GluePlus: Creating Exceptional Product for the Un-served Market
Date: Monday , May 30, 2016
Sometimes, version 2.0 is more power-packed than version 1.0. This is precisely the story of GluePlus, the version 2.0 of Mxit - a South African Chat App. Things changed when Sam Rufus Nallaraj (CEO, GluePlus) was hired to lead the organization that started off with bringing Mxit to India. But soon the company realized that it was unwise to compete with the already existing virality of its competitors and quickly transformed the business and rechristened as GluePlus (acronym being Gather, Locate, Understand & Execute) as an IT Products & Services Company that successfully created and delivered three products to three South African clients in a span of just nine months since its second version. \"Post a strategic thought, I proposed a second transformation of the company - that of being a single product company. Developing multiple products and serving multiple clients diluted both the services offering and our brand. Once approved by our board, we became a single product company and wanted to invest sharply in \'The Community Product - The GluePlus Church App\',\" says Sam, a product that is well aligned with the GluePlus guiding philosophy of \'making a positive dent in the world\'.
Exploring the Untapped Market
Overcoming all the initial crunches of hiring talent resources to getting the technology stack right, to the Herculean task of getting the company registered in India, GluePlus today strongly serves the community domain and is specifically developing the Church Management product for the largely untapped church market that holds immense potential, especially in the US and western world. But being located in Hyderabad, India has its additional perks of bringing clear economics of scale, cost arbitrage, availability of a large talent pool and others.
With its most esteemed client The Pearl City Church, Hyderabad, using the version 1 of the Church product in India, the company is quickly learning and unlearning from the feedback, thus making radical changes to the product. The company has a robust product roadmap that encompasses feedback from some mega and medium-sized churches both in India and abroad. \"We have an exciting pipeline of clients who have already expressed interest in leveraging the version 2 of the product that is soon to be rolled out,\" asserts Sam.
The Product in Detail
The Church Product is the world\'s first and holistic \'Intra & Inter-department\' Church Management product on a mobile phone with advanced analytics. No other product has the ability to help pastors/priests manage their various departments in a Church like Sunday School with various age-based classes, Worship team, Ushering team, Production team, Care Cells and others, right from within the GluePlus Church app itself. Furthermore, the leaders of the various volunteer departments in the Church can manage their team internally, roster volunteers and communicate from within the app itself. Not to mention the umpteen other features like making church a \'Dialogue and not a monologue\'.
Additionally, the social connection feature of the app inter-connects all the members of the family attending that church and can interact with other families and departments. And last but not the least, for the very first time in the world, GluePlus has enabled advanced analytics that helps the pastors/priests make decisions that are purely data-driven thereby making the church more efficient like an MNC. This is why the product is largely appreciated by churches in Sweden, US, Australia, India and South Africa.
Currently the company is in the advanced stages of developing a self-serving and self-customizable product that will be entirely cloud-based in a few months. This will bring in the economies of scale for over 100 million churches worldwide. \"We will have the un-paralleled ability to ramp up and serve multiple churches with our unique vision of the product and be immensely profitable on a subscription-based model,\" opines Sam. Built over three solid foundation of Eyes First (where the product has a beautiful look and color), Simple UX (person of any age can easily navigate the GluePlus Church product and use it), and Zero MoTs (Zero Moment of Truths or zero bugs or failures in the product), GluePlus is confident that this Made in India product will attract reverse interest from the rest of the world.
A Pro-Employee Organization
The company embraces pro-employee work culture where 14 of its talented personnel happily leverages the ESEE (pronounced as easy) work milieu, where E stands for Enjoy the process, S for Strategize on the laterals, E for Execute to Completion and Excellence in the last mile. GluePlus provides ample opportunities to its employees to grow vertically (up in the corporate ladder with performance-based promotions and self-titled designation) and horizontally (in terms of diversifying their skillsets to other technologies). For their holistic development, GluePlus provides online training through various e-learning portals and brings industry leaders to share their experience. \"We also do behavioral trainings like Strength Finders amongst others. We invest in our employees like no others,\" says a proud Sam.
Through this highly qualified team, GluePlus is geared up to leverage the potential and performance of the native iOS/Android capabilities, and will soon be launching the cloud-based version of the product for a wider reach. The next version of the product will also have hierarchy-based analytics, which will inter-link vast denominations worldwide. Furthermore, features such as Church Asset Management, finance, worship service management and others will be added to the product. And within a year or so we will be opening an office in the Silicon Valley, USA.
Sam Rufus Nallaraj, CEO
Playing the role of a transformer, Sam played a vital role in the makeover of the company from a Chat product company, to an IT product & services company, to a pure (Church)product company. Prior to GluePlus, he was the VP at Deloitte &Touche and was also chosen to represent Indian from among 30,000 professionals from across India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia etc. in the famous Television series - The Apprentice where he stood as a semi-finalist!
Roger Grobler, Founder and Chairman
Apart from his role as Founder/Chairman & Mentor at GluePlus, Roger is also Managing Director of Big Data consulting firm Quantium India. Before India Roger and his family lived in Australia, where he was the Founder and Chairman of Real Insurance, which he led as CEO from inception to become one of the largest providers of life insurance in Australia and multi-award winner for the world-first trust-based Pay As You Drive car insurance product. He also pioneered the actuarial pricing of car insurance in South Africa in the 1990s. Roger serves as a director on several company boards in Australia, India and South Africa.
Offerings: Community Management Product (Church Management App)
Award: 10 Best Startups of 2015 by Startupcity Magazine