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Bootstrapping Using Services: Manish Sood, CEO of Reltio (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Jul 1st 2015

Sramana Mitra: What were the circumstances of founding this company? Who was involved besides yourself? What kind of financing did you do? Give me a bit more of the entrepreneur journey in the beginning.

Manish Sood: In the early part of 2011, myself and my co-founder sat down and talked about the idea. At that point in time, it was merely an idea in my head in terms of what we wanted to solve and provide as a solution to our customers. Doing it alone wasn’t a possibility. The first starting point was to look for like-minded people who would be able to invest their time and help us solve this kind of a problem from the ground up. That’s when I pulled in one of my earlier co-workers into the fold. One of the first things we started doing was reach out to potential customers.

Even before we created our product, the first step was to validate the opportunity and to look at if there would be customers who would be willing to pay for that. In fact, one of our first starting point wasn’t by going out and raising capital. It was by raising support from the partners and customers who would be willing to invest their time and be willing to see the outcome of the solution. That’s where we engaged with one of the largest financial services firms to get the concept up and running for them. That gave us some of our seed funding to start.

Sramana Mitra: Tell me a bit more about that financial services customers and the use case that they presented to you that they were not able to solve with the current technology.

Manish Sood: This was one of the largest wealth management institutions in the US. We had worked with them before, so we knew some of the team members and players there. One of the problems that they had been struggling with was that they had put together a set of systems that would allow them to look at, for example, identity. If a customer has multiple accounts, they would be able to go across all of those accounts and say that this is the same person across those accounts. They would be able to identify that you are the same customer and they would be able to get your name, address, gender, and maybe some identification details into a single place. So that if you go to the website, then they are able to provide a unified experience to you.

However, the bigger challenge for them was that if, for example, Sramana is a high net worth individual, how do we leverage Sramana’s connections to get or generate more business? That meant understanding everything around you as a customer – who you are, what organizations you work with, who are your family members, are there any other products or accounts that are being used by you within the purview of the bank that you are dealing with, are you part of charities or various other associations, are you going to the website and then calling the support team or visiting a branch. How do we take all of that because that’s going to drive the engagement and the client experience and our ability to generate more business through the referral network around Sramana.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrapping Using Services: Manish Sood, CEO of Reltio
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