7 friends ideate automation and analytics firm, give it shape as Option3

By Neha Jain|23rd Feb 2018
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Bootstrapped Option3 is an automation and data analytics product company focused on providing affordable automation solutions for companies, big or small, across the globe

At a glance

Startup: Option3

Founders: Payeli Ghosh, Rajmohan Hadrindranath, Sudhir Sen, Subin Perumbidy, Shreyas Chandrahasan, Sekhar Prakash, Krishnan Subramanian

Year it was founded: 2012

Where it is based: Bengaluru

Sector: Technology - Automation and analytics product company

Problem it solves: Automates solutions for companies

Funding raised: Bootstrapped

When Payeli Ghosh and her friends got together every once in awhile, they couldn’t help but discuss the issues that plagued the respective industries in which they worked. Each having 10+ years of experience, they had seen enough use cases for automation, and realised that coupled with data analytics, it would be the ideal way for businesses to move forward.

Over one such discussion in a Bengaluru park in 2012, Rajmohan Hadrindranath, Sudhir Sen, Subin Perumbidy, Shreyas Chandrahasan, Sekhar Prakash, Krishnan Subramanian, and Payeli, who are all friends from college, decided it was time to act on their instincts. “We thought, why not we ourselves build what we want our end customers to use,” recalls Payeli. Thus, Option3 was born.

What is Option3?

Option3 is an automation and data analytics product company focused on providing affordable automation solutions for companies, big or small, across the globe.

The company aims to empower businesses with powerful, yet easy-to-use technology and cognitive solutions to solve business problems. It offers a suite of domain-ready capabilities that can implement any kind of automation and cognitive solutions such as DevOps, test automation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), or analytics.

The automation and analytics capabilities of the company include end-to-end test automation solution across domains including retail, banking, insurance and payments industry (JiffyTest), cognitive solution for business process automation using machine learning software bots (JiffyRPA), and analytics and monitoring solution (Docube) that can visualise data and track every insight derived across the organisation real time.

“JiffyRPA stands apart from other RPA solutions as it does not depend on a template-based automation approach. JiffyRPA uses a combination of Cognitive Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine to deliver accurate output for different unstructured data,” Payeli explains.

Bootstrapped so far

With the idea to push a unique product to the market, the friends started out, bootstrapping the company into existence.

Payeli says, “The product required two years of research and development before it could be released to the market, and during this time we were providing consulting services to enterprises, and this helped in raising capital which was invested back into Jiffy.”

Option3 was able to take the products global with its first few customers. “Our first five customers are global Fortune 100 customers. Selling a product to them was not easy,” explains Payeli.

But the founders had complementary strengths in aspects—such as sales, engineering, R&D and entrepreneurial experience—needed to start up, which eased the process to a great extent. “Sharing the same ideals and pursuit of technical excellence has brought us together to start Option3,” she adds.

Complementary strengths

The Option3 team is currently 50-member strong, and is based out of Bengaluru.

Payeli has over 18 years of experience in entrepreneurship, enterprise transformation and global solution delivery. She heads the Operations, Finance and Marketing at Option3. Rajmohan is the R&D head and is an accomplished technology architect in multiple industry verticals and business domains. 

With over a decade of experience in data analytics, Sudhir heads Products at Option3, and Subin, with over a decade of experience in the IT sector, is the Head of Engineering at Option3.

Shreyas has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies over the course of his career. He is the Implementation head at Option3. Before Option3, Sekhar had spent five years in financial trading. He is now the Delivery and Infrastructure head

Krishnan has been instrumental in defining the sales strategy at Option3, leveraging his previous experience in sales, pre-sales and delivery.

The founding team -Option3

In expansion mode

In the last three financial years, Option3 has seen a growth rate of 100 percent, with revenues growing 300 percent in FY 2017-18 compared to FY16-17. Payeli says, “We have expanded in different geographies with strong pipeline in the Middle East, Asia and Australia, apart from the US and Europe.”

The pricing for these products varies from subscription-based to outcome-based models.

The suite of products

The suite of products from Option3 are JiffyRPA, JiffyTest and Docube.

Jiffy RPA is powered by cognitive robots, and provides everything one needs to implement a continuous automation framework – RPA, Reporting Automation and analytics. It can be used to automate any task manually performed on a computer. The self-learning robots learns from users and make cognitive decisions with ease.

“With simple drag and drop, automate any manual activity carried out across desktop applications, web applications or mainframes. The process is further simplified with nodes that can easily interact with Excel, email, REST, web services etc,” Payeli explains.

Jiffy RPA claims to provide approximately 30 percent cost savings for offshore Business Process Management (BPM) and 70 percent for onshore BPM services.

Payeli says, “However, the larger benefit of Jiffy RPA is improved quality of service to your customers and better utilisation of workforce. The RoI can be obtained within six months of implementing the solution.”

The Jiffy Test Automation product is designed to automate integrated applications end-to-end. It provides ready-to-use frameworks, components and functional validation flows for industry leading package solutions like IBM Sterling, SAP Hybris, Manhattan, Oracle, VisionPLUS and Prime.

Payeli says, “This enables functional users and testers to validate the functional behaviour of the application in an integrated manner with no upfront effort to build any automation framework. With it, customers have been able to achieve 70-percent cost reduction in testing effort and 40-percent reduction in timelines over a three-year period. The product RoI is obtained just with the savings from defect leakages to production.”

Docube offers data storage, visualisation, advanced analytics and data mashups in a single package. It is a fully collaborative solution that enables the business to visualise any data and track every insight derived across the organisation in real time.

Payeli gives an example: a leading Fortune 100 US retailer happened to achieve only limited success using generic test automation processes. The automation landscape was extremely complex with different software being used across different processes and only 30 percent of it was automated, which meant true automation was not in place and they still had to rely on manual testing for a lot of processes. Once they started using JiffyTest, the ability of the platform to seamlessly integrate across all the software for the complex processes helped them achieve more than 75 percent automation, reducing the reliance on manual testing, improving efficiency through faster defect identification and reduced testing time. It also brings down the costs of labour involved in manual testing.

Market space

The global RPA market is expected to touch $8.75 billion by 2024 according to Research and Markets. RPA is maturing in terms of clarity, credibility, and applicability as organisations are increasingly implementing these solutions.

According to Research and Markets, the key difference between other automation methods and RPA is the approach used to complete tasks carried out by employees. RPA utilises applications through a standard interface along with the deployment of software without modification to the applications or systems being automated.

The other companies working in the similar space include Automation Anywhere, Kryon, WorkFusion, LarcAI, PegaSystems and other multinational companies.

Talking about the differentiator, Payeli says, “Both our product features and pricing models are our key differentiators. The domain-ready solutions that Jiffy offers, allows customers to realise RoI in under a year.”

For the future, it is looking for having the product penetrate deeper into other geographies.

Payeli says, “The cognitive layer to the platform allows organisations to add more value to their business. The platform is also customisable to be package ready for integration with other domain-specific modules across the IT, supply chain, BPM and shared services functions.”

It is expecting to make three-digit growth percentages for the next 24 months. It will also increase investments in sales and marketing engine to achieve that.