Saturday, December 4, 2021

Think like your customer

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

vBridge Hub:Digital Sourcing platform for technology requirements of Enterprises

Please introduce yourself and the Startup vBridge Hub to our readers!

Pravin Bolar is the Co-Founder and CEO. His experience of 29 years in the IT industry spans both CIO organizations and Service Providers. He has been associated with Tech Startups as early as 1995. His passion for technology and innovation has made him realize the need for a broader collaboration platform.

Krishna VHS is the Co-Founder and Head of Sales & Strategy. He has over 20 years of experience across Telecom and IT. His experience led him to realize that Enterprises & Service Providers cannot depend solely on each other to survive, innovate and grow. His premise is, Innovation (read Startups) needs market access to grow, Enterprises need Innovation to scale, Service Providers need Innovation to add value to their portfolio.

vBridge Hub is a the worlds first AI powered Digital Sourcing platform for technology requirements of Enterprises. The platform provides access to a marketplace of technology product and services vendors from across the globe. Enterprises are able discover solutions, engage with vendors, evaluate them, test them and finally select their partner of choice. The platform allows businesses to engage and collaborate seamlessly with the technology eco-system helping drive continuous innovation a much faster technology sourcing lifecycle and better governance and visibility to all communication with the tech marketplace

Why did you decide to start a business?

The founders in their previous roles experienced the new challenges of the technology and innovation sourcing process. The cycle times to research, evaluate, test and implement new technology solutions is taking far too long and Enterprises are being continuously challenged on the speed of time to market. They wanted to use the opportunity to solve this problem and bring a positive change to user experience in technology sourcing.

What is the vision behind vBridge Hub?

The vision of vBridge Hub is to allow Enterprises to stay competitive and relevant in the digital world by accelerating technology adoption and bringing in a B2C like online buying experience to the B2B technology eco-system.

From the idea to the start what have been the biggest challenges so far and how did you finance yourself?

From the idea to the start a few challenges faced were:

Making a decision to select the right technology stack to develop the platform

Hiring a strong core team including full stack developers and data engineers

Adapting to remote working due to the pandemic, while maintaining optimum productivity

Initially, vBridge Hub was bootstrapped by the co-founders. On completion of our MVP, we raised funding from friends & families. Next we plan to go to the VCs for Series A funding.

Who is the target group of vBridge Hub?

vBridge Hub being a platform connecting the Supply side and Demand side of the Technology sourcing domain, our target groups exists on both sides. On the demand side, the target groups includes Mid and Large size Enterprises across All Industry Verticals. On the supply side, our Suppliers include tech vendors across the Globe; B2B Technology Startups (Early Stage Startups and Growth Phase Startups) Scaleups (Startups in the Accelerated Growth Phase growing their business into new markets) and Grownups (the Leaders in the respective Technology Category)

How do vBridge Hub work? What are the advantages? What makes you different from other providers?

Krishna VHS

vBridge Hub is a platform for Enterprises to easily access the Technology Marketplace to accelerate their technology sourcing lifecycle by using it to; Discover technology solutions. Engage and collaborate with Vendors.Define requirements and evaluate Vendors. Score and shortlist vendors. Conduct POC. Select vendor and initiate procurement

The onboarding process is explained below; Enterprises can sign up for the Annual Subscription Agreement to get access to the platform. Technology Suppliers can register for free and have their profile listed on the platform and enrich their content for better visibility to buyers.

Some of the key advantages of vBridge Hub for Enterprises are; Accelerated technology sourcing process through collaboration. Knowledge base for learning new trends and capabilities available in the marketplace.Governance, tracking and visibility of all communication with the technology eco-system

Some of the key advantages of vBridge Hub for Suppliers are;Online digital sales channel for faster access to qualified leads from Enterprises. Promote and create awareness of vendor products and capabilities. Identify system integrator/reseller partners to access new markets. vBridge Hub is uniquely positioned in the market because we address the entire sourcing lifecycle for technology requirements unlike any other platform.

How has your company changed with Corona?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, vBridge Hub had to change its Work from Home (WFH) employee policy and permit WFH for extended period of times. Other than providing the flexibility for employees to WFH, vBridge Hub has not changed in any way its business or growth plans.

We have become conscious of our customer and suppliers requirements to stay safe and work from home and engaging with them over various audio and video collaboration tools.

How did you adjust to it and what changes have you made?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a significant change in the culture of the organization; Our entire staff is now enabled to WFH for extended periods of time without impacting productivity. Our development teams are able to effectively collaborate with each other using multiple cloud based collaboration tools. And our sales team is  engaging with clients remotely in an effective manner

Our marketing team is using more digital channels of communication including social media. Conducted vaccination drive to ensure all staff and their families are vaccinated. We have also ensured all staff are travelling to work only using private vehicles or staying in walking distance and thus avoid use of public transportation.

Where do you see the opportunity in the crisis?

vBridge Hub Platform is well timed for the post pandemic era where online research, digital sourcing channels and real time vendor engagement is becoming the norm. Being a digital platform vBridge Hub allows online/non-contact processes to be enabled for enterprises to fulfil their technology sourcing needs.

vBridge Hub, where does the road go? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Considering the traction and feedback we have received from our customers and users we can assume in the next 5 years vBridge Hub will:Become the go-to platform for all Technology Scouting and Sourcing requirements among mid to large size enterprises. Become the de-facto Digital Sales Channel for all Technology Suppliers

Become a Soonicorn

At the end: Which 3 tips would you give to future founders?

1.Talent: Be flexible to get talent you require – remote work, outsourcing, and so forth.

2.  Operating cash flow: Do a continuous 12 months forecast of operational expenses and cash flow with monthly reviews to keep track and ensure min deviation from budget.

3. Think like your customer: At the end of the day you need someone willing to pay for your idea. Thinking like your customer helps you validate that your solution is solving a real problem

Thank you Pravin Bolar and Krishna VHS for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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