How this Bengaluru startup's app helps US businesses manage franchises and multiple locations
Setting up a franchisee store may seem easy, but running it isn’t. India has more than 150,000 franchisee stores, and brands spend a lot of time and money to ensure their success. However, the failure rate is very high - only those with the ability to invest deep and in the best catchment/location are the winners in the long run.
Enter Bengaluru-based Survaider, which has now launched a workflow app that aims to simplify franchise management with “suggestions” and “nudges” in the form of simple tasks instead of simply providing businesses with reams of data.
The startup was founded by Madhulika Mukherjee and Tushar Mishra in February 2015.
“Franchise businesses are hard to manage because they are fundamentally remote. They are slow in taking actions because there is no simple way for HQ to get tasks done by staff at the locations. So, no matter how many analytics/insights you offer, the value-add will be limited,” Tushar says.
“We aggregate feedback for these businesses from across all channels and tools, and convert that into actionable tasks for relevant people,” Tushar says.
Survaider founders Tushar and Madhulika
In the beginning
Madhulika and Tushar were together at college; they did their engineering course from Delhi University. The duo was part of another company, Tnine Infotech, where they were building commerce websites for small businesses.
They then began work on a gamified survey software. Madhulika and Tushar failed to sell that tool, but in the process spoke to 100+ businesses. The duo learnt that businesses “already have so much data on online channels”, but find it tough to make sense of it. That’s when they decided to start Survaider.
“Now, with our new app, Delightree, we’re solving the problem of converting insights into actual actions,” Tushar says.
How does it work?
Survaider helps multi-location businesses improve customer experience by helping them take actions on customer feedback in real time. The startup works with companies like Ginger Hotels, Brand Factory, Fab Hotels, Barbeque Nation, and others, making them “extremely customer-centric”.
Companies in India are now realising the value of customer service, but, barring some marque brands, the market still needs awareness and education.
Survaider's Delightree aggregates customer reviews across all channels and locations of a business and gives a simple to-do list to relevant people and locations to help franchises scale up. This is in addition to the to-dos they can create, assign, and track internally. This way, the time taken to roll out a new discount across some stores reduces significantly instead of being led by the brands themselves.
Delightree is a way to manage multiple locations, and helps businesses create and track tasks, auto-identify issues, and keep their team on the same page.
“We were earlier helping these brands measure customer experience. We’re still testing the new actionability app in the US, and will soon roll out for all our Indian customers as well,” Tushar says.
Delightree has been launched in the US and has already caught the eye of investors.
Amit Jain, of San Jose-based ZNL Ventures, says: "The product is solving a real pain point that all businesses face when spread across geographies. The next wave of business software will focus on converting insights and data to actions. The team has a solid track of working with these businesses in India and now the kind of traction they've managed to get in the US in a short while just validates that Indian startups with good product offering have a lot of scope and potential to expand globally."
For Tushar and Madhulika, not knowing anybody in the US, especially in the industry, was a challenge. The only option they had was to cold call or reach out and “show” businesses what they could do.
“We made a list of businesses we could add value to, and researched relevant people in these businesses on LinkedIn. We then emailed detailed insights, which we generated through their Google and Yelp reviews," Tushar says.
Delightree would tell them specifically which locations were performing low for the brand and why. They got many responses, which led them to their first paying customer in the US.
Delightree is testing in the US currently with 10 customers while Survaider has 70 clients in India.
The way ahead
Survaider raised $500,000 from Axilor Ventures and Chennai Angels three years ago. “We’ve also raised some money from Alchemist Accelerator in the US,” Tushar says.
He adds that the transition from India to the US was tough for them and took a lot of time. They had to go through the process of customer discovery, validation, and finding the right product fit again from scratch.
Today, the company charges customers $99 per month, per location to use the app. It has additional charges for automated to-do’s. The startup did not want to disclose its team size and revenues as of now.
The franchise market, according to IBEF, is worth $47 billion, and Delightree competes with SaaS tools provided by Freshworks and GoFrugal.
“Our vision is to become the operating system for franchises. This is where all their data, like reviews, sales, schedules etc, are put in, and the output is in the form of simple tasks,” Tushar says.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)