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Fireside chat with Ravi Bulusu, CTO&Co-Founder of TheLoops

Who is Ravi Bulusu?

I have been involved in start-ups for a long time. Over the last 25 years I’ve done six. This is fundamentally because it gives me the freedom to express myself in terms of technical innovation and product creation. Being a CTO means that decision making is a lot more dependent on me, rather than having five people involved in the process. People that join start-ups have a different mindset, they want to prove something. I like taking charge from a technical leadership perspective. In large companies the decision-making process is slow, it’s not what I’m about.

Ever since I came out of college, I was always interested in building things and it doesn’t necessarily have to be technology – it could be a club or a cricket team for example. But, at the end of the day, I’ve always wanted to build and create the coolest products. In many companies I’ve been both VP Engineering and CTO, and you can do both these roles. But, at some point you have to make a choice, in my last four companies I’ve been both. At TheLoops my sole focus is on being CTO.

Ravi is CTO and Co-Founder of theLoops, a platform that provides contextualized data to enable support representatives to make decisions faster. Ravi is an innovative, highly motivated, and experienced engineer with solid experience in design and development of distributed computing, real-time analytics, high performance and high availability products. TheLoops is Ravi’s sixth start-up, previous roles have included CTO and Head of Engineering at Aisera, Chief Architect at Caspida, a company acquired by Splunk, and Senior Staff Engineer and VMware. Ravi hold numerous patents including “Dual-path distributed architecture for network security analysis” and “Enterprise security graph”. Ravi has been working in the real-time, machine learning space for more than 25 years and is an engineering graduate from the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology.

What’s the story behind TheLoops?

TheLoops has been in the making for a few years. My Co-founder, Somya Kapoor, and I were talking to various IT departments and customers, and it soon became apparent that customer satisfaction was a huge priority. You always want to retain business.

In addition, trends in the market were changing. Big monolith products never change, so support departments didn’t need to be too close to the product. However, now products are introducing new features every two weeks, support has to change its role and become closer to the product to understand what the product is doing.

Today, support and product need to align far more closely – they cannot be disjointed. This is where TheLoops comes in. We connect the two. We have spoken to a lot of customers and our solution resonates. Therefore, we knew we were in the right space at the right time.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

I’ve created six products before, so I wasn’t worried about that aspect of the job.

Then Covid happened. We were trying to raise money at the time but because of the virus that didn’t happen. However, you have to remain positive so we hunkered down and became completely focussed on developing the product and making it even more innovative. We even started bringing customers onboard. So, when Dell came back to us, we were in a really solid position.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

I’m proud of not giving up. I’m proud that we stuck to our guns. We had identified a problem and knew it had to be solved. Some VCs didn’t agree with us, but we kept believing. Then, it became a process of educating people and we succeeded.

What is your vision for the future of TheLoops?

The vision for us has always been very clear, even when we started the company. We had a roadmap and we have kept to it. Our solution was always going to be a bridge between support and product. We are determined to make support proactive and preventive. And if it isn’t at the moment, you should have a feedback loop that learns, and eventually makes support preventive. This is the ethos of our company, and we remain on path.

Currently, we are helping the agents before we take the next step and help the end customer, as agents are the people who have all the knowledge. The next step of the journey using the learning from the agent is to help the customer rectify problems within the product.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

I think the digitalization of enterprises is just starting. Companies have digitalized their data, but they haven’t digitalized their experiences, just because it’s harder. As enterprises accept the value of doing this, products will become available that help them to digitalise these experiences, and I know TheLoops will be heavily involved in this process.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Deep learning for sure. And cloud as well. Just because it makes data accessible. The cloudification of apps has helped us get where we are right now. I should also mention Natural Language Processing. All of these technologies helped TheLoops go to the next level.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

My two favourites would be John Grisham and Dan Brown.

Sporting icons?

It would have to be Sachin Tendulkar and Lionel Messi.

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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