In conversation with Girish Kundlani, Co-founder & Director, Big Rattle Technologies
How and when did you feel the need to start ‘Big Rattle Technologies’? What was the vision and how has it changed over the years?
I always wanted to have my own setup and was waiting for the right opportunity. I had a product idea and was looking for someone to validate it and maybe get started with me. I met Ashoke in a coffee shop; really a lot can happen over coffee. 30 minutes into the conversation and it clicked. We decided to setup Big Rattle Technologies.
For those who don’t know, Ashoke and I met in SPJIMR when we were pursuing our Executive MBA program.
As we chose to keep the company self-funded, we started offering software services to fund our product. Our vision was to deliver quality, be it product or services. We decided to keep it self-funded and have stayed that way.
We moved to our new setup in the first week of February. We now have a seating capacity of 50. Big Rattle Technologies will be 3 years in August 2015.
How much iteration did it take from the initial idea to the current product? How did you get your first few customers?
Frankly, the initial product idea is now in the back burner. The product has changed shape over the years and we are working on the content/ data before we launch it.
In the meantime, we have helped various customers to go live with their products, the latest being a medical portal which will be launched very soon.
What is your business model and how different is it from others in the same segment?
We are very finicky about code quality and what we deliver. We spend a lot of time with our clients understanding their requirements and ensuring they are in the loop at every stage of the project, from design to development. This ensures that the client gets to see the iterative builds and provide feedback on an ongoing basis. Imagine if we worked on a product and the client sees it only after a few months. That’s calling for disaster.
Over the past few years, we have come across a lot of work done by other software companies which validated the need to ensure high quality in everything we do. In fact, we were asked to salvage a lot of projects that were either abandoned by previous developers or were simply not built right.
We thrive on customer satisfaction and are proud of repeat orders that we get.
Big Rattle Technologies offers solutions across Mobile, Web and Design. What was the thought behind offering varied solutions as opposed to focusing on just one area? What are some of the associated challenges?
Mobile, Web and Design go hand-in-hand.
You cannot do away with design for both web and mobile. It is design what the end user sees and results in the user experience. The consumer does not care about what programming language you have used or whether your software is hosted on the cloud or on a server in your garage. As long as your software is easy to use, works as expected and has good usability, you will have customers. Design ensures this.
Between Mobile and Web, we are primarily focused on Mobile App Development. Web comes in where you need to extend the services to the desktop and related platforms. Also, most mobile solutions now require back end integration via APIs or web services. So there is no escape from web and back end solution development.
Our expertise in mobile, web and design provide a one stop shop for customers.
Was there anyone/anything who inspired you to manage ‘Big Rattle’ the way you do, and to define the culture it has?
Big Rattle’s culture is derived from the years of experience that Ashoke and I have put in the industry. Having been through various employers and clients, we know a lot of things that are in the “Don’t do list” when it comes to the culture of the company. Ashoke Kumar Seth, Co-founder, Big Rattle Technologies
Our focus is on customer satisfaction, everything else is organized around this goal.
Team members are empowered to pick and choose the module they want to work on. They work together, come up with timelines and often provide commitments to clients. It is pretty much a natural process in the company.
We offer flexi-timings and work from home options. This helps team members focus on deliverables and also meet personal commitments.
A lot of practices, ideas, suggestions are discussed in public forum; inputs are taken and then implemented. This is both in case of technical work as well as HR policies.
What is the best marketing move that you’ve initiated which sets you apart from your competitors?
Our work speaks for our quality. We have been lucky to have received all our clients thought our network. This includes referrals from existing clients. We have built a 25 member team delivering projects to customers over the past 2+ years.
Where will the most significant growth occur in the company in the next few years?
We are channelizing our energies on solutions built using mobile, wearables, Virtual Reality and related technologies. This space is still in the nascent stage and there is a lot more to be learnt and delivered in this space. Here is where all the innovation will happen and cutting edge solutions will be delivered to clients.
What has been your single biggest challenge in sourcing and retaining talent? What are the key qualities you look out for in a potential hire?
We are very selective and each applicant is reviewed first by the development team and then us. This has helped retain the team as well.
Ashoke and I spend a lot of time with team members understanding the gaps in terms of training, guiding and helping them.
In addition to reviewing the technical skills, we look for other aspects which help us evaluate if the new team member would be a team player and will be able to gel with everyone else.
What are the 3 most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from and/or that got you where you are?
It would be unfair to mention just 3 moments, but here goes:
- My business stint in Hong Kong
- My interactions with classmates in SPJIMR
- My previous workplace
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I really wanted to be good at whatever I do. The aim was to ensure the family is self-sufficient along with satisfaction in whatever you do.
What has gotten you this far?
Persistence and faith. I am glad I had my father guiding me at every stage of my life. I miss his guidance and wish he was around to see me setup Big Rattle Technologies.
A tech gadget you can’t live without?
My Smartphone! Isn’t it obvious?
What advice would you have for someone starting their own company?
It’s something that comes from within. You will have a lot of people giving you advice but when you get the signal, go for it, you will be successful.
How do you unwind and relax?
I spend time with my son Aarav who is 3 and half years old. I wish I could teach him programming right away. Weekends are usually no work unless there is some major client deliverable around the corner.