A lot can happen over chai: The story of Goclouds, a web hosting venture that serves startups and SMEs
It all started over chai one evening, when Rajesh Durai, his brother and friend were discussing future plans. Like many people working in corporates, they were tired of doing their routine work, and were exploring greener pastures, new possibilities. “We never planned on becoming entrepreneurs but wanted to do something that was interesting to us,” says Rajesh, reminiscing about the moment.
Being techies, they wanted to do something in a familiar space. With absolutely no idea of the ‘rules of business’ they ventured into the web hosting business. The venture was completely bootstrapped, running on their salary. For the first few months, they didn’t make a single sale. Realizing that a venture like this would need them to go in with both feet, they quit their jobs and decided to take the plunge. The struggle got harder, but the customers started coming.
Soon they started gaining the required momentum, and in July 2010 they had their first corporate client.They incorporated their company soon after. They started providing services in digital marketing, mobility and hosting. “It was new exciting and kept changing. It was fun,” says the proud co-founder.
Their core focus is on webhosting. Maintaining uptime and allocating resources equally to all the websites are some of the most pressing issues that this space faces today. If any one website over utilises the resources, all the websites on the shared network have a probability of coming down. Since small businesses cannot always have the luxury of private dedicated servers, an affordable solution had to be thought of.
This led them to transfer their server to a cloud infrastructure, and stack a light weight virtualized environment (LVE) on top so each website is separated with a virtualized layer and allocated their own memory and CPU just like a dedicated system. So when a website in the shared environment used more memory, only that particular website is affected and neighboring websites remain active. They tested the shared cloud with few customers and the outcome was positive. Looking for a new name and fresh look for they decided to call it goclouds. Their main motive is to help SMEs & startups by taking away the complexities in cloud and making it affordable.
The team core team currently consists of four people. Rajesh manages the technology, product & digital marketing. His brother Rakesh who joined soon after graduation works on the UI/UX design.Chandrashekar and Kavitha, both brilliant techies, manage the coding and development part of the company.The web hosting market has a lot of big players. When I asked Rajesh about what he feels about such players he was pretty blunt about it “Honestly, we never compare ourselves to big players, their marketing budget and strength is huge. They are doing a great job in educating the customers on bringing their business online. We focus on startups/SMEs who require personalized support in getting their online presence. We have helped lot of customers who are not aware of the basics, they require a website but never knew where to start, the difference in choosing linux/windows host, Whether their website requires ssl. The web hosting market share is vast and still there is lot of opportunities for small players like us.”
With features like SSL certification inbuilt in the site, and prices which are on par or even lower than market rates, Goclouds seems like an interesting prospect for emerging startups.Lot of business in India are still offline. Goclouds is trying to educate them about the pros of taking their business online. They have also tied up with some webdesign companies who refer Goclouds to their customers.They are focusing more on offline marketing to cover small business.
They haven’t approached any investors yet, and say they will only start looking for funds when they feel the need to scale.They are currently actively engaged in bringing in more services. They are also increasing customer base in enterprise messaging and digital marketing. There is lot of potential in Indian hosting market and large part of it remains untapped. Goclouds intends on filling the metaphorical chasm.'