Business Today

Custom Software Built on Assembly Line

The man-machine collaborative platform offers a build-insure-operate model for SMBs.
Sanghamitra Mandal   New Delhi     Print Edition: July 1, 2018
Custom Software Built on Assembly Line

1) The Founders

Sachin Dev Duggal and his college mate Saurav Dhoot. Duggal, a serial entrepreneur, holds an engineering degree from Imperial College, London, and a master's degree in entrepreneurship from MIT. The duo set up their first company Nivio in 2004. They cashed out in 2012 and started SD Squared that finally evolved into Engineer.ai.

2) The Idea

"A decade ago, 'tech' was just a tag, but now, it is a must-have," says Duggal. "However, for millions of SMBs in India and elsewhere, buying expensive software or hiring in-house IT teams is not a viable option. So, we have built tech solutions to turn ideas into products at double the speed and tailored pricing."

3) How It Works

Customers can specify their concepts with the help of a drag-and-drop features menu on a human-assisted and AI-powered cloud platform called Builder. Here applications are developed in an assembly line manner to ensure speed, scale and cost efficiency. Simply put, each project is broken down into building blocks, and up to 60 per cent of the work is done by AI tools and automated processes. As most of the applications have standard features and repeat codes, these are automatically assembled in projects as per requirements and customers only pay for unique coding. The 'custom' part of the work is allocated to domain experts from a network of 50 software firms and 10,000 developers. Support and maintenance are provided for a monthly fee.

The start-up is also into cloud arbitrage and offers CloudOps, an AI-based cloud management platform for businesses to ensure smart usage and cost benefits. Plus, there is a prepaid card for buying cloud storage capacity.

4) Growth & Future Plans

The company is currently bootstrapped - the proceeds from the Nivio sale have been invested here. It has offices in Gurgaon, Mumbai, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London, and claims to be growing at 100 per cent YoY. It is also working on its latest offering 'Team' to grow the number of its capacity partners to two million so that around 1,000 projects could be developed concurrently.

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