Education

Getting the next billion there, faster

Raw talent Murali and Inian  

Dexecure co-founders’ unassuming exteriors hide raw talent, passion for what they do, and the will to succeed by helping as many people as they can to get faster-loading websites. Inian and Murali graduated from Chennai high schools (PSBB K.K. Nagar and P.S Senior Secondary School respectively) in 2010, and went to National University of Singapore to pursue undergraduate degrees with the School of Computing (SoC). It was there, that CEO Inian was bitten by the startup bug.

Inian interned with a start-up in his second year. “I liked the freedom of working at a startup. I felt that you could impact more people. I liked that, as opposed to being a cog in a huge wheel where you probably won’t get to see the bigger picture. It all started from there,” he says, about his first taste of entrepreneurship. He knew from then on that this was what he wanted to do.

That spark

For Murali, CTO, though he wasn’t specifically into entrepreneurship at first, he knew he wanted to do something with his computer engineering degree that wasn’t just busywork — he wanted to work on intellectually stimulating problems. “Inian was my housemate, and he talked about it every day after work. So, I got excited about the engineering aspect. Inian’s excitement for Dexecure was my spark,” says Murali.

Dexecure’s current offering is a riff off Inian’s final-year project. He didn’t begin with the intention that he would eventually be starting up — but that’s just how good the project was. Inian began his one-man security company in 2014, right after graduation. Hence the name — a play on ‘secure’ — with the Latin root ‘dexter’, as in ‘dexterous’. A year later, Murali joined as CTO and with him came a pivot and some rebranding. Now, Dexecure’s mission is to “automatically speed up websites for mobile devices using sophisticated algorithms,” says Inian. For the next few months, Dexecure is based out of London as part of Entrepreneur First’s (EF) London programme which, as per their site, will “support engineers and computer scientists to build world-class tech companies from scratch.”

Dexecure is hardly at the ‘from scratch’ stage, though. Before this, it was one of the few startups to be handpicked out of thousands, for the much-coveted Y Combinator (YC) Fellowship, a seed accelerator programme in San Francisco. At YC, the duo learned the importance of startup growth and gained exposure to a variety of startups.

“We learnt the importance of growing our company. There was a maniacal focus on growth there, which put a lot of things in perspective,” says Inian. They spent two months there, in the thick of all things Silicon Valley, startup, and tech, before the EF programme took them to London. He continues, “At EF, we are interacting with more tech startups. Since both of us are tech people, we feel at home. The programme is much more hands-on since it is longer.” Their current clientele is varied and includes CodeCombat, Joy, and The Indian Economist. “We are optimising and handling over 75 million requests a month,” says Inian proudly.

The challenges

But they didn’t get to this point without facing their share of struggles. Inian explains that as first-time entrepreneurs, they had to learn a lot on the fly. “We had to do a lot which wasn’t in our comfort zone, such as sales and marketing. But luckily, we like learning new things. Every time we get a new client to use Dexecure, we feel that the struggle is worth it, and that keeps us going.” Murali adds, “Yes, there were struggles, but here I am, a year later, with enriching experiences and friends from multiple continents — something that the usual 9-5 doesn’t provide.” What’s next for these jet-setting entrepreneurs? “We are focussing on getting more clients in India. We want to help our customers deliver a seamless web experience to their next billion users; those just coming online from low-powered devices,” says Murali. Reach out to them at coffee@dexecure.com if you’d like to get in touch.

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Printable version | Oct 2, 2020 4:36:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/Getting-the-next-billion-there-faster/article17325214.ece

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