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AppWorks Aims At Making Indian Youth Employable for IT Service Industry

Cloud represents the largest opportunity under SMAC, increasing at a CAGR of approximately 30 per cent to around US$ 650-700 billion by 2020.

AppWorks started off as a niche IT Servicing & Consulting company in 2008 and has now evolved to become a holding company with strong capabilities in building IT solutions especially mobile apps, consulting MNCs on improving their software engineering practices.

Recently, in the month of March 2017, IT Servicing & Consulting company, Appworks acquired BigDrop, a custom software development startup for an undisclosed amount.

BWDisrupt interacted with the Co-Founders of AppWorks, Ashish Bhatia; to know more about their business model and future plans-

Excerpts from the interview:-

Can you tell us how did this startup idea come to you and something about you journey along with it?

We have been Technologists all our lives so by default we started off with the typical Services model. While there are a host of players and it is a crowded field, we clearly were trying to leverage our experience and expertise in this domain. Slowly our Business model evolved as we grew and understood the customer’s problems. So, starting off as a IT services company specializing in Mobile, we have now moved on to add further specialization and LOBs. We are now a niche Consulting agency, an exceptional Services arm, a Product company and also an Accelerator.

What are the unique key features or offerings by your startup?

Covering a wide range of services has long been the domain of big enterprises. But we believe we have managed to crack that without the scale of large organisations. Our buffet offering with individual LOBs feeding off each other is the strength. Think of it as inter-locked gears with each wheel driving the other. We have tried very hard to do a lot more than our given constraints. In our case Sum of whole is greater than the parts!

Whether it is BigDrop, our Services arm or OrganIQ, the niche consulting division or in fact India Accelerator, we are very clear with our differentiation. We sell outcomes, not apps or trainings or processes.

How are you different from the existing competitors?
We offer the benefits of working with a large organization with agility of a startup. More of that Covered above.

What is the funding status and monetization model?
We are a bootstrapped company. We are not dependent on funding and already are a profitable venture. Since we are growing, the profits we make are ploughed back into the organization both for both horizontal & vertical scaling.

What challenges are you facing in running your business?
Kind of ‘good’ challenges I must say. Challenges when one want to scale up the business fast. Having spent 20 plus years in Corporate, we know a thing or two about scaling up and we now want to utilize that experience to good effect. We have ambitious plans, in some way we want to make up for all that time!

Being a small company (yet), we have constraints in hiring senior guys. We are also limited by our lack of geographic reach & relatively unknown brand. Though the growth has been impressive but we can accelerate that multi-fold were we to pump in right amount of resources.

How has been the people responses so far?
It has been nothing short of amazing. Met so many wonderful people since the time we have turned entrepreneur, it has been the most fulfilling experience. Nothing against working in established organizations but the kick of setting something new from scratch, meeting new people, learning from them, the energy of the entire ecosystem is infectious.

What are the traction details (like users, app downloads & other achievements?
Our customers have ranged from small start-ups to large enterprises (Clients like Target, eBay, Fidelity). We have gone from 15 to a 75-member team. We are improving on other key parameters like NPS, Profitability, Top line etc.

How do you look at expansion?
We have grown from a single vertical to have more than 4 LOBs in last two years. Expansion is the only thing on mind right now. We have just launched IA in one city. We plan to take these to 4 more cities by the year end and double that in the following year.

What are your marketing plans?
We haven’t spent a dime on marketing & sales so far. And that is not something to be proud of. But our customers have been our biggest sales agents & ‘investors’. Majority of our work is through ‘word of mouth’ and we have an enviable list of repeat customers.

What has been the biggest learning so far?
More than the learning’s, we had to unlearn so many things from corporate world. There your designation or title is important; salary, perks, appraisals & promotions are the all-consuming topics. One ends up doing the same things over & over again. Here all this is immaterial. So much ambiguity, so much to risk, so much to observe, so much to experience, so much to learn that one becomes intellectually humble. You go beyond corporate jargon, strategy maps, offsites, and actually learn what happens on the ground.

What is the market size and opportunity?

In the past few years, the Indian startup ecosystem has really picked up and come into its own—driven by factors such as massive funding, consolidation activities, evolving technology and an flourishing domestic market. Startups have given rise to more startups in India. Enablers, accelerators, and incubators are platforms providing startups with growth assistance and consultation and therefore the opportunity is huge.

The Indian IT sector is expected to grow at a rate of 12-14 per cent for FY 2016-17 in constant currency terms. The sector is also expected triple its current annual revenue to reach US$ 350 billion by FY 2025# and IT consulting will be a key contributing sector.

Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) are collectively expected to offer a US$ 1 trillion opportunity. Cloud represents the largest opportunity under SMAC, increasing at a CAGR of approximately 30 per cent to around US$ 650-700 billion by 2020. The social media is the second most lucrative segment for IT firms, offering a US$ 250 billion market opportunity by 2020.

On the face, its looks that the Indian market is a perfect market situation where demand matches the supply but there is a challenge, most of our graduates don’t match the current job needs. In short, they are not employable. Therefore, Upskill has a huge potential for the Indian market.

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