INTERVIEWS

Venkatesh CR Advocates Continual Research for Successful Marketing

December 13, 2019

In a candid conversation with MobileAppDaily, Venkatesh CR, MD, and CEO of Dot Com Infoway discloses his company’s doctrines and the technology trends that are helping his company to stand out.

Full Interview

Q1) Starting with the very basic- A background about yourself

Ans: I am a Mechanical Engineer who found the then-emerging field of IT quite fascinating, and way back in 2000, established Dot Com Infoway. In the past two decades, I have been able to grow the company from a single-office IT software company to a full-fledged technology company while securing a prominent presence in the mobile application development and digital marketing sectors. Today, Dot Com Infoway is a CMM Level-3 company with numerous awards and achievements under its belt. We have also grown in terms of presence and primarily cater to the Asian, European, and North American markets.

In the past decade, Dot Com Infoway has also emerged as a leading name in mobile application development & marketing space. We recognized the potential of mobility in people’s lives and committed ourselves to build innovative mobile solutions, retaining the number one position in the world. We pay our tribute to the world mobile app community by organizing the annual affair, GMASA (Global Mobile Application Summit & Awards).

Besides driving Dot Com Infoway, I have also founded other initiatives, including:

  • Cash On Apps – A reward app with 1+ million users in India.
  • Apps World Mag – Leading print & digital magazine featuring news from the global app sector.
  • Startup360 – Print/digital magazine focused on bringing all that transpires in the startup world.
  • GMASA (Global Mobile App Summit & Awards) - Asia’s largest Mobile App Summit.

Q2) You started DCI way back in 2000, during the dot-com bubble when the Internet was relatively a new thing in India. What struggles did you have to face back then?

Ans: One of the early entrants in the IT sector in India, Dot Com Infoway was incepted to provide the national market with cutting-edge technological solutions. It is the vision of the company to always be in the lead when it comes to new technology adoption; this is why Dot Com Infoway has evolved from a pure-play IT and web solutions company to become a leader in mobile application development and marketing.

The initial challenges included difficulties in adapting to new and emerging technologies. In a fast-changing technology landscape, we were to remain relevant. We scaled this challenge by imbibing a constant technology upgrade in the company’s DNA. Even today, we spend a lot of time, effort and resources in constantly training and upgrading our workforce on new technologies.

Other early challenges included building a strong team, retaining talent and competing in an unorganized market. 

Q3) Can you describe your journey with DCI in the last two decades?

Ans: The last two decades have been trying and rewarding at the same time. Guided by our philosophy of adapting new technologies faster and being an early entrant in target markets, we have been able to become leaders in the global app development and marketing space. Starting from a pure IT solutions company, we started exploring the digital marketing and mobile and web applications development space about a decade ago, and have secured top positions in both the fields.

In the past two decades, we have also been able to garner markets out of India, and have won multiple awards & recognitions in the field of digital marketing, mobile app development, and mobile app marketing. Dot Com Infoway has grown from a small team of 5 members to a workforce of 120 since its inception.

In the past 20 years, we have scaled several challenges, including a long-hauled global slowdown. Yet, we have always been on a growth trajectory, as we find ways to circumnavigate obstacles and find innovative solutions to problems.

Q4) What was your reason behind choosing the Indian city of Madurai as a preferred destination for your company?

Ans: Madurai is my hometown, and I love it dearly. While most people would say that the action in the IT field always remained in the looming metros such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc., however, I believe that a smaller city offers you better infrastructure, more evolved human resources, lack of attrition threat and a better work-life balance. I firmly believe that all these reasons are imperative to the success of a business.

Madurai is an ancient city where thousands of years of old unbroken culture and tradition share a berth with modern living and technological innovations. For me, it’s this cusp of tradition and modernized era that helps me remain pragmatic and spiritual at the same time. While Dot Com Infoway has other offices in India and abroad, Madurai is home to me. 

Q5) What engagement models do you offer to your clients? 

Ans: Our award-winning company offers end-to-end IT and mobile solutions, including services such as web and mobile application development, enterprise app development, cross-platform app development, UI UX design and development, Offshore IT Support, and IT staffing, blockchain, AI & ML, mobile app marketing and digital marketing services. Additionally, Dot Com Infoway also offers IT consulting and business consulting services.

Our core expertise is to offer robust technology-enabled solutions based on a deep understanding of the clients’ business. The Dot Com Infoway team builds applications that not only fulfill a function but also meet essential business objectives. Innovation is a key ingredient in every web/mobile application development exercise, where our experienced team leverages technology to engage users with a brand in unique, highly personal ways.

Drawing from its collective experience in business consulting, developing IT solutions, staffing and sourcing of IT professionals and digital marketing, Dot Com Infoway handholds its clients right from the app conceptualization stage till store submission. At the start of any full-scale mobile app development and marketing engagement, our high-caliber team starts with understanding and analyzing the business concept/model, and look for ways in which technology can best meet the commercial and brand interests. Dot Com Infoway offers consulting services on mobile app ideas, user experience, technology selection and app store marketing and app store optimization. 

