Hiren Shah talks to Ramdas Shenoyy from Stirfrymba.com
Q. How did you start the Trunkoz journey? What was your vision then…how far you have achieved your goals?
I and my younger brother Ashish Shah were always tech enthusiasts. We founded Trunkoz in 1998 at a very young age with a focus to provide quality technology services to a global audience. Initially, we started with a website called indiafreemail.com. At that time, Indians living abroad who wished to communicate with their relatives in India faced a major problem. Communication was extremely difficult and time-consuming as it would take 30-40 days to deliver letters through the post. To address this, we thought of an innovative idea that helped NRIs connect to their families residing in India faster. Through indafreemail.com they could send us the message they want to send to their families, and we would print the messages from our end and courier it to their families. Our revenue source was the classified ads behind the postcards. But in 2000, this concept was quite early for the market and eventually, we had to shut the business. However, we do not consider this as a failure. Instead, it was a treasure house of learnings for us. The revenue model we implemented there gradually led us to see a similar opportunity in the rising industry of the internet. We applied those learnings which led to the birth and gradual success of Trunkoz.
At Trunkoz, our vision has always been to be a world-renowned company in the field of technology and to provide quality products to our customers and create an impact on the different segments of the industry with our businesses. Over the years we started various businesses like Vertoz, QualiSpace, Vokut, and ConnectReseller under Trunkoz Group. Vertoz helps advertisers efficiently reach prospects on digital platforms. QualiSpace is an ICANN accredited domain name registrar in India. Vokut is an international media and internet company that provides premium content and websites for its customers worldwide. And, ConnectReseller is the domain reseller unit of Trunkoz Group. We believe that we have substantially achieved the goals we had set but we continue to raise the bar for ourselves to keep delivering better.
Q. How do you see the current market opportunities? Where is the technology heading? What are the major technologies or domains that you are betting on?
The current market presents great opportunities for the technology sector. With the government pushing for Digital India, the future looks promising. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the biggest trends in the tech sector right now. Being in a sector as dynamic as digital, it is incumbent upon us to keep ourselves abreast of all the latest development in this sector and incorporate the emerging technologies into our offerings. In accordance, our offerings include the advanced cutting-edge technologies like programmatic advertising fueled by AI & ML that help to connect the advertisers to the right people. We also offer digital-out-of-home services that help advertisers combine the best of digital and OOH.
The domain name industry has been reflecting this trend as well. With the rise of AI and ML adoption, the .ai domains are also growing in number. This is similar to the trend that was observed when many startups took off in 2015. During that time, .io domains were taking off well. Another trend that has been observed is that companies are also going for more custom-made domains. For example, a company may go for .events domain for their events section to give easy access to everything that’s happening at the company.
Once the domains are finalized, companies prefer to host them on cloud hosting solutions. Cloud services provide good value for money and many businesses are now looking at these solutions.
Q. What were the challenges in your Trunkoz journey and how did you address them?
With the technology evolving at a lightning-fast pace, we continuously endeavor to keep our solutions and offerings in sync with the changing tech landscape. While it does present a challenge, we have been able to successfully incorporate these in our products and offerings.
Now, talent is what drives execution and innovation. Finding great talent that has the right expertise and exposure to the emerging technologies and retaining it amidst fierce competition from other tech hubs continues to be a challenge. At Trunkoz, we believe in developing and grooming our employees to be future-ready by encouraging them to upgrade their skillsets. We also conduct workshops for the industry veterans wherein we help them to get an in-depth understanding of emerging technologies like programmatic advertising.
However, challenges are an integral part of running a business. One needs to have the grit and determination to overcome them and be ready and excited for the next one. As Colin Powell rightly said, a dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work
Q.What should one do to be technology ready in ever-changing technology landscape (e.g. AI, Machine Learning and its impact)?
It is common knowledge that the digital advertising space is highly evolving and dynamic. Thus, to survive in this industry, one has to be updated with the latest happenings, trends and upcoming technologies in this sector. One has to understand the current industry cues, and predict the future trends, to be constantly ahead of the curve. And, that is exactly what we did, and we still do. We continuously upgrade our product and endeavor to provide our clients with best-in-class technological solutions. We incorporate the most advanced technologies and integrate them with our prouct offerings, to offer the best services to our clients.
Q. Which jobs are going to be replaced by technology in the future?
This is one of the greatest misconceptions about technological advancements. I firmly believe that technology is meant to make our work more efficient and not to make us redundant. Back when computers were introduced in the corporate world, many people had prophesized similar job shortages and unemployment. However, as everyone can see, this technology is one of the greatest inventions of all times. It has not only increased the job opportunities but also helped in improving human efficiency and performance. Instead of reducing the available jobs, technology will create new jobs in areas like Marketing Automation, Finance Automation, Manufacturing, eCommerce & retail, BFSI, Digital Marketing, Home Automation, Cloud Computing and so on. Technological enhancements, advancement, and innovation will only make our lives easier and better.
Q. If you got a chance to relive your life, what would you like to do?
I would live my life the exact same way I have lived it so far.