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Vol. XXIX No. 8, August 1-15, 2019

The Other Chennai

by Sushila Ravindranath

Kissflow, a leader in business process and workflow management software used by organisations in over 160 countries, recently announced its expansion into the digital workplace segment. It has come up with a first-of-its-kind platform for fast-scaling enterprises. The launch was not happening in Silicon Valley, but in one of the conference rooms at the Leela Palace in Chennai.

There was an air of palpable excitement and anticipation. The room was full of Kissflow staff and their families (including toddlers running here and there), CEOs of leading IT companies, and friends of the founder, Suresh Sambandam. Suresh is a true blue, homegrown IT entrepreneur, and one of the frontrunners in the fast growing SaaS (Software As A Service) sector in India.

Despite the informality, it was a formal function as well. The chief guests were our very own local success story, C.K. Ranganathan of CavinKare, who will be the first customer of the Kissflow platform; Vani Kola, Founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, one of India’s leading early stage venture capital firms; and Santosh Babu, IT Secretary, Tamil Nadu, who spearheaded digital transformation in government departments. Spotting Girish Mathrubhutham, Founder of Freshworks, the first Unicorn (a company valued at over $1 billion) from Chennai, the IT Secretary said, “ I know you. We haven’t met. We will meet soon”. Life is changing.

Suresh Sambandam from Cuddalore discovered computers after he finished his schooling. He taught himself computing and coding while he was pursuing a B.Com course at college. He went to Bangalore in search of an IT job and landed one at Hewlett-Packard. He did very well there and eventually struck out on his own in 2003 to set up OrangeScape.

What is Kissflow, the product developed by Orange­scape? “It is a cloud-based workflow automation platform for small and midsize businesses, that helps create highly customised apps instantly. It meets the workflow automation needs of every team, department and organisation, and deploys the most intelligent business process management tools to ‘reduce chaos’ and bring in more efficiency, control and accountability,” Suresh says. Kissflow has had a five-star rating, excels in user experience and is ranked number 1 on the Google Apps marketplace. “We’ve now embarked on a greater mission of providing an intuitive product that unifies the entire spectrum of work. Our new no-code platform is built on consumer scale capabilities coupled with enterprise-level security of the Google Kubernetes Engine, which is flexible enough to enable a perfect orchestration between various microservices of Kissflow,”says Suresh.

The audio visual on the company screened at the launch was full of exuberance. The background music was most appropriate. It was not rock or rap, but A.R. Rahman’s first super hit ‘chinna chinna aasai’. The young staff however, are not dreaming small, nor is Suresh.

Two other speakers were Ayee Goundan and Girish Mathrubhutham. Ayee Goundan gave Suresh a leg up in his early days and is now his mentor and investor. Girish Mathrubhutham was given a rock star welcome when he entered the auditorium, greeted with whistles and loud claps. The IT crowd knows its heroes.

Girish, a good friend of Suresh, indulged in a lot of friendly leg pulling. “ “Do you know why we call Suresh the Kamal Haasan of the IT industry? Because his product is Kissflow.” What is Kissflow an acronym of? Keep It Simple, Stupid and go with the Flow!


  1. Vishweshwar says:

    Why this product launch advertisement here ?

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