Business Today

Empowering small and micro businesses around India: An interview with Jeffrey H Fox, President & CEO, Endurance International Group

Every decision made by the company is focused on giving small business owners the tools they need to get online and grow.

September 18, 2019 | Updated 16:37 IST
Empowering small and micro businesses around India: An interview with Jeffrey H Fox, President & CEO, Endurance International Group
Jeffrey H Fox, President & CEO, Endurance International GroupJeffrey H Fox, President & CEO, Endurance International Group

There are small businesses and then there are those that empower these small businesses to be successful. One such organisation is Endurance International Group that fuels millions of small businesses and web professionals worldwide with products and the technology that they need to vitalize their online web presence and digital marketing capabilities. Every decision made by the company is focused on giving small business owners the tools they need to get online and grow. This includes developing new products in-house or acquiring new solutions from outside that provide undeniable value to the toolset of small business owners or web professionals. Examples are the acquisitions of ResellerClub and BigRock brands in India, as well as global brands such as Bluehost, HostGator and Constant Contact.

Most recently, Endurance entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ecomdash, a software solutions provider that enables inventory management, distribution, and multichannel marketplace listings for ecommerce retailers. This is in line with the company's vision to develop product and solution leadership to enable small businesses to grow.

Business Today spoke to Jeff Fox, President & CEO of Endurance International Group to understand how the company helps small businesses in India and its continued focus on India as a key strategic asset for the company.

Q: Can you elaborate on Endurance and its family of brands?

Over the years since its inception in 1997, Endurance International Group has grown into a global family of brands that helps small businesses get a web presence. In India, Endurance caters to small business owners and web professionals through brands such as ResellerClub, HostGator, Bluehost, and BigRock. These brands provide the tools and resources needed to build and establish a web presence, be found in online searches, email marketing, and more.

We have grown through several acquisitions in the past decade and continue to be open to acquisitions that can strategically integrate into our platforms to effectively solve our customers' needs.

Over the years, Endurance has been able to expand its product portfolio while focusing on both, small businesses as well as web professionals. The latter includes web designers, developers, digital agencies, IT service providers and any business that helps other businesses get an online presence. Focusing on the business needs of web professionals is important for us, as it empowers those who help small businesses come online. Customers often need hand holding during their online journey which is where web professionals play a critical role. We want to provide a platform for them to get their customers online easily. Our suite of products is perfect for such a mission.

Each of the Endurance brands helps in enabling businesses from the grassroots- starting from creating an online identity with a domain name to hosting that domain name on a server. Moreover, Endurance not only helps businesses get online, but also helps them grow through products that provide security, back-up and office productivity.

Q:  Where does India stand in your scheme of things?

Endurance's India business is a key strategic asset. We see a great opportunity in India. As per a study by KPMG and Google on the 'Impact of Internet and digitization on SMBs in India' (Jan 2017), there are over 16 million small and micro businesses connected to the Internet in India. We see ourselves playing a crucial role in helping these businesses grow.

We have been serving customers in Asia for long now. We have a substantial number of web professionals who have done business with us to serve their end users because they care about their customers' website performance. That requires hosting a platform that delivers the web pages efficiently with very low error rates. We empower them with a wide range of products and solutions, high levels of support, and an exceptional quality of service to ensure their efficiency.

One of our key differentiators is the platform that we built for web professionals here in India, after getting a deep understanding of how an IT service provider in India works. So, I think that's also an advantage because, unlike a lot of other companies, it's not simply some global platform that someone's localized for India. It's actually something we built ground up, after gaining considerable insight.

We care about how we can make web professionals successful. So, one of the areas we're investing in India, is ecosystem development. We do things like inviting them for web professional round-tables and events in multiple cities to educate and train them on not just our own products and solutions, but also those of our partners.

We have an annual event called Cloudbazaar which will be held in Mumbai on December 6th, 2019. In its 8th edition this year, the event is poised to be bigger and better than ever. Its mission is to help web professionals 'advance, up-skill and win' and make them successful.

Q: What is Endurance's India focus?

Our India team and our Asia strategy- both are very important to us.

We have a really good team in India with over 500 employees and they play two big strategic roles. They run a business that we are positioning to grow throughout Asia, not just in India. We have also adopted a strategy where we are investing in key global software infrastructure platforms- another area where our India team is critical to Endurance.  Around half of the employees from the team are focusing on the global engineering work and our goal is to increase that number exponentially. India is not merely a support or software outsourcing centre for us. It is a team that provides new product leadership.

We see plenty of opportunity to grow our business in India and APAC by continuing to bring new capabilities at competitive price points.

We think we are participating in a market that is growing and are focused on what else web professionals need from us in order to help them efficiently serve their customers.

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