Please introduce your company and your role within the company.
Techugo, as the name suggests, is all about the Technology infused with the innovation, our each of the team member is a tech-geek with the latest innovative ideas and concepts. Formed with a mission to make an impact in the budding mobile world, techugo has helped successful brands such as Airtel, BJP, Style Match, Prozata, Adobe, EnY etc to create meaningful experiences for their customers. In a very short duration we have earned the trust and respect of a wide range of organizations from fast-moving startups to already established brands by providing them the solution for their business needs through our services. We are ranked as one of the fastest growing mobile app development company on multiple portals and listing websites, goodfirms being one of them.
Prior to Techugo, I and the CTO of Techugo, Preeti Singh, were Founders of AppStudioz, which was one of the biggest companies in North India. I have been in this business for past 7 years.
At AppStudioz, we were close to 400 people, the company was started in 2011 and later in 2014 it got acquired by a Singapore based multi-national called Affle. Techugo was formed post acquisition of AppStudioz and now we are close to 120 people. We have a passionate, energetic and a very technical team and are listed on various portals as Top App Development Company which is a great achievement for us.
My primary role in the business is marketing, brand recognition and creating the brand value which attracts the best from the industry. Along with branding exercises I look into every project from Client Perspective so that we can deliver what is being expected, and this exercise has been very beneficial to us as it helps to understand the needs and concerns of every patron of the company.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app?
I would say it all depends on what kind of developers work on a particular project. If a developer is just 6 months old, he would take a lot more time to develop an application which an experienced person would do in probably half the time, so we have a strict rule that we do not give any live project to anyone who has less than 1.5 years of experience. Anyone who is a developer with Techugo has to be over 1.5 to six years of experience. Most of our developers have above three years of experience on iPhone and Android. So compared to other companies who rely on freshers; we do not hire them for development part. We hire freshers for testing and related activities. So that way we tend to keep the pricing low and timelines low as well by having experienced developers on the project. Also, the complexity of the project determines the time frame of a particular application.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile application?
It depends on what kind of an application it is. There are applications where majority of the work is done at the back end, in such applications the back end takes around 2 to 4 months. Then there are some applications where back end takes less than 1 month, but the application development takes about 2 or 3 months but if you talk about an average I would say back end development takes 1 to 2 months and iPhone application takes 2 to 3 months.
What is your company’s business model?
No, we do not deal with outsourcing. We have everything in-house: designing, development, deployment, and testing.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
In my last company AffleAppStudioz we had investment from Microsoft, Dentsu, Docomo and Times etc. There are many companies which have invested in my company. We have really good contacts in India and abroad. So lot of applications which we have developed are for clients who would like to interact with such contacts, and as a healthy gesture we introduce them to these investors. Three of our application got funded because of that. Along with this we have a separate team of 4 to 5 people who are only into feedbacks and reviews. We have a separate team which interacts with clients apart from the development team. They take client feedback on regular basis and we work towards incorporating all those feedback on a regular day to day work so that clients don’t feel that we are adamant to only one thing. One of our client who has also posted review on your site, is almost on the verge of raising funding from Times Group very soon.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
The main criterion is the market. If anyone is planning to have an application in India, we straight forward recommend to go for Android because in India 84% of the market is Android, 12% is iPhone and rest 2% is other operating systems. The market in which the user is planning the launch is the main determining factor: in India it is Android, in US it is iPhone. The second factor is monetization. If the client is planning to earn some revenue and his revenue model involves ads, then we prefer to go for something were we have users who tend to click on those ads, so like in US: we suggest to go with in app purchase because Google analytics show that a lot of in app purchases are done but in US. But in India, people don’t go for in app purchases; they tend to click on ads.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
There are a couple of things which are involved: the numbers of developers involved, number of designers, and number of animations to be used in the application and then of course, the complexity of the project. If it is very complex, the price goes high.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients?
We follow a milestone based approach for payments. We follow strict agile process in development, so what we do is based on the project. Suppose the project is more than US$ 10,000, so we charge 15% of that as advance payment and then rest payment is divided into 4 or 5 milestones. So the client doesn’t have to pay all in advance or he has nominal amount of money to be paid at every milestone. We are flexible with the advance payment structure, if the client is not willing to pay 15% as the advance amount; we can go as low as 10%. So as long as we see that the client is genuine and has a true intent to make a mobile application we are very much adjustable to the payment terms.
We are comfortable working in both Fixed Price as well as Hourly contracts. This completely depends upon the complexity of scope and client’s preference as how they wish to proceed, although we always give our suggestion as what can be the best fit. Our assessments are purely based on our rich experiences that we have implementing similar functionalities in past, we believe in reusability of code to keep the cost and time estimates minimum and are more focused providing readymade solutions to our clients wherever applicable, which at the end saves time and cost of client. We have a dedicated research lab called MARC (Mobile Application Recyclable Components) where a team of researchers make modules easy and convenient to use without writing the codes again.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement?
No, we do not restrict ourselves to any budget. We did a Ministry of Power application that was more than US$ 200,000 and then we have even done applications which are as low as US$ 500. There are many start-ups who have brilliant ideas but they don’t have lot of budget to have that kind of an application, so we have worked on these kinds of applications. Since we are sure that they will be able to pull it off and we tend to develop that application for them, once the long term relationship is made, money can always follow. So we do not look forward to the money in the first go, but something on which the user can rely and something which is changing the market, we tend to follow that application. There is no set parameter that we have to a have a certain thousand dollar budget to start a project.