Interview with Sam Mallikarjunan, Chief Revenue Officer at Flock

Flock is up against formidable rivals such as Microsoft Teams and Slack in the team communications space, yet it stands out with a slew of unique features

When it comes to workplace communication, Slack or Microsoft Teams are perhaps the most popular apps. But there’s a lot of collaboration software out there. One such popular option is India-based Flock, which along with offering messaging capabilities, also has a ton of features that removes the need of having multiple software along with enhancing productivity. We recently managed to get in touch with Flock’s Chief Revenue Officer, Sam Mallikarjunan, who was formerly the Head of Growth for HubSpot Labs, about Flock’s growth, how it stands out from its rivals and what does the future hold for the product.

PS: the interview has been edited for the sake of brevity.

1) How many organizations currently use Flock?

Mr Mallikarjunan responded, “today, teams at over 30,000 companies globally are using the Flock workplace collaboration platform. It has been instrumental in helping companies stay online even as they struggle with the business impact of the current coronavirus outbreak. In the past couple of weeks, we have seen a 2.6x increase in businesses adopting Flock globally, with a 3x increase among Indian organizations. Additionally, we have seen a 3.2x increase in companies using Flock for messaging colleagues, sharing files, video conferencing, and screen sharing. For many organizations, Flock has become the go-to app for all team collaboration and communication needs.

2) Which is the biggest market(s) for Flock?

While Flock is based out of India, he replied that “Flock has established a presence in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Boston”. He also highlighted that it’s a global product by emphasizing the fact that “Flock is available globally but some of our major markets are: the US, UK, Spain, Brazil, Russia, Canada, and India.

3) Considering Flock is in a hyper-competitive market; how does Flock stand out from the rivals?

Mr Sam Mallikarjunan said “Flock is a real-time communication and collaboration platform for modern teams. It offers a rich and intuitive messenger and business email. It also has modules to help teams manage their people and processes better and automate workflows. It also comes with a powerful platform that allows users to integrate frequently used external apps and even build custom ones.

In terms of competition, we are more affordable, and our integration tools are richer compared to other platforms in the market. Also, Flock is far better in terms of its admin capabilities, the platform’s user interface is straightforward, and it can be adopted by the entire organization with ease. If a small team starts adopting Flock and then grows to the rest of the company, invariably the managerial capabilities are far easier in Flock as compared to our rivals,” he added.

4) Expounding upon that, what is the key problem that Flock is solving for its users / businesses, and the others in the space aren’t?

Mr Mallikarjunan mentioned “Flock enables organizations to streamline communication and centralized access to a variety of tools and services used in the workplace. The platform provides a secure place for teams to get work done and brings people together, regardless of their location. The company started off in the productivity software space for enterprises with two products Messenger and Video Calling and added a new product last year which is business email & calendar.”

He also listed down various features available in the Flock app by highlighting that users can create two types of channels to chat with groups of people within their teams:

• Public channels, which are open to all, where users can easily discover and connect with likeminded people and join discussions that interest them

• Private channels, which can be joined by invite only, for more focused and closed conversations

• Users can also add channel attributes, including name, avatar, and purpose, to make it easy for users to identify what the channel is meant for

Then he stated that Flock offers various modules to manage workflows and notifications, which enhance the productivity levels:

• Process Automation for automating any process within a company

• Mailing list for creating internal and external mailing lists

• Video conferencing to collaborate with up to 8 people, and share screens on the go

• Audio conferencing to connect with up to 10 participants for 90 minutes over the phone

• Shared To-dos App to manage team and individual tasks

Lastly, he told that “Flock Email and Calendar for businesses support internal conversations with clutter-free app interfaces. While Flock email comes with features like conversation threads, desktop app, integrated video conferencing, and anti-virus, Flock Calendar supports meeting reminders, shared calendars, multiple calendars, and meeting scheduler. The company also rolled out dark mode for all desktop platforms. Users can now switch Flock to a sleeker, darker look that works across Windows, macOS, Linux, and the web app. Flock’s dark mode helps extend your device’s battery life if it has an OLED screen.”

He also shared some of the other salient features of Flock:

1. Users can access the entire Google Drive from within Flock

2. Manage GitHub repos without switching tabs

3. Users can share all types of files and find them easily

5) With regards to the coronavirus outbreak, how’s Flock catering to the users and organizations who’ve shifted to work from home environments overnight?

“The majority of the tech industry has already adopted work from home for their employees. This is because most product companies tend to allow flexible working options to reduce distraction and not unnecessarily waste time being stuck in traffic. Industry leaders will have to figure out what are the solutions which will have them work efficiently. In such a scenario, workplace collaboration tools like Flock can be extremely helpful in enhancing the team’s productivity. It’s an all-in-one collaborative solution that takes care of your company’s messaging, email, video conferencing, screen and file sharing, and productivity needs. There are many tools available in the market that focus on specific elements of remote work, like voice calling or video conferencing. However, choosing tools for each individual functionality separately means businesses must adopt and pay for multiple tools just to get started,” he commented.

Adding to that, he said “we’re offering Flock Pro for free through August 31st, 2020 to education, healthcare, non-profit, human rights organizations, government, and non-government organizations to help in combating the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. We understand that in such a situation, organizations would need help in keeping their employees engaged and connected, so that the business can run smoothly. Additionally, our global support staff is available 24/7 to help all teams — including free users — navigate to remote work easily.

Related read: COVID-19: The Ultimate List of Free Software and Resources

6) What does the roadmap for Flock look like in the coming months? Can you tell our audience what you are working on?

Mr Sam Mallikarjunan replied “with the team collaboration market expected to clock a net worth of $49.51 billion by 2021, Flock is projected to grow by almost 200 percent YoY. As mentioned earlier, in the past couple of weeks, we have seen a significant increase in businesses adopting Flock across the globe. Our current focus is on the SMB sector which has remained under-served all these years and offers a massive opportunity for workplace collaboration and communication companies such as Flock.

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