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A Discussion With Vin Gupta, Chairman And CEO Of infoUSA

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Editorial Director, Customer Inter@ction Solutions


Customer Inter@ction Solutions recently spoke with infoUSA CEO Vin Gupta. infoUSA is a leading compiler of several proprietary databases that capture detailed information on a majority of businesses and consumer households in the United States and Canada. The company employs more than 900 full-time people to compile and update the databases from thousands of public sources such as yellow pages, white pages, newspapers, incorporation records, real estate deed transfers and various other sources.

CIS: Your most recent product release seems to be your infoGenie product, which appears unique among other companies. Can you explain briefly what it does and why companies need it?

' VG: SalesGenie is a tremendous sales-prospecting tool for small businesses at a flat price. They can access our 12 databases to find virtually any prospect they need and, with a flat price of $250 per month, they can get unlimited sales leads, unlimited mailing labels and access to any database at any time. This is a very novel approach in the list industry. Nobody has ever done it before.

CIS: I know that infoUSA/SalesGenie is very proud of the fact that its data tends to be extremely up-to-date and well ordered, and I've heard your customers express satisfaction in the quality of your data. What are some of the company's methods for attaining this quality? What do you do that others don't?

VG: Our database is the best because we invest $50 million per year. We have 900 people who are dedicated full time to making sure that our database is the most accurate and up to date in the industry. Also, compilation and updating of the database is our primary business. We are not in the credit business or any other business where selling the database is a sideline.

CIS: Please tell us what you see in the near future, i.e., the next couple of years, for outbound telemarketing. Certainly it's not dead, but it must be different after all of the FTC legislation. How do you perceive it's different?

' VG: Outbound telemarketing is not dead. With the legislation, the people who are receptive to it will be getting the calls. Also, for businesses, there is no limitation. Businesses can still call other businesses in promoting their products and services. CIS

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