[The Turning Point] Personal pain points led this entrepreneur to launch business communication startup Telebu

The Turning Point is a series of short articles that focuses on the moment when an entrepreneur hit upon their winning idea. Today, we look at Telebu, a Hyderabad-based UCaaS company that offers a plug-and-play solution to startups, SMEs, and enterprises.

When Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti, returned to India after completing his MBA course in Australia in 2003, he started SMSCountry Networks, a leading SMS gateway service provider of personalised and customised bulk SMS solutions, with direct connectivity to major telecom operators.

“Communication via an application to person was something India had not witnessed. It did not take long for people to realise that text messages could not only drive revenues, but could assist in collections, marketing, and save time,” Satya Kalyan says.

His company started scaling quickly. However, some existing customers across different sectors were facing issues in communicating with their stakeholders.

The internal issues included addressing customer queries and complaints, lack of transparency, and the inability to have two-way communication with customers. This led to the realisation that there was a need to bring and manage customer database on a single platform. 

“We realised that there were organisations and businesses like us who struggled with such challenges. There were a few solutions in the market, but none were offering an end-to-end solution. This led to the inception of Telebu in 2018,” he says.

Telebu is a unified communication at scale platform that offers a plug-and-play solution to startups, SMEs and enterprises.

Growing the portfolio

It may have started as an SMS company, but over the years Telebu kept evolving and adding new products to its portfolio, across voice, chat, video, APIs, and SDKs. Most products were based on a pain point Telebu faced as an organisation or a pain point its customers faced.

One such instance was when the team began acquiring new customers and scaling technology for its SMS offerings by adding plugins, APIs and SDKs.

Many customers belonging to BFSI and political/government sectors shared their problem: not having a reliable conferencing platform that could help them achieve scale and provide an opportunity to communicate with the masses. However, unlike SMS, they wanted a two-way, real-time, and more personal system. 

Founder of Telebu, Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti

This is how Grptalk, a calling app, was born. grptalk works on a dial-out capability; instead of traditional conferencing, participants just need to answer an incoming call to join the conference. 

“One of the challenges we faced as an organisation was having a platform to communicate, collaborate, and humanise interactions with our teams and other stakeholders located across the globe.

"We did not want to invest in video conferencing hardware, or opt for video conferencing software that was built and priced for enterprises rather than SMEs like us. The most affordable, sustainable, and logically way to address this pain point was to build our own video conferencing platform. So, we went on to create TelebuJoin,” Satya Kalyan says.

Telebu has also developed an AI-powered chatbox, Telebu Pop, which is aimed at automating responses for its website customers and helping the Telebu team understand intent, user behaviour, and actions, and help qualify prospects into leads.

The way ahead

The company has also made a natural progression - bundling all its products into TelebuPing, a platform to manage all interactions within or outside the organisation, manage sales, offer support, and service from a single platform.

“And now, we are ready to foray into the CPaaS space with TelebuBlocks, which offer APIs and SDKs for SMS, Voice, Video, and Chat. This will enabling businesses to host interactions with their customers on every channel from a single platform,” he adds.

With offices in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi NCR, and Gulf Coast countries, Telebu claims to serve more than 100,000 customers and over 1,000 enterprises. 

The team is focusing on adding security, social communication, multi-language operability, stricter privacy and control, filters, and natural language processing to its product portfolio. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai


Updates from around the world