5 Minutes with Girish Mathrubootham of Freshdesk

Anna O'Hare
Published on July 13, 2015

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As part of this week’s “5 Minutes With” series we sat with Girish Mathrubootham, CEO and founder of Freshdesk. He founded Freshdesk in 2010, and as the CEO, has been setting the vision and direction for the company since inception. The company has grown to having 450 employees serving 40,000 businesses around the world. They raised $50million this April, amounting to over $90million in total funding.

1. If you weren’t CEO of Freshdesk what would you be doing?

I would still be heading Product Management at Zoho. I understand this question is meant for a younger entrepreneur. If that were the case, I would be teaching. Imparting what I’ve learnt from experience to others has always been an important part of my career. After I returned from the US, I owned two training companies. In 1999, I started a company called Xpert Labs which was a Java training company. During the late 90s, Java was a big rage. So I was able to create a business teaching Java courses. My second company, Mindsphere was much more than just Java training. I quit my job and returned to India with a plan on doing a franchising model of a training company. But I felt the timing wasn’t right. That’s why I went on to join Zoho as a Pre-Sales guy where again one of my main responsibilities was training new hires.

2. What is something not many people would know about you?

I love watching movies. Anytime that I can get away from work, on a plane or in a hotel room when traveling, I would be watching movies. On all my business trips, I usually catch a movie in the evening or night even if I am alone. If my colleagues are traveling with me, I try and convince them to come to the movies too.

3. Tell us about “CEO on Support”

I believe that it’s extremely important for any CEO to listen to customer problems directly. I try getting on support and answering questions whenever I’m free. The first thing I look at every morning is the @freshdesk Twitter notifications – I want to see what customers are saying about us when I wake up. It gives me a deeper look into how our customers see us, see our product and allows me to gauge where we’re going. We wanted to encourage other CEOs to do the same and share their experiences of how it helped their companies perform better. CEOonSupport is a platform that we believe we can grow into a movement that helps companies set a culture of customer support from the top.

4. Can you give us a preview of what you will be discussing on stage?

A fireside chat focusing on the future of working in the cloud. The increasing adoption of cloud as a work platform is noteworthy. In 2005, I was building on-premise helpdesk systems for businesses. Today we’re enabling more than 40,000 businesses deliver support with the help of our cloud based customer support solution. Departments are moving to cloud-based software for their business needs. Mobile is becoming more important than ever before. These trends are redefining the way we build software and the way we work. I’ll be talking about how we have helped businesses make the switch and what they’ve gained after using our cloud based solutions to run their operations. Don’t miss Girish in person at RISE. Check out our other “5 Minutes With” sessions with Holly Liu of Kabam, Sonny Vu of Misfit and Jenny Lee of GGV Capital.