Steadily challenging the status quo in the telecom industry: A Mumbai based entrepreneur’s journey

Steadily challenging the status quo in the telecom industry: A Mumbai based entrepreneur’s journey

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

388 week ago — 7 min read

Telecom is an industry that is plagued with a lot of misinformation and uncertainty. A lack of understanding of tariffs or a simple lack of awareness about alternatives and their reliability can cost an SME a substantial amount of money. This is where Pranay Sanghavi enters with TelecomBazaar -- a comprehensive portal, the first of its kind in India that provides solutions for all of its clients’ telecom needs. A substantial knowledge base and the ability to give the right kind of guidance to clients is the hallmark of his company.

In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Pranay Sanghavi (PS) shares his business journey and speaks about what makes his business unique.


GL: Tell us about your business.


PS: Intellibuzz is our parent company. It was founded in 2012. TelecomBazaar is a portal recently launched by Intellibuzz. TelecomBazaar functions as an online marketplace for the telecom needs of an SME or indeed even bigger organisations.


We are perfect for businesses and advanced users. We make choosing the right telecom package a breeze with intelligent, easy-to-use knowledge and video bases. Now you can get the very lowest rates across the country on the full range of telecom services from bandwidth to calls.


In essence we provide curated solutions, telecom professionals for your needs and a knowledge base. 


As a company, we believe that telecom service tariffs should be easy and clear to understand. Tele-comBazaar helps to identify the relevant data and voice product to procure it at lowest rates. We do this by having on this portal hundreds of carriers, resellers and channel partners to provide you the comparative rate plans.


GL: How did you come up with the idea of establishing this business?


PS: The idea came from one of my friends working with TSP (Telecommunications Service Priority), and we started with telecom consulting. Intellibuzz would be a story of 4 ingredients coming together-- Guts, Heart, Smarts and Luck - these are the ingredients needed for a high-growth startup. 


I have a lot of experience in the telecom domain as a business analyst. I have 9 years of rich offshore and onsite client experience in companies like AT&T, British Telecom, SBC, AOL, Infosys, etc. I had been working on the Telecom Expense Management concept while still at my full time day job at Mumbai. A few months into the research, packaging of services, structuring the initial vision of the new company, while still working, I got sign ups from a few small enterprise customers for consultancy assignments to shrink their telecom expenses. I then simultaneously set up a small garage office with one staff for data entry and analysis with one assistant.  


About a quarter year into the Intellibuzz journey, in early 2011 I met Sumit Mehta, a friend from college, who was then working as an SQL Data & Financial Processing analyst for a BPO on a US project. Discovering that Sumit’s skills were complementary and his vision matched the Intellibuzz fraternity, Sumit joined Intellibuzz while still working full time on his day job. He was a co-founder and a partner-ship entity was launched. 


We started getting more signups. While I handled strategy and was responsible for the vision, heading sales, marketing, business development, partnerships, Sumit excelled at operations, delivery and analysis. Further on about a quarter more into the journey, Mr. Harendra offered to put in some low seed investment as an oxygen flow to get started with the operations. A small rented office was brought with 1 more staff member.  Mr. Harendra was more of a senior guide, mentor and resourceful person, who had his small telecom service provider business across 9 offices in Mumbai with around 4000 small customers. He does not play an active role in day to day operations at Intellibuzz. In October 2011, I quit my day time job to join Intellibuzz full time followed by Sumit in December 2011. In January 2012, Intellibuzz TEM Pvt. Ltd.  was incorporated with three shareholders and two Directors. 


TelecomBazaar came into being leveraging the collective experience and domain expertise of the founders. This is a totally new concept in India, a digital online telecom marketplace for SMEs. We are extremely excited about this portal and see this as a one stop shop which could have far reaching con-sequences on the Indian Telecom Industry.


GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?


PS: There were mainly three challenges faced in establishing the business. The first was finding a the right co-founder. The second was team-building. The third was the raising of capital. We overcame all these challenges with guts, heart, team-work and luck and now we’re in a good place today with the Intellibuzz and TelecomBazaar.


GL: What is the USP of your business?


PS: When we started with Intellibuzz, the USP was: Cut Costs, Grow Stronger.

The USP for our latest venture TelecomBazaar is: Curated Growth Solutions for SMEs.


GL: What are some of the achievements of your business?


PS: Over the years we have achieved many milestones. But to list some, getting our first big client, a major bank, was a victory. We won many awards nationally for our work. We got a lot of recognition by being felicitated by the CEO of BSE and winning the KPMG/CIO Award for the hot 100 startups. 


Winning a contract for a company being serviced by our competitors was satisfying as well. Over time, our rivals even complimented us on branding and marketing strategies.


Personally, I was awarded the Telecom Consultant of the Year once and that is something I am proud of.


GL: Who are some of your major clients?


PS: ICICI Bank, FedEx, HDFC Bank, HDFC Ergo, Dominos Pizza, IndusInd Bank and a few others are our major clients.


GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting and assisting SMEs?


PS: GlobalLinker helps with establishing professional connections and scoping out business opportunities. It is like a LinkedIn for SMEs. 


GL: What is your big business dream?


PS: Our big business dream is that TelecomBazaar should be the portal of choice for SMEs for all their telecom, cloud, networking and connectivity needs


GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?


PS: If you are in a B2B scenario, never lose credibility. The world is small and bad news spreads like fire. Reputation is everything.  If you are in a B2C business, innovate fast.


Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.

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