In many businesses today, data is crucial. It determines that business owners make smart decisions and makes innovation possible. But real time data is hard to find and even, more difficult is sifting through mountains of data to find the most relevant insights. IQLECT founded by Sachin Sinha (former CTO of Jabong, CTO of Limeroad and Engineering Head at Amazon) is building a hardware-software converged platform to provide data insights in real time. We chat with Sachin about the venture. An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture, IQLECT ?
While working on few products in companies like Amazon and Microsoft, where we had to deal with high volume and high speed data in almost real time manner, we as team struggled and even after huge collective efforts we were not able to handle things on expected lines and not to mention could not process all data in quasi real time as desired. Looking closely at the trend we realise that 90% of data (since the dawn of civilisation) getting created in just last two years, on the other hand we see that more and more use cases and businesses are demanding insights to be extracted from the data in real time vs. offline fashion. Adding these two I realised that we need dedicated platform and solutions which gives us the ability to handle data out of the box in off-the-shelf manner where users can start upfront and grow or scale linearly. Which meant we need a platform which can ingest high volume of data efficiently, can process it while data is still on the move, and finally integrate the data insight with business operations to see the benefits from data in lot more concrete manner. From the available options side in the market we had either a costly or a complex proposition. Costly proposition allowed user to cut down the time to market but only very few could afford. The complex proposition required dozens of highly technical people to create the platform by stitching various open source components, which invariably had long time to market, perpetual scaling issues and eventually becoming costly after some time. Therefore we needed a platform which can be affordable by anyone like SaaS and at the same time simple enough to allow people to start within hours as compared to many months. Initially I was more keen on solving problems rather than starting the business or venture hence I worked alone for several years to create the building blocks by writing whole stack from ground up. I was convinced that to handle data in real time we can’t create a homogenous solution by stitching many heterogeneous pieces. Therefore we needed to write all the relevant components towards same design goals. While working alone I spent time in writing nosqldb, msg framework, analytical abstractions, data fabric, the efficient IO layer among others. I also offered nosqldb (BangDB) under BSD license free of cost and saw many thousands of downloads for the same. People were writing to me about the high performance and ease of use fir the DB. Many selected BangDB over some of the known popular Dbs in the market. Slowly I was convinced that we could now take things to next level and in July 2015 I formally created a team and started working with full force towards the platform. During the same period I raised some money which helped us in going aggressively towards the goal. During the process many high calibre people joined the team, many known faces in software world got associated with us in different capacity and we saw vote of confidence coming from all the directions.
- What has been the key to IQLECT success?
These are initial days but we have been able to come this far because of sticking to basics and being persistence in our approach towards achieving the goal. We took some hard decisions at the beginning and so far we have been able to follow to them in totality, this gave us lot more flexibilities and abilities to deal with newer and unknown challenges. Apart from that we also have the advantage of solving the problem which is the need of the hour hence timing has been good which is kind of a must for any business to scale. Having the complete tech stack built from ground up gives us undue advantage when it comes to the competition.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
One of the major challenges in our line of business is to offer business solution or platform rather than technology solution or stack. To achieve simplicity which cuts across entire product is very hard. The very nature of our line of business is to deal with several complexities yet remain simple. Ease of use and intuitiveness is extremely important for wider adoption. It takes huge amount of effort to achieve simplicity which meets the enterprise grade requirements at the same time. The other key challenge was to get the right set of people on board. Being a hard core tech company had its own share of challenges when it came to hiring but we have done well in this area so far
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
We have added four advisors and mentors so far. All of them are great achievers and known personalities from different walks of lives. They help us in various ways and are available whenever we need them.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
We have been benefited by some of the basic computer science theory and concepts to great extent. We have also benefitted with the current hardware trend where the SSDs are adding values in many different ways. We leverage SSDs and exploit its properties in optimal ways to enhance the capacity of our product.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
For us the mantra is to start with customer and work backwards. We want user to not deal with complexities and nuances of the technologies but focus on their business and as a partner in their business we wish to abstract all the overheads and complexities to offer simple interface to them for use. For us the customer satisfaction is the leading factor and all others are lagging ones. We know for sure that if we are able to take care of our customers then rest of the things will fall in place.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?