How, when and why I decided to ZEPIC

What do you remember from your first job? 

I have a number of fond memories and really terrible memories from my first job. One of the not so great memories involved software. 

My first was a fancy-pants ‘Corporate Customer Care Manager’ managing some of the company’s largest ‘key’ accounts in the region. One of my month-end routines involved physically collecting payments (yes that!). My collection visits sometimes involved hours waiting for the cheques to be signed and some last minute requests. Needless to say, one has to maintain calm, always being of help even whilst collecting payments that were overdue for services already rendered. (All collections specialists have my deepest respect!) 

In one such visit, I had to wait over three hours chasing a cheque after successfully negotiating renewal terms to prevent a competitor from undercutting prices and taking away our customer. I finally got the cheque and made the 5 o’ clock return to our office to process it with a customer service representative. 

The customer record and call centre system we used then was called Clarify. It was terrible or terribly implemented (very politely put). Anyway, that evening we were unable to get Clarify to input the collected cheque against the customer. The system took ages to load and the individual I sat with could not figure out where to input renewal details. That night I did not sleep well knowing we missed the month-end deadline just because of a slow, confusing, customer management tool.

'A bad carpenter blames his tools’.

After working with some very inspiring colleagues and leaders across the years, I appreciate the above phrase literally and in another light. A bad carpenter would blame a sub-par tool, but we should spare a thought for the passionate carpenter who silently works with, or finds a way out of the bad tools to still deliver great work. And sad too is the case of the carpenter who remains silent but fails to deliver because of sub-par tools.

The effect of having great tools, processes, colleagues and culture at work is not just felt when you are at work enjoying everyday, these workplaces also deliver remarkable, exponential results.

An opportunity of a lifetime comes knocking

I always wanted to create a great workplace and business of my own. My junior primary school essays had dreams of owning supermarket chains :). 

After taking a break from Freshworks in early 2021, I had a number of opportunities open up but it was a call from a long-time friend and colleague Sunil Kumar that grabbed my instincts. Sunil was checking with me if I’d be game to start up with him and two of his friends. Sunil is the kind of person you can jump off a plane with just one parachute. He would figure out super quick how to land it safe for us and he’d have your back no matter what. Very smart and a solid mate.

I got connected with Naveen and Bharathi Kannan (BK) both of whom I had admired from afar while working at Zoho and Freshworks. We exchanged ideas on the type of team, company and culture we each wanted to create and live through. Every call between us kept building on the positive, special vibe Sunil’s first call had. Within a few meetings I made up my mind that this was the team I wanted to realise my entrepreneur dreams with. 

First lunch as a team!

So what are we cooking? The four of us have built and taken to market platforms that are today used by thousands of customer-facing teams across the globe. Just as we enjoyed seeing our products used and loved by teams, we also saw ‘tool sprawl’ hinder their overall efforts in creating great experiences for their customers. This is especially true in the last three years when organisations were forced into managing the pandemics' digital way of life.

Forrester’s US 2022 Customer Experience Index rankings  revealed that CX quality fell for 19% of brands in 2022 which was the highest proportion of brands to drop in one year since the inception of the survey. CX quality had actually fallen back to early 2020 levels.

As innovative companies source best-of-breed solutions to serve their customers better, tool sprawl will continue.

Tool sprawl = too many data points, much stale data, wrong insights and actions = poor customer experiences. 
Bettercloud’s 2020 State of SaaSOps report  has it that the average number of SaaS applications used by organisations with 100 to 499 employees is 47. Organisations with over 1000 employees use more than 177 SaaS applications.

Tool sprawl is inevitable. But what if we could prevent the poor customer experience that comes with it and instead build confidence in businesses to continue to innovate and acquire the best tools for their customer? 

ZEPIC - your Single Source of Truth and Engagement

No matter how excellent carpenters are, if they do not have visibility of the piece of wood they work on, they cannot progress, let alone deliver.

Similarly, customer-facing teams can only serve their customers best, if equipped with the latest and most comprehensive detail about their customer. 

We are at work creating a customer data and engagement platform that we hope will one day become the ultimate Single Source of Truth and engagement for all go-to-market teams. Out-of-the-box connectors and no-code philosophy throughout ZEPIC will allow for rapid integration with existing customer management tools to present the best possible 360 degree view of the customer. From there, customer-facing teams will be able to use ZEPIC’s inbuilt engagement channels to reach out and create exceptional customer experiences. Good tools, great carpenters, happy customers!

We’re still figuring out the industry categories for our platform. A Customer Digital Experience Platform? A delivery CDP? A Personalization Engine? Or should we even conform to a category? We’ll know in sometime, but for now, we continue to build ZEPIC. 

  1. hyper-personalised, multi-channel campaigns for sales, marketing and customer success
  2. the most complete and real-time view of the customer for Operations
  3. a true Single of Source Truth for insights for Data analytics and management
  4. a versatile platform for developers to bring in any customer data and build applications on

If you have strong views on how your customer data and engagement infrastructure should work, or would like to discuss any challenges you face today, do send us a note at hello@zepic.com. We are looking for participants in our Early Access Program and look forward to your support, suggestions and ideas!


Thank you for stopping by and reading so far! As a thank you, here is a screen capture of the names and domains we shortlisted before we finalised on ZEPIC. Some great names there if anyone is looking for one. We will share more on the naming journey another day!

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