In many organizations telecom management is still one of the weakest areas of internal controls, as they cannot predict their annual telecom expenses nor are they completely sure they are making optimal payments to their service providers– resulting in overpayment, quite a lot of times. Intellibuzz TEM Pvt. Ltd, a bootstrapped company incepted in 2012 by Pranay Sanghavi – the principal founder (CSO-Strategy & Business), as a separate legal entity of the parent group Intellibuzz Telecom. Both the parent company and the startup however share the same name and logo. At a later stage, Sumit Mehta COO (Director –Operations) joined as a cofounder and Haren Sanghavi, founder of the parent Intellibuzz group was roped in as a third shareholder in the company and as an advisory CEO.
Being a telecom expense management consultancy (primary business line), the startup focuses solely on providing value-added cost saving in telecom services to corporate clients who have a minimum Rs 5 lakh of monthly telecom spends. The product can be useful across banks, insurance, marketers, construction companies and just about every organization that relies on basic telecom services including landline to wireless, voice to data. Intellibuzz can help companies to manage, monitor & reduce their recurring telecom expenses by up to 33% or more, claims Pranay. The second line of business that the startup is working on is ExpenseBuzz- a telecom value management product, which is a cloud SaaS self-service portal for companies to centralize, manage and optimize spends across their different offices.
Intellibuzz Telecom, the parent group was founded in 2000 as an authorized government-approved DID operator in the western region. The company till date provides telecom services [landline, intercom, value-added services] to over 4000 small customers in market areas and residential societies. “We never overlook what really matters: The basics- great service, honest pricing, and respect for our customer’s time, money, and trust. For the mid-sized companies, we're the only affordable telecom expense management firm in the country, and for large enterprises, we help them recover 15-18% invoice errors other than expense reduction,” says Pranay. Clients normally prefer telecom expense reduction, telecom refunds & recoveries service bundled together, and Intellibuzz fulfills these requirements.
To use the services, a corporate can ask for a free savings proposal from the company. Then the Intellibuzz team visits the potential client to understand the needs and discuss with the person incharge of telecom at the corporate about the requirements and challenges faced. On implementation, the Intellibuzz team works on end-to-end workflow of TEM from procurement, maintaining an inventory, negotiations with carriers, managing invoices, cost allocation and frauds. “On an average most companies save 5-15% on their bills alone just by using Intellibuzz to manage their telecoms estate,” says Pranay.
The fees charged include a fixed-cost engagement fee and there is a contingency based pricing structure based on the principal, where only if the customers save, will the company earns. There is also a monthly fee charged for the services provided and now for their new product ExpenseBuzz service, the companies have to pay as Rs 50 per telecom connection.
The company places high importance on training its employees, so as to keep them abreast with latest information. The solutions are marketed through direct sales. Intellibuzz has two channel partners in Mumbai to market and promote the product. Existing client references and online leads are also ways of customer acquisition. They also have plans to do digital marketing for ExpenseBuzz.
Talking about the challenges in the business, Pranay says they have to deal with skepticism, lack of support and delay in information sharing from the customers’ end. “From the telecom/admin managers, telecom vendor representative, client’s telecom vendors etc., all create blocks at different points of engagement,” rues Pranay. In the one-and-half years of operation, the startup has revenues of Rs 45 lakhs and is cash-flow positive. Most of the profits are invested back into new initiatives like ExpenseBuzz says Pranay.
Their vision is to drive financial and operational efficiency in the telecom environment. Intentions are that ExpenseBuzz should be to telecom what Tally is to finance and the current, focus is on the Indian subcontinent to begin. IntelliBuzz also has plans to introduce Telecom Value Management as a course in MBA colleges to make students enterprise-ready with a focus on telecom cost optimization. However the immediate goal is to iterate the MVP ExpenseBuzz product to a beta stage and launch it in EMEA, SAARC and Indian subcontinent. They also want to create an online telecom marketplace for enterprise customers.
Intellibuzz is one of the TechSparks 2013 from Mumbai. And was also one of the finalist at Microsoft Bizspark Startup Challenge 2013.
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