Telebu is India’s first UCaaS company. It was founded in June 2018 but its foundation was laid way back in 2003 with the inception of SMSCountry. Telebu is headquartered in Hyderabad. The firm offers software solutions as a service to businesses. Telebu has a portfolio of seven key enterprise communication products. Apart from Hyderabad, it has offices in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Delhi NCR. It also has offices in Gulf Coast Countries including Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait. Telebu employs more than 400 people. It serves more than 100,000 customers and more than 1,000 enterprises.
Telebu differentiates itself from its competitors by offering a complete bouquet of products on a subscription model with no strings attached. Every product that carries the Telebu label is manufactured in India. This challenges businesses in the domestic ecosystem face. Telebu’s made in India products keep data secure, are easy to use, reliable, affordable to install and operate, easy to scale, and have zero downtime.
Furthermore, the company does not cater to a single market, but multiple markets simultaneously. These can broadly be called the Team Communication, Team Collaboration, and Customer Communication markets. Put together the size of these markets will reach $150 billion by 2024. The COVID-19 pandemic has created another segment called the “work from segment”. Over the next five years, Telebu expects to capture ten percent of this soon-to-be $350 million market.
In a recent interaction with Mr. Satya Yerramsetti, Founder & CEO, Telebu; we tried to explore and know more about the company’s products, services, and how they have gone through the Covid period.
It has been over 17 years since Satya Yeramsetti started his entrepreneurial journey. In these 17 years, he has founded multiple companies, scaled them, sold them, and dared to walk away from a few who lost track of their objective. He is a self-described dreamer and storyteller. Also, he is a serial entrepreneur, visionary, and a man on a mission.
In his free time, Satya likes to travel, read, up-skill, and drink fine wine. He believes in giving back to society. Satya works closely with EO, Entrepreneurs Organisation where he mentors budding dreamers. With his guidance, entrepreneurs scale their businesses, raise money, and network with influential leaders. He is also actively involved with Hyderabad Runners, THub.
How has your journey been into the world of SaaS from a consumer-centric company with 160by2 to becoming a B2B-focused organization?
In 2003, I came back from Australia with a degree and a dream to start an online business that would take India into the dot-com age. With this vision in mind and with a seven-member team’s support, SMSCountry Networks was born at a tiny office in Ameerpet. We aimed to make bulk SMS the marketing tool for Indian enterprises.
Riding on this wave of success, we soon opened new branches across the country and in Dubai, followed by the launch of 160by2.com, an entirely new solution enabling the display of SMS ads. After that, we also began offering custom-built APIs and SDKs to our customers, allowing them to integrate SMS capabilities into their native applications.
We received an overwhelming response from our customers. We started to look for ways to make conference calls easy. After months of research and innovation, we at Telebu successfully developed a unified system called the PBFTS (Public Broadcast Feedback & Telephony System). PBFTS allowed the users to send SMS, schedule voice broadcasts, and even initiate calls quickly. Our eureka moment, when we came up with developing the dial-out conference calling method, the server could trigger a call to all the conference participants simultaneously.
Furthermore, understanding the need for a call centre setup that could deploy quickly. We began working on our cloud-hosted call centre software to unify all call center essentials and systems into a single-view software solution. And with this, TelebuHub came into existence.
Amidst the launch of our applications, we realized that the name SMSCountry led to some confusion about our capabilities. Hence, we decided to rebrand ourselves as Telebu, borrowing from the words Telecommunication and Business. Since then, Telebu has been a one-stop-shop for all enterprise communication needs with a bouquet of products including grptalk, TelebuHub, TelebuJoin, TelebuPing, TelebuPop, SMS, and TelebuBlocks.
From a simple dial-in process, how far do you think video and audio conferencing technology has come?
If we are retracing our steps, it would not be wrong to say that we have come a long way. Furthermore, the ongoing pandemic has also fast-tracked the digitalization of businesses, the evolution of technology and its adoption, the transition to remote work, and the importance of security/ privacy.
Going back in time to about seven years ago, we had businesses offering dial-in conferencing solutions. Our lives revolved around clunky, expensive hardware. Low bandwidths poised a challenge in seamless video streaming experience and long wait times to join.
