E-mail, SMS, IVRS, chatbots have become some of the voiceless forms of communication but the core of interaction among human beings still remains voice. This becomes more important when such communication has to be done in a secure and reliable environment for entreprises and what better a place than the cloud. Shivakumar Ganesan spotted this opportunity when he was running his first start-up and wanted to replace the EPABX. He terms this as scratching one’s own itch and realising that this entire gamut of voice telephony could be placed elsewhere, in what is called as cloud telephony. “I did not know much of telecom but knew about software, technology. If one can manage all the connection through the internet it is cost efficient and it is an open standard,” he said. Thus Exotel was launched in 2011 by Ganesan along with three other founders as a cloud telephony company. The firm provides the technology platform where it has a set of application programming interface (API) which serves as a building block for any enterprise to embed all its communication into it. “We have done plumbing work behind the scenes,” Ganesan said.
Today, Exotel handles four million calls a day in seven countries and 4,000 of these concurrently. The company manages all gamuts of communication, be it voice or text, which also gives it the bandwidth to interplay and interchange. Ganesan says that Exotel’s USP has been its robust technology infrastructure which performs communication functions at ease. This is reflected in the clients it has on its roster—Uber, Flipkart, Practo, Quikr, Ola, etc. According to Ganesan, almost every form of communication is going to be wired by software and Exotel is selling these API. The business model of the company is pay as you use and this lends a flexible and dynamic business model.
Exotel’s customesr are mostly the new-age tech-enabled companies where there is a great degree of focus on technology. “The mainstream established companies are begining to adopt Exotel’s offerings,” Ganesan said. However, the Exotel founder is quite clear that it is not going for any kind of discounted growth and is looking at additional funds which will help it grow faster. The company has almost doubled its business every year and will look at an IPO in three years’ time. Exotel has received seed funding from Blume Ventures and Mumbai Angels. It has also acquired two companies in 2015. The company is handling operations in the major metros of the country though there are plans to go international.
The list of clients also include firms which have overseas operations such as Practo, Zomato or BankBazaar. “We are kicked about international expansion especially in South East Asia where the market condition is quite similar to India,” Ganesan said.