Vishwas Mudagal, CEO & Co-founder, GoodWorkLabs | NASSCOM
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Vishwas Mudagal, CEO & Co-founder, GoodWorkLabs

Vishwas Mudagal is a successful serial entrepreneur, CEO and a No.1 best-selling author. He is currently the CEO & Co-founder of GoodWorkLabs, which is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the industry. A teenage entrepreneur, he started his first company, Infovision Computer Academy at the age of eighteen to educate rural students in North Karnataka, where he was responsible in training several hundred students over a period of three years.

At GoodWorkLabs, we not only take core products that are key to the business, growth and roadmap of the customers but we also innovate and create invaluable IP that helps them succeed”.

In 2007, he founded an innovative internet company, to enable professionals and students to research employers and salaries through employer reviews, ratings and salary reports being submitted by employees. This portal received wide recognition and had scaled up to over 1.5 lakh users. In 2009 at the age of 27, he was appointed as the CEO of a Canadian MNC called Castle Rock, where he set up their high-end software R&D center and business operations in Bangalore & Kolkata and grew the team to 150+ members. Storytelling is his passion and he has embraced it as a parallel career. His debut novel ‘Losing My Religion’ went on to become a No.1 National Best-seller with global acclaim and fan following.

Q: What would you attribute to the runaway growth of GoodWorkLabs? What is the winning mantra for start-ups?

A: I would say our positioning in the mobile technology space and our past experience has played a key role in our success story. To give you a bit of a background, GoodWorkLabs was founded in 2013 by Sonia Sharma and I. We had identified a key gap in the IT services industry—the lack of product building experience and a culture of fostering innovation. We wanted to bring our vast experience in building high-end products, creating R&D teams, design focus and our understanding of the start-up ecosystem to be the ‘product’ guys in the ‘services’ industry. And we were bang on target. The firm took off really well and over the last three years has scripted a success story that has surpassed everyone’s expectations, including our own.

GoodWorkLabs has grown 500 percent year-on-year and is currently the default choice of Fortune 500 companies and cutting-edge start-ups globally to design and develop their innovative and high-quality products. These products and solutions include custom mobile apps, software products, games, UX, etc. Some of our clients include Flipkart, Hindustan Unilever, Ekstep Foundation, Sesame Street, Avaya, and CommonFloor among others. The winning mantra for start-ups is a combination of many factors—your value proposition, positioning, execution capabilities, team, ability to handle cash flows, your aggression when it comes to achieving quarterly results and so on. We wanted to be a premium player in the outsourced product development (OPD) space, especially in the mobile technology and apps arena. I’m glad that we have achieved much in that direction and are now poised to be a global leader in this space.

Q:As a company focused on Digital, what are the key trends you see today that you will be leveraging to sustain your high growth?

A: The current market scenario is exceptional in the space of mobile apps, games and UX design services. In Digital, everyone is going mobile with their business. However, not everyone knows how to build a great user experience, superior engagement and high quality products in the mobility space. GoodWorkLabs has an edge here because we understand what is UX, and what it takes to build world-class products. The next few years are going to be great for mobile apps as the eco-system will mature and business models will evolve. Mobile clearly, is here to stay.

Also - there is a good inflow of VC these days and many Indian start-ups are getting funded. We have helped many of the country’s start-ups with their products. In this way, we are getting a lot of business from Indian customers as well! We cannot ask for more. Over the next couple of years, we see IoT (Internet of things), Enterprise Mobility, m-banking, m-commerce, gaming and consumer apps playing a huge role in pushing the market and IT spending. We are experts in these areas and will leverage our strengths to drive our growth globally.

Q: What would you say are your key market differentiators and how have you used your niche focus to draw customers, even large companies? How have you managed to break into the Fortune 500 club?

A: Our key market differentiator or the USP is our ‘design thinking.’ We have a fantastic in-house UX Design Studio with a seasoned design team which helps us develop products which are not only beautiful, with a great look-n-feel, but are also easy-to-use and offer a wonderful customer experience. We use ‘Lean UX Strategy’ as a process and are capable of taking a one-line product or business idea from a customer and converting that into a world-class product. We have the ability to reimagine business processes and even entire business sectors, and bring in technology and design expertise to take things to a whole new level.

Our strength further comes from the fact that we understand hard core product development with Agile development processes and extreme programming. Converting a good UX and UI to a working product is not an easy task, but we have the secret recipe to develop, test and deploy pixel-perfect products and apps. We further scale them to reach millions of users and continuously improve our products with feedback from analytics and tools to achieve business results and profits for global clients.

