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Unveiling Valuable Insights in the Fifth Episode of the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series with Shubhi Agarwal Co-founder & COO at Locobuzz.

The journey of a startup founder is filled with good times and bad times, successes and failures. Being a female founder in a male-dominated tech industry can be uniquely demanding. As a startup founder, they are not only breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes but are awe-inspiring entrepreneurs. 

The “Crafting Bharat – A Startup Podcast Series” powered by AWS, and an initiative by NewsReach, in association with VCCircle, unlocks the secrets behind these successful entrepreneurs’ journeys aiming to equip aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts with invaluable insights. The podcast series is hosted by Gautam Srinivasan, famed for hosting a diverse range of TV and digital programs, currently consulting editor at CNBC (India), CNN-News18, Forbes India, and The Economic Times.

The Indian startup ecosystem has grown rapidly and evolved over the past decade. Shubhi Agarwal, Co-Founder and COO of Locobuzz is creating a buzz with their unified CXM platform. In the Crafting Bharat Podcast series, Shubhi Agarwal shares about her entrepreneurial journey leading to the incorporation of Locobuzz. She also talks about the lows and highs of being bootstrapped and how they are innovatively using GenAI. 

Through the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series, let’s discover the stories of Indian startup founders’ journey of turning dreams into reality and turning challenges into opportunities. 

Video link:

Segment 1: The Incubator

What are your thoughts on taking a strategic time-out? Any benefits that you see especially for startup founders?

While this whole presumption may look very counterintuitive, I completely agree with your observation of this, because 8 hours of sleep is sacrosanct. I recently read a book by Matthew Walker named ‘ Why We Sleep’. The book talks about why sleep is required like any good fitness regime needs a day of rest and recovery, an individual also needs rest and recovery to induce ideas and creativity. It helps to be in sync with the innovation happening around you. So, a strategic timeout is very important, the best ideas happen when you are with yourself. 

Locobuzz started as a tool for monitoring and analyzing social engagement and is now an end-to-end customer experience platform. What were the highs and lows of that transformation and the lessons that it taught you in growing a business?

Being a bootstrapped company we have to be very cognizant of the inflows and outflows which have been happening. One thing that we have been very careful about is to maintain unit economics. I think every journey is full of highs and lows and ours has been the same. I remember this very fondly when we started Locobuzz, every single win got us so much joy whether it was a new customer acquisition that gave us maybe $200 or $300,000, where we knew that most of that money would go back into the business where we would invest into technology or build the team.

From the largest telecom player to the largest hospitality chain, your customer base of around 300+ is diverse. Any insights on how the CX needs of your large customers differ from the smaller startups that work with you?

Be it a small startup or a big enterprise, their reputation is of utmost importance to them and they trust us to maintain that and that is the common factor which brings it all together. Big enterprises require the platform to work along with their existing system and startups require a platform that is self-sufficient and can be managed by a lean team. The platform that we have created can address both spectrums of clients easily. 

Segment 2: The Accelerator

Someone wrote on social media that women in tech are over-mentored and under-sponsored. What’s a professional tactic you could suggest to overcome this problem – especially type casting for roles?

I have done a TEDx talk on this topic. At Locobuzz, we have a very meritocratic society, where your capability is your capability, and you will be hired based on that and not based on gender or where you come from. I would say that one needs to show that they have a result-oriented mindset, take initiative and get them to their logical end. That solves most of the under-sponsored part.

Sometimes startup founders can get enamored by an idea and end up not keeping the consumer pain point that is supposed to be addressed in focus. How should one avoid this? 

It’s honestly very tricky. It happens with us also. What we do is create focus groups within the organization and if all the focus groups unanimously agree on building a certain kind of concept we go ahead with that, however, if we are not taking that approach we do what we did at the start of our journey which is we go to our clients.

Entrepreneurs who embark on the journey of making an impact in the world, often face unique challenges. Their undying motivation and dedication to building something exclusive and leaving a mark on India’s startup landscape is what drives them through the challenges. 

Stay tuned to the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series as we bring you these inspirational entrepreneurs for insightful and candid discussions with Gautam Srinivasan.


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