Ram Shriram (Shaerpalo Ventures profile) was in Bangalore for a day. He packed in 2 events at /7’s new campus on Outer Ring Road. At the first event title In Conversation with Ram Shriram – Managing Partner, Sherpalo Ventures organised by iSpirt, he answered queries from scores of entrepreneurs. He wants more higher education institutions to come up, as it is tougher to get into IIT’s than Stanford. He cautioned against copy-cat mentality and app being the core of business, rather than actual revenue-based offering. You may get more details on Techinasia post – When the big daddy of startup investing Ram Shriram talks, you just listen!.I was in the next event – Coffee with Ram Shriram. It was a more intimate setting. First, we were subjected to the mandatory and brief introduction about the company, its value proposition and strengths from a business guy named Brooks (who joined them post their Microsoft Tellme acquisition) and another head of technology. They talked about how /7’s omni-channel approach for retails, backed by big data and prediction to provide a personalised and intuitive experience to the customers. We got a great demo of personalised experience based on web activity and intent. It showed how call center agents will be replaced by voice agents, leading the a lot of self-service by customers. They are coming up with exciting products in partnership with Facebook and Microsoft. If you want to know more about their work with Facebook Messenger, tune in to Facebook Messenger – The Most Disruptive Customer Support Channel Ever? on Dec 3. AS of Dec 23, you can hail Uber using Facebook Messenger in US. Nags, co-founder of /7 introduced Ram. Ram’s monologue was brief, where he touched upon technology evolution and future opportunities. This was followed by an interesting Q&A round. Responding to an audience question about he cherry-picks his angel investments like he did with Google he said – When he put in money, it was just 2 guys with a dream. He made sure that the dream was not short-lived looking at perseverance and talent of founders in addition to the market and incumbents. he used the same criteria, when he invested in /7. He provided clarity on /7’s strategy and projections. /7’s web, chat and voice offerings are disrupting the BPO business of incumbents, like Convergys as well as pure-product offerings, like Genesys, Oracle CRM etc. He also mentioned that they are starting to integrate with COTS (Commercial Off-the shelf) solutions like Dynamics CRM, etc soon for customers like Capital One. Varadh from /7 then shared a thing or 2 about company culture, how they are applying the principles of delightful customer experience to an employee-friendly policies. He stopped short of asking us to check out the careers page of /7’s Innovation Labs (direct link on Jobvite). We then continued the Q&A to the terrace with a great view of 10th floor.
Category Archives: Facebook
I am on a week long vacation in Kuala Lumpur, but after getting to know about Growth Hacking Malaysia event on 2 Dec, I took a break from sight seeing to see startups in action.
I was in Kampung Baru doing jalan-jalan (stroll) of this modern village. I took LRT to Universiti and tried to book a app-hail a taxi using EasyTaxi with no success. Tried it with regular MyTeksi, failed; but finally succeeded with Executive Class on MyTeksi. The app is sleek showing me minute-by-minute, as the driver approaches me. An hour later, I’d meet the Managing Director of rival taxi service!
The organizer, Anna Rehermann introduced Easytaxi Regional Managing Director, Joon Chan. He started interactively by asking us what Growth Hacking meant. He elaborated them with examples. Growth hacking means getting users through various Channels – Adwords, poster, Facebook etc. You need to measure efficacy of them by say, Market research – call n ask user of the week. Depending on ROI from them, you put marketing money.
EasyTaxi began its Malaysia operations in May, 2013. In the beginning, you ask your friends. He took 20 friends to TGIF, got them to install the app and try it out.
Important point here is to go on till you exhaust channel. Pick all the cherries.
Easytaxi got sales done through its rival’s drivers! It’s true. MyTeksi did 10 times more transactions per day than EasyTaxi. So, he invited 1000’s of MyTeksi drivers for a nice buffet dinner and handed 4000 handouts to each with unique code to measure referral. The drivers handed them to their passengers after the trip. Discount and commission was his cost for this campaign, but gave a large no of new clients. They continued this till MyTeksi modified their driver agreement.
Another nice campaign was using 4k Hellokitty toys. 40 drivers everyday would hand it to those who ask it using hashtag #easykitty. First day, they had 500 requests, next day it was 4k, and after this it skyrocketed to 16k. As soon as an office girl put it on desk. it went viral. They got 18k users with 16k investment. They conquered building after building. An example: Just HP Tower emptied a quarter of its supplies.
It’s important to do campaign again. Make this a Weekly process. They experimented with Power user program, as other channels like FB became costlier. EasyTaxi has a Data science team for voucher. While they use EDM (Electronic Digital Marketing) channels, they tried novel ideas. Instead of using mailchimp, he used his personal email, WhatsApp with Malay, Chinese, Indian girl persona. In Vietnam, app and mobile internet doesn’t work, as people mostly call. Do, he used Predictive dialing effectively. EasyTaxi continues to execute underdog strategy. Keep in touch with the company on Facebook page, EasyTaxiMy and @myEasyTaxi.
After this, we had 3 startup presentations, who got nuggets of advice from the expert panel comprising: Warren Tan (CEO, VLT) @warrentan, Andrew Tan (Director, VLT) Linkedin profile, Zafrul Noordin (Founder @ Code Ar.my) Linkedin profile, Daniel Cerventus (Founder @ NextUpAsia) Linkedin profile, @cerventus. The first one was Hijab2Go.
Tangi Vern, Linkedin profile presented his 2 week old startup’s journey. They have competition like fashionmalay. They have followed the following path:
But, Activation has been poor. While they are able to get a lot of users. He wanted help on that. The experts suggested to put stall at Putrajaya targeting Malay auntie in Govt agency, who have a lot of time!
Put photo booth in campus and get conversation going. They asked him to figure out if it was just a marketplace or a brand as well. Also, do growth hacking with social media influencers like Miss Nina (??). [Note: If any of you discerning reader could enlighten me with these, please drop a comment of email me. Being really new in KL and in Malaysia, I am not aware of these.]
The second pitch was for a tutor software and marketplace by Sam Xiaong. He did not use a deck and enthusiastically explained his idea. Tutors incl music tutor and students find it hard to keep track of lesson missed, dues left. So, FindMytutor.com.my will provide a tool for the same. He is also looking for Copywriter, social media intern, designer, developer, so reach out to him.
The third pitch was Metofu – food for those who want to lose weight. He explained how he gets food from caterers and does lunch delivery. In the beginning, he was doing weekly, but the cost was high for customer, so he pivoted. His pitch was found ot be confusing by the experts. They asked him to develop nutrition food content in Malay. Have Facebook group of trainers.
At the end of 3 hours, we were wiser and most are looking forward to next month’s meeting.