Henry David Thoureau said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify!” According to Bangalore based startup Wooqer, that philosophy applies to businesses as well and they are on a mission to equip businesses, big and small, with the mechanisms needed to handle their communication and analytical problems effectively. Any organization, but especially start-ups, are a work in progress which require extensive resources to power their journey. Wooqer wants to be a part of that journey by eliminating the noise from the need and offering streamlined services. More on what they do, in their own words.
What is it that Wooqer does?
Wooqer is a platform designed to drive communication & engagement across large closed groups (companies, forums etc). People can distribute & track content, aggregate & analyze data and run simple transactional workflows using Wooqer.
What problem does Wooqer solve?
Most good business processes should be a lot simpler and flexible than the software packages/subscriptions people buy to run those processes today. Wooqer solves that problem. In absence of a platform like Wooqer, most processes are run on spreadsheets, emails & SMS’s – these constitute over 60% of all such flows!
What gap in the market does Wooqer fill?
As solutions and software packages verticalise further, they become inflexible and less adaptable to changing business conditions. If all companies implement similar software packages, there may be no differentiator at an operations level. This also requires companies to invest across or not (SME’s cannot buy everything available). The Wooqer proposition of One Platform | Limitless possibilities without need for technology background helps fill the gap between strategic and operational.
What is the story behind the inception of Wooqer?
The insight that businesses shall need to respond to changing market – faster, cheaper & better. This shall need an enabling toolset that does not require any technology background. The DIY is permeating all walks of our lives and users are ready to bring their learnings from consumer Internet to the business networks.
Who is your competition? What edge does Wooqer possess over its competitors?
Custom software, spreadsheets, emails, SMS’s & IM’s
What is your revenue model?
Please elaborate on current revenues and number of clients.
We have 100+ clients; 100K+ users
Who is a typical Wooqer customer?
Everyone can Wooq.
1. SME’s – Companies (as small as 4-5 people) who have not yet started on the automation investment cycle can find the best fit for all their growth needs in Wooqer.
2. Large distributed networks – Where people, assets or locations are far spread and there is need to enable regional management of business (e.g. retail, FMCG, Insurance, and Banking)
3. Service organizations – With hours as stated inventory, productivity becomes the biggest impact on topline. Wooqer drives un-paralleled productivity freeing up more “inventory” to drive topline.
Any high profile clients you would like to highlight?
Large Business Groups – Aditya Birla, Tata, Mahindra +
SME retailers – William Penn, Jashnn, Soch, Enrich +
Large retailers – Lifestyle, Madura Fashion, Raymonds +
International retailers – Nike, Levis, Adidas, Bestseller +
FMCG – Pidilite, IFB, Camlin +
Others – Vodafone, Arvind Exports, Voltas +
How can you quantifiably measure the rate of success Wooqer has induced for its clients?
Customers report higher adoption, faster execution of ideas, ownership that results in higher productivity.
Please tell us a little about your core team members and what each of them bring to the table?
Prashant Bhosle (President – India) has over 20 years of experience in varied industries like Banking & Financial Services, Office Automation, Telecom, FMCG & Pharmaceuticals. He has successfully led large & high profile teams in different industries & organizations during various phases of set up, growth, consolidation, reinvention etc. He graduated from Xavier Institute of Management.
At Wooqer, Prashant with his proven ability to see the ‘big picture’ and spot opportunities and talents, is setting up the stage for bigger things at Wooqer. Prashant is every bit a leader and intent on taking his team with him to greater heights.
Pavitra Saxena started as an engineer with Cognizant and quickly went on to become senior architect designing complex bank systems, before joining CoreObjects where he left his mark on several serious start-up architectures and deployment. Pavitra is Wooqer #1 and came to Wooqer from CoreObjects. Pavitra acquired his Btech from IIT BHU (2000). He is based in Bangalore.
At Wooqer, Pavitra has been instrumental in architecting, implementing and managing the platform.
Yalla Veera Prakash started as staff scientist with HAL labs and went on to join the founding team of Honeywell Technology in India where he spent over 16 years building largest video, materials and generic white labs globally. YVP was CTO with Acme power for a year before coming to Wooqer. Well respected for his work in research, YVP has several papers and frameworks to his credit. YVP graduated from Venkateshwara University.
At Wooqer, Prakash has been instrumental in building both IOS & Android apps for the platform.
Sarika Pandeystarted as a medicine intern before moving to core banking and later to Wealth Management leading her to co-founding isaveup in the US before coming to Wooqer. She spent two years on the Stanford campus interacting with host of local start-ups and filling in gaps. Sarika graduated from AIIMS (1998), and completed her MBA from FMS, Delhi. She is based in Bangalore.
At Wooqer, Sarika is building and is every bit of ‘customer advocacy’. She has an outstanding passion for making customers successful and the experience of articulating all ways, Sarika is the glue that holds everything together with her team
Please tell us a little about milestone achievements and recognition that have come Wooqer’s way?
Customer renewals & User adoption remains the biggest recognition for Wooqer. Additionally, business stalwarts including Mr. Harsh Mariwala (Marico), BS Nagesh (TRRAIN), Bijou Kurien, Michael Marks (Chairman – Sandisk), Jim Davidson (Silverlake), Sriram Vishwanathan (Ex-Intel), Sudhir Rao & several others find the thought of Wooqer fascinating and have engaged with the company as advisors & investors.
Tell us about the obstacles that had to be dealt with while setting up Wooqer? What remains your biggest challenge now?
Market – It was counter-intuitive to have Indian businesses/users as a centre point for our initial strategy. There was wide-spread belief that Indian businesses might not appreciate innovation. The sentiment from other companies, who appear to have attempted this, was negative. Initial responses questioned the productivity model (we can get an additional person easily!).
Finance – It was inconceivable to build a company without Angel/VC funding. This was a double-edged sword as Indian businesses do not necessarily value VC backed companies and it appeared to us that we can be careful and build in business essentials. This stretched talent equation at times as talent is more used to reading who raised how much as opposed to how many customers/profits does a company have.
Having overcome above challenges, with great customer/user support, we continue to grow Wooqer geographically and across business verticals. Our biggest challenge continues to be growth talent (availability & performance) and we may look everywhere for same.
What does the future look like for Wooqer?
Get to know more about Wooqer here