Fastrack 7 years, the world has transitioned into cloud-based solutions to connect, communicate & collaborate via audio or video platforms. Now, we can host town halls, virtual events, broadcast live, and interact on social media. We can use facial recognition and voice recognition to identify user patterns, offer personalized responses based on inputs received, and even detect breaches in security. We are living in a world of real-time personalization.
AI, too, has played a significant role in the enhancement of our virtual experiences. And it would not be wrong to say that today, the virtual experience is genuinely getting humanized.
How has Telebu been dealing with the impact of the ongoing pandemic in business and no. of users?
Just like every other business, Telebu’s operations were also affected when the pandemic hit us. Just like others, we weren’t prepared for it too. Amidst the many challenges induced by the pandemic, the biggest one was the shift to remote work overnight. Next on the list was to keep the teams motivated, happy, aligned to the ever-changing economic landscape, surviving and growing as an organization.
Apart from this, there were a few other obstacles too that interrupted our journey. However, with our strategic approach, innovation, technology, and teamwork, we could sail through the storm. We also had the added advantage of being in the right sector. We were amongst a few fortunate ones who witnessed unprecedented growth in revenues, leads, users, ticket size, and profitability even during the pandemic.
Amid the recent WhatsApp business policy changes, what has been the impact on Telebu and its products?
Despite the WhatsApp – data privacy debate, the number of queries for WhatsApp APIs has not gone down. The key reason being humans are creatures of habit. Thus, the transition of customers to other apps in the market has been minimal.
Telebu, as an organization, offers encrypted solutions from a privacy and security standpoint, adheres to all the best practices followed worldwide (Double Opt-Ins, GDPR etc.). We do not ask for customer’s information or access data on your devices more than it needs to for the products to function correctly.
Please share a brief about the products under the Telebu Umbrella? How are they different from their competitors?
Telebu has a portfolio of seven essential enterprise communication products that range over a spectrum of communication channels, including audio conferencing, video conferencing, and text messages, to name a few.
Being a hub of seven major enterprise communication products, including Grptalk, TelebuJoin, TelebuPing, TelebuHub, TelebuPop, TelebuBlocks, and SMS, Telebu’s key objective is to offer easy to use and reliable communication solutions to Startups, SME’s, Enterprise & Government Organizations.
grptalk – An audio conferencing platform that lets you connect with 3 – 10,000+ people on a single call without Internet or App. With over 1 Million conferences & 100 Million minutes used, grptalk is one of India’s largest and most trusted audio conferencing platforms.
TelebuJoin – A video-conferencing application made in India helps businesses connect, communicate, collaborate and generate leads safely, securely and at scale. TelebuJoin – since its launch, has been used by over 1000 businesses that have hosted more than 10,000+ meetings.
TelebuHub – A contact centre software with an inbuilt CRM, social media integrations, ticketing and a knowledge management system. TelebuHub lets businesses set up a call centre in less than 30 mins from anywhere.
TelebuPing – TelebuPing offers – Text, Voice, and Video, end-to-end encryption, moderation, and control of data to the enterprise.
TelebuPop – A conversation chat platform that enables businesses to automate responses to general queries & connect knowledge management system to minimize human intervention, offer support, qualify leads, or connects users/prospects on websites/apps to the agents
SMS – It’s a bulk SMS platform that offers Promotional, Transactional, Group, 2 – way, and Verified messages as services. It also provides APIs & Plugins. SMSCountry handles over 1 billion monthly text volumes, connects 200+ countries via 550 networks for over 100,000+ customers.
On what scale has the demand increased for Telebu products in the past year of the pandemic?
The rate at which businesses across India have adapted to virtual communication platforms in the recent past has been unprecedented. For us, too, the numbers have been great. The number of inquiries on our platform increased by 100% W-o-W between March 2020 to July 2020. Not just this, the number of clients we onboarded in FY 2019-2020 is equal to the number of clients we have onboarded in less than six months in FY 20-21.
If we compare Y-O-Y growth, we have been adding 3x more customers per month compared to the same month last year. grptalk in particular, we have seen a 30% M-O-M growth in the number of users for FY20-21, which has been highly motivating for us. While we have hosted about 25,000+ meetings so far and reached more than 1 Million users in the last six months for TelebuJoin, we have also onboarded 3x more customers for TelebuHub.
Could you share with us what next from Telebu? Any new products in the pipeline?
We keep planning the launch of new products at regular intervals. Our most recently launched product is TelebuPing, a tool that enables companies to capture real-time business interactions on one platform.