Appiness, Unsurpassed Innovation in the Digital Consulting and Technology Sector
“Never work for money. Always look to the future and never for immediate compensation. What are you going to do with those wages anyway? Stop being so entitled and pretending like you deserve cash and vacations just yet.”
Visakh Viswambharan, Founder & CEO, Appiness Interactive Pvt Ltd
The brainchild of Visakh Viswambharan, Founder & CEO, Appiness Interactive Pvt Ltd., believes in Creativity, Innovation & Breathing to create products that please. An end-to-end Design and Tech consulting firm, it grows businesses over the web and mobile by transforming brands through click-ass User Experience, cutting edge Technologies and Digital Marketing. They focus on Mobile, Web, Blockchain and Enterprise solutions.
Apart from the above they also have a few products in the market namely KNOiT, a chat-based app connecting local vendors, Homepreneurs within gated residential communities and Nudgy, a peer review system for small and medium enterprises.
Over the past 7 years, Appiness has worked with around a hundred clients and they cover the whole spectrum of possibilities. Associated with idea-stage start-ups to global giants with a seemingly permanent position in the Fortune 100 list, their clients are building products so futuristic that they do not have competitors yet, and a few others are in traditional businesses.
Right from agriculture to healthcare, from the government to banking, information technology has changed the way we live and will continue to change our lives in the future. Gone are the days when starting your own venture seemed like a pipe dream for most. There’s no better time to be an entrepreneur than now.
In a conversation with the leaders of the company, Visakh Viswambharan, Sunil P Thomas, and Rigin Velayudhan, Business Connect Magazine gets an insight of the company,
Business Connect: How do you feel you are different from your competitors?
Visakh: Firstly, I don’t see anyone as our competitor. I see them as my travel buddies in this beautiful, yet challenging journey of entrepreneurship. You need them, otherwise, the journey will become excruciatingly boring. And the market is so huge right now, there is no point in competing. I’d rather talk and learn from everyone.
Business Connect: Did you see any transformation happening for start-ups, over the years?
Sunil: The landscape for start-ups has undergone a tectonic shift since we started up. When we started, hiring a good team was next to impossible, as most people preferred big, established firms over fast-moving, riskier proposition offered by start-ups. Now we are seeing a clear preference from potential team members for stability and growth over a meteoric rise.
Business Connect: Did everything come easy, or you have your story of struggle?
Visakh: Until my undergrad, I was an average student academically; when I did my post grad, my focus shifted from scoring marks or passing to LEARNING something new and I really opted to learn; that was a shift and I turned out to be one of the university toppers.
I started learning 2D key frame animation as I was very passionate about design and always wanted to do something creative. I used to learn animation in the morning and work at the dance school in the evening. As my first animation project, I created a performance in which I mixed animated characters with live dancers on the stage. The show went really well. So well, in fact, that it got covered by The Hindu newspaper. That was my first project ever.
This routine would start all over again at 10 am the next day. I never complained, though, because I enjoyed doing that. Which is what continued in the early days of my career. And when I started on my own, I used to be the first one to leave and the last one to reach my apartment. This is one of the greatest reasons as to why I am here today, sheer hard work. Sorry, there is no other magical recipe; I didn’t find one.
Business Connect: How do you ensure unbreakable faith of clients in your company?
Rigin: The most important aspect is to build a relationship with the client. As with any relationship, trust has to be built and this is done in three ways: one, by connecting with the client and their goals both personal and professional; two, by responding promptly to the client and their needs; three, by delivering on or before deadlines with outstanding work.
Business Connect: How do you keep pace with the changing market trends?
Visakh: Change is something we cannot stop, especially in the space we are in. It’s so fast that every time you open a new tab, you come across something new. In the future, the most mundane tasks are going to be replaced by robots. You need to keep innovating, for which you need to build your firm on strong culture, where people are ready to unlearn, learn and adapt.
Business Connect: Do you believe R&D is essential for the growth of the company?
Sunil: If there is anything we have learned from our journey and our clients from different domains and industries, it is that innovation is a must for anyone to survive, let alone growth. In that sense, it is absolutely certain that R&D is the most essential part of our roadmap.
Business Connect: How necessary do you feel is it to keep your employees content, how do you ensure it?
Visakh: We are an employee friendly firm, and would continue to be the same. We are a family and we will remain one. It doesn’t matter whether we are 100 or 10000. And if you ask me ‘HOW?’, it’s simple, just empathize. We do a lot of things around here, to keep them happy because a happy soul is far better than 10 skilled but unhappy souls.
Business Connect: Who is your role model
Visakh: My dad. He is a self-made man. His conviction and dedication amaze me every time I think about the unconditional things he has done for us and the family, with the limited resources he had. His energy and drive make me think that we have done nothing compared to him.
Business Connect: How are you giving back to society?
Visakh: We engage ourselves in many ways to give back to the society, the major focus is providing education for the unprivileged. I strongly believe that by helping someone in education we are not helping just one person but rather a family and the generations to come.
Business Connect: Apart from work, what else do you like to spend your time doing?
Rigin: My favourite thing to do is hanging out with my family, friends, and my dog which is truly what gives meaning and joy to my life. Apart from that, I love movies, cooking, learning about agriculture, and taking long drives. And this year I started focusing a lot more on health and start running regularly. We insist our team also to engage in some sort of physical activity on a daily basis to keep themselves fit. I believe fitness is the key to productivity.
Appiness has strived for excellence and has pushed themselves to achieve tremendous growth. With over 35 International design awards and 50+ Nominations, they have been listed among the 20 best mobile app companies in India and many more milestones and achievements are waiting.
If there is one thing that is certain about the future, it is the uncertainty and the changes that would accompany that. But Appiness is out with a clear focus towards growth and innovation, to stay relevant in this ever changing scenario. Looking forward to working on advanced technologies and innovations, they are on a very quick growth trajectory and hope to double the headcount in the next year.
“It’s good to ‘work’ for a few years to understand how things are done. In my case, I was lucky to work for both MNCs and Startups before starting up. I could apply a lot of my learning from my experience, so always, choose a great boss over a great brand”
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