Samar Singla has built an interesting Outsourced Product Development company by latching onto the trend of developing mobile marketplaces a la Uber for large and small customers. This interview is an exploration of the mobile marketplace trend based on his experience catering to a variety of customers.
Sramana Mitra: Tell us about Click-Labs. What do you do? How do you do what you do, and how do you differentiate from your competitors?
Samar Singla: We work with bigger companies between Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 for their innovation department on new products that they want to launch. We also work with entrepreneurs and help bring their ideas to market. We differentiate ourselves by focusing on some key areas and by trying to create IP in those areas that have delivered hardware with smaller time to market. For example, we focus a lot on sharing products such as Uber. We try to focus on niches and by that focus, we have quite a bit of IP.
Sramana Mitra: You have developed IP in certain types of niches and applications. You are able to re-use that IP and get your customer to a fast time to market turnaround time. >>>
Mass customization has been the holy grail of fashion e-commerce for the longest time. Meet Kyle Vucko, CEO of Indochino, a men’s fashion company that has cracked the code.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances?
Kyle Vucko: I grew up in Victoria. It’s a smaller town on the west coast of Canada. I ended up going to the University of Victoria where I met my good friend Heikal Gani, who is my co-founder. >>>
Peter Mann started Oransi as a B-to-C e-commerce company. Today, 40% of his $10M revenue comes from China. This is the kind of company America hopes to see more of – selling American products to international consumers.
Sramana Mitra: Peter, let’s start with your background. Where were you born and raised? What kind of background leads up to your entrepreneur story?
Peter Mann: I was born in Syracuse, New York. I lived in the same house till I was 18 and went off to college. My father was a mechanical engineer. He was a manager at General Electric. He comes from a time when people worked 40 years in a company and then get their retirement package. He was also a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Syracuse University. We were heavily involved with the university. I grew up around a university atmosphere during my childhood.
Having been awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year by The Economic Times back in 2010, Xchanging continues to provide leading solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. Ed Cross, Xchanging’s Executive Director, takes us on a quick tour of the business outsourcing landscape discussing the trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the industry.
Sramana Mitra: So Ed, give us some background about yourself as well as Xchanging. What is your business? What do you do? What customer problems do you solve?
John Meyer is the CEO of Arise Virtual Solutions, a leading company in the outsourcing/crowdsourcing industry. Arise connects individuals and companies with other companies to provide services such as customer service, sales, or technical service. John has previously served as CEO for Acxiom and as president of the Global Services group of Alcatel-Lucent, and he has more than 28 years of leadership experience. He holds an MBA from the University of Missouri and a BS in management from Pennsylvania State University. In this interview he goes into detail about Arise’s activity in the outsourcing industry, explaining how Arise helps companies find people to do part or all of their call center needs and the selection process involved with it. He also give us a few interesting stories of individuals who managed to grow a multimillion dollar business from scratch.
Sramana Mitra: John, let’s start with some of your personal background as well some background on Arise Virtual Solutions.
John Meyer: I have been in the outsourcing industry for almost 32 years. I started in the military myself, and started with a paramilitary organization called EDS. That was in the days when Ross Perot founded EDS under the idea that computer services were going to be as important as the technology. We were a small company back then. I was employee number 6,000 and subsequently it grew to almost 150,000 people. After that I was running the European operations out of London. On the way back to the headquarters, I got discovered by Pat Russo from Lucent. Pat’s vision was that what had happened in the equipment industry and computers was going to happen in the telecom equipment industry and that the value of services was going to gain in prominence. She convinced me, and it turned out to be a great success in creating a services business inside Lucent with Bell Labs. That grew into a worldwide business of almost $5.5 billion after we merged with Alcatel and the headquarters moved to France. Subsequent to that I ran a company called Acxiom. Acxiom is a big database company. The place I am at now is called Arise Virtual Solutions.
SM: What is Arise Virtual Solutions?
JM: It started as a company about 16 years ago with the idea that there is a latent workforce that happened to be disabled. It was a joint venture between Bellsoft and the state of Florida to provide jobs for people. The nature of that workforce is that its members couldn’t physically go to one place. >>>
David DeWolf is the founder and chief executive officer of 3Pillar Global. The company is a product developer that helps other companies develop their own software products, where those companies often are not familiar with the strategies involved in software development and deployment. David holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Previously he worked for Digital Focus and consulted for several companies, from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. In this interview he explains 3Pillar Global’s role in the outsourcing industry and talks about future trends, especially in the realm of university education.
Sramana Mitra: David, let´s begin with introducing 3Pillar Global to our readers as well as giving some background about you. >>>
David Schnitt is the chief executive officer of IQ BackOffice, a company that provides full accounting, payroll, and human resources services for companies that decide to outsource those services. The company is focused on mid-sized businesses. David has a BA from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He previously served as CEO of HrMail and as CEO and president of Ledgent. In this interview he gives us a detailed overview of how IQ BackOffice helps customers with their accounting needs and provides us with insights into the outsourcing industry.
