Chirdeep Shetty, The CEO’s Insight Into Nurturing Quintype Through The Ins And Outs Of The Content Management Software Industry

Chirdeep Shetty

Chirdeep Shetty

The CEO’s Insight Into Nurturing Quintype Through The Ins And Outs Of The Content Management Software Industry

"This is just the tip of the iceberg as there is a long way to go. The content disruption has started and the content industry will be going through multiple cycles of change in the next decade."

Chirdeep Shetty

Chirdeep Shetty, The CEO’s Insight Into Nurturing Quintype Through The Ins And Outs Of The Content Management Software Industry

Out of bounds, good content and an easy-to-use CMS becomes the heart and soul of every publishing house across the globe today.

A few years back, as two far-sighted visionaries in the media industry, Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur endeavored at creating a technology platform for digital publishers, Quintype, a Bangalore nestled start-up recommended targeting the publishing industry, as a whole, with the holistic technology solution.

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Back then, the landscape of publishing software solutions had two facets, European brands charging an arm and leg for solutions on one hand and publishers' homegrown ecosystem forcing them to piece together content, audience engagement, and monetization themselves, on the other hand.

Entering this scene, the Quintype team envisioned a seamlessly integrated system that will help publishers to create, digitalize, and monetize their content on one platform.

Chirdeep grew this vision into a reality he today spearheads as Quintype is a trusted technology partner offering a holistic and award-winning CMS platform.

Equipped with the panorama of services including image processing, subscription management, comment management, indication, search, mobile application, security, data recovery, Quintype becomes the wind under the wings of the publishers allowing them to seamlessly fly.

In the journey, we realized, a "one size fits all" service cannot fulfill the needs of a publishing industry inclusive of diverse niches with distinct requirements. Thus, the Quintype model became one that allows publishers to extend. Today, they have various open-source APIs which publishers can use to build on top of the basic model."

ABOUT THE CEO, CHIRDEEP SHETTY

Chirdeep Shetty, spent his time growing in Bangalore, post his bachelor's degree in engineering, joined a niche consulting company. He attributes his strong roots of knowledge both in the technological and leadership universe to his first job which cemented the foundation of building systems for some of the best in the industry including Fortune 500 companies.

With a strong genesis of his journey, he transitioned from software development into project and delivery management in his roles at ThoughtWorks and navigated through geographically dynamic roles in the US, UK, China, African, and Indian markets discovering different cultures and ways of building software.

In his first-ever corporate experience, he grasped the understanding of a company culture's pivoting role in the building of a brand apart from the latest technology.

This endeavor has shaped not only the leader but also encapsulated into the current company culture at Quintype. His journey at Quintype transitioned from a Product Head to the Operations Head as the brand scaled up to CEO after Amit parted ways.

As The CEO Magazine endeavors to reveal the inspirational success stories of the CEOs across the world, we grabbed a chance to have a candid conversation with the man of the moment in the Indian digital content management software industry globally leading Quintype, Chirdeep Shetty. Here are the edited excerpts:

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Chirdeep Shetty</p></div>
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The CEO: Tell us about the story behind Quintype's name.

Chirdeep: Quint became their very first brand to trust our revolutionary vision and came on board when we started our revolutionary journey. The name, Quintype, was decided a few months before I joined the team.

It eventually stuck well with the brand as it went on to create a sound position in India and South East Asia. Interestingly, in India, the name still makes large publishers perceive the brand as an arm of the Quint and essentially as competition.

However, Quintype is an entire technology-based entity, different from the Quint and BloombergQuint, the leading content companies. As we plan to expand in the western countries, we have realized that the name doesn't create hindrance as they can catch up quickly when we mention Quint as one of our publishers.

The CEO: Tell me about your leadership journey?

Chirdeep: Nothing prepares you for top-level leadership, especially in a natural transition which is unlike taking over the heirloom of a large multinational where you are groomed for such a role. I believe leadership is a lot like swimming or any other skill.

You can read a lot about it, but you will only learn when you are in the water, struggling to breathe. Experience is what carves your path to leadership.

I do not regret any part of my journey to top-level leadership at Quintype. The role keeps me on my toes. You always have to be at the best of your game.

I have transitioned from playing a multi-disciplinary role initially into a leader who creates the concrete structure that moves the organization much faster and delegates the other aspects of the business as the brand scales up.

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The CEO: How do you approach change?

Chirdeep: We embrace change. In the industry in which we form a crucial part, change happens every day. We work with small and specialized teams for each element of the processes who react with agility to the changes happening in the industry.

We trust our employees with an insight into the direction where the organization is headed and delegate them with the power to make decisions. Mistakes are inevitable in this process. But unless you make mistakes, you never learn.

The CEO: Entering an industry with well-established players how did you cope up with the challenge of acceptance and bagged the first client?

Chirdeep: Indeed, when we entered, there were already established players who have been in the industry for decades including names like WordPress, Adobe, etc. However, these were built and optimized for the desktop era, while mobile was taking a huge leap forward.

Since Apple entered in 2008, mobile content consumption exponentially grew and it opened a gateway for us to reinvent the entire ecosystem and offer something that spares the publishers from worrying about managing servers.

The journey was indeed challenging. We took the long path of building a vital 60-70% of the product which was the Minimum Value Product in the first 12 to 15 months. This turned out to be successful with our first associations.

As a small firm, we were able to iterate fast and source the latest technology which large companies deprived. At the same time, we are ever-grateful for the insightful feedback and constant support we received as a startup by the publishers initially.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Chirdeep Shetty</p></div>
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The CEO: What are the emerging changes in the industry today?

Chirdeep: The content industry is paced towards disruption today, wherein content formats are experiencing a yearly trend. 5G is expected to get the ball rolling even faster video and audio formats.

