Marketing is the backbone of every business out there. Without marketing into being, and its four Ps, it is almost impossible for a business to earn any kind of profit. A salesperson would waste a lot of time trying to sell a product to the wrong person if they don’t have the right customer intelligence.
What if we told you, that marketing and sales will not be a problem anymore for you after you read this story? Yes, you heard that right. Well, this is where we bring you a brand in picture, Spinircle India Pvt. Ltd. and they have the best process, technology and people to build the required intelligence needed for a successful sale. The people and faces behind this brand got into talking with one of our team members at Inventiva during an exclusive interview. We discovered how difficult it was to build a business, motivate oneself each day to add or contribute in every possible way and run it successfully. The entire team at Spini worked to make it what it is today and not just one person as the CEO of the company, Mr. Shankar, likes to say.
Here is an exclusive interview of Inventiva with Mr. Shankar who will tell you all about his experiences in the world of entrepreneurship, and what difference it brought to the country and him.
Co-Founder and CEO, Mr. Shankar G. in his own words.
1. What is the source of inspiration behind the name of your venture, Spini?
We wanted to solve the problems associated with sales, and hence we came up with a platform for sales professionals. That’s how the name Spini was conceptualized. Spini is an acronym for Sales Professionals Information Network, and since it is a platform designed and dedicated for salespeople or a circle for salespeople, we call it Spinircle (Spin+Circle=Spinircle). When we wanted to shorten it further Spini came into being.
2. Who are your target audience/clients?
Any organization that’s looking for sales solutions, sales leads, improving sales efficiency, market entry, etc. We have a larger footprint in Real Estate, Interiors, and the financial services sectors.
3. Your current operations are located in which regions and where are you based at (city, state, country)?
Our startup was conceptualized in Singapore, which is our headquarter currently. India is our prime focus from the business standpoint. We operate out of Chennai region (our operational headquarters) and serve customers globally.
4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
The major problem that we are trying to solve is to reduce the inefficiency associated with sales processes. We provide qualified sales leads along with better customer intelligence. The salesperson then can concentrate on effectively selling to the right audience.
With our expertise in lead generation and sales intelligence from Digital channel, we have ventured into Digital marketing services as well. We provide end to end sales enablement services which include online branding, generate quality leads, verify leads, engage in customer interaction and manage closures. Our digital marketing business is targeted at companies that are looking for a growth spurt. We have a presence in a wide variety of industries ranging from Education, Tourism to Technology companies. To get more idea of what Spini does, you can visit our website, www.getspini.com
5. Would you like to Share the idea or story behind the foundation of Spinircle?
Our CEO and Co-founder Shankar Gomathinayagam were managing sales operations of an IT giant in the APAC region. The sales funnel management had Shankar thinking about the woes of the Salespeople. Salespeople seemed to be grappling with the issue of getting qualified leads. This was when our co-founders met. Eddie Chau, Chairman & Co-founder of Spini was also thinking about creating a solution for effective sales conversion.
The idea of providing a sales intelligence solution brewed during a cup of coffee. It started as being a lead referral platform. Then, data analytics and lead qualification to increase the sales process efficiency got incorporated, where we are focusing at the moment.
6. Do you face any rivalry and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
We don’t have a direct competitor that provides on all the services that we offer to our clients. There are lead generation companies, digital marketing firms that cater to this industry which are our close competitors. The lead quality and customer intelligence are our differentiators. Our data makes a big difference to our clients. We enable our clients to sell the right product to the right customer even during their first meeting.
7. How do you identify your co-founder? Would you like to tell us something about them?
A co-founder should believe in you and share similar ideas, value systems, and passion that you have. They should have the mindset to stick until the end, with a ‘come what may’ attitude.
Trying out the ideas and implementing them should be of primary importance, and this is the difference between a general employee and a co-founder. When I talk to my co-founder, I bounce ideas that have significant ROI and get charged up to implement them.
8. What is your idea of team formulation? What type of qualities do you search for in your team?
Having a positive attitude is very important as well as a sense of ownership and accountability. We do not attach top priorities to a person’s skill set or their qualification or experience.
We look for self-responsibility and enthusiasm for work as key factors. As long as an individual can work independently without somebody monitoring them continuously, they would be the right candidate. We prefer people who derive satisfaction from great work – nothing less.
Likewise, our work ecosystem is designed around freedom & flexibility. Our office is open, and there is no cabin structure. So we expect people to thrive well in this sort of open office where there is no strict monitoring. Do your job! Play, go out for lunch, have flexible timings; it doesn’t matter as long as you get things done! Of course, along with freedom comes responsibility!
