I had the pleasure of meeting with NJ Sridharan, Head of Sales & Marketing for Simplify360. Simplify360 is a social media management application for social business analytics and multichannel engagement.
NJ started in the technology space in 2005. For about eight years, NJ worked for marketing agencies in the UK, focusing on verification of metrics online. NJ jumped into the startup space in 2008 and setup his own organization. After that, he worked for a Singapore-based startup that was acquired a year later by a larger enterprise company from India. NJ worked for several corporations including Nissan in Japan, mostly heading up social media practices and setting up services. He finally landed at Simplify360, about a year ago, which is a late stage startup in the social media space. He’s responsible for sales and marketing and also works with operations and product.
Simplify360 started as a B2C company. Around 2013, the company evolved into a social media platform. It is one of the few non-US, non-European organizations that has built a lot of capability in social media functionality, primarily targeting the South Asia and Southeast Asia regions.
Over the last 18 months, the company has evolved into a CX platform, mostly led by customers requesting a new ecosystem. Since the company’s market is predominantly social media focused, it started bidding itself against Zoho and Zendesk who don’t really solve the problems from a social media perspective. In Manila, for example, social media is 90% of their business. Over the last 18 months Simplify360 has grown about 15-20% to a total of 65 employees (a mix of developers and analysts). Everyone is passionate about customer experience. That’s the thread that drives Simplify360; to give their customers something unique.
Simplify360 has approximately 200 B2B enterprise customers, some of which have been with the company from the start. India is becoming a new market as its starting to buy enterprise grade social media platforms. Simplify360’s key differentiators include it’s agility, backend integration and focus on solving specific customer objectives. More importantly, Simplify360 gives its customers a superior experience. One of the company’s biggest strengths is focusing on sentiment analysis of Southeast Asian languages. They have been doing this for the last four years.
One of the main challenges NJ identified is building a scalable process. NJ has a team distributed across 4 cities with multiple partners and white labels. Scaling the collaboration among the teams and creating roles & responsibilities are needed. The teams are distributed in major cities within India. The sales and accounts teams are located in Mumbai. There are other sales offices located in Delhi, Poland and the United States. The largest team is in Bangalore – including the company’s development center and backend teams.
From an operations standpoint, NJ feels the company should have been virtual from the start. It’s much easier for him to get on calls with customers and interact with more people remotely than before. Another lesson learned was to bridge the gap of the product functionality and customer knowledge of the full suite of capabilities. Now that the landing page includes a list of all of the product’s capabilities, there’s an increase in marketing and opportunities to upsell into existing accounts.
NJ indicated the company has reached a stage where it needs funding. They would also like to have a presence in the United States. At the end of Covid, there is a possibility for one of the leaders to be stationed in Silicon Valley. Latin America (LatAm) is also a huge opportunity for Simplify360. So, he sees a blended approach with nurturing markets in both the US and LatAm. They are also focused on onboarding partners and partner enablement.
I had an amazing conversation with NJ. Each day before he retires for the night, he mentally lists his targets for the following day. He picks two deliverables to focus on. He also has weekly strategic goals to accomplish.
For more information, please go to https://simplify360.com/