Q6) As a leader, what does your focus rely (more) on- horizontal or vertical expansion? How do you strike a balance between the two?

Ans: With a well-rounded growth in mind, we focus on Dot Com Infoway’s horizontal as well as vertical expansion. Leveraging our decades of experience in service and solution delivery, we grow horizontally in mobile, digital and IT-based services. On the other hand, we have entered the field of education with a revolutionary educational product, Edukool, which is our attempt to vertical expansion. We have also introduced a new product ClubPro streamlines all the club management endeavors by presenting all the necessary elements and tools in a single dashboard for ready access. 

Maintaining a fine balance between both growth tangents is tricky, but we have achieved it through impeccable planning and operations. We also leverage our core skills in IT and marketing to propel our horizontal and vertical business growth objectives.

Q7) Can you brief us about the app market in India and its differences from the overseas markets? Are most of your clients from the subcontinent or abroad?

Ans: India has always been at the forefront when it comes to technology adoption. The Indian market has witnessed the rapid adoption of mobile applications, too. In India, the m-commerce sales form a significant part of retail e-commerce sales. As established brands, start-ups and small businesses lookout to tap this ever-increasing m-commerce market, there is an absolute and increasing demand for mobile app development agencies. 

Moreover, technology is progressing in leaps and bounds, significantly affecting the way human beings live, work and dream. Mobile and web applications are the vehicle on which technology traverses through our daily lives, connecting the world seamlessly. Through apps, all profound technologies transform into powerful tools for humanity; from entertainment to fitness to work efficiency to social networking, apps make it easier for people to explore the most out of technology. And this is the reason that the app revolution will continue to build, shape and enhance the technology landscape on Earth.

In my view, the mobile app development market in India will not only grow phenomenally, but it would also get more organized.

The overseas market is not much different, and a flurry of activity is going on in the mobility sector. The one difference between the app market in India and abroad, however, is the sheer number of users that drive mobile app adoption in India. The nation has surpassed every other country to become the world’s fastest-growing market for mobile apps.

Q8) What sort of competitiveness does DCI imbibe from its contemporaries and why do you think people should prefer your company over them?

Ans: Dot Com Infoway has a very different orientation when it comes to being competitive. Innovation and creativity at its core, we strive to compete with our own previous version.     

Having said that, the basic differentiation between Dot Com Infoway and other players in the same space is that we are much more than a mobile app development company. Dot Com Infoway’s genesis was as an IT solutions provider, and IT and business consulting has been in the company’s DNA. Our ability to grasp business models and structures, as well as our collective skills as an organization in leveraging the latest technology to solve business problems, keep us way ahead of our competitors.

Dot Com Infoway has always been an early adopter of emerging technologies, which has helped the company grow fast and remain relevant. We have a dedicated training and development wing that continually trains our employees on the latest technologies and concepts, periodically upgrading their skills and technical know-how. At Dot Com Infoway, we are already creating solutions incorporating new technologies such as AI, Virtual Reality, IoT, and bots. One of the prime reasons behind our long-standing market leadership is our commitment to master emerging technologies and leverage them into building innovative solutions.

Dot Com Infoway offers a unique blend of business and technological expertise to its clients. Our ability to understand clients’ business requirements and objectives and processes & systems, coupled with technical leadership helps us score over the competition.

Q9) With frameworks like Ionic, React Native and Flutter gaining significant momentum, how do you foresee the future of mobile app development?

Ans: The mobile app development space is getting more and more democratized with new technologies and tools springing up, giving the power to create applications into the users’ hands. At the same time, new technologies such as AI, VR, and IoT have already started to give a distinct edge to the possibilities one can achieve through mobile apps. The scenario couldn’t have been better for the mobile app industry.

As a company that always welcomes change, Dot Com Infoway looks at these developments in a positive light. We have been crafting apps that not just enable technology to meet an end, but we also understand the nuances of businesses and know how to create a powerful solution that helps our clients.

Open-source tools that allow users to build an app may pose a threat to developers working on a small scale. As far as Dot Com Infoway is concerned, these tools and new technologies only empower us to create better, stronger applications with greater efficiency.

Q10) Will IoT influence the future of app design and development?

Ans: New technologies such as AI, Virtual Reality, IoT and bots are already bringing a sea of change in the way most industries work. As these intuitive and smart technologies will power the real world, the need for mobile apps that can host them would increase manifolds.

Smartphones would continue to be the single window for managing and operating a plethora of things in real life.

For instance, people in the near future would increasingly be using their mobile phones even to do mundane tasks such as opening the door and finding a colleague in the office. Mobile applications would be the platform for humans to interact with the intelligent technology of tomorrow. In short, the future of technologies such as AI, Chatbots, IoT apps, and Augment/ Virtual Reality apps indeed very bright.

