Telebu bets on video conferencing


Hyderabad: City-based Telebu, previously known as SMSCountry, is looking to bring in a video conferencing tool useful in handling one-to-many kind video communications, shortly.

Founder and CEO, Y Satya Kalyan said, the tool would be helpful in situations such as doctors talking to patients, teachers talking to students or management interacting with employees.

Telebu has 500 people working for it including 300 in its Hyderabad centre and is looking to add 200 more people soon. It has presence in multiple cities and will soon add Chennai to its list. “Key product development and testing happens in Hyderabad and we mostly have sales offices in other cities and overseas locations,” he said.

“The video conference solution is being tried out and we hope to launch the full version in a month or so adopting a freemium model,” he said.

This will be a cheaper mode of communication as no additional equipment other than a smart phone is needed and that its audio conference tool, Grptalk, is already being used by many businesses and government entities.

Grptalk allows a user call multiple recipients at one go and has options to mute recipients as well. A virtual private room conversation is allowed with select users even as the audio conference is on. It also allows a two-way communication allowing select recipients to speak.

Explaining about pay per use model adopted for billing, Kalyan said: “We buy minutes from telecom operators and include them as our clients. While there can be any number of people in a conference, billing happens on the cumulative minutes of talk of only those who participate in the conference call.”

Many large companies have adopted audio conferencing for long and now, small and medium enterprises and start-ups too are opting for it. On a monthly basis, it is now doing between 15 lakh and 20 lakh minutes of audio conferencing. “We hope to grow five-fold in a year. The growth will come from existing as well as new members. We now reach to about six lakh members,” he said. Its current revenues from all products are about around Rs 100 crore.

Telebu counts government entities, a few banks and financial institutions, food outlets, political parties and NGOs for its audio conferencing as well as SMS service through its SMSCountry, a bulk text and voice SMS gateway, which has been the key product in operation for about 15 years.

When asked about privacy Kalyan said: “We only automate the conference process- initiating the call and adding or removing members. The audio conferences happen on the telecom networks adhering to their security protocols,” he said. It will also soon bring Press3 (call centre software), SirenButton (an emergency notification system) and Wavni ( a communications application programming interface).