The Swipe Telecom Story
Swipe Telecom dared to venture into the tablets/phablets space where others had failed and today accounts for a commendable 10% share of the market. Founders Shripal Gandhi and Aman Gupta started the company in 2012; today it sells more than 20 devices, including the first 3D tablet, all of which cost less than Rs 15,000. It has also customized products for different purposes, including education and healthcare. There’s also a tablet especially for children. The company is currently developing wearable tech and apps.
In Conversation with Shripal
Recipe for success
Focus: It is very important to believe in the core idea, whether it’s a product or a service. I believe in focusing intensely on the things that do matter.There will be distractions but you have to stay focused on the business goal.
Team: I am fortunate to have a fabulous team who understood the philosophy of Swipe is as passionate and determined as I am. Having an enthusiastic team helps you grow fast as they inspire others. It is important to make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.
Passion: Passion drives motivation. It also translates into infectious enthusiasm that ultimately spreads the energy and drives every employee in my the office. It’s the glue that holds the company together and gets it through the difficult times.
Agility: I am fortunate to have agility grafted in my DNA is inevitable. As a startup, we were very quick to adapt to these changesor economy. We are in an era where technology keeps changing, and as an entrepreneur, it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve.
Relentless execution: Ultimately, the reward comes from timely and effective execution.
Your unique idea
To give the Indian consumer an Indianized and affordable ‘Apple’ product: The essence of Swipe is to provide consumers with technology at the most affordable price. We design and manufacture smart phones and tablets that consumers can use for education, entertainment, information and communication, or anything else.
Focus on personalization, regionalization and customization: We have been working very diligently to through software. We understand the diversity of India and have therefore developed our software keeping in mind the uniqueness of each state.
Focus on product design and fastest-to-market design cycles: We constantly endeavor to innovate, so we have a lot of firsts as India’s first kids’ tablet, India’s first 3D tablet and India’s slimmest device. Swipe today is truly positioned as an innovation-driven brand.
The idea is to get every household in India to have a tablet PC. We have a 10% market share today so there’s still a long way to go.
I want to replace a student’s schoolbag, weighing 7-8 kg to just a single tablet. That’s how I want to empower students in India.
Partnership with Kalaari
Kalaari has played a very instrumental role in the growth of Swipe. After Kalaari came in, we went from 40 employees to 200 and a 3% market share in the tablet category to 10%.
Kalaari has not only provided financial capital but has also equipped us with intellectual capital and leadership direction in the technology space.
It has played a crucial role in bringing significant growth in terms of revenue and capital, and also helped us build a network and take initiatives. The experience of working with Kalaari has been extremely beneficial and has helped Swipe get to where it is today.
Your first meeting
We had a several calls before meeting the Kalaari team.
When we first went to meet Kalaari, we thought it would be a formal meeting in a very business- like atmosphere. However, it turned out to be a nice and casual interaction. We were then invited to Bangalore to meet the entire Kalaari team and that’s where we did a full-fledged presentation. .
At first, we were a bit nervous, but the Kalaari team was extremely welcoming and friendly. Gradually, it became a fun interactive session. After that meeting we were convinced that Kalaari would be an ideal partner for us given their long- term vision.