Interview with Algoworks Director Ajeet Singh
Give us a quick overview on Algoworks. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful in app development?
Algoworks is an IT service provider that is globally-identified as technology experts with offices in Sunnyvale, California and Noida, India. We provide technology services ranging from consulting to development, customization, support and testing services in software product engineering. For providing end-to-end expertise and excellent mobility solutions, we follow a consultative-driven approach. We have acute finesse in areas of CRM and SaaS technologies like Salesforce, and unmatched perfection in ECM technologies. Our Business Intelligence department helps in brightening up the business excellence with a BI guided roadmap.
We take pride on the fact that we are acknowledged among the best technology companies in Asia by Deloitte and recognized as top developers in San Francisco by SiliconIndia.
The company was started in 2006 by Pratyush Kumar, Rachit Agarwal and I, and now comprises of 270+ employees.
The concept of mobile app development came around 2009. Given that we already had a knack for making a mark in the IT world, we thought of offering our services to those people who were having some sort of idea around developing apps but were looking for consultation and assistance to move forward. We decided to cater to this crowd, and founded Algoworks.
There was a lot of gap in the Indian Services industry in the Technology market that was catering to offshore development. While people from Europe and USA were looking to get app development done offshore due to affordable prices, the search was always difficult because reliability was the major hurdle. Our idea was to setup a firm which despite being affordable can provide reliable and recognized services to such seekers. Ten years now, and if there is one thing we are proud of is that we still stick to the same philosophy – quality service is top irrespective of any circumstances any project size and any client demographics.
What is your role in the management and development of Algoworks?
I work in the capacity of Business Management Director at Algoworks Technologies. My forte lies in strategy formulation for capturing and building new revenue streams, value articulation across technology products and solutions as well as CXO connects.
With the expansion of Algoworks Technologies over the years, I look forward to bringing in new partnerships from all around the globe and head towards the Fortune500 companies.
Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry
We have achieved a handful of awards and recognition during our tenure. We have been awarded the Deloitte Technology Fast50 India (2013, 2014 and 2015), the Deloitte Technology Fast500 Asia (2013, 2014 and 2015). For Outstanding Achievement in Web Development, we received the 2017 WebAward. Apart from this, we have been ranked in the Top App Development Companies in India by Clutch.co (Q1 2017), AppFutura and TopDevelopers.co.
Mobbed.io listed us among the 20 Best Mobile Development Companies In San Francisco, whereas Recovendor recognized our expertise in various domains and listed us in several categories (Top iPhone App Development Companies, Top Mobile App Development Companies, Top Enterprise Content Management Companies, Top Customer Relationship Management Companies, Top Web Development Companies, and Top Cloud Consulting Companies). Last month, Extract.co awarded Algoworks the 'Reliable Company' award.
How do you schedule the development phases of the apps to promise the timeline to your clients?
We follow Agile methodology for app development where we follow sprint cycles and detailed planning of the entire process. This varies from project to project. For instance, if the project is deemed to start at T=0th day, then sprint 1 can be T+15, sprint 2 be T+15 to T+45, sprint 3 be from T+45 to T+60, and sprint 4 be from T+60 to T+75, when the project completes.
Setting up milestones for various tasks help us maintain and analyze each step effectively.
We schedule deliverables for each sprint which are defined during the discovery phase itself. After each sprint, the deliverables defined for the particular sprint are delivered successfully before moving to the next sprint action items.
How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for app development?
There are a few questions we require our clients to answer in order to help them with the right and profitable platform for app development. Our client's scalability needs and growth plans give us an insight into their requirements and what they expect out of the app we will be developing for them. We decide around creating something futuristic, which is easy to scale and maintain. Our research-oriented team is always on a look out for latest technologies in the market.
Our client's target audience helps us decide the suitable platform. For example, if the app targets the mass market, the most popular platforms such as iOS and Android are put as priorities. If the primary target is business community, corporate-based platforms are thought of. We consider the return on investment factor as well for the app development.
Which would you suggest for a successful and profitable business progression, Native or hybrid apps? How do you define the factors that influenced you make this choice?
This is actually a very interesting and rather a famous question in the mobile app development world. I would opt for native app development for a successful and profitable business progression. Though native development requires higher investment of time and resources, it gives a better experience for end users, which is now one of the key reasons for any app to be successful. It clearly has the best user experience; it gives the opportunity to continually bring our audience back for more, which is the key to a successful app.
How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?
Planning the pricing model depends on the information that we receive from our clients.
We provide three engagement models, Fixed Cost Model, Time & Material Model, and Dedicated Resource Model.
We present the Discovery Phase that defines the objectives of the project post analysis and states quotation and timeline along with assumptions and deliverables. But if the client has a clear idea of what and how he wants us to do it, with defined deliverables, we work on the designated timeline and fixed cost.
The Fixed Cost model is one that has clear delivery timeframe, well-defined scope with low perceived risk. For fixing the budget, we go through the set of requirements, detailed feature list and specifications provided by the client, analyzing all such aspects, and then estimate the budget.
If the project does not have defined deliverables or crystal clear requirements, we offer the Time and Material Model that comprises of the resources and hours that we suggest and our developers work on. Against the other models, the prospect works most closely with the development team.
