Three young techies, who chose to start an off beat pioneering IT venture in Kerala find that they have competition only from the U.S. and Europe!

What's the latest in a techie's life? All those new gadgets that have ‘i' as a prefix perhaps, and a ticket to Silicon Valley, where life spells greenbacks. But the news is that three guys, who have been there, done that, are right back here in ‘nammade' Kochi, making cutting-edge products for smart phones and tablets, the likes of which have just got into the vocabulary of gadget gurus worldwide, for smartphones and tablets are yet young in this field. RapidValue Solutions: That's what they call their company and it's the only one in that genre in India.

Competition from the West

“We are the only digital media platform provider focused on tablets and mobiles in India, as of now. We are competing with companies in the US and Europe,” says Rajesh Padinjaremadam, its CEO and co-founder, who was earlier with Deloitte. The next in the trio is Sirish Kosaraju, COO and co-founder (an Infosys man earlier) who was with Rajesh at IIM, Kolkata, for MBA. They are both IITians, from Chennai and Kharagpur, respectively. Rinish K.N. is the CTO and tech-guru in the company; he was a chief architect at Wipro technologies. The three professionals had put in about ten years of work before they decided to strike out on their own.

Their manners and the way they speak do not show the exposure that they have got. Totally ‘naadan' in attitude, with a hint of the right degree of sophistication, the common denominator of all three is the enthusiasm and hope they exude and their never-say-die approach. They complement one another in a way which is not intrusive, even while they are enlightening you on their cutting edge technology, each one putting in his view and experiences.

Untrodden path

So it's not a surprise that they opted for the untrodden path, instead of getting into the usual computer software solutions that most IT professionals prefer.

They wanted to work on the latest technological revolution then, as smart phones had just been launched worldwide. Very few firms had ventured into creating a digital media publishing platform, even in the West.

All three in their early 30's, are gung-ho about their company formed in 2008, ‘when the smart phone had hardly entered Kochi.' They dared to create a digital publishing platform for mobiles and tablets with touchscreen technologies, right here in their motherland. Of course, one big arm is in the U.S, where they frequent and they have customers all over the globe.

Smartphones and tablets

In simpler terms, this is what they do: All those who have these smartphones, iPads, android phones, Blackberries, Window phones, can be reached by publishers in a big way.

It isn't one dimensional, that is, not the print material alone that can be seen on these devices. It's interactive, the audio visuals show more than words and high quality pictures do speak louder than words. For instance, when a publisher or an advertiser is trying to reach out to people about a new car that's been launched, or when a guy on the go wants to read a magazine, a mobile or tablet magazine or news application, using this platform provides a rich interactive experience, they say. RapidValue helps publishers develop branded magazine and news applications on multiple mobile devices.

Under this system of tablet and smartphone publishing, publishers stand to gain a good deal as they can get revenue from both advertisement and subscription from the user.

“Business magazines in the U.S. and West Asia are using our digital publishing platform now,” says Sirish, who looks after the business development of the company. “In fact, we have helped develop the first iPad-based magazine publishing system in West Asia,” adds Rajesh. In India too, people have evinced interest in the system, they say.

Staff

They have 80 employees at their office in Infopark and about ten in the U.S. “We have a very stringent recruitment procedure, which is a four-deck one. It's not mere experience that counts but fresh ideas. Anyone with new ideas among our team has the freedom to put it up at meetings and go forward with it too. Flexi timings are allowed as we believe in a performance and result oriented culture,” says Rinish. Therefore, he says, attrition levels are low. There are 15 women among the staff. According to Sirish, “Mobile revolution today is where the Internet was in 1990s – We are excited to be leading this transformation”

Who says what's new is in Silicon Valley? Or Bangalore, for that matter? Kochi is fast catching up!

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012