By offering a smart, chat-first interface that interacts with all the work tools in an organisation, Troopr helps teams to become more productive and focus on higher-value tasks.Vishal Krishna
When a company scales from a five-member team to 100, communication sometimes takes a backseat. When communication breaks down, the organisation’s performance can become fragmented. That’s when a AI tool like Troopr comes to the rescue. This tool can resides inside an organisation’s communication module, such as Slack, and unifies individuals into a team of communicators and achievers.
The company was founded by Rajesh Shanmugam along with Anand and Himanshu, who have known each other for more than 15 years. Rajesh’s core expertise is technology and product, Anand’s is in sales, operations, and revenue, and Himanshu is an expert in marketing and strategy.
Rajesh comes with more than 16 years of experience in building enterprise software products and three years in building an AI tech stack. After completing his undergraduate degree from BITS Pilani, Rajesh held brief stints at Oracle and Juniper in the US before returning to India to start his own company.
Rajesh thought of the idea for Troopr in early 2018 to solve problems faced in his prior ventures in keeping growing teams aligned, productive and accountable. Troopr was built initially as an internal solution for the team.
Before taking the product to market, the Troopr team conducted user research with team managers across India, the US, and Europe to understand the landscape of work management tools.
“We soon realised that most managers were not only unhappy with the existing tools, but were also frustrated with mounting administration work that came with dealing with multiple tools and services,” says Rajesh.
The idea was simple. By offering a smart chat-first interface to interact with all work tools, Troopr helps teams to stay productive and spend more time on higher value tasks.
“We are building a future where any work-related question in any company will be asked to Troopr first,” he adds.
Troopr is a horizontal B2B product and can work across any organisation. Any team relying on business chat software for collaboration can benefit from Troopr.
Troopr leverages advanced AI, specifically in the NLP domain, to build unique, blended multi-modal conversations-driven interactions within chat.
The Troopr Assistant has multiple “skills”. So ideally, any member of a Slack team can ask a work-related question as if they were talking to a human personal assistant and get the answers from one or more connected tools. That is the vision for the chat-first workplace.
The assistant will also predict follow-up actions in any context and suggest them through actionable buttons within the chat conversation.
For example, you can ask a simple question like, ‘What’s the sales plan for the week?’, or ‘What is the social media campaign that will support the sales organisation?’. The departments involved collaborate with each other after Troopr pulls out information from various tools in the organisation and informs the sales and social media teams that they have a number of tasks to collaborate on.
The founders say that the system is intelligent enough to figure out the latest iterations of conversations on various tools and will throw up the most relevant conversation to the teams.
The initial customers came through direct selling by the founders. “Although it is a completely new concept, customers were immediately able to understand the value of the tool in saving time and creating a smarter and productive workplace. Initially, we had to work with the customer every day for months to ensure we fully understood and mapped to their exact pain points,” says Rajesh.
Rajesh invested $100,000 into the venture and has released Troopr to 60 corporate organisations. Since the company is just a year old, the revenue is just trickling in. The founders believe this will increase when customers begin paying for the product from next year.
Troopr is based on a typical SaaS model where it charges businesses $5 per user per month. For smaller teams, it gives the product free of cost for a lifetime. Rajesh is also working on selling the product to a global audience and is focused on customer engagement and growing revenue.
Most of his clients are in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. “Every week, we see an average of two-three installs. All of this with zero marketing spend so far,” says Rajesh.
The company is also building its chat first workplace. It is the early mover in this space in India, but don’t confuse them with the help desk bots that chat with you on websites. It is an AI chat interface for the internal working of an organisation. Explains Rajesh,
“Just as the revolution towards 'mobile-first' apps got everyone to prioritise mobile-optimised user experiences, “chat-first“ will drive a new breed of apps prioritising conversational user experiences.”
The company competes with Automation Anywhere, Workplace by Facebook, and Tangowork. Troopr's advantage is in its pricing, the robustness of the technology to understand conversations, and the fact that it is a small team of five members.