Product Name: Apiculus Xaas Cloud Convergence platform
Name of Organization: IndiQus Technologies
At the helm: Sunando Bhattacharya, K.B. Shiv Kumar, Swati Samaddar
Year of Incorporation: 2013
Vertical/Horizontal Play: Cloud space
“It is important to keep focusing on your business, especially if you don’t have the luxury of funding. Cash is king and today, we are a fairly cash flow-driven company that pays attention to collections and paying its vendors”.
– Sunando Bhattacharya, Cofounder & CEO
Innovation: IndiQus has deep domain knowledge in Managed Cloud services and has developed Open and flexible solutions that service providers, enterprises and telcos can adopt to enhance their Return on Investment.
Its innovations provide Cloud business solutions to these organizations, setting up Clouds in emerging markets, and transforming enterprises and service providers into businesses running on the Cloud.
About the product: IndiQus’ apiculus CSP is a Cloud Business Platform software which enables Cloud service providers to sell “anything-as-a-service” (XaaS) and create a 360 degree customer engagement. A one-stop solution for Cloud service providers, the product enables them to manage, analyze and monetize XaaS Cloud offerings. The software has been built for the needs of emerging markets. apiculus CSP is being used by large telecom companies as their primary Cloud business portal.
Journey so far: The company was set up in 2013 as a systems integrator, a boutique consulting firm, whose Founders had around 15-17 years of experience in the cloud computing space. The company shifted gears in 2015, working to productize and turn its Cloud-building processes into ready-to-deploy solutions. As it began offering an integrated story to enterprises, it got a chance to set up a Cloud implementation for Sri Lanka Telecom. At that time, IndiQus was deploying a third-party product from Citrix which was built for European markets. Then, however it decided to develop a product for emerging markets, where it saw a Cloud surge. The company began signing up customers that would help it to build the product. In 2015, it tied up with Airtel and in June 2016, delivered the product to the customer. It is now in the second version of the product and the third version will be out at the end of the year.
Recognizing that in smaller countries there is demand from governments for data residency, IndiQus also began setting up micro Amazons (mini-Clouds) in nations such as Estonia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which it scales as the business grows. The company adopted an on-premise model, selling to companies that are using its platform to deliver to their customers.
Among the challenges it faced in its journey was a loss of direction in the early days, when finances were a problem. At that time, IndiQus found itself spending more time on raising funds than building its business. Dealing with the government also proved to be a big issue. Initially, the company was slapped with fines because it was unable to file its returns owing to archaic laws and an apathetic and unsupportive attitude of the government towards start-ups.
Way forward: IndiQus acquired Dartboard, a company which works in predictive analytics, in 2017 (while it took over data analytics start-up Amicus in 2016), to enhance its product portfolio with the much-in-demand analytics solutions for Cloud platforms. It has also on-boarded a dedicated Data Scientist who is building various models for enhancing customer data visibility on the Cloud and deriving actionable intelligence from this data.
“My advise to other start-ups is that they should be sure before they jump on to the bandwagon. It is a very challenging journey. But once they are sure, they need to give it their full commitment regardless of the difficulties. They shouldn’t enter the market for the heck of it”.