Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 32 || Flock

Each day we see different applications popping up, trying to solve various issues. Some succeed and some don’t. Well, there are a few which succeed in making their mark as they go creating their own niche market. One such start-up is Flock. So if you are looking for an alternative for Slack or Microsoft Teams, meet Flock!

Flock is a proprietary messaging and collaboration tool, founded by tech entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia in 2014. The app is available on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and Web. Flock allows users to configure external apps and integrations from the Flock App Store and receive notifications and updates directly in Flock.

Flock functions on a freemium pricing model. The application was launched in 2014.

How is it different?

Flock is different than other competing tools in that it provides all the features in one place. It is a perfect amalgamation of collaboration, productivity and integration.

Collaboration

It lets users bring their team together. Discuss projects, share ideas, and get work done in real time.

  1. Start a direct chat or group conversation with anyone

With the entire company directory at your fingertips, you can begin a chat with just about anyone. Or, simply create a channel and get everyone to share their ideas. Use a private channel for focused discussions, or a public one to let your teammates easily discover and join meaningful conversations.

2. Jump onto video calls with just a click

With Flock’s video conferencing tool, it’s easy to connect with remote teams. Get on a video call directly from within a chat or channel and share your screen to get into details. Keep everyone on the same page – even on the go.

3. Share all types of files and find them easily

Need to share multiple images with your teammates? Simply drag and drop files of all types and see previews of shared files as well. Need to find a file someone shared? You can view all shared files and content in one place in Flock.

 Productivity

Boost your team’s productivity and efficiency with Flock’s inbuilt tools. Collaborate with team members, share opinions, and manage your tasks more efficiently.

  1. Convert discussions to tasks instantly

Launching a new product? You can create a channel for the project and quickly turn those discussions into tasks by creating to-dos for you and your team. Add due dates and that’s it. Let the Shared To-dos bot remind you every morning of tasks due on that day. No need to chase deadlines at the last moment.

       2. Make sure everyone gets heard

Wondering where to go for your annual offsite? Post a question on the channel, and allow users to vote anonymously. Take it up a notch and create fun, image-based polls for your team. Polls are automatically updated across channels and you can download a vote tally to get the final word.

        3. Create notes and collaborate with your team on the go

Got a fantastic idea in the middle of a meeting? With the Notes feature, you can quickly jot down your ideas and share with your teammates. Anyone you’ve shared the note with can make edits, and all the changes will be updated across the chats you’ve shared the note in.

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Integrations

Integrate your most frequently used third-party apps with Flock. Choose from over 60+ apps listed on Appstore or build your own. No more switching tabs!

  1. Access your entire Google Drive from within Flock

Change the way you collaborate with Google Drive’s deep integration with Flock. Access your entire Google Drive from within Flock. Find and share any Google Drive file or folder. Or create new ones from within the app, and share them with your teammates.

2. Reach every meeting on time with Google Calendar

With Flock’s Google Calendar integration, playing the guessing game is a thing of the past. You will receive a reminder on Flock when it’s time for your meeting. And even notifications about event invites and updates. Now, time is on your side!

3. Manage your GitHub Repos without switching tabs

With Flock’s deep integration with GitHub, you can access your entire GitHub universe from within the app! Receive personal and team notifications, navigate through all your repos, and even share rich GitHub content. Save time spent on switching between apps.

The reason Flock is doing so well is because of its numerous UseCases. Let’s look at the use cases one by one

Flock for engineers-

  1. Collaborate faster on your code
  2. Manage downtime like a pro
  3. Automate your workflows

Flock for Marketing-

  1. Collaborate with your distributed team with Flock
  2. Never miss a deadline on your posts, events or campaigns
  3. Track social media conversations and gather valuable insights

Flock for the Product Management team-

  1. Plan the perfect product roadmap
  2. Coordinate with teams across the product life cycle
  3. Get real-time feedback on your product

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 31 || Ross Clinics

Dr. Devashish Saini, the founder of Ross Clinics is an AIIMS alumnus and has a postgraduate in health informatics from the University of Birmingham and in family medicine from CMC Vellore. He lived in the US from 2004 to 2008, while he studied health informatics. It was during the time that he was a resident physician at the University of Missouri-Columbia that the entrepreneurship bug bit him.

He decided to come back to India with a mission to build something that will change people’s lives forever. And, after a lot of hiccups, he finally started Ross Clinics, a chain of everyday care clinics providing quality healthcare services.

Today, Ross Clinics has multiple locations in Gurgaon and New Delhi and more will soon open in Ghaziabad. His mission is to bring back the trusted family doctor, making quality healthcare accessible and affordable for the teeming middle-income Indian families.

He is also working on getting doctors on board who want to set up their own clinics. Ross Clinics provides professional expertise and information on how to set up a clinic and how to accelerate the growth of the clinic. He also showed this concept at an entrepreneur conference in Mexico and many entrepreneurs there expressed their interest to replicate the model out there.

Well, although he is today a well-known figure in the Indian primary care physician community and running a wildly successful chain of clinics, the journey has not been as smooth as it may seem.

