By: Sohini Bagchi

pramod

IceWarp, a provider of comprehensive messaging solutions is changing the concept of how teams share information online. A channel-focused company, it has been developing solutions in the communication and collaboration space since its inception in 1999. Today IceWarp has more than 50,000 global customers, is present across 50 countries, and acquired more than half a million mailboxes in India in a short span of three years.

Recently IceWarp has committed 1.5 Million USD for Indian Market to expand their cloud infrastructure and ensure better services to its customers. The company has also launched its Vision 2020 including 2 Million Mailboxes for Indian market and started operations in Bangalore, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

In a recent conversation with ChannelTimes, Pramod Sharda, CEO (India & ME) at IceWarp shares the company’s India-specific growth plans, channel roadmap as well as the state of IT industry and more.

CT: What are the bottlenecks in technological advances in India? What are the underlying problems and how can we address them?
Pramod Sharda: We can’t deny that technology innovations are happening at high pace and changing the way businesses operate. To be in sync with the technological advancement, we need to be highly adaptive. India is no different! It’s just that the transition from millennial to the next generation depends on the user base. For example, BFSI has a heavy user base compared to BPO. The challenge lies here, in the adoption and adaptation of technology and deriving the value of money and efficiency, which actually was envisaged when the respective technology was identified and deployed.
Orientation and proper objective-oriented training (via online like webinar sessions, if offline is tedious) is the key to handle these kind of situations. It helps the users to understand the need and stay competitive at the same time.
At IceWarp, we keep a close watch on the latest technology trends and do events, seminars and webinars in order to keep our customers’ up-to-date. Our offerings are adaptive to customers’ needs and bring distinctive value across diverse technology catering effective, adaptive and perfective collaboration solution. We understand the business needs of our customers and have expertise in designing and deploying the relevant communication & collaboration solutions.

CT: After two major steps, namely, DeMo & GST, in what shape IT industry is reeling? How optimistic are you and has it any critical impact on businesses?
Pramod Sharda: First of all, we are glad that the government has taken these initiatives. Undoubtedly, DeMo & GST will have a long term positive impact on the industry.
We are in B2B since 18 years globally and in India since last 3.5 years and can assure that IT Services businesses won’t be affected by DeMo as we do business legitimately. Coming to GST, I strongly believe that this is the best thing we could have ever come up with. Also, having a uniform tax structure across India will help in streamlining the business processes.

CT: Any key announcements in this fiscal year and what are your partner specific plans?
Pramod Sharda: IceWarp sees great potential in Indian market and it has been a core target since long. Working on the same line, In Jan 2018, we committed 1.5 Million USD for Indian Market to expand our Cloud Infrastructure and ensure better services to our customers.
Additionally, we have also launched Vision 2020 – 2 Million Mailboxes for Indian market and aspire to achieve this goal through business partners.
As we always say that we are cent percent channel driven company. In the coming months, we will be focusing on creating a strong partner ecosystem. We will look forward to have a network pan India to penetrate into the untapped zones and cater better services and support to our customers.

CT: Would you like to highlight your recent achievements?
Pramod Sharda: Since our inception, we have focused on developing high breed collaboration and communication solutions/products that enable customers (organizations) to share information online safe and secure. But, being a relatively new player in the Indian market, to be precise 3.5 years, and getting duly recognized by leading industry bodies, analysts and associations is a key achievement.
We have received several accolades. These third party recognitions is the acknowledgement that we always define and redefine our strategies, product scope and features to remain ahead of market trends and technological innovations. In addition, we feel confident that we have gained traction with CIO Community and in BFSI industry.

CT: Can you share the growth in India in last FY? Where do you see maximum traction going forward
Pramod Sharda: We grew phenomenally by 200% and had major acquisitions in 2017. Predominantly, India has been our biggest market and the major source of revenue contribution for us.
The key factor in our growth is “Hybrid” collaboration solution. It helped us creating a strong footprint as Indian organizations could get the best of both worlds O365 and G Suite for power users (Management, Middle Management) and IceWarp for nonpower (Support, Admin, Back Office) users. Additionally, we started operations in Bangalore & Ahmedabad to grow our reach in southern Indian market and also offer better service to our Gujarat and Rajasthan customers.