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July 10, 2013

Ambarish Gupta- The Success Behind Knowlarity

Ambarish Gupta-The Man behind Knowlarity

The dot.com era has spawned many an enterprising entrepreneur who has not only revolutionized the e-commerce sector in their own specific way but has improved the ‘quality of life’ of millions of people. Ambarish Gupta is one such sagacious and forward thinking tycoon who brought about a massive upheaval in the telecom sector in India. He co-founded a cloud computing telephony service enterprise with Pallav Pandey in 2009-the Knowlarity Communications Pvt. Ltd-with the pious objective of providing comprehensive telecommunication services to small and medium enterprises (SME) practically free of cost.

When the chief minister of Odisha (formerly Orissa), Mr. Naveen Patnaik was frantically planning for his election campaign with just about a week to go for the election, he was approached by the co-partners of Knowlarity Communications. They convinced the CM of Odisha that he could call anybody and everybody in the state with a one-line automatic voice memo encouraging the electorate to vote for him. Seventy lakh calls were made just within the space of about a week and it cost the CM just one rupee for every call.

At the juncture when Ambarish Gupta had made the offer to the CM, he was getting ready for a whistle-stop tour of the entire state in a helicopter. The personal approach of that voice message not only helped him to win the elections with a comfortable majority but helped him to save a lot of money. Ambarish Gupta recalls working for three consecutive days to put the system into place harnessing the innovative SuperCaller technology.

The concept of Knowlarity became a reality when Ambarish Gupta met Sanjeev Bikchandani of Naukri.com to create a highly flexible web-based platform with a cloud computing orientation. The cloud based interface would allow them to make calls to all and sundry without the need to set up any hardware. He put forward the proposal to other medium and small scale enterprises as well.

Background of Mr. Ambarish Gupta

Mr. Gupta is from Kanpur and hails from a business family. His family had a business that dealt in jute bags. He fondly remembers having spent his growing up years in Kolkata and Kanpur. After successfully completing his high school from Kanpur, he sat for the IIT competitive exams and earned a berth in IIT, Kanpur. He completed his graduation in computer science from IIT, Kanpur in 2000. Right from the time when he was in IIT, he instinctively felt that he was cut out to be an entrepreneur. He went to Australia after clearing his graduation from IIT and worked in the country’s ‘Silicon Valley’. He came back to India in 2004 and established a virtual (online) real estate brokerage company. However, it was not a successful venture as the commercial environment for online businesses was not opportune at that time. Venture capitalists and angel investors were also not willing to provide the much needed capital for his fledgling start-up-another major reason why his first initiative ever as a budding entrepreneur could not take off.

He realised quite early on with his bungling of his first entrepreneurial endeavour that much more than technical competence is required to make a business start-up successful and self-sustaining in the long run. He had sound knowledge of technology but lacked business skills. Furthermore, he did not have a robust network of business contacts to whom he could present and explain his business ideas. Most importantly, he did not have the wherewithal to get his venture off the ground and nobody showed any willingness or eagerness to proffer funds that would have been lifeblood for his start-up.

Therefore, he returned to USA and enrolled for a MBA program in Carnegie Mellon University that he completed in 2007. Ambarish Gupta has amassed professional experience on a global basis in the areas of marketing, technology, organizational efficiency, and business techniques by working as a consultant strategist with McKinsey & Co in USA. He also had a stint as a researcher in Fraunhofer Institute of Computer Graphics in Germany.

How Knowlarity came into being

When he yet again returned to India after earning a MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University, he was perceptive enough to see the upheaval waiting to happen in the telecom sector. He realized the potential behind Internet telephony and the prospects it held for the different commercial and industrial segments in India, particularly the small and medium enterprises. Skype was creating waves throughout Europe and North America and cloud computing had also arrived in a big way.

Ambarish Gupta could instinctively sense that he could capitalize on the fact that it was possible to get in touch with the masses in real time almost instantly and without staking a large amount. He was convinced that he could create the infrastructure for an organization and make them aware of this advanced and automated voice messaging technology that in essence would help the firm to furnish stellar customer support and service. The firm would also be able to harness this technology for marketing activities.

So, Ambarish Gupta incorporated Knowlarity in partnership with Pallav Pandey in 2009 and started looking for clients who’d buy their innovative business idea. At first they approached the founder of Naukri.com, Mr. Sanjeev Bikchandani and thereafter marketed the idea to many bigwigs. Mr. Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister of Odisha was one such big shot who bought their concept and got results in a short time when he retained his chief ministerial post by emerging victorious in the Assembly elections in the state in 2009. He presently has customers in nearly 65 nations. There are about 200 employees in Knowlarity and there are nearly 2 lakh clients using their services. Of these 5,000 pay a fee for subscribing to their services. Ambarish Gupta believes in employing young people who are ambitious and want to achieve their career goals. He also sees to it that he is in direct touch with his employees as he strongly feels that such an approach can go a long way in not only motivating them but also in keeping them in touch with reality.

As of now, Knowlarity provides cutting-edge services related to telecommunications and cloud computing telephony like Super Fax, Smart IVR and Super Receptionist. The Super Receptionist facility allows the subscriber (on the client side) to flaunt itself as a large company. The caller (on the server side) will get the impression that there are many departments in the organization as several such departmental sections can be created virtually.

Talking about the Super Fax service, it really has brought about an upheaval both in the telecommunications and office equipments sectors. When you opt for the Super Fax facility from Knowlarity, you just do away with conventional fax machines. Additionally, with Super Fax, you don’t need to have any landline connectivity, you’ll not require to have any fax papers, no electricity or ink cartridges would be required either. With Super Fax, you receive and transmit all your faxes through your email id. You just have to compose a mail, attach the relevant folder or file you want to fax and send it across to the number (actually an email id). You can send and receive fax from any part of the world. The tariff you pay for the same is much lower than the rates of sending faxes through the traditional route.

Smart IVR lets you handle your business calls, irrespective of whether they’re incoming or outgoing calls, in a completely inventive way. Smart IVR is all about optimized call routing logic, cloud computing calling competence, and database amalgamation.    


Tags : Ambarish Gupta, founder knowlarity, success story

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