Zal Dastur – Co-Founder and COO of Lucep

Helping businesses that invest in digital channels to generate prospects for their sales agents.

What’s your story?

I grew up in Singapore before starting university in Canada and finishing it in Australia. After working at a bank and a sports marketing agency I decided to move to India to start my first company as well as the beginning of me becoming an entrepreneur. Multiple projects later and move back to Singapore finds me as the cofounder and COO of Lucep, a digital lead distribution platform for enterprise businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?

Lucep helps businesses distribute and track digital leads from marketing channels directly to their sales agents. While there are many businesses online that do not require a sales agent, there are many industries that cannot exist without them. Life insurance, car sales and property all need someone to guide you through the process of buying. Many of these industries were slow to adapt to a digital form of selling, now they see the value in helping the customer through the buying journey right from digital lead generation.

lucep prof

What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?

I am not sure what other people consider normal. I know at Lucep we are driven to provide the best product that we can to our customer. We know we are not trying to be everything to all customers. We fit within a niche market so we try to understand what our customer wants at a deeper level. When they come back with feedback we do not just take their suggestions and try to implement instead we try to understand the reason behind the requests and what would be the best way to solve it.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

One of the most useful skills I am still trying to perfect is to understand the real meaning behind the words that people say. I spend most of my day talking to different people, customers, prospects, employees, partners and in all of these cases understand what they are trying to convey to me so that I can understand them better. People have different backgrounds and cultures you have to be able to adapt to each situation you are put in to know how to handle the conversation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Over the years we have gotten some really good advice from people. One friendly VC told us we were out of our minds when we wanted to raise capital to acquire a business and forced us to re-look at our plans which ended up being very good for us. Most of the advice we have gotten comes around the space of managing a team as that is one of the most challenging parts of running your own business. Fire fast and hire slow is a useful mantra as is hiring for attitudes and not skills.

Who inspires you?

When looking for inspiration I prefer to look at a person as a whole and try to understand what their outlook to life is and what I can learn from that. My dad has always been a big inspiration for me and always taught me to see the good in every situation. Other people such as The Dalai Lama, Richard Branson and Bill Gates all have approaches to their lives that I admire and are trying to have a positive impact on the wider world around them.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

As a result of the pandemic more people than ever are buying cars and 80% of the research starts online. If a business connects to their prospects within the first 15 mins of that prospect raising a lead the customer is 30% more likely to buy the product. So just by responding to the same leads at a faster rate businesses and have seen their prospect to conversion ratio more than double. This is all with the same marketing spend so your ROI increases as well.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

When we originally developed Lucep we thought it would be perfect for SME companies who wanted who wanted to help their sales reps respond to prospects. In a way we were correct and we quickly grew to more than 2000 companies. However the flip side of working with small businesses was that a very small percentage were willing to pay. We spent a lot of time trying to get a difficult set of customers to pay for our service. If I had to do it differently I would have started with a focus on enterprise from the beginning.

How do you unwind?

Being a bit of an extrovert, I get my energy from spending time with people and this is usually over food and drinks. I meditate everyday, it is the first thing I do when I wake up each morning and helps me to require less unwinding at the end of the day. I try to read as much as I can and enjoy playing golf and poker although I would not say I am good at either.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?

We had to make a very clear strategic change when we took our focus from SME and moved it to enterprise clients. Every aspect of your business changes from how you find your prospects, the buying cycle, average contract value as well as payment models. Instead of focusing on how to get as many inbound leads as possible we were looking at what conferences should we be exhibiting at. Smaller businesses can also be more forgiving in the early days of a product as they know they are getting something new, larger clients have bigger expectation.

Everyone in business should read this book:

The hard thing about hard things, by Ben Horowitz, a good friend gave me a copy as a gift and it reads almost like a how to guide for building and running a company. A great read for anyone who manages a team or would like one day.

lucep logo

Shameless plug for your business:

Lucep gamifies your sales process to have your agents responding to digital leads in under 15 mins. We help businesses that invest in digital channels to generate prospects for their sales agents. The Lucep platform connects the marketing lead generation directly with the sales team making agents compete to be the first agent to respond to the prospect. Track every single lead that flows down your funnel from creation to conversion. Lucep helps savvy marketers optimize their digital channels to ensure they are maximizing their cost per click.

How can people connect with you?

Easiest way would be on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/zaldastur/

Social Media Links?

https://www.linkedin.com/in/zaldastur/

This interview is part of the CallumConnects series. Every entrepreneur featured has been recommended by one of our previous guests.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

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