More than a decade ago, Bengaluru-based Vidya Vellala got into entrepreneurship, inspired by her family. She started off with her first solo tech startup – an integrable SaaS solutions platform named Evayadesk. When it was time for tapping on a global market, she re-branded Evayadesk to Faasthelp, a helping hand for the relevant customers. Vidya, an MCA graduate, is the founder and CEO of Faasthelp. It which was launched in 2017.

For many years, Vidya has led tech teams in MNCs including SAP Labs and Cognizant. When she crossed 40, she knew it was time to do something meaningful. She quit her job in 2013 and through an enrollment in a Management Programme for Women Entrepreneurs (MPWE) at IIM-B, her ideas of starting-up begun to evolve. She launched her first company in January 2015.

As a geeky engineer Vidya acquired the logical mind for venturing out from her dad who was an advocate and her businesswoman mom gave her the power of designing an artificial intelligence enabled, product-based customer support company.

What more? She also won India’s Best Startup CTO. A passion-driven techie in a digitally-enhanced system, Vidya is eager to learn faster and makes innovation with latest technologies.

As a techie, tell us in details about how you got into entrepreneurship?

I was a techie by birth. As a child, I would do winding and unwinding of things and my mother would never stop me. All my little sisters’ curious eyes were on me. Dad laid the path for many Cooperative markets to profits. When my parents were doing these things, as a child, I was a silent observer. It probably made a great impact on me.

“The mindset of entrepreneurship got materialized very recently”

Tell us the concept of Faasthelp and what’s its market position today?

Faasthelp is an artificial intelligence enabled customer support and sales software. We do have talking, chatting and email bots and are trying to acquire more customers.

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What was the reaction of your family and friends when you took the decision to startup?

I have full support from my family. They were all excited more than me. Having studied and practised technology launching a tech startup was the right choice for a budding entrepreneur.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?

I am awarded India’s Best Startup CTO by Dell, EMC and CIO association, that has been one of the biggest till date. I got selected to be part of Blackbox program for 2016 from India, is one more achievement I wouldn’t shut up about. Recently, I was featured on CNBC Awaaz channel which was a satisfying feat.

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

This is very important for everyone. It is a long journey when you are responsible for all important activities, one among them is to take care of yourself. This does not mean working lazy. We have to work hard but at the same time take some time to do proper exercises like yoga, meditation along with balanced diet.

 “Technology is my core passion”

Future expansion plan?

This is the beginning. I want to expand Faasthelps’s global presence.

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How hard it was for you to find the right team?

It is very hard to find the right team, and it is always a challenge irrespective of the size of the company. We have to put in continuous effort to build the right team.

How popular is the Faasthelp concept in India?

We are in the B2B segment. It is catching up fast in India and worldwide.

Vidya Vellala, Founder of Faasthelp
Vidya Vellala

Whom do you see as your biggest competitor in the market? What measures do you take to maintain that competition?

There are many in the competition. We are working to execute our strategies and expand our markets.

What all responsibilities do you take up daily and how do you maintain the status?

Wearing different hats every day is a must. I do strategize, coding and understand the customers. As a startup journey, we cannot confine to one job.

Explain why the venture you founded is so efficient when it comes to being the best in the industry?

We use the latest of the technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Speech recognition, Speech Synthesis, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing to make our products best to serve the customers. Only these might not help in the long run, improvising the product on daily basis makes us the best in the industry.

 “My long-term vision is to build products to improve the quality of life of people. I want to use the technology for the upliftment of people”

 What are your biggest challenges come along way?

There have been many challenges, and every challenge is a good learning. Every day brings in new challenges which lead to new learning. Finding the right talent and marketing has been the biggest challenge.

Why is the startup ecosystem unfriendly towards women?

It is a reflection of how the society or the World perceives women. We are changing and the best will happen. Women have more inner strength and we can do miracles with that.

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Do you believe the startup ecosystem will take a long time to transform into becoming gender balanced and female friendly?

It is of course like swimming against the tide. But, women should believe that they have more capacity to do so. Yes, the ecosystem is evolving and it will for a change which is good for women.

What impact digital boom has on you and your company?

My startup is part of the digital boom. Let it be addressing the customer concerns or the analysis of the customer’s concerns to the organizations going digital has been the key.

Tips for women entrepreneurs

Believe in yourself. Women have more inner strength. We can do miracles. Stay connected with other startups and Keep learning. Share your leaning with other women and keep empowering each other.

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