ClinchPad : Breaking the boundaries of traditional CRM tools

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This is a story of a small kid who used to idolize Bill Gates and dream of building a rival software empire to Microsoft. He did his studies from the best colleges of the world and lived a comfortable life in the best cities of the world. He was earning in dollars and living a good life, but spark of entrepreneurship was missing. He finally decided to quit his job and moved back to India to start his own venture.

This is not a fantasy we are talking about.This is the story of Cheenu Madan, the founder of a new CRM tool “ClinkchPad”. “Clinkchpad”.
ClinchPad is a deal focused CRM which is simpler to use than other CRM’s. ClinchPad is built for small teams who are looking to transition from a cluster of spreadsheets to a more organized way of tracking leads. ClinchPad is completely FREE to use for the first 100 leads and has very affordable pay per month plans with absolutely NO commitment.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit-chat with Cheenu. Lets know his views.

Techaloo : Why the name ClinchPad?
ClinchPad is a portmanteau of the words ‘Clinch’ and ‘Pad’. It conveys that it is a platform or Launchpad for you to clinch more deals.

Techaloo : What was your vision/mission while starting ClinchPad?
I worked briefly on another software before ClinchPad and while we were doing sales for that product, we were using a shared Google spreadsheet to track our leads. However, it was too unwieldy since spreadsheets aren’t actually built for tracking leads. We signed up for a few traditional CRMs but never got started with them since they weren’t too complicated.
So we felt that there was a gap in the market for a simple, easy to use, intuitive sales CRM focused on deals rather than leads. Our vision was to service the small and medium sized businesses by providing them a CRM that is ideal for small teams. We built ClinchPad with a strong focus on a novel UI and a great User Experience.

Techaloo : What hurdles did you face while starting?
Getting feedback was hard. We would get signups but they would then leave and we wouldn’t get any feedback on what they didn’t like the in the product. Achieving product-market fit is hard for startups initially and the only way to do so is to get lots of feedback. We were targeted at a global audience from Day 1 and so we couldn’t just “go out of the building and talk to customers”. We had to find some way to reach them from the building itself. We built a strong customer lifecycle management system where we went specific emails at certain points in the customer lifecycle to elicit feedback. We tried to set up face to face time with our early users via tools such as Skype.

Techaloo : You are backed by GSF; What does it mean to you?
It means we have a partner that shares a common vision –the next wave of startups from India will be product focused global businesses. They are committed to exposing their portfolio of startups to global markets and investors and we are happy to be a part of their vision.

Techaloo : What are the benefits of using your tool over a spreadsheet?
Your data is a stored in a clean, structured manner. This data is easily retrievable, searchable and analyzable. All this with an interface that is almost as simple as using a spreadsheet (no training, no setup!).

Techaloo : Which industries or geographies are targeting as a potential market?
We have active users from many countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Finland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Brazil, and India to name some. We aren’t targeting a specific geography but aiming to build a global business from Day 1.

Techaloo : Why should a startup use ClinchPad?
As a startup you probably don’t have either the 1. Time or the 2. Budget to implement a complicated traditional CRM and trust me, you’ll soon grow frustrated with bunch of shared spreadsheets. ClinchPad takes just a minute to start using it and is extremely economical with a free low usage plan (100 leads free) which means that as a startup, you can use ClinchPad for free until you grow to a level where you have revenue.

Techaloo : Tell us about feature of the product?
Some of the notable features of the product are – its main dashboard, which utilizes a drag and drop card based layout to represent your sales pipeline and integration with Google Apps such as Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar and Google Drive. The full list of features can be checked out here – https://clinchpad.com/features

Techaloo : What new features are you planning to launch?
We are now focused on launching our iOS application, which will allow you to use ClinchPad on the go. We are also constantly improving the product based on the feedback we got from our users as we’re committed to delivering the best user experience.

Techaloo : How are you different from other competitors in the market?
We have a drastically different UI compared to popular CRMs such as Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM etc. We are focused one thing only – sales pipeline management unlike other CRMs who are focused on building all-in-one solutions that do everything – manage contacts, manage accounts, mailing lists, sales pipelines etc. We are also not targeting only salesperson but small business owners also – people who need to do sales along with hiring, management, accounting, providing services etc and hence appreciate a simple tool that makes the life a lot easier and saves them time.

Techaloo : How is the response as of now?
We launched a few months ago and in the last month we’ve seen more than 200 signups from which we have a healthy number of active users (we’re a Freemium product)

Techaloo : What are your plans for next 3 years?
Build ClinchPad into a product that thousands of businesses all around the world will love and build ClinchPad the company into one of India’s most respective software product companies similar to how Wingify, FusionCharts, and Freshdesk have done.

Techaloo : What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Just take the plunge. That the only way you’ll know whether it is for you or not.

Techaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
Love the name and the focus on college and younger startups. Wish you guys had been around when I was studying at college, maybe I would have been inspired to take the leap earlier.

Meet the founders:
cheenu Cheenu Madan : Cheenu is the founder of ClinchPad. He has previous experience in SaaS space, having worked on Bloomberg Law, a SaaS product, while working with Bloomberg in New York City. He has a Masters degree in Computer Science from University of Florida.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
kartikKartik Kakar : Kartik is the chief growth guy at ClinchPad. He has over eight years of diverse experience across Canada and India, where he helped grow companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 brands such as Microsoft and Oracle. He holds a Masters degree in International Marketing from Humber College, Canada.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
gaurav Gaurav Verma : Gaurav is the chief code warrior at ClinchPad. He is a true wearer of many hats, coding across the entire stack from the backend ops to the mobile applications. He has a Bachelors degree in Software Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering.
 
 

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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