[Courtesy: The Economic Times article on 30th July, 2010]
He led the medical equipment business for GE in India; he helped Azim
grow Wipro from a small firm with $150 million in revenues to a
global outfit; he made smart bets at PE firm TPG, a few of which turned
multi-baggers in double quick time... and after 20 years of building
for others, Vivek Paul, 51, has decided it’s now time to build something
for himself. And he wants to do it in a space where there is a
market to tap into.
Paul’s first entrepreneurial venture,
KineticGlue, is helping hundreds of employees at companies such as Dell
Yes Bank and L&T Infotech collaborate better by using an online
medium. Essentially, KineticGlue will help every company set up its own
‘official’ equivalent of Facebook for employees—only it
increases productivity, not eat into it. L&T Infotech, an early user
KineticGlue, has found that collaboration between 500 workers using this
platform has helped it discover new revenue streams.
Infotech, an early user of KineticGlue, has found that collaboration
employees using this platform has helped the company discover new
streams. Unlike traditional email groups, wherein users interact with
through chains of messages, corporate social networking solutions like
KineticGlue enable project groups within companies to have open
with each discussion thread linked to relevant topics.
This not only
helps in forming focused discussion groups, but also breaks hierarchical
barriers and encourages bright and less experienced professionals to
The product, developed jointly by engineers at his
former employer Wipro and a Bangalore-based start-up called Neev
is pitted against established larger rivals, including Salesforce.com’s
Chatter and Silicon Valley start-up Jive. "Our goal is not to do
small. Our goal is to build one of India’s premium, enterprise software
company that is global,” said Paul.
wasn’t there five years ago, and three years ago nobody knew Twitter
either. And in the world that I live in, being an incumbent is a big
the challenger always has the edge,” he added. Paul declined to name the
angel investors backing the firm, but he said he would like to raise
venture funding soon.
After leaving TPG Capital in December 2008,
Paul started thinking about raising his own venture capital fund. Around
time, companies such as Salesforce.com, Facebook and Twitter had started
the consumer Internet revolution, and enterprise customers were
to apply the power of social networking within their
"One of the trends I saw shaking the world was
that the consumer Internet revolution was just beginning and it was
lot of paradigms,” he recalls. "There were a lot of them saying I
would be the Facebook or Twitter of the enterprise, but nobody was
all together in an integrated wrapper,” said Paul.
customers such as L&T are seeing the benefits of collaboration
employee groups. L&T plans to double its KineticGlue user base to
the next few months.
Sudhir Prabhu, head, Oracle business unit,
L&T Infotech, says KineticGlue has helped his group lower attrition
key professionals. Prabhu had also evaluated Jive apart from exploring
"Knowledge sharing and collaboration is
one of the top priorities for us and for any business. As part of that,
looking for a tool to break down barriers between employees. We expect
base to double in a month, after that we will take it across the
said Prabhu. More than 65% employees in the Oracle business unit have
adopted the platform voluntarily.
Increased collaboration is now
helping L&T Infotech find newer revenue streams. The company is
content generated through various discussions in identifying new proof
concept centres for customers. "There are several soft returns,
more collaboration and even a reduction in attrition. In terms of hard
RoI, I am
looking at this as a project collaboration tool,” says Prabhu.