I am 33; I was born and raised in a small farming village called Padam in Kerala, India. I dropped out of college early. I was a national level footballer in India, captained Kerala youth and university football teams. I spent 10 years working for some of the world’s largest software companies such as SAP & Oracle in India, US and Singapore. Work brought me to Singapore in 2008; Presently, I live between San Francisco & Singapore running Corporate360 global operations.
In your own words what is Corporate360?
We offer a SaaS based marketing data cloud software to help B2B marketers discover sales leads, ideal buyer contacts, technology installations & competitive intelligence. Our data-as-a-service cloud helps B2B sales reps close deals faster, eliminate sales research, accelerate pipeline creation, beat competition & maintain CRM data accuracy.
How did you come up with the idea of Corporate360?
It was incidental. The idea was triggered from a business problem I faced in my previous job. My friend and ex boss – Prasanth, who is now VP in NTT Data, inserted the idea of entrepreneurship and motivation in me. He changed my career, I am thankful to him.
Could you walk us through the process of starting up Corporate360?
We self-funded to start the company and remain bootstrapped. We relied on open source technologies and leveraged cloud infrastructure to get off the ground. We built the product and started sharing with our potential customers to learn feedback first and improvised it accordingly. I am confident that the practical validation of any product should come from customer adoption, revenue and repeatable business. We are entirely focused on that.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties during startup?
The hardest part is finding the right talent. It’s important to build a collaborative yet performance driven team culture. We don’t do interviews; we give specific tasks for a few weeks to mutually ascertain job fitment and cultural compatibility. We don’t hire normal job seekers; we look for candidates with entrepreneurial attitude, innovative thinking, passion and commitment in what we do.
How have you been developing Corporate360 since startup?
We are always learning from our data-to-day experience to innovate products and improvise our short to mid term goals. Our ultimate objective is to help our customers grow their business. In the long run, we want to be a global leader in marketing data and sales intelligence software space.
What kind of feedback did you get for Corporate360 so far?
We have more than 200 clients now, generating multi million dollars in revenue. Some of the world’s technology companies, enterprise start-ups, successful digital and telemarketing agency partners use C360 for total addressable market analysis, competitive displacement campaigns, predictive analytics data modeling, marketing campaigns, and cross-sell initiatives. We secured a number of international awards including the best lead generation software in Asia and best new marketing data product in US, which means our products have gone through serious and vigorous testing by analysts and customers.
What is your strategy against your competition?
B2B marketing tech industry is highly competitive. Every player has some differentiators. The addressable market is huge. Despite numerous marketing technology advancement, identifying sales leads has been very difficult to predict. We built a global data platform from the ground up with industry specific features. Our data platform brings in 75% high probability of discovering sales leads. We offer a low-cost data subscription model, which allows B2B marketers to avoid repeated, flat fee based, static list purchases for marketing campaigns. Our platform is data science technology enabled, combined with human intelligence, data privacy compliance validated and comes with ongoing data accuracy maintenance support real-time. Our product is a modern, all-in-one data cloud for B2B marketing campaigns. We are one of the very few companies in the world with this new business model and we are the first and only one in Asia with a global data platform.
What can you tell us about the industry?
The world is transforming into a digital economy. There is so much data being generated. Information is available everywhere and easily accessible more than ever before. In near future, all enterprise data will be on cloud. Traditional data re-seller and flat fee based data business model will be outplaced by Data science enabled technologies, which will play a significant role in marketing decision support for businesses.
How do you plan to stay relevant in this industry?
Relevancy, accuracy & compliance will be the vital factors for B2B marketing data products. We introduced a transformative business model for the B2B marketing information industry. Creating awareness through value based messaging to educate our audience and reduce skepticism is critical. We are working hard to help marketers make informed decisions to switch from traditional list sourcing to adopt modern data-as-a-service cloud.
Were there anything that disappointed you initially?
An entrepreneur’s journey is full of ups and downs. It’s a part of life. Work stress always transforms into a positive energy to do better and do more.
What do you think about being an entrepreneur in Asia?
Asia is a dynamic market with great opportunities. The startup space here is at a budding stage. The quality of startup eco-system is improving. The freedom to apply creative thinking to build innovative products, non-reserved attitude and a fearless mindset would define an entrepreneur’s journey regardless of his location.
What is your opinion on Asian entrepreneurship vs Western entrepreneurship?
I run a global business. I don’t know if there is any such regional difference in entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur should be able to build businesses catering to global markets from anywhere. Startup ecosystem in San Francisco-Bay Area is extraordinary.
What is your definition of success?
The ability to change lives and make a difference with your work
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I found an opportunity and took the risk.
In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?
First, understand customer problems and then build products & services to solve them. Focus on customer adoption, revenue and repeatable business; nothing else can validate your product better.
Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there from your personal experience?
Learn something new every day, Make a difference with your work, Travel the world