Sramana: You had three verticals; media companies, healthcare companies, and finance companies. Which vertical did you decide to focus on when it was time to build a product, and why?
Ajay Sharma: When we looked at the financial companies, we realized that it was a market area that we understood well, but we also recognized that there was a buyers’ club dilemma. We did not have the contacts and relationships necessary to sell the product into that demographic.
We decided to focus on products for healthcare and media. We knew those market areas very well and there was a much more favorable attitude towards companies like ours. We did not face the buyers’ club dilemma that we would have faced with financial companies.
Sramana: What were your initial products?
Ajay Sharma: Our first product was Kreatio. It was a smaller product focused on media companies. At the same time, we also started making a healthcare product, but it was a very large product. The revenue for Kreatio was close to 14 crore rupees (~$2 million) in 2009, and that is exactly what we needed since the healthcare product was so large.
Sramana: What does Kreatio do?
Ajay Sharma: We set out to make a content monetization tool for media companies. It is a web content management and publishing solution that helps monetize content.
Sramana: Content monetization in what capacity?
Ajay Sharma: We focused on how content should be embedded with keywords and ad words as well as inserting content into video playback. We sold the product in the UK and to a few firms in the US.
Sramana: What was your healthcare product?
Ajay Sharma: It was a healthcare delivery platform. Our healthcare product had over 3 million lines of code, so it was a rather substantial project. In 2008, we did a beta launch of our healthcare product.
Sramana: Those are two very different product types.
Ajay Sharma: Yes, and that was something we recognized as early as 2009. There were two partners who founded the original company, and we both knew that we could not keep the two products under one company. Deepak took over the media company Kreatio and I sold all of my shares in that company. I took over the healthcare company Srishti Software and he sold all of his shares in that company. We split the companies in 2011.
Sramana: Did you build the product teams using the people you had working for you in the services business?
Ajay Sharma: Yes. Some of them have stayed with us, and others felt that it would not be possible to build a product company in India. Many of them were afraid of that risk and left us for a more stable company.