Staying Ahead in the Game via Smart IT Solutions
For this brand-new edition, we have brought to you an exclusive story of a company that, for the past two decades, has grasped the imagination of an amazing roster of Indian and International clients who partnered with it to enhance the business outcomes via considerable tech investments. The exclusiveness of this brand has propelled us to promote it on the cover page of this publication.
Our editorial team sat down with Mr Amitabh Vira, the Chief Executive Officer, for a free-wheeling conversation about the business portfolio, vision and a lot more. It was thrilling to note some exemplary business insights by him so let’s dive into the story that started with the establishment of NetProphets Cyberworks by Mr Amitabh Vira 20 years ago when the Y2K fever was at its peak.
Technology, Design and Data Science are the key components that help NetProphets Cyberworks develop matchless customer experience and engagement. Its integrated business solutions involve a broad spectrum of technology services such as Information and Process Automation, Application Development, and Digital Services, including Immersive Interactive Technologies and Data Science.
The company is fixated on building tech platforms for its reputed clientele for a seamless business flow. “Today, we have a team of over 250 members, all of whom combine to make us an organisation capable of providing the required IT consultancy, new product innovation and technical development for our clients,” claims the Founder-CEO while addressing the business portfolio.
The X Factor
A continuous application of ideas and energies has allowed NetProphets to create smart IT solutions for its clients and stay ahead of its competition. The company is focused on driving business process efficiencies and revenues for its clients. Formulating innovative processes by comprehending the client’s needs and recommending a perfect combination of custom development and product integrations, is the company’s USP. “The fact that we put technology consulting ahead of technical delivery is a distinguishing factor that separates us from our peers,” asserts Mr Vira.
Apart from this, two assets give them a competitive edge in the market – a highly skilled team of over 200+ members and a roster of exciting clients. To them, being in sync with the expectations of their clients is what motivates them to stay ahead of the curve. “We constantly train new talent, do our research, create architecture for our client prospects and show them the benefit of our proposed solutions. Also, we want clients who believe in us to manage change; quality and trust are the by-products. This is what we love to do,” states Amitabh Vira, further accentuating the case.
Synergy with the Tech Trends
As the world is witnessing a major shift in technology, from being a back-office function to a front-action driver of businesses, NetProphets has become a prominent enabler to the tech functions of the modern world. “It is now Edtech – not Education. Fintech – not Banking. Healthtech – not Healthcare and so on. This trend will continue as industries like retail, hospitality, banking, and all other traditional industry verticals are already being driven by technology as their differentiator.
We are industry agnostic, of course, and this is a double-edged sword, and the critics will tell us to focus. But the way we are structured, in context to talent and what has been consistently rewarding for us, we shall continue to stick to our knitting. We enable businesses – no matter what industry – to digitise and drive transformation,” explained the Founder.
Ensuring a robust foothold in this space, NetProphets’ business functions across B2B and B2C lines and it has emerged as an exemplary technology consultant to its clients while being a reliable development partner for them. But, as they say, every great vision has its fair share of hardships, NetProphets vision has its associated challenges to stay ahead of new technology frameworks and concepts. This has propelled them to create a two-pronged strategy.
- Talent Acquisition and Training –With their ‘Centre of Excellence’ mission driven by their projects and team leaders, the company strains every nerve to identify emerging tech trends while developing an internal training curriculum. Most of the time, the MAD program (Modernising App Development) keeps streaming among an internal team of developers, which is the crux to their core vision.
- Partnerships and Alliances –Owing to their alliance partnerships, they are capable of identifying a combination of external skills that can be easily integrated into the client offering as any modern tech solution integrates enterprise thinking, mobile-first integration, data intelligence and consumer-centric immersive technologies. They firmly reckon that intense partnerships can develop smart and effective solutions.
R&D at the prominence
As per Mr Vira, R&D has proved to be quite imperative for their offerings to benefit their clients in the best possible manner. He went ahead by providing some examples, “A few years back our data scientists found that sales of perennial goods on the shelves of our marquis client, Fabindia, was erratic. We created an experimental solution that predicted sales and reported stock-outs.
That further drove the Fabindia supply team to pre-order the items and ensure timely delivery to the stores. A simple experiment that we later reported to management quietly became a formalised system across product categories. It drove the story of out-of-sight-out-of-mind and the sales of perennial products became a significant contributor to turnover.”
Furthermore, their work with Norton Lifelock is resultant of almost 6 months of R&D only. It was looking at the vast Indian market without International credit cards. Hence, the company collaborated with the brand’s US and Singapore teams to develop an end-to-end payment facilitation framework with reconciliation engines to accept payments and reconcile with the internal ERP systems of Norton Lifelock. And today, NetProphets is the authorised online partner of regional sales for them.
