Here’s yet another case in point in our Bootstrapping Using Services series. Manish is scaling Reltio super fast at this point, and has raised venture capital, consistent with our theme Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Manish Sood: I was born in the northern part of India. I grew up and went to school there. I went to an engineering college in the southern part of India, which was a new experience for me from a location perspective and getting acclimatized to the overall culture and environment.
I trained as a Mechanical Engineer. Once I graduated, I started working in India. I worked there for about four years applying my technology skills to solve problems starting with industrial automation and then moving over to software. I moved to the US while working for a consulting firm and applied some of my software experience to large-scale system integration at some of the telecommunications companies back in early 2000s. That gave me an insight into how some of the large-scale systems worked in these large organizations and what kind of challenges there were.
Right around that point in time when the telcom bust happened, I came across an opportunity where I got introduced to a company called Siperian, which was still getting started. It was about a 10-people team. I was trying to encapsulate and productize some of the past experience that I had in large-scale system integration. I was driving it from a perspective of not just point-to-point integrations and how to enable them but essentially looking at it from a data perspective and trying to understand that even if you create a pipe between two systems, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the right information available to you to be able to use.
Back at Siperian, we started out with customer data as our focus. I took the concept all the way from an early idea to a full-blown product that led the market in new areas called master data management. We got acquired by Informatica in 2010 and it became a part of its larger set of product portfolio. That gave me an insight around how to scale the product and bring it up to a level where you’re essentially taking it and applying to what could be used by 50 or 60 customers all the way to 4,000 customers.