Simplify360 is a social media analytics company which was started back in 2009 by Bhupendra Khanal. The company has grown to a team of 25 people and has paying customers like Yamaha and Wipro. Simplify360 was recently in the news with rumour mills abuzz about a possible acquisition by Adobe, Twitter and WPP. We spoke to Bhupendra to learn more about the situation and their stand.
YourStory: Is there any truth in the acquisition rumours?
Bhupendra Khanal: Such rumours spread like wildfire. Yes, we've been approached and it is not a new thing. We got an offer more than six months ago from a Singapore firm which we rejected. We're here to build a global venture and are aiming to be in the top five companies in the space. If a strategic investment comes along, we're open to it but our main focus is on building the business. It's not that we're up for sale. We began the business with the intention of going the full stretch and that is how it is.
YS: As an entrepreneur, how does such news affect the business?
BK: My job is to build the business. And the media's job is to disseminate information. But for an entrepreneur, timing is very crucial and here is where it becomes difficult. Once a word is doing the rounds, it becomes a challenge to change the perception. The media attention we are receiving now has helped us in a big way. People are reading about us, searching us on the internet, and inquiring about the product. It’s an exciting time. The only thing I want to make clear is that we are not putting the company on sale. We are getting strategic investment and acquisition offers, and we are exploring options. We will choose a partner who enables our long term vision.
YS: Can you tell us about the genesis of the company and your key strengths?
BK: I am a computer science engineer with a strong base in Analytics. I started my career with GlobalAnalytics and then moved on to be a part of the core team at Marketelligent. I was in charge of marketing and business development while building the Analytics consulting delivery team. Building a firm foundation, I moved on to start up Simplify360.
Social Media was on the rise and we realized the need for brands to be proactive about their social media management. There were companies already doing this but we went ahead to build the product from scratch. From scraping data to arriving at conclusions, our product is capable of handling everything. And this is our key strength. Many brands have come back to us saying that we're possibly the best platform out there.
YS: How has the business grown?
BK: We've been able to get some marquee clients who have spread the word about us. We are now 25 people strong and have more than 100 paying customers. We are mostly partner driven, and have primarily three types of partners – Software Integrators and BPOs, media agencies, and analytics and research firms.
YS: What's on the product roadmap?
BK: We are the World’s first Social Media Marketing Suite, as well as one of the pioneers in enabling BPO industry with Social Media Contact Centre. Innovation is a habit at Simplify360, and we are always up for the challenge.
We are on our way to becoming the complete Digital CRM Solution that any Software Integrator, BPO company or a media agency will be using in near term. All three will use it because they are actually solving the same problem in digital domain for the enterprises. This CRM Solution is powered by Simplify360 Big Data and Simplify360 Analytics Engine, which makes it unique and most powerful in the world.
YS: What are your biggest learnings over the last few years?
BK: Constantly innovating and challenging the status quo is not easily accepted. A radical idea will face opposition. If people agree to what you're saying right away, you're probably thinking too short term. People’s (including investors') disbelief is your greatest achievement. All you need is belief in yourself and you'll be rewarded later.