9. What are your growth or expansion plans for the next 2 or 5 years?
Our immediate objective is to expand globally and build on our real estate vertical. Our plans are far more significant than how we appear right now, and we are getting things into a structured model.
10. Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?
We should be considered as top 3 Sales intelligence companies in the World.
11. What are your short term goals?
To build a sustainable revenue model for long term growth.
12. Have you risen any funding yet? Are you looking for the same?
Yes and Yes!
13. Please share your incubation days struggle issues while setting up this venture, and how did you resolve them?
Struggle as such wasn’t there. I had a very good co-founder in Eddie, and he guided me on a lot of important things which helped me out in the initial stages. I did make mistakes and learn them later on. We faced hiring challenges as forming a great team was the key. I had to move back to Chennai from Singapore and set up an office. Setting up an office was not a challenge, but hiring a good team and identifying talent was a challenge.
14. What was or has been the most challenging part of your journey? How do you overcome the same?
Hiring was definitely a challenge. We had teams spread across locations. We were having a distributed team that did not work for us as things were very fluid in the early stage. We changed it to a tightly knit team at one location that would quickly adapt to everyday challenges helped us later on.
15. What is your idea of stress management?
Yoga and walking.
16. What do you do to escape the work life in your leisure time?
I don’t maintain two separate calendars. Work and life go hand in hand for me. I enjoy working and hence I don’t find it too stressful, but I do have to manage my family and household. I don’t maintain two separate calendars because if I have to step out at 3 PM in the evening, I will have to and the calendar reworks itself. I don’t emphasize separate time for work and family, and it works well. By the way, please don’t share this with my wife!
17. Where would you like to escape to for a holiday?
I usually take several short trips, instead of one or two long trips. We explore, my wife and I, without too much planning. If we do decide to go for a long trip, then we do plan. We usually like heritage and historical places. That is where we like to spend our time. Of course, we also do indulge in the normal tourist circuit like beaches and trekking.
18. Whom do you consider your idol/role model or biggest motivator and why?
I doubt if anyone draws all their inspiration from one single person. Many people inspire me. In certain situations, I use my dad as inspiration, like how he handles situations. There were several things that I learned from Steve Jobs on how to sell your story or product. APJ Abdul Kalam also inspires me.
19. What makes entrepreneurs different from service class professionals?
An entrepreneur is the one who has decided to take the leap of faith or journey into the unknown. High-risk takers are most common amongst entrepreneurs.
20. Which part of your life would you like to rewrite if given a chance to restart with your career today?
I don’t think I would rewrite anything. I believe everything has happened for a reason.
21. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
I think it has affected more positively than negatively. I see that a lot of people are asking me advice or help on how to kick-start their career or how they can plan out their own startup. If I was just another employee in another company, nobody would’ve done this. It has given me more confidence.
22. Is there anything, you’d like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship does not really require innovation every time. There are problems that need to be solved more efficiently than they do innovatively. So, if somebody thinks that their idea is not innovative enough, that really isn’t a problem as long as you solve real-life problems. Just go and try out your idea.
23. Tell us something about your education & family background.
I am a student apprentice from my dad’s office since childhood, later did mechanical engineering, and after a few years of experience, I completed my MBA. I am married to Anuradha, and we have two kids, Arushi and Skandha.
24. What is your USP or biggest strength that makes you stand apart from your competitors?
The process of qualifying the leads and adding more value to the customer and its intelligence is our biggest USP. We remove all the junk from the sales funnel which would give a 50% more productivity over traditional methods. Usually, the sales funnel is top heavy where there is a lot of time and money involved and we make this process lighter and much more efficient with qualified data and info. That’s our biggest USP.
25. Why do you think start-ups are so vulnerable to the external business environment? What according to you are the threats to their stability?
The external ecosystem is not under anybody’s control whether it’s a startup or a big corporate. Weak processes and not being nimble to adapt to situations could be fatal at times.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
I think creating and executing an idea was my objective and this was a great deal of success for me. I quit my job and established this startup and four years into it now; I think I’m doing reasonably well in my journey so far.
27. Please share your contact details’ as follows:
a. complete name
Mr. Shankar G.
New #42, Old # 51, 3rd Floor, Thirumalai Pillai Road, T Nagar, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu 600017
c. phone number
+91 8682 800800
email id & website of Your Business