Brands were collecting feedback since time immemorial. Over time though, it became something that someone on the top wanted to capture, because they felt like they needed to, with nothing being done with it though. It was unstructured, it was ad hoc, and it was of no real use.
But with technology, and social media, and multi-channel engagement growing rapidly, the importance of understanding this data in a structured manner was becoming crucial. The need to listen to the customers, capture VOC and to know how to stand apart from competition was becoming direct drivers of business success. Discount wars or product battles just won’t cut it. It was all about great customer experiences. And those customer experiences needed to be managed.
This is why Vinod Muthukrishnan, Vijay Lakshmanan, Prem K Viswanath & Nagendra CL. decided to be the ones doing it that too as a product and founded Cloudcherry.
It is a real-time omni-channel customer experience management platform that allows customer-facing brands to track measure and improve customer delight – which helps them in turn to increase profitability and customer loyalty.
After spending his early days at sea as a Certified First Officer with Maersk Line, Vinod Muthukrishnan joined Market Simplified, a financial technology product startup in their early days where he worked as Vice President Global Sales, Strategy and Partnerships. After a long and successful stint there, he decided to start his journey all over again by co-founding CloudCherry and taking over as CEO.
Entrepreneur India caught up Muthukrishnan, CEO & Co-founder, CloudCherry to know more about his entrepreneurial journey and his future plans.
Entrepreneurship was not something I planned
I wanted to be an Army Officer!
CloudCherry, it just stuck
Interestingly, CloudCherry was the first name we thought of, and it just stuck! We do have an ongoing contest though within our office to come up with the best urban legend behind our name and most popular one will become the story. Hopefully you’ll see the story up on our website soon!
We are a SaaS product. Our billing is based on channels/number of touch points used, and/or feedbacks collected
All about funding
We have raised Series A funding of $6M from Vertex Ventures, Cisco Investments and IDG Ventures India. The funds will go into sales and marketing in global markets, including APAC, Middle East & North America. Of course, it goes without saying that we will also be investing in our constant product development, in the development of our people, and bringing in amazing new talent.
The reason why investors backed us
I would think it was because we had a very solid Product-Market fit, with a team that was ready to scale the company, in a space that we all saw had massive room for growth!
All about my office culture, team and business
We are currently 58 people at CloudCherry, spread across Bengaluru, Chennai, Singapore, Delhi and the Bay Area.
One of the most important things that we focus on, and can proudly say that we have built is our unique culture. Everything we do, we do as a team. We don’t have a top to bottom structure. Every single person OWNS their function, and all are working towards one single mission: make CloudCherry awesome!
Every piece of good news, no matter how small is celebrated with the ringing of a bell we have in the middle of our office. Every evening is spent playing a game of cricket (with our own rules, of course!) on our terrace.
In fact, our team collaboratively came up with what we believe in as an organization– our values. And they are: ownership, passion, freedom, impact, working smart and learning.
My mentor in my entrepreneurial journey
I have learnt from 3 people immensely during the past few years:
Girish Mathrubootham from Freshdesk – Product focus, building rapid scale and evolving as a CEO
Aneesh Reddy from Capillary – Calm decision making, building a solid core team
Mithun Sacheti from Caratlane – Has given me personal counsel more than once!
I strongly believe in
Some business fundamental that I strongly believe in and would never want to change are people are your biggest asset, a bad deal is a bad deal. Don’t take it! and finally, my favorite: sales solves all problems.
A moment of pride
Our very first cheque. Everytime, we hear the bell ring when a deal is closed – always a high!
It was not at all a smooth ride
For a fair bit, it used to be ensuring we have money in the bank and we can pay salaries on time. Whenever we were late the only way to deal with it was clear, direct communication to the team from me. This cannot be done any other way.
The real challenge now is to ensure our culture scales with the team. I try to spend as much one on one time with different people in the team because I recognize that it is possible that at our scale, I never interact with some of the people. This could be small chats over coffee or otherwise, but I like to have a personal connect with everyone.
My future scale-up plans
We are going global with a focus on the US and Singapore. Digital marketing and Inside sales are going to play a massive part in this. We foresee core central ops running out of Bangalore with Sales and Customer Experience Consultants spread across markets.