In the series of interviews with market leaders, change-makers, and innovators, we bring our next interview with Entrepreneur, & Marketing professional, Mr. Ankit Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, MyOperator.
MyOperator was started by Ankit Jain as VoiceTree Technologies, with a focus on rural voice-based infotainment mobile channels. It gained good call volume but failed to generate enough revenue. In March 2013, VoiceTree revived and MyOperator, a cloud-based call management system aimed at SMEs was launched.
Let’s go through the interview:
NBB: Please tell us about your journey as the founder of MyOperator. How did you start it?
Ankit: Well, it is not a straightforward journey. In the final year of my study, I decided not to sit in the placement process. I worked with a startup for entrepreneurship experience. When I started my business, the initial idea of voice communication failed very badly. I did not give up. We started giving telephonic services to organizations. I used to have an office and residence in the same apartment to bear the costs. We had around 20 customers. We understood their pain points of communicating with their clients. They all had traditional phone call systems. No records of the calls, no audit, no follow-up.
We decided to make a tool for SMEs to reduce this communication gap. We did a pilot and we were surprised to get 15 customers in advance without launching the tool. When we launched this simple SaaS application, we got 50 new customers. It motivated us a lot. We continued upgrading the product in the back end and in 2015, we launched a full-fleshed product for communication management for the business firms. It is compulsory for them if they want to increase sales and revenue.
NBB: What is your experience related to Bootstrap company? Will you recommend some best practices for the same?
Ankit: we should consider the fundamental concept first in the bootstrap journey. Thinking about 5-10 ideas will not work. Focus on something and keep doubling. It will bring a big change. Most startups try different things when they get funding and finally, everything fails. If you keep focusing on something deeply, it will help you a lot.
NBB: how was the covid effect on your business?
Ankit: In the first two months, our job was to talk with our clients and vendors. Everyone was in a fuzzy situation. We were clearing out the new terms and conditions due to the covid effect. 30% of our customers stopped paying because their businesses were badly affected. At the same time, we found so many new customers. They wanted to manage their businesses from home so they needed our help to manage their call communication.
We compensated for the loss of old clients with the new ones. Pandemic accelerated the digitization process for SMEs. You will see the big impact of this digitization in the future.
It was initially difficult to manage the internal and external activities of MyOperator due to pandemics. Later, I started focusing on internal startup matters and other co-founders took care of external activities.
In June, we made a big decision about making MyOperator a remote company to work. We announced in July that we are not going back to the office. Remote working will be permanent for us. We observed so many advantages of remote work and we are treating it as a gift from covid. We became the first remote company.
NBB: what are the lessons you took from a remote working environment?
Ankit: always be ready for the downside. Be prepared for the unseen future. Earlier, we were just thinking about growth but now, we are more focused on the future in the case of black swan events like covid. Now, we talk about how businesses can operate from the remote and improve sales. Earlier, we were just focused on sales improvement.
NBB: in one of the earlier interviews, you said that India is a trust deficit market. What is your opinion now?
Ankit: well, that context was different. I was talking about businesses and consumer relationships. That statement is true if we talk about trusting the brands. Any consumer dealing with a new brand will always start with mistrust. With the digital movement and the new generation thought, things are changing now.
The new generation is different from the old one. They are not that trust deficit like the old gen. New businesses should also work on how they can change the consumer’s mind. They should work on gaining consumers’ trust first.
We, as a bootstrap, worked on plenty of processes, procedures, areas to gain consumers’ trust remotely. We are still finding new ways to gain that trust.
NBB: what is the future of MyOperator? What clients look forward to?
Ankit: what SMBs will accept from us? How we can help them to increase sales,? These two questions we always ask ourselves in different meetings. We are still lacking in the cognitive part. The whole world is using AI-based products.
We believe that SMBs(Small and Medium businesses) play a key role in the national economy. We try to bring advanced features with the help of Machine Learning algorithms.
Team Next Big Brand extends heartiest wishes to Ankit Jain and the amazing team of MyOperator. Kudos to him for such an amazing and insightful interview.