Young turks aim high growth in hard times

Tags: News
Despite global uncertainties, young entrepreneurs in India are dreaming big and are achieving their goals in the information technology sector. Aged between 24 and 32 years, founders of companies like DeskAway, Wingify Software and a many others, are expecting their firms to grow even beyond 100 per cent year-on-year.

Though their companies may not be familiar to many, they are popular with clients. Wingify Software has clients like Microsoft, Groupon, FourSquare, GE and MakeMyTrip.

“We do well in recession because we are selling software services on a closed deal basis. We are selling our products on demand basis and on monthly subscription basis just like ‘pay as you go’ model,” founder of DeskAway, Sahil Parikh, told Financial Chronicle.

Started in late 2007, Mumbai-based DeskAway is a monthly subscription-based online team and project collaboration service that helps individuals and small businesses within larger organisations to organise, manage and track their projects from a central location.

Parikh said DeskAway solves problems associated with distributed collaborating teams managing multiple projects and people. The company was started by Parikh with his wife with just Rs 20,00,000 capital.

Parikh, 32, said the company deals in e-mail spam, multiple file versions, lost files, task accountability issues, lack of work transparency, insufficient project reporting, predictability, clarity and management overview.

The company has only eight people and has around 700 small business customers globally. Similarly, Wingify, again not known to many, has clients in the US, the UK and Europe. Started by an engineer, Delhi-based Wingify Software is also a fast-growing IT company with more than 15,000 users worldwide. Paras Chopra, 24, along with one of his seniors, started the company in May 2010. The company works as a visual website optimiser that provides different looks to a website as per client’s demand.

The company acts as a third party researcher for a customer and tells about a user’s demand. “We optimise a website and make changes as per customer’s demand to see what users want. For example, how users want the colour of a hyperlink to be — red or green — and depending on hits by users, we give feedba ingify founder Chopra said. He added the company has invested a few lakh rupees so far, has eight people and is growing at around 100 per cent y-o-y. Return on investment is very easy for such companies, he said.

“In times of a slowdown or recession, we are not affected because such businesses are not based on capacity expansion, but are operations based. Because of companies wanting to expand online businesses rather than on capex during recession, we survive better,” Chopra said.

There are some start-up companies also that are not looking at any return on investment (RoI) as of now. They are just looking to grow the user base to get into bigger RoI at one go.

Sameer Agarwal, director of marketing, RockeTalk, said. “We are not even looking at any breakeven right now. We are growing our users base at around 60 per cent and expect to reach around 80 per cent by next quarter.” Started by Rajiv Kumar and Agarwal as partners, RockeTalk is a social networking application for mobile phone users. The company provides not only text-based services for users networking, but also video, voice and pictures with over 15 million users.

Agarwal 26, with Masters in Business from Brennan School of Business, Illinois started India operations of RockeTalk, supported by Kumar from the US. The company raised its funds from Mission Ventures, San Diego. Therefore, at a time of recession or crisis in global economies, such companies are growing their businesses. IT industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) also supports such start-ups and advises them from time-to-time by holding discussions and conferences.

According to Nasscom, domestic software product market is expected to reach Rs 15,800 crore in 2011. There are many such farms like Mobikwik, Ixigo, fusioncharts.com, hash­ube.

com, sourcebits.com, among others, that are doing well and have goals to be big players in future.

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