Interview with Nilesh Patel, Co-Founder at LeadSquared

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[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

 

Client acquisition is an indispensable and continuous process for any kind of business, and with increasing competition in the market there is a huge demand for customer-acquisition solutions. No company today wants a leakage in its lead to conversion pipeline. But to manage and follow-up with leads till they are successfully converted into business opportunities is a tedious task. Along with that, it is also important for the companies to optimize their investments on various marketing channels. With so much of data scattered across multiple tools, it becomes a nightmare for businesses to get any meaningful and actionable insights.

LeadSquared, founded by Nilesh Patel, Sudhakar Gorti and Prashant Singh, is a company that is easing out this difficult task for the businesses by helping in lead capturing, lead management and data analytics on a single easy-to-use platform. LeadSquared is an automated marketing and CRM software which is offered as SaaS (software-as-a-service) where the customers signs for a minimum of quarterly, half-yearly or yearly subscription plan. The services offered by LeadSquared can be divided into four parts, viz., lead capture automation, lead nurturing, sales acceleration and analytics. The company is doing really well with clients such as Flipkart, Randstad, TimesPro, etc. and aims to generate over USD 1.5 million in revenue in 2015-16.

We recently interviewed Mr. Nilesh Patel, the man behind this exciting start-up, and this is how the conversation went.

Give us a snapshot of your professional journey till now.

I graduated from NSIT Delhi in 1999, with a degree in instrumentation and controls engineering. My  career started with a job at IBM. After a few years at IBM I decided to take entrepreneurial plunge in 2003 and started my first company Proteans, along with my co-founders, Prashant Singh and Sudhakar Gorti. We grew Proteans to about 10 million dollars in revenue before Symphony Telca acquired it in 2010. In 2011, the three of us got together again and founded LeadSquared. My role is to lead the sales and the marketing functions at LeadSquared as the Chief Executive Officer of the company.

When & how did the entrepreneurial bug bite you?

I first met Sudhakar in July 1999. Both of us started our career together at IBM Pune. Within a year he moved to Bangalore and joined Talisma, and then Oracle where he met Prashant through a common friend. A lot of my college friends were in Bangalore and so I also took a transfer from IBM Pune to Bangalore. All three of us and other friends used to party together and regularly meet over weekends. Soon the entrepreneurial bug bit us, and in June 2003 we all decided to take the plunge and started Proteans.  

What were the early days at LeadSquared like?

It was the summer of 2012 when the LeadSquared story began. Before writing the first line of software, we spent 15 months working with dozens of B2C and B2B businesses to build their marketing and lead generation engines. We generated tens of thousands of leads for its clients running several hundred marketing campaigns through inbound and outbound channels. This helped us understand the marketing challenges businesses face first-hand, and we used these insights to come up with a platform that minimizes these problems by automating key marketing and sales processes.

LeadSquared Founding Team

Can you please describe what a typical day at office is like?

The first half of my day mostly goes in working with the sales and marketing team. My lunch is usually with my founding partners.  I start the second half of the day with product demos and customer meetings. I also spend time with the HR & recruitment team. On customer wins,  the sales person who closed the deal selects a song of his/her choice, and we celebrate with the team on the floor. The evenings are spent talking to whoever I meet in office, while sipping a cup of tea.

Can you tell us about the technology stack used at Lead Squared?

LeadSquared is built using .NET, Windows, MySQL, DynamoDB, Redis, LogiXML and Amazon Web Services. We have Web, Android and iOS clients for the users.

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Is there any technology that you’re personally betting on to help you scale up?

We are betting on the Amazon Web Services to help us scale.

LeadSquared-landing-page_report

What has been the biggest technical challenge you’ve faced while running LeadSquared?

Rapidly making changes and scaling while maintaining user experience and fast performance is always the biggest challenge for SaaS businesses.

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What are some of the attributes you look out for in prospective technology employees?

We look for individuals with strong problem solving skills, professional work ethic and passion for building great software.

How do you keep up to date with the latest happenings in the technology world?

I read Techcrunch, Product Hunt and Venturebeat to keep track of the latest technology trends.

What gets you excited about coming to work every day?

Building software that users love is very exciting for me, and I get to do that every day with an awesome team I really enjoy working with. This is enough reason to keep me excited about coming to work everyday.

What sets LeadSquared engineering culture apart?

LeadSquared engineering is totally driven by customer delight, and the value we bring to our users.  Unlike most product engineering teams, we like to flaunt how much our users love our software, rather than the technology stack we use.

Which LeadSquared value resonates best with you?

Customer delight and delivering value for our software users is the core of LeadSquared value system.

Any piece of advice for techies out there?

Think about the user before you start coding and test rigorously whatever code you have written against the use cases.

 

[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

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