[Startup Bharat] With Dainik Jagran, Shemaroo as clients, Jaipur-based Sarv aims to make communication easy
Communication in today’s integrated world is not a challenge. However, there simply are too many apps and communication venues, without a medium to interact with one another. This led Ramesh Chaudhary and Abhimanyu Sharma to start Sarv, in Jaipur in 2011, when they were pursuing their Master’s in Engineering at Rajasthan University.
To realise the idea of a unified communication platform, Sarv began with email services and then expanded to SMS, voice, and IVR. The startup helped customers manage their requirements at one place instead of catering to multiple vendors for each service.
“From the beginning, Sarv has developed its services completely in-house to make them viable with each other and to avoid any bottleneck situation. This helped us to deliver what is best suited for our customers. Though it was not easy, yet it helped us to get an extra degree of freedom while designing our services,” Ramesh tells YourStory.
Once the communication part was done, Sarv started its research in analysing data and converting it into valuable information. This helped the customers reach the right person. Sarv understood that because India is a diverse country, people have different choices and priorities. So, instead of broadcasting to everyone, communicating with targeted audiences is the right way.
What does it do?
The platform works on providing the right information to the right people through SMS, Email, Cloud Telephony, and CRM.
“If a company sends a voice message to their audience asking them to ‘Press 1’ this can be followed by a text message with further information. But what if the customer doesn’t read the text? They will get an email. The idea is to provide information to the customer. In case the message is read, the email won’t be sent. The idea of Sarv as a unified communication platform is to provide integrated customer experience,” says Ramesh.
The nine-year-old startup has faced several challenges. The team began by building an in-house product with limited resources and funds. They also limited technology options which took longer than usual to build the product, and enlisted the help of techies and hires from college.
How does it work?
Sarv works on a SaaS model, providing a web-based login to access different products. The platform has a single unified platform where all the communication channels are incorporated, with possible cross integration among them.
“This enhanced the overall productivity of any promotional/transactional activity. Also, all our services are powered with ML and AI, where we learn the patterns and behaviour of the subscriber and provide options that suit their needs,” he explains.
The team claims to have a user base of 1.10 lakh. They also own their data centres, located in the premises of different telcos, which allows them to ensure privacy and security.
“Every business has some unique approaches and based on it, the ideas to run certain campaigns will be always different from others. This is a challenge for the solution providers to build something which would be used only by a single organisation and of no use to others. Because of this, providers avoid serving similar requirements,” he adds.
Expanding the product
So it meant they had to build a system that is flexible enough to handle the traffic. During an election or a great promotional activity, high traffic is to be pushed and that too for a short term, so resources are added in that short period.
The team first started with the email. This gave them the vision to come up with an all-in-one inhouse service. They then began developing the SMS & Voice Broadcasting platform. Afterwards, they introduced Cloud Telephony and other valuable add-ons.
“We made sure that all the services we are incorporating on one platform are synchronised and well interlinked with each other to support and work with all the parts of this solution (Example: Cloud Telephony backed with SMS/VB/Email; Missed Call backed with SMS/VB, VB backed with SMS and likewise.) Today, we know how important is a single data when it comes to communication and establishing relations with your customers. We understood its ways years back and are now ready to launch it,” adds Ramesh.
Market and future
A joint report by Google and VC firm Accel states that India is likely to become a $10 billion revenue industry with 8 percent share of the global SaaS by 2025. The field is dominated by players like Zoho, Freshworks, and Zendesk. There is also Surat-based Stackby.
While the team refused to share numbers, Sarv follows a subscription-based model, and claims to have a 250 percent revenue jump. Some of its key clients include Shemaroo, Dainik Jagran, and The Lalit Hotel.
Currently bootstrapped, the team aims to gather more data, and become a storehouse of information that helps clients grow and thrive in communication. The team is also planning a pan-India expansion.