Today I present another written interview with Rajiv Poddar of Scribie.com which is an audio transcription service.
Check out the interview:
1. What got you interested in starting a company that offers audio transcription services? Share your story.
I was closing down my previous venture in 2008. We had developed a Skype recording plugin and I decided to release it as free software. That kind of took off; we were featured in LifeHacker! I then decided to keep pursuing it and develop a service based business model around it. Transcription was one of the services and it proved to be the most popular. I initially tried with third party transcription service but was not satisfied with the results. The quality was poor, the rates varied a lot, ad-hoc tools were being used it was very difficult to manage. I decided to take up the challenge and build a service you could get high quality transcripts at reasonable rates consistently, irrespective of the difficultly level of the file.
2. How does your service compare to say finding someone on an outsourcing platform like oDesk who might offer similar services?
Transcript quality is the differentiating factor. We have developed a four stage process where the initial work is done by freelance transcribers, which is then QA’ed by our in-house team. The QA process ensures that the accuracy is as high as possible. On oDesk and other freelancing sites, the quality would depend largely on the individual doing the work.
We also make sure that you get the transcripts on time. That again, may not be the case with freelancing sites.
3. How have you gone about promoting your service online? What’s working for you today?
We haven’t done much promotion. Our customer base has grown largely by word of mouth referrals. We also do Google AdWords advertising, whenever we can afford it!
4. What are a few challenges you face providing this type of service to customers? Do your transcribers sometimes find this work to be challenging as well?
The biggest challenge is the audio quality. The files sometimes have background noise or one of the speakers is far away from the recorder, etc. But because of the our process we are still able to produce high quality transcripts for challenging files.
The transcribers can select the files they work on. They can play sample and check the audio quality etc. So if the file is tough, they will pass it on. If no-one select’s the files, then we return it back to the customer and refund them.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
In 2014 we want to grow faster. Our growth rate has been around 50%, but now we have sufficient capacity to grow faster. So 2014 is all about marketing for us. We are also planning to launch new tools eg. the Transcription Editor and a service dedicated to podcasters.