Online transactions certainly have their benefits; you can do it without getting up from your couch, it’s easy to browse through thousands of products, you can compare prices across different market places with ease, etc. Perhaps the one thing that is lacking is the interaction with a customer service agent. There’s no one to hold up the product and show you how it works or to address your concerns before you make the buy. Post purchase customer service is a harrowing experience as well, going through multiple levels of interactive voice messages and waiting for your turn in the company of “Your call is important to us!”
Sushant Pandey’sTringgr takes a shot at solving this problem by providing an in-browser video conferencing platform that works on really low bandwidth. “I feel that the next phase for online business transactions is to become more interactive and that’s where we wanted to play our part with the help of Tringgr’s offerings around live chat boxes and instant conferences,” he tells us.
The bootstrapped, Noida-based firm has a team of 5 that works towards providing video conferences/chats, audio-only conferences/chats, group/private text chats and file transfers. The stand-out feature of this product is its ability to work on a really low bandwidth – 30 kbps for voice chats and 128kbps for video chats. “We believe a product like Tringgr can help various online businesses to host interactions such as live tutoring, online doctors, live product displays for e-commerce, matrimony meeting points, etc.,” explains Sushant.
Tringgr has tied up with companies in the education technology space to build ‘study circles’ where students can collaborate, talk, chat, vote and solve papers together. The company also has associations with travel websites that help you connect with a travel consultant and hotel representative to help plan your itinerary and show the property. “We have built TringgrEngage to help websites better engage with their customer,” adds Sushant.
Tringgr has two main offerings:
“I was bitten by the startup bug at an early stage. After working with Microsoft for three years, I started my entrepreneurial journey with EffectLabs. Five years later, I started Tringgr because I realized there is a huge market in this space,” says Sushant. All the current solutions, as pointed out by Sushant, require a lot of overheads in terms of installation, registrations and good bandwidth. “With sales teams spread across cities, and erratic and slow internet connections, Tringgr’s low bandwidth solutions can really help businesses boost their reach,” he stated.
Tringgr’s target customers include online businesses, enterprise/customer support or BPOs. “We’ve used a lot of approaches to reach out to potential customers. We have an in-house team that works on social media marketing, blogging and forum participation. We also spread the word at various conferences and startup networking forums,” mentions Sushant.
Tringgr’s offerings compete with the services provided by Zopim, Olark, Skype, Google Hangouts, Lync, etc. “Our key differentiating factor is that we function on low bandwidth and that we have highly customized solutions for each business, which allows them to interact just how they want to with their customers,” says Sushant.
“When we started off, funding was an issue. I had some savings of my own which would have lasted me for a few months, plus I got some additional funds from a friend which allowed me some breathing space. In retrospect, however, borrowing money really boosted my self-confidence and it pushed me to work hard towards proving the worth of my product,” revealed Sushant.
Tringgr works on a subscription based model for most of its offerings, apart from the functionalities on its website. In the past 4 months they have served more than 3,800 users and conducted over 2,300 conferences, or over 30,000 minutes worth of conferences.
“Our initial corporate sales were low; it was tough because of the presence of various major players, but we find good value addition in our low bandwidth offerings. Explaining to potential customers the real value with Tringgr takes some time. We have been able to successfully demonstrate how our offerings are useful to reach out to rural areas, and to connect with teams practically anywhere.”
Advice to Startups
“I think starting up early really helps in the learning curve. It helps you adapt and transform to become successful early on. The sales activities need to be worked on in tandem with the development of the product or service. The timing needs to be right to be able to sustain yourself once the offering is ready.”
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