Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
CitrusLeaf Software is a leading IT solutions provider, found in the year 2015. CitrusLeaf was started with the aim to help both startups and enterprises with end-to-end technological requirements of any kind.
With an adept team of developers, we firmly believe in offering the huge benefits of open-source software to the entrepreneurs of the future, which are currently missing because of less transparency between service providers and the end customers.
We have served many SMEs and startups across the globe with high-quality software solutions. Along with business software, the team is well-versed in delivering quality mobile apps on Android, iOS & Flutter. We hold the expertise in various tech stacks which include Flutter, Android, iOS, Laravel, Java, Python, ERPNext, PostgreSQL, Redis, VueJS, JQuery, HTML, CSS, PHP, to name a few. We understand the development requirements of the client very well and strive to provide solutions that resolve their problems in the most effective way possible.
Our developers precisely work on the requirements of the client to ensure timely development that is within the pre-decided budget. We also offer services for Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, and Consultation services.
I am the founder and CEO of CitrusLeaf Software. Being the founder of the company, I have to play multiple roles at times. I strive hard to ensure strategic, cost-efficient and bespoke software delivery. As a leader, I also have to make sure that my team is always up-to-date with the latest yet stable technologies. Hence, at CitrusLeaf, we have set up a learning environment where we grow along with each other by exchanging ideas and knowledge.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
After realizing the fact that most of the businesses are still not matching their potential as they lack in business automation, I started CitrusLeaf Software with the motive to promote the acceptance of technical revolutions in businesses. Every business needs a tailor-made software to know their hidden potential. Not just businesses, being a serial entrepreneur, I also realized that many startups do not reach their potential because of the lack of tech know-how. Most of the founders I met were either good at marketing or sales. They lack the proper technical knowledge to build their startup. Seeing an opportunity to help both ends of the spectrum, I started CitrusLeaf.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We are equipped with a proficient team of in-house developers incorporating the complete development vision into the veracity. We don’t outsource the project rather our development team takes care of the development from server to UI/UX designs to integrations to QA testing. We have experts to perform distinct development stages. By adopting an in-house model, we ensure complete customer satisfaction and timely delivery of the project.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other company models?
Our belief lies in promoting the business sectors for better future growth. Every member of our development team works closely with each other to produce an optimized solution. We are more focused on the client's requirements and hence the client satisfaction is in our priority list. We follow a streamlined process that results in a cost-effective and timely outcome. More importantly, if there’s something we don’t know or are not confident enough, we simply tell the same to the clients. This is greatly beneficial because in this manner, time and energy are saved at both ends. Of course, such situations are not beneficial for us, but then our code of conduct does not allow us to venture into uncharted territory on our customer’s time and energy. We explore new horizons on our own.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
As I have mentioned earlier that digital transformations are boundless, therefore we don’t limit our services to a bunch of industry verticals. Although, we deliver top-notch solutions for industries including Entertainment, E-commerce, Manufacturing, Construction, Transport & Logistics, Telecom, and Cloud-based services like ERPNext implementation, development, and customization. But indeed the development is based on the requirements of the client. With a huge clientele, we get a lot of referral development projects. In fact, most of our sales happen on a referral basis only.
I believe that, more than 50% of our clients are repetitive and enjoy working with us in the long run.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
Determining the time slice of any development cycle is hard to crack without clarity in the client’s objectives. Although, we follow a streamlined procedure to estimate the approx time frame via analyzing the project requirements deeply, calculating the required resources, and identifying imperative integrations.
The delivery time frame depends on technical complexities, wireframes, and the type of client communication with the project manager.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
It totally depends on the requirements of the app. Generally, the backend takes more time because of all the logic implementation. Plus, we've to take care of the security, data encryption, and scalability concerns as well. On the frontend, the efforts depend on the design and the complexity of the app's flow. Apps are generally compiled so the time it takes to iterate is more than the backend code. However, since we use Flutter, it's hot-reload feature comes very handy for faster iteration. Moreover, the designers and developers can work together seamlessly unlike native Android & iOS apps where hot-reload is still in the early stages.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
The selection of the right platform basically depends on the requirements of the client demanding a thorough understanding of their business goals including technical specification, geographical market, demographics, required integrations, database, and security parameters. Also, the finances a client is willing to invest in development is one of the key parameters in selecting the right development platform.
If a client has a huge customer base and needs a mobile application supporting iOS and Android platform then we will suggest the development based on a cross-platform using the Flutter framework. Flutter based apps are cost-effective and follow a speedy development cycle.
Which platform do you suggest your clients, to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
Firstly, we understand the core requirements of the business and discuss technical business aspects with the client. For an optimum business solution, we conclude our discussion based on the parameters like the Targeted audience, potential customers, and user specifications.
We suggest to our clients that they opt for Flutter app development by keeping a long term vision. Also, the cross-platform Flutter applications are relatively cheaper than native apps because one gets two apps from one codebase. Moreover, it’s very easy to implement native views in Flutter apps as compared to other solutions like React Native. In fact, we regularly build Flutter based apps and integrate native iOS & Android components as and when required.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
According to me, a native app is limited to a certain demographic. For example, most of our customers in India want an Android app first and then once they get good results they will invest in an iOS app. This is simply because Android is more popular in India as compared to iOS. However, the same is not true in other countries like the USA where iOS is prevalent. Because of this reason, we prefer developing with Flutter which is a cross-platform app development framework. The apps give performance equivalent to native apps and the development cycle is shorter.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
Estimating the cost of a mobile application needs a clear understanding of the project requirements, complexities, extensions, and addon maintenance services after deployment. Then comes the selection of the technology stack which contributes to the cost variation.
We split up the project in small steps and calculate the resources and workforce required in completing every step. So, the final cost will be based on the developers, designers, QA testers, Project managers required in accomplishing each development step.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions, etc.)
We have designed our pricing model based on factors like time duration, project complexity, resource requirements, functionalities, development platform, required extensions & integrations. We tender the quotation after analyzing the requirements of the project like UI/UX, Server-side, development, maintenance, and external integrations. The cost is also managed if the client has some parts already developed. For example, if the client has a backend pre-built, then we will do the rest of the development and will not include the backend’s cost. Apart from fixed pricing, we also have monthly and hourly cost models. In any case, we offer milestone-based payments so that all the stakeholders are satisfied.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
We have defined a systematic pattern to set our basic budget requirements that are based on the required efforts and timeline. Although, we accept the smaller projects as well with our basic budget requirement of USD 2000.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
We built a variety of projects in the form of web-apps and mobile apps. The costs ranged from USD $2000- $12000.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
Again this crucial business aspect depends on the targeted audience and future business goals. But, as per my views, the in-app purchase model and subscription model can generate more revenue for a mobile application when compared to other business models. When it comes to an in-app purchase model, after experiencing the basic app version, users are more likely to invest in the app to experience the premium features. While the subscription model allows the user to explore the app benefits as long as the subscribed plan is valid. This model also removes the unnecessary ads from the application which gives a pleasant user experience and hence, the chances are more that a user will opt for this. This also makes sure that the app’s owner has a recurring revenue each month.