Sharmila Sundaram S - Founder, Corefactors
Sharmila Sundaram S – Founder, Corefactors

Corefactors is an Integrated Sales and Marketing company. Their platform offers a seamless experience from Marketing to Sales to Customer retention to Customer support. The company was founded in 2013 with a simple mission: To create superbly engineered Marketing, Sales and Communication solutions that help small and medium businesses to generate the best possible revenue. Sharmila Sundaram S is the founder & Vimal M is a co-founder of the Corefactors. We are publishing an interview with Sharmila.

Her husband had 2 startups before the corefactors journey. They started the new venture in 2013 February month along with their friend Vimal. Back in 2013 they started their journey by reselling the existing marketing solutions. Over the span of 8 months they would have served 50 to 60 clients. By that they found many interesting customer problems in sales and marketing space. Initially, they thought of integrating existing solutions available in market to address critical sales and marketing challenges. On the go they realised integration alone is not a remedy for the problem that customer face. So they introduced the product teleduce.

Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans:
Lead generation, Lead conversion and Customer retention. How many times have you seen businesses that use not just a single platform but 5 to 6 platforms for entire business functions like Creating content & building list for multichannel marketing campaign, automated lead management & communication, customer retention and customer support? Even those multiple platforms, data and analytics are disintegrated.

Solutions such as integration and coordination with multiple vendors are expensive and time-consuming. So disconnect those multiple platforms because we have a solution called teleduce. Teleduce is cloud-based integrated sales and marketing platform (ISM).

Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans:
We started our entrepreneurial journey by reselling the existing products in the market. For more than 8 months, we worked with 50+ customers and found the problems customers were facing. Later we defined the value proposition required and Teleduce born.

Q.: What is your USP?
Ans:
Three things:

  1. Even though there are lot of marketing companies across globe still the content creation and data generation for running a marketing campaign is a myth. We are solving this problem with our content and list intelligence platform.
  2. There are several CRMs available in market across globe. Teleduce is customisable according to the needs of users and economical too. On premise support makes a huge difference.
  3. As we already mentioned coordinating with multiple vendors is expensive and time consuming for business. We are solving it with one single product.

Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans:
FHS And Ah Ventures (Seed Funding)

Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at-least one of them signed up?
Ans:
Before start building the product, we know our customers. We listed down the problems based on our reselling experience, built Teleduce, took customers feedback and iterated. We had 15 customers signed up for Teleduce when it was launched. Now we have 500+ across India and Australia.

Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans:
As an entrepreneur, the biggest lesson I learnt is decision making. We failed multiple times positioning our product, but we learnt on the go and found a perfect fit.

Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans:
We follow the premium model. Product was categorized into 3 bundled solution as per the customer business & size needs. We also sell individual solutions for the customers who may not need a bundled solution. We sell Teleduce on per user per month model. Pricing was defined based on parameters which include the cost of the product, value proposition, ability to sell, purchasing capability and profitability.

Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans:
We have converted our first customer for our product in 2017 who was using our sms service that time.

Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans:
Absolutely yes. We are confident that our product is adding value to lot of customers on daily basis. Our customers are increasing revenue, productivity and decreasing the cost with our product. There are millions of SMB’s across globe who are struggling to scale their business. We as a team strongly believe our technology will help them to scale rapidly. We will become India’s no 1 ISM and one among world top five 2022.

Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture?
Ans:
INR 30 Million in FY 2018 – 19.

Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans:
Market is big as per Gartner report it is $14.9 Billion market. I feel even though there are 100’s of marketing companies across globe, still now the list generation and content creation for campaigns is unaddressed. This is uniqueness of our company

Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans:
Vimal (cofounder) and Partha is taking care of sales and operations. Karthi, Naga, jithin, Senti, Sho are techies. Gowtham & Roja is always supporting customers 18X7. I would like to mention that all corefactors team members are leaders in their own way. I would say everyone had improvised a lot in recent years. They are keeping themselves updated each and everyday.

Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans:
Healthy competition is good. I feel its all about how you adopt yourself to latest technology and keep solving the customer problem in unique way.

Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans:
We are making our global presence.

Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans:
I feel that as a entrepreneur we should be very clear and we should love what we do. Solve customer problems and never let it stay back.
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Thanks Sharmila. Best wishes!

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