Ankit ShahCOO and Co-founder of HRHNext Published On: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Views 1202
"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."
Over the years, Ankit has accumulated vast experience in the field of call centre technologies, inbound voice support, outbound voice support, and transaction support business process outsourcing. He has worked with several companies including, Vodafone India, Tata AIG, Tata Teleservices, Birla Sun Life Insurance, UNINOR, Aircel, Idea Cellular Ltd, Max Bupa, Citibank India, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, and more. Ankit, along with Parikshit, co-founded HRHnext, which offers world class customer engagement solutions to a host of startups and MNCs.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Parikshit and Ankit are 3rd generation partners from an entrepreneurial family based out of Hyderabad. The HRH in HRHnext stands for Hyderabad Radio House, which used to be a leading electronics retail chain in the 90s. HRHnext offers World Class Customer Engagement Solutions to a host of Startups and MNCs. We do this by providing state of the art Inbound; Outbound and other Voice & Chat based Sales and Support Services. By being a solutions provider that transforms the way customers experience your brand; we create customized solutions to suit your service requirements in the most cost-effective way. From identifying prospective customers, nurturing the existing ones to up-selling and cross-selling your products, we take care of your customer’s complete life cycle. Whether it is order taking, order fulfillment or addressing product/service related queries, we handle all communication you may have between your customers, stakeholders and yourself.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
HRHnext was born in an era when customer service was unheard of. The TOLL-FREE lines of product and services companies used to go unattended for days and service requests unanswered. These were early days when the power of the consumer was underestimated. To build a world class CS team was an expensive affair prohibitive telecom and technology costs. The need of the hour then was to develop cost effective and India centric Contact Centre Services. Identifying this opportunity, HRHnext was born to handle the CS needs of Indian Enterprises for Indian Customers in the Languages Indians are comfortable with.
What is your life mantra?
Made In India and Made for India is the Mantra that governs the way we function. We offer customer engagement services to large Indian Enterprises by providing Inbound, Outbound, and other Voice/Chat based Sales, and Support Services in Multiple Indian Languages. The services are delivered in a manner akin to that of true Indian hospitality where service and compassion are at the heart of everything they do. A client’s customers are our customers and we do everything we can to meet and exceed their expectations.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Indian Enterprises and Startups prefer to keep most of their consumer facing engagements in-house. They have valid apprehensions on how outsourced partners attend to customers they acquire and handle their specific needs and queries. It was an uphill task to convince clients to trust us with their most critical processes. The most difficult part of any relationship and journey is to take the first step and the leap of faith. Convincing clients to take that first step was the most challenging part of our journey so far.
How did you overcome those challenges?
By building a robust IT environment that met and adhered to the strictest of standards (ISO 9001:2008) and by establishing Call Quality Standards (ISO 27001:2008), we were able to set benchmarks for ourselves that we could promise to clients. Today, we are the choice of many startups from Healthcare, FoodTeck, On-Demand, Health & Wellness, Automotive and Education sectors. Our primary and unstinted focus on people practices ensures that we overcome the apprehensions of our clients.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We continue to remain bootstrapped for the moment. Internal accruals and tight financial discipline have allowed us to scale our operations to a 1000 people enterprise. Though there have been inquiries from potential investors, we have held onto the temptation. For the moment.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
The average age in the system of the core team is over 7.5 years! This means that the functional heads of the organization are as old as the organization itself. This incredible phenomenon is possible only because of the freedom and responsibility bestowed upon them. We take shared pride in every new accomplishment and celebrate even the smallest of someone’s achievements. Integrity and commitment are the only two metrics that drive the organization forward. The entire core team has freedom and flexibility to chose their work shifts and work hours and workspaces. They are extremely agile, nimble footed and humble. They work as a family and place the organizations interest before their own. The ability to work in such an environment helps them to flock together and stick around for years!
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Integrity. Passion. Humility.
Integrity is the number 1 trait, which is valued most at organizations. Integrity is what starts and defines every action and every deed. Integrity of thought and action has to be interwoven in the DNA of an organization. At HRHnext, Integrity comes before anything else.
Passion can shake mountains. Passion drives people to go beyond the obvious, the expected and asks more of them. A passionate employee does not get stuck at “Why” and “What”. He moves on to the “How” and “When”.
Humility is a key trait that is valued at our firm. At the end of it all, we try and instill this belief in every stakeholder that we engage with and hope that we have left behind something they can always treasure.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Mintmesh is a great tool for Employee Referrals, which is used extensively in the organization. We use services from a Boutique IT firm called Enterpi for custom Ticketing Solutions and Evernote for document exchange.
Share any one habit, which you think, makes you more productive.
Creating a Triple Check for everything drives productivity. If done once, check it again, then check it again and then check it once more! The philosophy gets reflected in our IT Infrastructure and System Development where we factor in triple layered redundancies across all levels.
Share any one habit, which you wish to change in yourself.
I would seriously like to manage my time better and make better utilization of limited time that we have.
Answer in less than 50 words
- One tip to success:
Celebrate every little progress and every moment that is leading you towards your end goal. Take baby steps initially till a process settles down and make sure you capture every moment of that journey. Encourage and acknowledge failure.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Every individual is different and works in a landscape, which is totally different from the others. There is no space in today’s dynamic environment to be me “me too”.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Put your 100% trust in people that you work closely with. Give them the tools to explore their full potential. Make them be part of your entrepreneurial journey.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We want to see HRHnext as the top destination for clients wishing to outsource their customer engagement needs. In order to be the #1 choice for Startups and MNCs, we would ideally be present in 2 more Indian Cities. Bengaluru is next, followed by Chennai or Pune.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
If I had a chance to press the restart button, I would take up the LSE admission offer that I had turned down in my early days. An international MS in MIS from a top institution would have allowed me to absorb international best practices in system design and reduce my learning curve immensely.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” Samuel Johnson