Editorial Team

Underlining how innovation can enable homegrown Indian start-ups to compete with global enterprises, full-stack customer engagement platform Exotel recently revealed its plans to reimagine business-customer conversations. Having newly acquired a virtual telecom operator license from the DoT (Department of Telecom), the company is now helping businesses deliver unified CX (customer experiences) by eliminating friction in the customer engagement (CE) flywheel.

Known for powering masked calling between customers and cab drivers or delivery partners, the cloud telephony platform Exotel last year pivoted to a full-stack engagement model. Today Exotel’s full stack powers customer engagement to 83% of India’s B2C unicorns with its voice, messaging and AI bots products. Acquiring the telecom operator license is the latest step taken by Exotel to unify channels, networks, and customer data.

Speaking on the market and company’s evolution over the 11 years, Shivakumar Ganesan, Co-founder & CEO – Exotel, said, “Accelerated consumer digitisation unlocked multiple channels for businesses to engage with their customers. However, as enterprises build more cross-channel journeys, it becomes harder to understand customers as data is siloed across different functions’ apps and databases. Unified customer experiences need a unified communication strategy, and that’s what we are up to.”

“Building unified communications is an inherently complex process that’s time and cost-intensive because of ever-increasing channels and touchpoints. Our goal has been to remove this friction by unifying channels and networks across functions. We’re also unifying all customer interaction data so the decision-makers can have a complete view of customers’ journeys. We also want to use this data to train bots to handle most routine queries. As telecom operators with trusted software and bots, we’re building the future of conversational communication,” he added.

Exotel’s stellar growth has validated this strategy. The company registered a growth rate of 70% at an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $60 million in FY22 and secured investments worth $100 million in the same year. With its sights set on achieving an ARR of $200 million over the next four years, Exotel plans to hire 500 professionals for growth at a time when start-ups across India have been downsizing their workforce.

Sachin Bhatia, Chief Growth Officer – Exotel, said, “Growing at a CAGR ~30% Customer Engagement is one of the fastest-growing segments and is worth $2 billion in India and around $4 billion in emerging markets. Our recent strategic decisions, from merging with Ameyo to securing the license as a virtual telecom operator, have put us in a unique market position to redefine how businesses use voice with other channels. We are witnessing high market adoption of our products, from Messaging and Conversational AI to True Cloud Contact Centre, and are confident that they will continue to drive our growth and scale in the future.”

“We have established a significant presence in the Indian enterprise market by serving both traditional and fast-growth companies. Cross-selling to these existing customers will be among our highest growth priorities. Globally, our immediate focus for full-stack solutions is on emerging markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia, where the market size and volumes are as large as India. With the largest growth and engineering teams in the market, we will continue to help forward-looking businesses to engage with customers like never before,” Sachin concluded.

The company already has over 1,200 employees across three offices serving over 7,000 customers globally.

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