Two young men successfully start up with globalized customer support system


Despite continuous failures from previous startups and on the edge of giving up, two alumni of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology still strongly hold on to their passion.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Bang at his office (Photo: SGGP)

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Bang at his office (Photo: SGGP)

Gcalls is a product that provides solutions to answering phone calls by smart apps integration on browsers and smartphones, letting local businesses globalize customer care services. Starting from a start-up technology company founded by two millennials Pham Tan Phuc and Nguyen Xuan Bang, after facing great difficulties finding customers, their products are now available in more than 60 countries.

With Gcalls, businesses can create customer support centers without having to deploy physical stations or standing personnel. A computer or smartphone user requiring customer support only needs to click the Gcalls icon on the website they’re browsing, and will immediately be transferred to a phone operator. These responders are basically people with free time registered as employees on the smartphone app, who know more than two foreign languages and are skilled enough in telesales and marketing. With this technology, users don’t have to spending time searching through the site for contact numbers or pay for traditional phone calls, and anyone can get a seasonal job working for online stores.

Obstacle turned brilliant idea

Pham Tan Phuc told the story of how in 2013, he once needed to buy goods from a leading multinational cloud service company in the US. Due to the overwhelmingly large number of customers, the company did not have enough operators to make direct responses, so customers had to send requests through their mailbox. It took Phuc a whole day to contact customer support, and this was how his idea of an operator-providing service was sparked.

In September 2015, Phuc and Bang went to Singapore to establish Gcalls Vietnam Pte, Ltd. The company initially acted as an agency catering operators and telecommunications distribution system for telcos.

Up to now, after more than three years in business, the service they provide to software businesses has raked in more than VND200 million per month. “Although the original idea was personnel development, currently the company only has about 10 full-time operators working for building material companies, but we expect to make Gcalls a customer care platform that can be applied even more widely”, said Pham Tan Phuc.

Dreaming big – the break into international markets

Eventually, the Australian telecom group Telstra has known of Gcalls. They have made a proposal to invest SGD40,000 through Muru-D. fund in exchange that Gcalls set up businesses in Singapore. After this development, other companies were confident enough to back Gcalls financially, and it was held in high regard by Australian and US businesses. Up to now, Gcalls has attracted a total capital of SGD 280,000.

According to Mr. Nguyen Xuan Bang, Gcalls products are greatly valued by worldwide customers, most popular among Vietnamese users which takes up 89 percent of their customer base. Other markets include the US, Japan and Hong Kong. The app has quite a high customer response rate of 80 percent, and a customer retention rate of 96.1 percent.

Gcalls has helped their founders earn their names in the market. Pham Tan Phuc made the list of eight Vietnamese innovative entrepreneurs invited by former US President Barack Obama to the 2016 Global Entrepreneur Summit in Silicon Valley; while Nguyen Xuan Bang and 20 other entrepreneurs were selected to participate in the Entrepreneurship & Innovation program in Israel. Not only that, Gcalls has won Most Innovative Idea award at the Startup Wheel and gained a US$1 million committed capital from the VinaCapital Investment Fund through Shark Tank Vietnam, which is considered a huge investment from the show for a technological company at the time.

Currently, Gcalls has been update to its 3rd version, providing services to multiple target markets, with a turnover of more than $ 200,000 (about VND5 billion). The two founders aim to reach a milestone of VND10 billion in revenue by September of 2012, and earn a total of $1 million for the first time by 2020.

On Gcalls’ current customer care system, Nguyen Xuan Bang said the company would focus on three main market segments - financial services, education consultation and e-commerce. With the goal of enabling local businesses to serve global customers, Nguyen Xuan Bang stated that Gcalls would try their hands in launching products to the Southeast Asian market and in the near future, the whole world.

By Thanh An – Translated by Tan Nghia

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