All those hours— and lifetimes— spent battling customer care over an exorbitant credit card statement or an inexplicable phone bill can now be outsourced to Akosha for a fee of 450

PAST LIFE

The middle man: Ankur Singla also tries to filter out the noise for companies and manage customer expectations. Priyanka Parashar/Mint

EUREKA MOMENT

“I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur," says Singla, and the fact that his job—despite the fancy pay package and a Londoner’s life—wasn’t stimulating enough just made the decision easier. “Within three months of this job, I had started getting frustrated at the absence of innovation in the legal field and I wanted to do something about it," he says.

GENESIS

REALITY CHECK

In the beginning, the idea was to simplify complicated—yet essential—legal work and Singla began by starting a website for online wills. Soon he realized the niche nature of such a website (“People weren’t exactly banging down our doors to make wills," he says), and decided to branch out into three more areas in order to bring change to a larger number of people: rent, power of attorney and consumer complaints. By December, it became clear that the one thing that affected people most on a day-to-day basis was consumer issues.

As a mediator of consumer complaints, Singla says the company’s role in solving customer complaints cannot be discounted. A bulk of his time, therefore, goes into networking and building relationships with companies. “The problem in customer care is that most of it is outsourced. The higher management wants to help but they aren’t directly in touch with the customer. This is where we come in," he says.

What Akosha also does is filter out the noise for companies: “Every time we get a consumer complaint, we set their expectations right. Often, you might have a problem that’s actually not the company’s doing at all. We try to reason with such customers," he says.

PLAN B

“I can always go back to a law firm. But for the moment, it looks like we’re here to stay," says Singla.

SECRET SAUCE

“Solving consumer complaints is a full-time job and Akosha takes on the task for their customers," says Singla. In one-and-a-half years, Akosha has moved to handling over 20 queries daily and is connected to customers online and via email. Complaints can also be filed on the phone helpline

shreya.r@livemint.com

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