Dedicated Resource Model provides for specialized full-time resources, has clear process often defined by client and the resources are client managed.
How helpful are the mobile apps developed by Algoworks for your clients in enhancing their business?
We have developed more than 300 applications that collectively boast of 30+ million downloads, and 500k+ star ratings, earning us accolades, recognition and awards on various platforms for ‘top mobile app development company’.
We have worked on and built many apps on different domains keeping in mind the advantages they would bring to our clients. One such app was this video, audio, and chat communication app. The app is a technology platform that is distinctly used for social connection like video calling, voice calling, chatting, sharing files, and searching like-minded people according to the geographical location. It is a highly configurable platform and can be easily white labeled for business’s needs.
When the client came up to us with this app idea, our expert team suggested them to build the application over WebRTC technology which was very new at the time. This idea made our client a bit hesitant, but we were confident enough with the idea and assured them constructive results.
There was a period during the development of the app when we were 1 month down the process, got to know that the client wanted the project done within the next 3 months instead of remaining 7 months of work defined and planned as per SOW. This reschedule of the app launch was due to the client’s will to invest on marketing the app in an upcoming fest. To crunch the remaining 7 months into 3 was a huge task that made us re-plan the entire process, reallocating 15 resources on a priority basis and working off beyond working hours and weekends to deliver the project on the new launch date. We delivered the project on time, and the app was successfully launched in the fest.
This helped our client with increased sales, a good reputation in the market, and loads of praises, keeping them above their competitors.
What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
Our vision and commitment to deliver the best solutions to our clients has helped us attain client satisfaction.
We make sure that there's some sort of communication between us and the client on a regular basis during the tenure. Constantly being in touch so that we know how satisfied they are with us and how we can improvise in dire situations helps us a lot to boost our confidence within the team. We have a confident and committed team that knows what they are doing and never fail to showcase their best quality of work. Our performance and ability to meet the client’s needs help us to build confidence in them. We have worked hard to maintain a reputation amongst our clientele which makes them return to us, and we are always ready to serve them with the best solutions.
Being responsible and available as against delayed responses, understanding the client’s perception and idea behind their project as against trying to just understand and deliver the project, providing for a transparent system rather than no visibility of tasks, approachability to all team rather than client getting stuck in any hierarchical mess, being friendly and being positive than getting pessimistic, and above all treating our prospects as friends to build relationships rather than targeting clients for partnerships, are some of the actual practices that define us above the rest in the market.
How do you update your business system to be in pace with the technological advancements?
We believe in the development of concepts using the futuristic, dynamic and progressive technology to be in pace with the technological advancements. We follow the idea of easy updating and upgrading and maintaining of the business systems.
We are on constant lookout and keep up with the latest trends in technology, and implement them in our work. For instance, we created WebRTC apps even before they were that popular, eyed AngularJS when it was newly launched and predicted the downfall of Flash back in 2010 and quickly shifted our focus to newer technologies. Our Marketing team comes up with research and this combined with our Management Board helps us realign the direction in which the company should be heading. Sometimes risks are involved but so far we haven’t gotten one prediction wrong. So far so good!
What are your thoughts about AR, VR and Internet of Things (IoT)?
Given today's scenario, it's clear that mobility will be dramatically different from today. With recent advancements in technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Internet of Things, in no time we will be seeing flying cars and smart cities everywhere. The HyperLoop is already being planned. Miniaturization and image-projection technologies, coupled with previous 3D gesture technologies is the future. The tech world is just moving up and not ready to stop until it influences each and everything out there. This has only helped people like us to take our efforts and performance up a notch in order to keep pace with others.
That being said, our mobility future could open up new ways to re-imagine cities and devices and everything, but we'll also have to re-imagine how the workers who've been dependent on our auto-oriented society can succeed in such a future as well.
VR is now finding real applications in the latest PS4 and other gaming consoles. Products around AR, and real-life dream-building companies are being setup. For the handicap and the disabled, the VR is bringing to them realities and experiences they could never have imagined. We are not only looking at the automobile and the space industries, but AR, VR, IoT, machine learning have now found their meaning in the entertainment industry, the healthcare industry and now as much the construction, manufacturing industries lining up behind the technology industry. IoT is something Algoworks has already picked up, with about 7 projects on IoT already successfully delivered.
What do you think will be the future of Mobile technology?
The future of mobile technology is going to be full of innovative applications. There will be all-new applications coming out with the new phones. Today, a huge population access mobile media. Consumers are on the move, hungry for content wherever they go. We have seen huge transformation in mobile devices in the past few years. It’s kind of exciting, especially for business owners with a web presence. Our audience is connected to web-enabled devices 24/7. There are countless opportunities for us to be discovered by our audience via these platforms. We just need to be ready to deliver an experience they’ll never forget. It's going to be a great ride!
In the longer run, we are looking at apps interacting with people rather than people interacting with apps. We are looking at phones that are no more handsets but a part of our own systems all connected electronically. The future of the mobile technology is beyond the mobile concept of phones; the future is not into typing and tapping, but into thinking and gliding.