Executing Growth Strategies
-SAM MALLIKARJUNAN Chief Revenue Officer Flock
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 Our primary competition is still the outdated modalities of communication.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.