Tanmaya Jain is the 21 year old brought up in Gurgaon who’s been running the profitable B2B SaaS company inFeedo. He took this leap into the startup world 3 years ago when he was 18, still studying computer science at Shiv Nadar University.
Q1) When and how did you think about inFeedo? & Who inspired or encouraged you to follow your passion?
inFeedo’s journey began way back in 2013 just after me having completed 1 year in college. Coming from a liberal school, the general concept of university in itself was a pretty big culture shock for Tanmaya, where new ideas were often known to be ignored, shot down or lost in the ocean among hundreds of other stakeholders involved. Hierarchy, bureaucracy and bias were words that were thrown around as justification to make it seem like an inevitable circumstance in large communities. Where it got even more disturbing was that, this was a battle in almost every organization where people had learn’t to accept such an environment as their reality.
The problem that I had observed was that most employees in the industry felt neglected and could never get their critical feedback, obstacles or ideas addressed by their decision makers in their company on the right time. No matter how big a competition Microsoft’s Billion Dollar Enterprise Social Network Yammer was, this was a big yet highly specific problem in the market that was still waiting to be solved. My mission was to help CEOs grow their companies without losing their culture and make their employees feel heard, with an internal feedback platform.
It was when Marissa Mayer was at the top of her game in the first year of joining Yahoo as CEO, that I got the story I wanted to tell everybody about. In 2012, she aimed at eradicating PB&J (poisonous processes, useless bureaucracies and jams) using an in-house feedback platform and ended up solving 1000 problems, directly doubling the stock price in just 1 year. This validated success in itself coupled with my desire to build a product that’s regularly used was enough to get me started on the white-boards.
Q2) Explain more about inFeedo, What makes you special?
While Slack is a superb “internal communication platform” and Yammer is an “enterprise social network” that’s getting outdated, we’re an “enterprise employee feedback platform” with only 1 niche focus area. That is to have 1 dedicated platform to help organizations act on “Real time employee feedback and suggestions to continuously improve culture.” With anonymity as a USP, it does not involve chat, gossip or social elements and will in fact integrate with both Slack/Yammer very soon. It is those quarterly surveys, suggestion boxes, corridor conversations, unstructured town-halls and half-built unused in-house tools that we wish to replace.
A sales guy who spent 15 months in Antarctica,
A techie who dropped out of St. Xaviers college,
A QA engineer who became the sarpanch of 20000 member village,
A data science obsessed sociopath and
A batman loving product fanatic
All lead by a chief smile officer,
Working towards the same mission,
Every single day.
Q4) What challenges did you face in your life and while setting up inFeedo?
The number 1 challenge in the early days was hands down, recruitment. It took me 2 horrible tech outsourcing experiences and 1 cheating freelancer to finally code the design of the first version of inFeedo on my own. It is only after 2.5 years that I learn’t that startup hiring can never be a documented work flow driven process, it will always be over a casual catch up conversation in a coffee shop.
2nd Challenge :
Product-market fit was the 2nd biggest challenge in line because we fired all our cylinders in the first 3 months building a full fledged product which we never validated. If only I had read the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries back then, we would’ve learn’t that an MVP can go live super-quick with 5 day sprints using the build-measure-learn cycle.
3rd Challenge :
The 3rd challenge for an inexperienced 18 year old was to ask stranger CEOs out there to pay for a product they’ve never heard of, across their entire company. It is only because of the first few CEO’s who looked past the nascent stage product and believed in our vision, that we’ve reached so far. We learn’t that B2B sales is an art that cannot be taught unless experienced hands-on.
It was only after multiple pivots in 2 years, a resume of failures and an inflexion point in our learning curve, on 20th April, 2015 that we got Groupon India (now nearby) as our first paying client. We got the meeting with CEO, Ankur Warikoo after an extremely personal (borderline creepy) cold email but I was an absolute wreck by the time we reached his office in Saket, Delhi.
I was at the funeral of a close friend’s father just an hour before this meet and had already convinced myself that this was going to be another “I will internalize and get back to you” meeting, which in simpler words means no. It was only 20 minutes into the meeting when Ankur stopped our presentation midway and said “Listen Tanmaya, I need this product more than you need the sale.”
That feeling in that very moment is one that I still can’t explain even to myself till date, let alone ViralIndianDiary.
Q5) What’s the current status, inFeedo funding and future plans?
All 50+ employee companies with distributed teams, who wish to outsource their idea generation or continuous employee feedback initiatives would love to try inFeedo. Today, more than 5000 employees from people-oriented companies like MakeMyTrip, PayU, Knowlarity, Faasos and Craftsvilla have chosen inFeedo over Microsoft Yammer as their primary employee feedback platform. We don’t make any plans beyond 6 months. Our 2016 growth plan has a singular focus of touching 10000+ paid users in the international market, with an integration heavy platform that’s almost invisible in terms of its adoption/fitment into the people oriented companies out there. The ultimate goal is that, when an idea strikes anybody, anytime, anywhere it should always land up in inFeedo as a habit for it to be channelized effectively.
Being product guys at heart, we’re actively (almost desperately) looking to partner with B2B HR companies having a multi-national presence to help us with the same.
Visit : Website