So, yes, IoT and other emerging technologies will have a great impact on the app design and development in the future.

Q11) Which is the one mistake which app development companies do?

Ans: I believe that app developers must not simply build apps based on the technology they are skilled in. In fact, app development must be like a business enhancement tool, and only after validating the clients’ business requirements and expansion plans, must the technology be selected. Building an app, according to me, is not a one-time engagement. Mobile apps must have the capability to swiftly add new features and functionality as the business grows – to address a larger set of challenges. 

Q12) Can you comment on the impetus of Blockchain in India? Will there be a colossal surge in the country’s crypto market?

Ans: In the future, emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, and Business Intelligence will play a dominant role in articulating the way mobile technology will serve the human race.

Unfortunately, Blockchain is currently seen only in relation to cryptocurrencies, which undermines the real power of the technology.

With Blockchain, businesses have the possibility to a source, transact, track and enhance the products and services, which will create enhanced efficiencies.

In India, too, Blockchain is set to create a massive transformation in which businesses can reach out and interact with customers.

As far as the cryptocurrency market in India is concerned, there has definitely been more awareness and acceptance. However, I believe that the Indian market is highly rational and skeptical of new finance-related concepts, and will take its due time in warming up to cryptocurrencies.

Q13) DCI earned the reputation of being the foremost ASO company at the global level. How does it feel to be the best in the business and what steps do you think led to such an accomplishment?

Ans: The company entered the mobile app development market about a decade ago with the objective of creating innovative business solutions for clients across industries. Our determination to keep developing high-quality mobile applications using the latest technology has helped us retain a leading position in the app development market. I feel fortunate and grateful for being able to drive the company to the pinnacle.

I believe it is the hard work, commitment to service and our determination to help our clients succeed in their business is what helped us reach the position of global dominance.

I feel that mobile and web applications are the vehicle for all profound technologies to transform into powerful tools for humanity; from entertainment to fitness to work efficiency to social networking, apps make it easier for people to explore the most out of technology.

We strive to keep creating impactful solutions that seamlessly connect various devices and data inputs, offering an impeccable technology leadership to our clients – and a sustainable, better world for the people.

Q14) What is the single biggest challenge that DCI is currently facing?

Ans: While discovering and retaining the right talent remains a constant hurdle in every stage of business growth, the bigger problem is an unorganized marketplace.

Over the past two decades, we have been able to create systems for talent management and retention with a great focus on employee engagement. The market, too, has evolved a lot since we had started; however, there is still a big disconnect between small enterprises/startups and professional technology and solutions company.

The market is full of half-baked players who set unrealistic promises to the clients and seldom deliver solutions to clients’ satisfaction. Such service providers drive away small businesses, depriving them of genuine tech-based solutions that can help their business grow.

Having said that, we have created our niche in the market by delivering value-add solutions to our increasing client base and embracing new technologies and development styles to serve our clients better. 

Q15) What do you believe to be the best and the worst thing in the world of app marketing?

Ans: A good product speaks for itself. We try to create apps that are intuitive, engaging and solve a pertinent problem. When it comes to app marketing, we rely on compelling content and designs to get users’ attention. At the core of every successful marketing campaign, there is strong research. We are glad that a sincere, research-backed mobile app marketing campaign bears results for our clients.

I would, however, like to see a system in place that filters out poorly-made apps. Often, well-designed, engaging and feature-rich apps lose precious resources in competing with poorly-made apps.

Q16) A word of advice for future app marketing agencies?

Ans: For Marketers, I suggest that they must have a significant focus on research. Continual research is key to successful marketing strategies. Once you stop researching, you will soon be out of the market. The term marketing itself is in the present continuous tense; hence, your efforts to improve a product should be never-ending.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • When it comes to new technology adoption, the company should always be in the lead.
  • An app development company should spend time, effort and resources in constantly training and upgrading their workforce.
  • Innovation is a key ingredient in every web/mobile application development exercise.
  • Look for ways in which technology can best meet the commercial and brand interests
  • Technology is progressing aggressively, significantly affecting the way human beings live, work and dream.
  • The one difference between the app market in India and abroad is the sheer number of users that drive mobile app adoption.
  • The mobile app development space is getting more and more democratized with new the introduction of new technologies.
  • Open-source tools allow users to build apps, which may pose a threat to developers working on a small scale.
  • Smartphones would continue to be the single window for managing and operating a plethora of things in real life.
  • Mobile apps must have the capability to swiftly add new features and functionality as the business grows
  • With Blockchain, businesses have the possibility to a source, transact, track and enhance the products and services
  • At the core of every successful marketing campaign, there is strong research.
     
Twinkle <span>Product Strategist</span>
Written By

She is a writer and content marketer at MobileAppDaily. She can mold the most annoying app into a gleaming stone. Her knack around the mobile apps is merely splendid. Her experience in the tech industry has assisted her in churning out the best and more importantly, unbiased mobile app reviews.

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