GURGAON: At a time when most tech support firms prefer to operate locally, Gurgan-based firm iYogi has struck out a path of its own. It has ventured beyond boundaries to provide remote tech support at a competitive price to customers in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. The company provides online subscription-based technical support to hundreds of thousands of customers globally.
Having started its commercial operations in 2007, iYogi has done remarkably well. "Today, iYogi is cited as the largest independent remote tech support brand in the world based on the rapid growth of our customer base. Our revenues have been growing at an average 300 percent almost every year since we started," saidUday Challu, CEO of iYogi. "At this point, I don't think there are any competitors with the size and scale of delivery that iYogi has built over the few years since starting operations," added Mr Challu.
At present, catering to individuals, families and small businesses in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, iYogi offers a comprehensive suite of service offerings including diagnosis and repair, installation and maintenance services and training for multiple devices, software applications and other products including PCs, digital cameras, MP3 players and printers.
The company has also launched support for Apple devices recently. Mr Challu explained the business logic behind iYogi. "Given the growth of the technology market globally and multiple devices proliferating our homes and offices, the support market is still catching up. It is a vastly underserviced market. Most of the devices today are IP-enabled and therefore can be fixed through the Internet.
India has been providing technical support for the world and over the years built a large base of skills. We wanted to leverage these skills for providing a direct-to-consumer service across the globe. While there are large enterprise brands from India, there was potential to create a consumer services brand from India that delivers high-quality tech support remotely at a competitive price. We built a technology platform that would scale to meet the opportunity, while delivering consistently on service quality."
And that is exactly what the company has been doing since its launch. The company offers its services primarily through long-term subscription plans ranging from one year to three years. For a nominal subscription fee (an annual unlimited subscription is priced at $169.99), a subscriber can call any number of times she/he wants to access the services of iYogi tech experts who are available to help resolve any tech issues that a customer may face. It also offers incident plans.
But then they do it with a difference. Unlike the traditional outsourcing models where employees are required to camouflage names and accent to cater to foreign customers, iYogi is "upfront about our Indian roots and identity. The name iYogi said it all and our agents all use their own names instead of aliases.
They do not have to pretend that they are sitting in some other country. We take pride in being an Indian company and realised that if we could deliver world-class services, it did not matter whether where we were based.
The way our business has grown and caught the imagination of consumers is proof of this fact," Mr Challu contended. He said Gurgaon as a location has been instrumental in the growth of the company's business. "Gurgaon, with its rapidly expanding infrastructure, business-friendly government policies and availability of large talent pool, has definitely been the right choice for setting up a business such as ours.
We have been able to ramp up our operations fairly quickly over the last five years to keep up with the demands of our rapidly growing business, which may not have been possible had we been located anywhere else in the country," he added. iYogi at present deploys more than 5,000 tech experts across seven centers in India, who include technicians employed by iYogi and its partners. And while it delivers services abroad from India, it's the company launched catering to the domestic market. Mr Challu explained why, "Our approach was to initially target geographies that are large consumer electronics markets. The Indian market presents exciting opportunities for us in the near future."
The company gets its maximum revenues from the US, followed by the UK, Canada and Australia. "The US is the largest consumer electronics market in the world, with a mature customer base," he said. The company is all set to grow bigger with its plans to include the West Asia, Europe and Asia in its service orbit. "While we already provide services for multiple products, our aim is to become the service provider of choice for all solutions for complex and interconnected digital homes.
As a young and growing company, we will continue to expand our portfolio of services to cover new products and technologies as well to new geographies," Mr Challu said. It has already secured four rounds of venture investment. The initial investment for series A lead by Canaan partners along with participation of SVB India Capital Partners for $3.2 million. Sharing his mantra for success, Uday said: "Be passionate about the idea. Make sure it has a realisable market opportunity and a solid execution plan. The team must demonstrate the execution capabilities to build on the plan and harness the opportunity and should have the ability to think and execute scale."