Sometime in the summer of 2011, Yash Shah’s father talked to him about his team’s predicament at work. The lack of an affordable and simple collaborative platform was affecting the team’s productivity. The same problem was faced by Abhishek Doshi’s dad and could probably also be the pain point of hundreds of other medium sized enterprises through the country. But what most would discard as a petty inconvenience to be lived with, Yash saw as an opportunity. Sometime in the same year, he and Abhishek decided to start Gridle - a one stop solution to these problems.
“We had an idea in mind, and knew what we wanted to do,” says Yash as he talks candidly about the early days of the startup, “but we didn’t have the technological expertise that it needed.” So they went head hunting, in the colleges near Ahmedabad, to find their ‘CTO’. Anupama Panchal, joined their team in December 2011, and from there on there was no turning back. So what is the problem that Gridle is dealing with? An average employee spends 28 man hours each month managing his email, calendar and reminders. 28 hours, that is 4 working days a month. Traditional collaborative platform providers charge around 5-8 $/employee/month, something big organizations can manage, but that eats away into the limited budgets of small and medium sized organizations.
With a sleek and clean UI, a secure cloud based service, and prices that are easy on the pocket, Gridle comes to the rescue of SMBs. Their services are charged at around 20% of what their US based competitors charge, making them a delight for their target audience, medium sized enterprises in India. While competing with the biggies in this space, they are counting on pricing to be a decisive factor especially in a market like India. They also have an assortment of features like inbox, questions, polls, planner, assignments, groups and a member directory on the platform. It allows you to crowd source your data and files from within the network and get work done faster. Without the stiff bottlenecks to hold people back, and a friendly collaborative environment to work in, productivity is bound to go up.
Their core team of three- Yash Shah, Abhishek Doshi and Anupama Panchal work with a team of four other developers from their office in Ahmedabad.They are currently providing their services to a company that has a strength of 600 employees. They also won the Microsoft Bizspark in Ahmedabad this year and will be attending the finals in Bangalore this year.
Yash also has a two year plan chalked out. Currently, the business application development market is pretty unstructured in India. Once they have a firm footing in their core area, they plan to expand into that space as well. “For the time being we are focussing on gathering more customers for this collaborative platform, but this is something we have at the back of our head,” says Yash.
With a great opportunity to scale, they are actively seeking both funds and mentorship that would enable them to serve a larger number of people. Talking about what they expect, Yash says “We have our strengths -- a great tech team, and the ability to create great products with limited resources. We are now looking for the guidance and funds from established angels and VCs who can help us work on the business model as well as introduce us to their thriving network.”
McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum salutes Yash and his team who took the unbeaten path and also inspires more people to follow their dreams and join them in their unconventional journey.
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