Additionally, we hire the best talent to build robust and scalable technology. We hire people taking into account two aspects—How passionate they are with technology? And whether they are problem solvers? This has created a culture that fosters innovation and excellence. We believe in changing the world through technology and design.

These key differentiators, along with our industry-specific expertise, have made us valuable for Fortune 500 companies. These organizations engage with us to build and design their products. While these enterprises have armies of engineers, they appreciate our expertise, attention-to-detail and execution capability in designing and building their future products. We are like the crack team of the industry—taking on the most challenging projects and doing whatever it takes to deliver with bleeding-edge tech.

Q: What will be your key priorities over the next 12 months in terms of growing market coverage, onboarding new clients in different geographies and addressing new verticals?

A: In the next year or so, we will strengthen and position ourselves as a global leader in innovation outsourcing. We will continue to expand our operations and business in multiple geographies including North America, Europe and APAC. We are currently headquartered in Bengaluru, with offices in San Francisco Bay Area, USA, and Kolkata. We will add more people to our US office this year and triple our headcount in India, besides expanding into different industry verticals. We are also adding partners in Europe and APAC to take our services and penetrate those markets. Some of these partnerships have taken a long time to yield results but we are glad they are working out.

One of our main areas of focus is to play very high up in the value chain by providing high-end services and even products. We see great traction in the Enterprise Mobility space globally, where organizations are using mobile tech and apps to empower employees, sales personnel, partners, and clients in various way. GoodWorkLabs is building an enterprise mobility platform that clients can use to roll out work-flows, trainings, content, e-learning, field automation, messaging, etc. securely on mobile phones.

Q: You say you are focused on ‘Innovation outsourcing’. What exactly does this mean for GoodWorkLabs?

A:  Traditionally, the IT services industry has been taking projects that are not core to the real business of the clients. These could be done with talent that was mediocre. Over the years, the industry has matured and now they are talking about outsourcing partners taking ownership to build hardcore products for global companies. At GoodWorkLabs, we not only take core products that are key to the business, growth and roadmap of the customers but we also innovate and create invaluable IP that helps them succeed in the ever-changing global business landscape. We work on outcome-based projects that help our clients reach critical milestones. These milestones include product launches, raising funds, or meeting certain business parameters. And to achieve this, GoodWorkLabs hires and nurtures technology and design superstars—that’s our strength.

We broadly have four business units that run independently and have focused roadmap and growth targets. These are -

  • Mobile Apps division
  • Gaming division
  • UX Design Studio
  • Software Products division

Each of these units innovate in their space and are able to get strong customer traction because we are helping tens of clients become successful every quarter.

Q: The start-up environment is facing a course correction, with valuations coming down to more realistic level and companies having to prove a lot more worth to draw funding. Do you see these as positive developments, indicative of a growing maturity of the tech start-up eco-system?

A: Absolutely. A lot of start-ups were driving on the hype and raising funds at valuations that were clearly not realistic. They lacked strong business models and the only innovation was giving discounts on the pretext of gaining scale. Such businesses won’t be able to survive for too long, and the current course correction in valuations was inevitable. From now on, you will see start-ups being forced to come up with clear value propositions and innovations at various levels, be it in products, business processes, customer experience, etc. I would say these are positive developments and there is nothing to worry about as the market demand will remain robust for the next few years.

Q: Internally, what do you see as your primary strengths? How have you managed to deal with your skills needs and how important are people to your success?

A: Our employees and our DNA (the values we hold close to our heart) are our biggest strengths. This is what has added tremendous value to our clients and industry at large, where we build products that impact millions of lives and shape the future of technology and industry. Further, this is what has made our employees acquire skills faster and deliver quality products time and again.

Here’s our DNA and this is what our company stands for -

#1 – Beauty. Everything we do has to be beautiful, easy-to-use, efficient. Aesthetic and practical design is the core of our work. And attention-to-detail, the bottom line principle. Our UX Design Studio is credited with creating products that reimage the future.

#2 – Scalability. Every piece of technology we build has to be tough, bug free, optimized and scalable. This reflects from our hiring philosophy, where we hand pick talented professionals/ developers who are passionate and who love to solve problems.

#3 – Agility. Everything we craft is done iteratively with passion, love and honesty. We are always ready to take feedback from the market/users and change our course to bring out the best possible product that will succeed in the market. We use Agile development and Extreme programming processes to bring this to life.

#4 – Innovation. We believe in questioning the status quo. We believe in pushing the limits. We believe in changing the world through technology and design.

That’s it! This is the foundation of our company. These are the principles we live, breathe and dream, and this is what has differentiated us from the rest and propelled our exponential growth.

To know more about GoodWorkLabs click here