Sramana Mitra: David, let’s start with setting some context about IQ BackOffice and about you.
David Schnitt: I spent most of my career at Deloitte, on the consulting side. I did a lot of work there. I started out setting up ERP [enterprise resource planning] systems for clients. That led into re-engineering. I started a re-engineering practice in Deloitte’s L.A. office. At the time, which was the early to mid 1990s, we started working with a lot of clients, re-engineering their processes and setting up service centers. >>>
Roop Sing is the vice president and head for North America, Europe, and JAPAC at Wipro Consulting Services. Roop brings more than 24 years of financial experience to the company. Prior to Wipro he was CEO of SSI Technology. He graduated from Henley, obtaining an MBA in international business. In this interview Roop talks about outsourcing strategies focused in different areas of the world, including the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and Asia, specially focusing on insourcing vs. outsourcing strategies.
Sramana Mitra: Roop, let’s set some context about what part of Wipro you work in and your background, so the audience knows whom they are meeting today.
Roop Singh: I am Roop Singh and I run Wipro’s Consulting Services. The Wipro Consulting Organization operates primarily out of North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and India. >>>
Harley Lippman is the chief executive officer of Genesis10, a company specialized in IT outsourcing and recruiting. Harley holds a BA from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Prior to Genesis10, Harley founded Triad Data Inc., an IT consulting firm, and he now serves on the board of several business, educational and cultural organizations. In this interview he talks about Genesis10’s business model and discusses the trend of offshore jobs coming back to the U.S.
Sramana Mitra: Harley, tell us about Genesis10. I don’t think the audience is familiar with the company, so let’s introduce it. >>>
Virtual Information and Communications (VirtualInfoCom), based in Kolkata, India, provides its customers with services like game development, simulation, Windows Phone applications, mobile applications, iPhone applications, Android games, mobile gaming and ad promotion, ad commercials and short films, corporate films, animated movies, music videos, visual and special effects, software development, Web page designing, and management solution tools. In short, everything around its core competency of animation and graphics.
Sramana Mitra: Hi, Arijit. Let’s start with your background. >>>
Sramana: Bimal, let’s start with your personal story. Where does your entrepreneurial journey begin?
Bimal Patwari: I went to college at IIT Kharagpur where I studied electronics, and then did mygraduate work in marketing and finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. >>>
Founded in 2009, KMS Technology partners with clients that range from startups to Fortune 500 companies to provide software development services such as research and development, product innovation and management, application management, testing, support, professional services, and staff augmentation.
Sramana Mitra: Hi, Josh. Let’s start with some background about you and KMS Technology.
Josh Lieberman: I’ll start with the company that we had prior KMS because I think a lot of our history leads into how we formed KMS to be what it is today. Trade relations with Vietnam opened up in 2005. My partner, Vu Lam, is in Vietnam as we speak. He and I are partners in KMS. Vu started a company with a couple of friends called Paragon Solutions. Their mission with Paragon Solutions was to develop the outsourcing model in Vietnam, not just India. So, Vu moved to Vietnam, started an offshore development center in conjunction with the university over there. He and his friends bootstrapped Paragon Solutions. >>>
The founders of Elance, Freelancer.com, and others perhaps never envisioned that one day smart, industrious, and innovative contractors would use the freelance work platforms to build million-dollar businesses. Srish Agrawal, CEO of A1 Future Technologies created accounts on Elance and Scriptlance, which was acquired by Freelancer.com in July 2012, and before long, he found himself at the helm of a thriving Web development business.
Sramana Mitra: Hi, Srish. Let’s start with your story. Where are you from? Where did you grow up, and what kind of environment did you start working in? >>>
Two former Citibank executives came up with the idea for MPhasiS in 1999. A merger between U.S.-based IT consulting company MphasiS Corporation and the Indian IT services company BFL Software Limited in June 2000 produced MPhasiS Limited, a global company that provides business process outsourcing services as well as applications and infrastructure services. One of the largest IT services companies in India, MPhasiS boasts revenue in excess of $1 billion.
Sramana Mitra: Hi, Gopi, let’s start with an introduction of you and your company to set a little context. >>>
When people think of outsourcing, things like customer service and Web development often come to mind. Group FMG is an international marketing solutions company with business offices in New York, London, Bangalore and Chennai. Group FMG helps clients develop brand strategies, builds e-commerce solutions and produces content that attracts customers and facilitates business growth. The company has worked with well-known brands like Microsoft, Staples, Fortnum & Mason, Sears, Kenneth Cole, and the New York Philharmonic among others.
Sramana Mitra: Hi David. Let’s start with some background about you and your company. >>>