Aiming for 100% YoY growth in 2015: RateGain's Bhanu Chopra
In a tete-a-tete with Entrepreneur India, Bhanu Chopra, CEO, RateGain, shares his entrepreneurial experience.
A bootstrapped start-up, RateGain was established 10 years ago with 3 employees on board. RateGain clocked net new sales of $100,000 in its first year. Ten years later, RateGain has over 500 employees with net new sales of $50 million.
In a tete-a-tete with Entrepreneur India, Bhanu Chopra, CEO, RateGain, shares his entrepreneurial experience of building RateGain into a Rs 135 crore venture at a time when the start-up ecosystem in India was just developing and securing business funding was a tough task:
Before establishing RateGain, you co-founded Riv Consulting, so what made you to take an exit from Riv Consulting?
I realised that products are the future and I had the conviction to transform our complete business process behind the dream. We were working with some very large firms in the Chicago area. We had four Fortune 500 clients and we helped them implement large CRM systems. We built a very good yet small team of consultants.
In 2002, there was a lot of home grown competition from Indian firms. Indian firms were gaining a lot of traction via outsourcing because of the labour arbitrage. We realised very quickly that our company would be less likely to sustain in future because our business model was based on billable hours.
I had been in the US for about a decade and wanted to move back to India. I was sure that I wanted to build a software product by leveraging the talent that was returning to India. I felt that I could build a product in India more cost efficiently, which gave birth to RateGain.
How did the idea of RateGain come about?
The initial concept was to build a meta search travel site like Kayak and Trivago. Kayak was formed around the same time as RateGain. I saw that there were other companies starting in this area, which meant a few things for me. First, I saw it as validation for my concept. However, on the flip side I knew that it would be difficult for me to compete with a company like Kayak since I was building a product from India without investment capital.
Therefore, I bootstrapped the company. I started it in 2004 and at that time, the VC ecosystem in India was just developing. Access to capital was very difficult. I come from an entrepreneurial background and I have seen businesses run and build on traditional values. You have to build a business model that can quickly turn into a profitable company.
I knew that since I was bootstrapping this company, a B2C business model would likely be a cash drain that I could not afford. It would take several years before I could turn a profit. I flipped the model to be a B2B company, where I could license our technology to other travel players, so they could gain an understanding of what the competitive landscape is like.
What kind of transformational growth RateGain has witnessed since its inception?
While I was building the technology, I was also focused on selling it. Besides, I made several trips to the US and Europe to do road shows. It was a very new concept for people, but everyone recognised that there was a dire need for it. In the first year, I signed up a dozen clients. The first three years of the business were just awesome. We did about $2 million of business in our first three years. As a result, we participated in Deloitte’s Fast 50 list, which tracks the fastest growing companies in Asia Pacific region. We were the number one company on that list in 2007.
The biggest change for us was to move away from being solely reliant on the online travel agency (OTA) market, which actually occurred in 2006. We had a major player in the hotel hospitality industry approach us because they liked our price optimisation software. They had a similar product, but they felt ours had better results and performance. They requested an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deal, where they would white label our products. That turned out to be a great thing for us because it gave us a way to expand without a sales force.
Though there are many giant players in the IT industry offering software solutions in the cloud platform, what kind of strategy do you follow to gain competitive edge over others?
We believe we have the best products out there. We ensure that we generate more intelligence and more accurate intelligence for our customers than any other competition. We are very aggressive in capturing the market. We continuously focus on innovation in our segment. Our newer products continue to offer us competetive edge over others. We started off with OTA’s and soon started servicing Car Rentals, Hotels, Cruise Liners, Airlines.
What are the growth opportunities that you see in India?
India is among the fastest growing digital economies in the world and we are seeing an enormous interest from India and continue to service it.
How does your revenue model works? What are your revenue streams?
We are a SaaS company. 100 per cent of our revenues are annually recurring. We have a very little churn in our business, which is less than 10 per cent.
What was RainGain’s revenue in last fiscal and what is your anticipation for the next fiscal year?
Our revenue last fiscal year was Rs 135 crore and we aim for a 100 per cent YoY growth for the next fiscal year.
Give a brief about your business roadmap for this year?
We’ve launched two new products this year. One is a price recommendation tool that helps our customers optimise their pricing to achieve maximum revenue. Our other product – Unity is a unified revenue suite, which ties all the essential tools required by a revenue manager. It’s a one-stop shop for revenue managers.
Please add your comment
buy nike free flyknit ukJanuary 07, 2015 at 1:18 am
Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren't loading properly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.
cheap men air jordan 28 se squadron green voltJanuary 06, 2015 at 3:30 am
Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!
womens nike air max jordansJanuary 04, 2015 at 9:05 pm
When I initially commented I clicked the \"Notify me when new comments are added\" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!
fr nike tn requin mallJanuary 03, 2015 at 1:43 am
Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you\'re working with? I\'m looking to start my own blog soon but I\'m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I\'m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!
nike air max shop online euDecember 29, 2014 at 8:41 pm
Please let me know if you\'re looking for a writer for your blog. You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I\'d love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested. Regards!
air max 90 gsDecember 29, 2014 at 7:31 am
Woah! I\'m really loving the template/theme of this blog. It\'s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it\'s hard to get that \"perfect balance\" between superb usability and visual appeal. I must say you have done a excellent job with this. In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!
discount mens nike freeDecember 13, 2014 at 5:21 am
This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!
nike free tr iii printed aztecDecember 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm
Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and may come back later on. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!
With the ever increasing roles in work profile every day, one needs to add skills sets in his or her resume. A good placement in a good...
With growing rage of technology among young minds, online education has become a new rage. The tech savvy youth are now relining on...
During Firoz Khan’s stint with Future Group, he saw a lot of gift vouchers being sold online, which ignited the spark in him to...
When Rajinder Gandotra, Arun Ramu and Ashutosh Shinde were building the Performance Engineering and Validation business ground up at...
Founded in 2009 by Aditya Bahmidipaty and Srikanth Chunduri, eMart Solutions deal in loyalty services programs in India and is poised to...
Coming from an Investment Banking technology background, Ajith Karimpana left his plush job as Vice President from Goldman Sachs in...
With over 14 years of experience in technology, latest technological developments and infrastructure set up, Himanshu Khona went on to...
A chemical engineer by education, Shripal Gandhi is one of the many NRIs who have transitioned to India from US (where he led technology...
Jimish Jobanputra, a University of Illinois (Chicago) alumnus, worked in USA for five years until he realised his zeal for...
Co-founded by Hemant Jain and Raviraj Meena in September 2013, FNB City Media is an early stage startup in the online food, restaurant,...
S. Arjun from Chennai is a class 9th student of Velammal Vidhyashram in Surapet. This young boy is the owner of...
In the education industry in India, the adoption of technology among schools is in a nascent stage. Founded in the year May 2011,...
In an interaction with SMEntrepreneur, Sachin Chaudhary, Founder and CEO, Medical Second Opinion (MSO), shares his views about his...
What are your offerings for SMEs? One of our offering 360 SME GrowthConnect is specifically designed to address the SME market. ...
Bcube IT services Pvt. Ltd. is one of the fastest growing BPO, handling Contact center Management and Customer relationship management...