Oye 10 offers a totally unique GPS Attendance on the mobile for any company needing to keep track of their employees. Made to cater SMEs, this mobile app is user-friendly and extremely affordable for this price sensitive sector. Joseph Rasquinha is a Ph.D. in Economics from St. Andrews University in Scotland and the CEO of Blueleaf Software a Startup that has SaaS products Oye10 and Weballigator. SMEpost.com caught up with him for an exclusive interview. Here are the edited excerpts.
Q: Please give an overview of your company?
A: The Company was started in the year 2012 by Joseph Rasquinha, Raju Monga, Zaheer Hussain and Syed Hussain. In the first 2 years, while building our product, we did extensive research and interaction with the SME market in 20 locations across 4000 SMEs. This enabled us to target the actual pain points faced by this sector and allowed us to build our product accordingly.
The major objectives of our interaction with SMEs were to find out the major pain points, get an idea of a universal price mix or fit for this sector and ensure that we targeted the right market segment first.
We have also received funding from Angel investors to the tune of 2.5 crores. The profile of these investors vary from a serial investor who has a 100 crore business to someone in JP Morgan in New York. In many cases, it is challenging to work with investors. However, our investors have shown great maturity and understanding and this is critical for success. As Dr. Rajanna, one of our investors has said, “I invested because I liked the combination of the founders profile and the products potential”. We have also recently been certified as a NASSCOM 10,000 startup company.
Q: What’s the reason behind changing the name from Web Alligator to Oye10?
A: We are a very customer oriented company. A major feedback we are getting is that our original name, Web Alligator is a difficult name recall for many sectors of the SME market, particularly the unorganised one. A distributor or a news agency wanted an easier name recall. Oye is easy to remember. The 10 is an acronym for Attendance!
Q: Are you focusing on India alone or also other countries?
A: Our strategy here is four-fold:
- Our initial focus is in India. However, we cannot ignore enquiries from other countries. We are selling through Partners and apart from India are also talking to Partners in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, USA, Canada and Nepal.
- The nature of our product is such that we are also looking at selling it virally. An example of this is seen in a small town like Mandya, 100 km from Bangalore. A small town of 1.3 lakh people representative of most of the small towns around India. The major activity is farming. Our product Oye10 is totally on the mobile phone, and easy enough to use for even a person not used to software. If a small company here wants to track their staff, they just use the product on the mobile and it will automatically work.
- Abroad, apart from the GPS Attendance, Partners are also looking at alternative means of use of the product. One use is as an alternative to expensive CRM (marketing). This is mostly because the product is cost effective and extremely user friendly.
- The very aspect of getting the price right is such that the attractiveness of the product is high. In India, we have priced it at Rs. 10 a day for an entire company of 25 people. This is where our experience kicked in. We found that India is a very price sensitive market and if you want to attack 4.8 crore companies that constitute 90% of the SME market, the price was critical. A larger company will pay more.
Q: Who are your competitors and how do you handle competition?
A: In its present format, the product is unique and there are no competitors. There is GPS Attendance on the market, but they are not marketed at the pain points of the industry which is a major minus for them.
It is also a given that at some stage competition will heat up as the product becomes more successful. In these scenarios, apart from the head start we have had, we don’t plan to rest on our laurels, but will keep adding a number of initiatives. This will include:
- Adding more features constantly
- Enhancing the user friendly experience
- Continuous simplification of the product
- More marketing and social media initiatives
Q: What are the top 3 customer driven trends in your business in India?
A: Firstly, the SME market is in desperate need for any software which is user friendly and intuitive. Secondly, the price has to be totally affordable until they are convinced of the product. Thirdly, it has to be on the mobile.
Basically, if you want to succeed, the software has to be as easy as buying a mobile phone off the shelf!
Q: What are the business prospects in the rural market? Why are you approaching those markets?
A: A major part of our market is the rural market. We cannot ignore this market as there are over 700 million Indians here.
According to the statistics, 55% of the SMEs are in rural locations. A lot of these locations are fed from small towns who act as centres for marketing and distribution. Initially, we will look at these small towns (tier 3-4 towns) and expand to the surrounding areas as we gain traction.
Q: How are you catering to the SMB customer?
- Through Partners.
- Through References.
- Publicity through Vernacular language (changes according to the location)
- Virally spread through social media.
Q: What is your target for the current financial year?
A: To get 1000 partners and if each brings a minimum of 10 to 20 clients, we are looking at around 10,000-20,000 micro SMEs.
Q: What is the estimated growth of the company over next 2-3 years?
A: This will be a dual effort. Firstly we are enabling Partners all across India and the World. We are looking at 1,000 Partners in the next 12 months. If each Partner brings in just 10 clients, we are also looking at 10,000 clients. Second would be through viral growth (from social media and references).