YourStory, in conversation with Niraj Ranjan Rout and Nitesh Nandy, the founders of GrexIT, a tool that helps you build a shared knowledge base out of your email easily
If someone asked you to tell them about GrexIt in about three sentences, what would you say?
GrexIt helps you rescue knowledge and useful information from being trapped and lost in email inboxes. There is a lot of organizational knowledge, useful discussions and files stuck inside email inboxes, and GrexIt lets organizations create knowledge bases by tapping into email in an automated, rule-driven and access-controlled manner.
How is GrexIt different from other online knowledge management tools?
We realize that email is the hot-bed of knowledge and information creation in most companies, and we provide a very simple work-flow to tap into this without expecting any behavioral change in how people are used to communicating. We are infinitely more effective in tapping knowledge than any other tool.
How did the idea for GrexIt come about?
It came about by a combined 13 years of working with teams, shared between the two co-founders. Everywhere we had worked, information being silo-ed into email inboxes was a very common problem, and we decided to do something about it.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I,Niraj, did my B.Tech in Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 2002. I worked in Mentor Graphics in the area of EDA and VLSI for five years, and first became an entrepreneur in mid 2007. Two of our initial ideas bombed and we started Mobicules(www.mobicules.com) which provides web and mobile application development services to clients primarily in the US. We scaled it up to a 35 people company in just 20 months, hiring from the best colleges in India. I exited from that business in January 2011 to start GrexIt.
My co-founder, Nitesh did his B.Tech in Computer Science from IIT Kharagpur in 2007, and dumped a job with a very big company to become our first employee at my last venture, Mobicules. Nitesh handled the most demanding and complex projects in his last company, and has built literally innumerable web and mobile apps.Let us know about the tie-ups that you have(if any). Is there acceptance for your concepts? Can you give us some incidents to illustrate the same?
We have seen very good uptake in the last 5 weeks that we have been live. We are still in private Beta, but we have a pretty large number of very active users now for whom we have solved some real problems.
One of our customers, a decently large company, was handling a lot of support requests from their clients over email. It was a very simple system that was quick and easy to use, but the problem was that there was no archive of all support requests and client interactions over time, and there was a real threat of their support people leaving their jobs and all data being lost. It was also very hard for a new person to join the support team and access the history of support requests from any client because it was all stuck inside email inboxes. We gave them a very simple workflow to store such email conversations in a centralized space, which was easily searchable and browsable. It solved a very real problem for them.
We have helped our clients have better processes for handling business leads, job applications and in making knowledge in their organizations more discoverable. It has been a very exciting 5 weeks.
Where do you see email-based knowledge management and GrexIt five years from now?
We have grand plans which we'd not like to disclose in their full glory, but I'd just say that we'll probably move towards more complete knowledge archival/discovery and more complete collaboration.
What is GrexIt's revenue model?
GrexIt is currently free as it is in Beta. We'll be a monthly subscription based service when we come out of Beta, which should be in a few months from now.As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
In the first few weeks of going live, both Nitesh and I would jump with joy when we'd see our logs and discover that even 5 people have added new email conversations to their GrexIt accounts. That says it all - the biggest joy as an entrepreneur is probably to create something new and intelligent, which is also useful to people. That is what gives us our biggest kick.
The biggest challenge for any entrepreneur is probably self-doubt. I think entrepreneurs are programmed to be able to convince other people, but what probably can really challenge an entrepreneur is self-doubt. I know thats a very generic statement.
How big is the GrexIt team? Tellus a little bit about your team? Are you looking at hiring?
Its just the two of us - Nitesh and I. We have got an amazing amount of support from the guys at The Morpheus (themorpheus.com), who were almost like our co-founders in our first six months.
We're extremely careful about hiring. We could actually use a hand or two more writing code for us, but we'll take our own time before we are very convinced that we like a person enough to work with him or her.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
We're doing a lot of things which will help our distribution, and help us reach a large number of users all over the world soon. We'll be launching on the Google Apps marketplace shortly, and we are going to integrate with many platforms which will make us relevant and useful in a lot of ecosystems.
All we'd tell about this is that what we have seen till now is very encouraging. Our core value proposition of tapping email inboxes for information and knowledge immediately appeals to almost everyone, and that has been strongly validated. We have seen some very strong use cases, and are quickly building on those.
We at YourStory are very excited about product innovations coming out of Indian startups. We wish the team of GrexIt(http://grexit.com/) good luck as they scale. Please share your thoughts on this story with us. You can write to us at [email protected]
Varsha Adusumilli | 6th April 2011 | YourStory