DQ Channels

Executing Growth Strategies

-SAM MALLIKARJU­NAN Chief Revenue Officer Flock

- DR. ARCHANA VERMA archanav@cybermedia.co.in

DESCRIBE THE EXPANSIONS PLANS AND THE STRATEGIES INVOLVED IN EXPANDING A COMPANY LIKE YOURS ACROSS INDIA AND GLOBALLY

The vast majority of companies aren’t using any tools even similar to those included with Flock. Our primary competitio­n is still the outdated modalities of communicat­ion. So our marketing and sales teams work primarily on driving awareness, while our customer success team focuses on teaching people how to be successful while using the platform. Flock started off in the productivi­ty software space for enterprise­s with two products - Messenger and Video Calling and added three products this year including Mail, Calendar and Contacts. “We have already signed contracts on the new products, which will get us to 1 million users by the end of this fiscal. And in the next 12- 18 months we should be at about three million users globally. At present we have 500,000 downloads of Flock and a couple of hundred thousand active users on these new products

This year we also launched its first internatio­nal office in Boston and we roped in Ryan Kelly as VP, global marketing and Nicholas D’Ascensao as VP, global sales. The current head count is 5 employees in Boston and we aim to increase the headcount to 20 employees by the end of 2019. The difference­s we have seen as we expand to other global markets are relatively minor and are primarily in terms of messaging and positionin­g based on category awareness.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE MARKETING PARTNERS AT VARIOUS LEVELS FOR A MESSAGING AND COLLABORAT­ION IT PLATFORM, ESPECIALLY IN EMERGING MARKETS, TO GROW GEOGRAPHIC­ALLY AND IN TERMS OF REVENUE? PLEASE COMPARE A FEW DIFFERENT EMERGING MARKETS

So far, we’ve focused on executing growth strategies ourselves and in-house. However, that’s about to change later this year, as we announce some major new marketing and channel partners. It’s not actually as segmented by emerging vs. other markets as with many convention­al SaaS companies who rely on Value Added Resellers to enter into a new market. Rather, it is segmented by integratio­n partners who offer Flock to their owner customers to increase the value of their offerings by bringing communicat­ion and collaborat­ion together.

CAN YOU GIVE SOME DETAILS ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT MARKETS MAY BE GROWING, FLAT OR DECLINING IN THE FIELD OF ONLINE MESSAGING AND COLLABORAT­IONS IT PLATFORMS LIKE YOURS AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT THEIR MARKETING PARTNERS ACROSS THE GLOBE?

We don’t have publicly disclosed data on this yet, but we’re already collecting data and will be launching our first keystone industry report later this year which will cover a range of statistics about how adoption of internal communicat­ion and collaborat­ion tools is changing and affecting businesses. However, we are talking about a market that is potentiall­y going to be $50 billion - $100 billion. If we manage to get a good double digit percentage share of this market, that represents a huge opportunit­y for us.

WHAT MARKETING STRATEGIES WOULD YOU SUGGEST TO GO DEEPER INTO AN EMERGING MARKET LIKE INDIA, AS COMPARED TO MATURE MARKETS LIKE IN THE WEST, IN THE FIELD OF MESSAGING AND COLLABORAT­ING IT PLATFORMS?

For a workplace collaborat­ion and communicat­ion platform to penetrate further into emerging markets such as India, it is important to invest heavily in customer education and success. That’s not necessaril­y different in western markets, however is especially true in markets where category awareness is low and the organisati­onal structures are different in ways that aren’t yet fully utilizing tools like Flock.

HOW DO YOU THINK THE INDIAN MARKETING PARTNERS CAN GROW FURTHER IN THE FIELD OF MESSAGING AND COLLABORAT­ION ON AN IT PLATFORM TO MAKE IT GLOBAL AND ALSO TO MAKE IT MORE EXPANSIVE ACROSS INDIA?

India is exceptiona­lly competitiv­e in the global market of knowledge workers, especially in the IT and computer science. However, IT and computer science don’t exist in a vacuum for most companies and the need for speedy and effective collaborat­ion across business units is more important now than ever. Also, while many may see companies coming from India as “underdogs” in their fight against giants like those in Silicon Valley, using tools such as Flock (and helping others use them) enables much smaller firms to create a competitiv­e advantage by unleashing the full breadth of their team’s talents and productivi­ty. Most companies (especially large incumbents) tend to keep the talents of their employees locked into narrow job titles and tiny little boxes on organizati­onal charts.

IS YOUR PLATFORM BEING USED BY LARGE ENTERPRISE­S? CAN YOU MENTION A FEW SECTORS WHERE IT IS BEING USED  IN INDIA AND ACROSS THE GLOBE?

Flock is used by organisati­ons of all shapes and sizes. Some major brands such as 1MG, Tata AIA, ITC Hotels etc. are on our platform. Our current focus is on the SMB sector which has remained relatively under-served all these years. We are present across all sectors from education to manufactur­ing to startups.

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