connects them with its software, to be given to clients on demand.
Initially, our biggest challenge was to create a sense of awareness in the market as people were, quite naturally, apprehensive to adopt new technology. However, we have now surpassed that stage. Meanwhile the cloud telephony sector is growing and there are new players emerging in the market with increasing frequency, he further added.
As of now Exotel’s clients are spread across various verticals in India. Most of these clients are tech backed/ tech-based companies. Currently Exotel has over 700 paying customers. About their future plans Shivakumar says: “We are looking to expand to South Asian markets in the near future.Voice communication between customers and businesses is set to increase in the years to come. This is not just in India but also in other countries. Exotel aims to be major a contributor amidst this communication revolution. We envision a future where no voice communication will be devoid of in-built intelligence.“