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    Girish Mathrubootham on  making Chennai proud with his award-winning startup.

    From winning the Startup of the Year award from a leading newspaper to launching FreshChat, a new live chat software for small startups, it has been a busy fortnight for Girish Mathrubootham and his team at Freshdesk. “When people think of startups, most people think of a B2C startup based out of Bengaluru. Being the only B2B company out of Chennai in the final five, we take immense pride in being a torchbearer for all SaaS (Software as a Service) startups,” says Janani Dwarakanath, the corporate marketing manager. The city-based startup, which launched in late 2010 with a team of six, now has a staff of over 1,000 people. With offices in San Francisco, London, Sydney and Berlin, their clients include Sony Motion Pictures, Jaguar Land Rover and more. “We have crossed the stage where we are an upcoming startup. We are in the middle of a large growth phase now. We want to channelise that and create a global brand,” says Mathrubootham. A former employee at Zoho, a cloud-based service provider in California, the entrepreneur insists on a culture of operational freedom and ownership, and believes everyone must be their own CEO to ensure maximum productivity. The startup has an aggressive appetite for growth, looking at potential acquisitions and market gaps for product innovation. “While we do not have a grand plan for acquisitions, we are on the constant lookout for smart teams that have the right cultural fit,” says the 41-year-old. Business environment has improved drastically over the last five years, leading to several new enterprises mushrooming in the city—a trend that Mathrubootham looks at positively. “There is a massive untapped potential in serving the small and medium enterprises sector. We have a strong product portfolio and innovation centre in the city. We have been touted as market leaders and are perfectly positioned to address key markets,” he concludes.
    
    —Lavanya Lakshminarayanan

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