Recently, they have joined hands with a UK partner to become a co-developer of a mobile application that can diagnose and treat epilepsy patients globally. This app will pioneer the healthcare space being one of a kind tech platform to treat patients over teleconsultations.
“Such examples are at the heart of our work. It sets us apart, keeps the business exciting and at the same time puts tremendous pressure on our operational systems. Undeniably, R&D is integral to our growth,” emphasised Mr Amitabh Vira, CEO, NetProphets Cyberworks.
Reliance on Digital Amenities
“Continuous adoption and improvement is a large part of our operational conversations, and these digital tools and systems that drive our daily operations,” opines the phenomenal leader. He further adds that without internal digitisation these Covid months must have been a disaster. As most of their internal infrastructure and processes are cloud-based, they were able to work from home effortlessly that became a permanent part of their culture. Along with this, their bespoke time and project management tools help them create milestones of delivery, allocate tasks and monitor performance. This facilitates collaboration among remote teams on a real-time basis
Data Warehousing and Analytics Competence
With their dedicated team of professionals, their Data warehousing capabilities have ensured Oracle, Microsoft and Mongo Db expertise They have built middleware platforms for data analytics and data mining which was the essential component of their Media Management product for their client — Reckitt Benckiser in the UK. Later, they formulated an IPTV solution utilizing data warehousing and analytics. “You see, it’s an integral component of a larger system and we customise our delivery as per the requirements of the overall solution ecosystem,” conveys the CEO.
Sustaining the Global Pandemic
From establishing a robust work from home model to effortless remote collaboration, the productivity of team NetProphets was never hampered even amid the most challenging times. Though the real challenge was the absence of real-time awareness on daily operations, the management majorly relied upon individual accountability and process. “In many ways, this has strengthened our teams and empowered the younger members to be more responsible and accountable for their output,” states the CEO.
In sustaining such tough times, their young managers owned up to their responsibilities and took up the challenges of working on the 7-days-a-week of tiring schedule. Every employee collaborated with the off-schedule calls and also contributed their services for late hours, which is quite commendable and speak volume of their positive culture.
A Culture that Fosters Leadership
Though the culture at the company is quite informal, the management always strives to maintain a flat structure with a lot of access to senior leadership. They encourage experimentation and innovation among the employees and foster leadership traits in them in the best possible manner. NetProphets firmly believes that its workforce is its precious asset and the only way to integrate them is by putting the trust in every individual. “The job of our leaders is to play guide and not to play manager. If we succeed in this mission we are free.”
Amitabh goes on to say, “We think we have a work environment that encourages developers to learn and make mistakes. The mission as far as people is concerned is to ensure that the youngest member has a chance to express themselves within their project responsibilities,” addressing the work culture.
Feather in the Cap
In two decades of journey, they have witnessed a lot, says the Founder. They started from scratch, without any seed funding, and put in constant hard work, and their determination has paid off well. Today, NetProphets Cyberworks is an eminent name in its niche domain. Recognising this phenomenal journey, BUSINESS CONNECT lists some noteworthy milestones crossed by them:
- The first milestone was signing Reckitt Benckiser and the BBC World, two UK-based clients in the first two years of inception.
- The next was the signing of Fabindia, a household name across India for hand-woven Indian apparel. These businesses allowed them to expand without any financial fear and bring on technical leadership of a much greater calibre than themselves.
- An IPTV platform created by NetProphets was recognised internationally.
- Later, creating a unique solution for Symantec-Norton to leverage an untapped need soon made the firm the online authorised partner in the region.
- And now, working with the Government of India, they have managed to win several awards and certifications working with the Ministry of Skill Development, the MHRD, and the Department of Transportation, among others.
A Glance towards the Future
The Founder-CEO now believes that for the firm to scale, the focus must be on new markets. They would also like to establish new alliances in terms of products and emerging technologies. Hence, their core focus is going to be on these three essential areas of expansion. Moreover, he quoted his prospects as, “The way forward is to build on the foundation we have created with our most important asset – our people. It is now time to capitalise on that asset and create a truly capacity-driven firm with an eye on new technology trends and continuous training.
If you are good at what you do and stay focussed on the essence of your core, businesses will find you. There will always be ways to strike new partnerships and new project relationships and achieve the next level of scale.”
Words of Wisdom by the Veteran
“Be patient. All too often I find the youth of today to be in a hurry. I would also say that assess your strengths and weaknesses. We are neither a Sachin Bansal of Flipkart nor a Vijay Shekhar of Paytm. While it’s good to study success, it is my advice to study ourselves and create a successful model that works within the framework of one’s capabilities rather than someone else’s. I know this sounds like one of those old-fashioned homilies but, you know, stay the course! Stay positive and the outcome will follow. The course will decide when you need to scale and when you need to exit.
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