[Culture Series] A BPO that branched out into making cutting edge products: 7 and Innovation Labs
Raking in a quarter billion dollars in revenues annually, 7 was co-founded by PV Kannan and Shanmugam Nagarajan in April 2000. Since then, 7 has become the leader in intuitive customer service software and services. Starting out as a BPO, the company was founded based on PV’s vision to improve the consumer's experience by leveraging big data, intuitive design and a learning platform to simplify customer service and make it easier for consumers to get things done.7 houses more than 10,000 employees with headquarters in US and delivery centers across the globe. Feeding from the revenues generated from services, 7 branched out into developing products in house which is done via Innovation Labs. I had a chance to meet Santosh Mishra, HR Director and Sumit Kumar, who have seen how Innovation Labs has grown over the years.
Chasing the Biggies
7 cater to companies from the Fortune 500 and helps enterprises provide intuitive consumer experiences to their customers - in ways that make an impact on their businesses. For instance, a large airline typically makes more than 400,000 flight cancellation or re-accommodation outbound calls every year. Combining speech and mobile self-service, 7 has products and services that saves that airline up to $1.6 million a year for these two journeys alone. (more case studies here).
Product Range and the team behind it
7 has multiple products:
Predictive Experience Platform: Transforms customer service and sales outcomes by leveraging big data, prediction, and real-time decision making. For instance: Can tell the company at what time should it popup a “May I help you” dialogue box.
7 Online: powers web self-service apps that maximize the effectiveness of your online investments. It monitors visitor behavior, detects difficulties, and leads customers step-by-step through even the most challenging journeys.
Apart from these, 7 has other products like Visual Speech, Mobile and Assist.
These products are developed in-house by a team that comprised of just 4 members back in 2009. Since then, the team has grown quickly on the back of some high quality products that have given rich dividends to enterprises using them.
A startup within a corporate
If you’re wondering how 7 is anywhere close to a startup, Innovation Labs is the answer. “We are in a unique position here as we’re trying to run a fast moving product offshoot within a BPO and we’ve been successful at that,” says Santosh. Starting from 4 people, the team grew to 100 in 2011 and currently stands at 200 which is growing quickly.
“The freedom to experiment and work on innovative technologies to improve consumer experience has kept the development team encouraged and striving for more,” says Sumit.
The Road Ahead
7 has been recruiting via various channels till now and is looking to get more aggressive on the hiring front. “We’re looking for folks willing to work hard on challenging problems that we solve day in and day out,” says Santosh. They have been growing at a rapid pace which will only increase as they go on acquiring more of the big customers.
7 is hiring at the Startup Jobs Fair! Come join us.