Read on to learn his take on running a startup.

#1 Only Start a Business If You Are Passionate About It

You do not only need skills, talent, and experience to start a business and make it successful. First and foremost, you also require a passion to solve the issue that your startup will solve. You need to live it, dream of it and die with it. (Well, do not actually die!)

Dr. Devashish adds that there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Only if you feel passionate and strongly about the issues will a reasonable amount of money be made.

Also, your services or products should have a value proposition and entrepreneurs must think from the customers’ perspective.

#2 Do Not Have a Cofounder Unless You Really Need One

Dr. Devashish suggests that you should not have a cofounder simply for the sake of having one. Only if you really have a role that you cannot fill yourself, which is especially applicable to tech startup founders, is a co-founder of the way to go.

This is because, although having a cofounder offers some benefits, it also comes with a set of complex challenges, especially if you get a cofounder onboard who you have never met before. This, in fact, may rip your business apart because, if you do not know the other founder well enough, there are bound to be some communication issues.

We do have differences in our values and it is hard to distinguish when these changes are affecting your relationship because the other person is working against you. So, it could be happening when you do not even realize it is happening.

#3 Pivot Really, Really Fast

Dr. Devashish suggests that you need to pivot really fast, depending on what the customers’ needs are and when you find low hanging fruits. So, you need to be quick to adapt your business to work around what will bring more clients.

Also, accept the easy projects that you are offered, instead of confining yourself to only one type of project. And, make sure that you present a professional image so that you can get more projects.

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#4 Do Not Get into a Pricing Competition

Startups often get into a pricing war and offer huge discounts, which ultimately kills them later on.

Dr. Devashish says, “the price should be above your cost, but less than the customers’ perceived value. It is also unwise to get into a pricing competition. Discounts are good and easy, but anyone can come and offer greater discounts than you are offering. So, it is best to deliver a better quality service or something which no one is offering.”

#5 Focus on Building Competencies and Not Just Huge Profits

Businesses exist to make profits, no doubt about it. However, the focus should not necessarily always be on making huge profits.

If a client does not offer huge profits, you should still take the job and do it. It will help you pay the bills, even if it is not very exciting, and it will help you build new competencies. And, according to Dr. Devashish, building new competencies will be beneficial in the long run.

He cited his own example of how he is doing it:

“At Ross Clinics, the core value is to provide all the services a typical Indian family needs on a daily basis. Home visits are one of Ross Clinics’ offerings, which a lot of doctors are hesitant to do. But, it has proven to be a very big revenue stream for us. Similarly, we do vaccines, corporate vaccines, and corporate health checkups which are traditionally the job of the diagnostic centers. We, as a primary care clinic, believe in preventative health checkups and it too has become a good revenue source.”

#6 Startup Founders Need to Be Control Freaks

Dr. Devashish says that, at the starting point, the founders need to be on top of everything to ensure good quality services are delivered. They need to be control freaks. They should also set up a process for those things that can be standardized and for those that cannot be and how they can go about doing it.

In addition, it is important to start thinking about middle management, especially if you are a single founder. This is because the small tasks will become tiring and boring very soon.

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#7 Do Not Expand Too Soon

Patience is key to the success of all startups. According to Dr. Devashish, do not expect too much too soon. Your business model has to be reasonably well-defined before you can expand; otherwise, you will lose a lot of money.

Also, if you are in the service industry, there is bound to be a loss of quality when the business expands. So, your core model should be able to deliver excellent care before you expand.

In addition, only expand when you have the whole budget to do so: Do not spread yourself too thin.

#8 Never Give Up

I am a big believer in not giving up, no matter what happens. So, learn the lessons you need to from your setbacks and keep moving forward. Remember what Rocky Balboa said?

“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Dr. Devashish also advises that if you have an idea, work on it for a year, as there are a lot of opportunities and you will only get to know about these when you have worked in the industry for long. So, if you give up within two months, you will lose out on the opportunity to actually study the market.

Once you know the industry, you will know what the low hanging fruits are and what gaps you can fill.

#9 Be Optimistic and Always Think Positively

Dr. Devashish shared his personal story on how being optimistic and positive helped him achieve great heights:

I used to be a very calm and quiet person and working in a startup was a very anxious experience for me at the beginning, when things were not going so well. I then realized that my expectations are not going to be met. I changed from medicine to informatics to health consulting and finally to primary care. But, I have always had the thought that I should quit if it’s not going well and should do something else. So, I always have to instruct myself and say, ‘No, I have to commit to this. Maybe things are going bad, but it’s not the worst and there is still potential and if a tweak is made, then we can make it work.

So, you have to be optimistic and always think positively, no matter what you are going through.

My personal definition is that if I did not try, it means I failed. And, if I tried and it still did not work, I still learned a lot of things and I will not consider that a failure because I have learned so much from the experience.

I think that learning is one of the greatest things in life. We need to keep learning; keep going as human beings and as professionals. Also, it does not work to compare ourselves with others. If you can define your own terms of success, then you can reach for those goals.

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