The content channels have also transitioned over the years; Quintype has gone from directing our service from desktops to iPads to optimizing for mobile, given that 85% of the traffic originates from mobile today. 

Google and Facebook are working on making the web faster and better through accelerated mobile pages. Social media contributes to a lot of traffic, people have started auto-posting and the trends are still shifting.

Artificial Intelligence will empower the transformation. Today, we can witness publishers like Bloomberg auto-generating content with live changing stats like stock prices and a cricket match.

A majority of subscribers are moving towards creating revenue-generating online news, a current trend in finance news will slowly transmit into other niches.

Quintype is enjoying its unique stance as it is prepared to serve every publisher from any niches in the industry and allowing them to experiment with monetization models, content formats, and channels.

The CEO: What are the core values of the dynamic Quintype team?

Chirdeep: Quintype's corporate structure revolves around open culture as we believe every idea should and needs to be challenged. Everyone, at Quintype, has an equal chance to stand up and challenge an idea from the CEO or VP to a professional from the junior desk.

Our high alignment with the team allows members to make their decisions while the management offers direction. We search for a team player with the right attitude and integrity over skills. Our mantra is "hire for attitude, train for skill".

Customer First, is at the heart of Quintype, a value that allows us to be mindful of the clientele and the fact that unless we help our clientele grow and boost reach and revenue, we are not going to be around for long.

After four years of building the product, we proudly take constant innovation as an integral part of our roles. Every day is a challenge and a day to question "How to be better than yesterday?" From researching, testing, getting feedback from clients, scaling one breakthrough at the latest, and then repeating the process, Quintype boasts its innovation-driven culture.

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The CEO: What was your experience Quintype through the pandemic-hit year 2020?

Chirdeep: Today, in hindsight, we believe that 2020 was a year everyone has to pass through but initially, the entire industry was at crossroads. While print came to a standstill, brands were taking leaps towards digital opportunities. While print continues to grow in India and South-East Asia, it has an expiry date and the pandemic accelerated the digital shift.

We seemed to be at the right time and right place as in 2020 we associated with the biggest number of publishers since our establishment. We arrived early to 'work from home' trend. We tested this ecosystem back in March, even before the lockdown.

And we realized, we can work from home, given some behavior principles changed particularly in terms of communication channels. During the lockdown, everyone experienced stress and fatigue due to the lacking work-life balance. Our HR team recognized this and designed initiatives like Friday evening game sessions.

The CEO: How would you describe success? Who would you credit it to?

Chirdeep: In my view, success is always a follow up of multiple failures and failures can teach you a lot, if you are willing to learn. We have faced our share of failures initially. But, in the last couple of years, we learned a lot about setting goals, achieving them, and even exceeding them while working with our publishers.

My suggestion to every entrepreneur is, taste failure before success because that gears you for it. If you don't face failures then you don't know how to deal with failure.

I would like to attribute our success to; firstly, Raghav and Ritu who trusted a Bangalore-based startup. With their visionary sight, they could foresee us disrupting the industry. And even five years later, they continue to be supporting pillars along with our customers.

While our initial clientele has been supportive through our shortcomings, the Quintype team has burned midnight oil committed to growing without complaint and it continues to build some of the best products for our customers.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Chirdeep Shetty</p></div>
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The CEO: How do you remain relevant?

Chirdeep: Once you have an aligned and passionate team like ours, as a leader, you need to show them direction and they will lead the way. I believe, half of the problem of relevance can be solved when you have smart professionals keen on disrupting the industry. The second element is to keep up with the customers, who are in the market experiencing these changes first hand.

As Henry Ford mentioned, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." I agree, we have expertise in technology, but customers know their systems better than we do and they use our products more than we do. Customers have been our guiding light in the industry to stay relevant.

Finally, I believe, innovation is not restricted to only one industry. Like a "buy now, pay later" payment method has been trending in the Fin-Tech industry and it is slowly moving towards the content industry. We do keep an open eye and open mind to be inspired by such innovations.

The CEO: What Quintype milestones you are most proud of?

Chirdeep:  Initially, our first milestone was when marquee names in the Indian digital ecosystem and the biggest publishers in India right now, Quint and BloombergQuint decided to go live with Quintype, which later won us various recognitions.

BloombergQuint has been pushing the envelope in terms of reader revenue and subscriptions etc. To witness these brands' transition into big brands has been a highly satisfying milestone.

Swarajya, our first external customer apart from the investors, Quint and BloombergQuint, has skyrocketed in terms of subscriptions over years. We are also proud to serve an extremely innovative and one of India's largest regional publishers, Vikatan.

In particular, Bar and Bench and Prabhat Khabar, who were small to medium-sized publishers when they incepted, witnessed unparalleled growth in merely six months of associating with Quintype, was another gratifying feather in the cap.

Prothomalo, the largest publisher in Bangladesh, had moved their entire content publishing on the Quintype platform and has been growing exponentially. We have recently received funding from IIFL which validates our business model with the power to scale.

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The CEO: What's next for Quintype?

Chirdeep: Quintype is committed to international expansion in the current and upcoming years. While India is facing growth, we also see significant growth coming from South East Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the US. We are also going to be launching new products for our customers, which are the plans in the pipeline, for now.

The CEO: If you are to answer a young executive's question of "How can I become a good leader?" What would you advise?

Chirdeep: There is no one "rulebook" of being a good leader. Every leader can share 10 different elements to being a good leader from the ins and outs of his/her journey.

You can immediately differentiate a great leader from an average one by recognizing if they can help you grow. I believe, execution, combined with perseverance, optimism, integrity, communication, and delegation becomes the fabric of success over the years.

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