Former Infosys employee believes disruption is the norm

https://www.ciol.com/former-infosys-employee-disruption/

In 1992, I met the talismanic Nandan Nilekani after he suggested that I join Infosys and help him set it up in Europe, it played a huge role in my life 

The Indian software-as-a-service (SaaS) landscape is on the cusp of a transformation. Over the past five years, the number of funded SaaS companies has more than doubled and the number of SaaS companies drawing Series C or later-stage capital has quadrupled, Bain & Company reported.

Indian SaaS companies have evolved from the rise of a few upstarts in the 2010s to a multibillion-dollar industry today. The first group of Indian SaaS companies to emerge consisted of horizontal players, such as Zoho and Freshworks, which used India’s cost and talent advantage to target global small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

In a recent chat with Rohan Joshi, co-founder and CEO of Wolken Software, CIOL learns more about the SaaS industry and the company’s role in this industry.

Can you talk about your journey in this industry?

I did my post-graduation in International Management from Heidelberg in Germany. My campus job was with Philips in Eindhoven. I worked with them for seven years in the Netherlands and the UK.

In 1992, I met the talismanic Nandan Nilekani after he suggested that I join Infosys and help him set it up in Europe. So, between 1992 until 2000, Infosys played a key role in my professional life.

In 2000 I left to join iflex (now Oracle). I had to initiate iflex in Latin America. My first real experience of selling software products. Hitherto with both Infosys and Philips it was largely Services and Systems integration solution selling.

Iflex taught me a lot about products and the importance of marketing, communications and customer handling. It was a new geography and there was the additional challenge of working in a hyperinflationary macro environment. In 2004 I joined L&T Infotech and I met Sudhir Prabhu the co-founder of Wolken.

What is Wolken’s X-factor?

In 2011, both Sudhir and I left LTI with a view to disrupting the Service Desk Management industry. During the pre-Cloud / on-premise days, the market was dominated by BMC, HP, IBM, etc. We had the opportunity to use the software of the aforementioned companies and we both thought it was a great idea if we could simplify the Service Desk offering, cloudify it and sell it as a utility.

Once we entered we noticed that there was ServiceNow which had already set about doing it. The interesting point was during the very early days of our existence prospects used to ask us – can you match our legacy product feature functionality-wise, today the prospects ask us – how are you BETTER than ServiceNow.

What type of products do you sell?

We sell B2B SaaS offering in the Customer Service Desk space catering to the needs of an enterprise’s internal as well as external clients.

Our latest offering is Wolken Care which offers all the key features and modules of an enterprise class, ServiceDesk product. It is extremely customizable and requires little to no external support. Built on a future ready technology stack and open-source technologies, the application is designed for high scalability.

What type of tech did Wolken adopt?

Wolken Care is built on open-source technologies like Java, Angular9, Mysql, Elastic Search, Redis. Wolken care is built on micro services architecture and each module of the product can be scaled horizontally. Application architecture is deployed on AWS with HA architecture.

Can you give me some insights on this industry amid the pandemic?

Gartner & various studies show that digital came to the forefront during the pandemic. Digital means different things to different companies – to some it means mobile-first, to many it means self-service, to others it means disintermediation and to a few all of the above.

The pandemic taught us that self-reliance is one of the keys to success and it is best exemplified in a recent McKinsey interview of the CIO of Michelin and how they overcame supply chain disruption.

Is there something you would like to change?

Disruption is the norm here – one has to be aware of the industry dynamics & try & stay with it, not too many people can change the pace, companies & their ecosystem will have to adapt to changing circumstances. All companies have to learn to live with the pandemic for the foreseeable future.

How do you keep your company secure?

Wolken is SOC II Certified and our IT systems and applications along with the data that they contain are fundamental for its daily operations and effective service provision.

Therefore, Wolken Software has established a rich information security culture with adequate security policies, procedures, and controls to protect confidentiality, maintain the integrity and ensure the availability of all information stored, processed and transferred through its IT systems and applications.

It allows its employees, contractors and vendors to have access to its information systems. It is crucial for these users to have access to the Wolken Software’s information systems (or “applications”) in order to perform their duties in their day-to-day job. We make sure that only authorised individuals are allowed to access the data residing within the information systems.

What steps have you taken to create an ESG-friendly company?

Our industry is a nonpolluting industry and from an environmental perspective our impact is not that great, however, we operate within guidelines set by the pollution control boards by the State.

Our external auditors who audit our security also audit the E part of ESG. Societal is where we are trying to create the most impact, especially around Diversity and Inclusion. Our female to male ratio is 55:45 and the heads of our Marketing, Sales, HR, Quality Testing are all women.

Our adherence to Governance is ironclad. All parameters that constitute Governance are audited by our financial auditors on a monthly basis.

What are the recent developments at your company?

We completed 10 years of Wolken Software in 2021 and the company is headed for growth. We also inaugurated our second center after Bengaluru in Mumbai this year. We have been hiring extensively as we hit 30 plus customers and expanded quite a bit during the pandemic owing to the digitization that came along with it. We have also very recently, as recent as 1st December launched Wolken Care.

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