Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kiran Datar

"We will soon be launching Webex Connect, which will allow users to seamlessly work between synchronous and asynchronous modes."

Kiran Datar, Managing Director, WebEx Communications India Pvt. Ltd

May 20, 1 pm

1 comment:

Murali said...

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Kiran Datar has over 12 years of experience in various high technology and finance positions. He co-introduced the concept of Conferencing Services in India and has a wealth of experience in the emerging Indian telecom scenario.

Kiran has also worked as a Strategist (International Economics and Foreign Exchange) at the Treasury Department of ABN AMRO, Chicago and at the Emerging Markets Department of Credit Suisse First Boston in fixed income & equity fields with focus on analyzing companies in the telecom space.

Kiran holds a B.S. (Physics & Economics) from Middlebury College, VT and an M.S. (Operations Research) from Columbia University, New York.

Today, Kiran Datar, 37, sits at the helm of a business that leads the Indian web conferencing market with 69% share, and the audio conferencing one with 54% share (Frost & Sullivan). But the road to this was not one without challenges.


Armed with a M.S. from Columbia University, New York, leaving behind lucrative assignments at global banks, Kiran Datar, set out with a dream to ride the internet wave in India in the 90’s. Joining hands with his friend (diaper buddies, apparently!) with whom he started school with, and subsequently went through college as well, Kiran wanted to establish the idea of virtual meetings to a receptive Corporate India. At a time when there was an angel investor backing every conceivable idea, this duo decided to start the venture without a funding.


This is how Cyberbazaar was born. In just a couple of years since its inception in 1996, CyberBazaar became synonymous with conferencing. Soon, you could hear groups of professionals in any office say “Lets do a cyberbazaar to discuss the project (or whatever)”.


From a mere 500 minutes of calls in the first few quarters, Kiran’s company today does over 50,000 minutes every quarter. With over 50% market share in this lucrative market, and the pace not letting up, Kiran and his team are clearly responsible for a communication revolution in India Inc today.

In the days of dotcoms going bust, the never-say-die spirit of Kiran and his team saw CyberBazaar emerging as a market leader in the conferencing solutions space and in the due course CyberBazaar became a way of lie in India Inc. This soon caught the attention of WebEx Communications Inc, the world’s largest conferencing solutions firm.


The acquisition of CyberBazaar by WebEx Inc, a venture by a US based seasoned NRI entrepreneur, Subrah Iyar, for $4million came about in 2005. This was just a shot in the arm for the company which was now changing the way corporate India conducted meetings. Kiran now holds the reins of WebEx business in India – responsible for the largest share of the ever-growing conferencing pie.


Kiran’s understanding of telecom and communication comes from his stints as business analyst and strategist with leading banks in the US. His biggest challenge today is to stay focused on the prize, even as bigger fish – Bharti, BSNL, Reliance and Tata Teleservices – are gunning for WebEx’ share in the conferencing market.


WebEx has now been acquired by Cisco.
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Sandhya sandhya@brand-comm.com