Mango Technologies Private Limited is a software solution provider for the bottom 50% of the mobile handset consumers market. CEO and Co-founder, Sunil, answers a few questions for Entrepreneur’s Corner:
Question: How did you select this line of business – or did the business select you?
Answer: Lekh Joshi and I, have worked in this domain for more than 10 years, in large multinational OEMs and operators to deliver various types of phones in the market. In the past along with some of our key members we have built first designed in India, dual SIM mobile phone, I was the second person there to join and build the company. We realized that the BOP (Bottom of the pyramid) segment is becoming very crucial for most of the OEMs/ODMs and Operators but there was no convincing solution available.
Question: What has been your experience in bootstrapping your venture?
Answer: It has been very challenging but very satisfying too! When you start a new venture, you need a very good and dedicated team to deliver your dreams and that’s what as a team we have been doing for the past >2 years. As an entrepreneur you always need to remember that CASH is always KING in business so always preserve it (wherever you can). We started with our own small money so always believed in this concept and kept our administrative and operational cost minimal or nil. When we started, we requested one of our friend to provide a plug n play office space with resources to work on our product in return for a small equity. The kind of continuous support we have got from them is very good and in your early days you can’t have anything better than that. After completing our first year we got incubated at NSRCEL, IIMB, which gave us lot’s of visibility, advisory inputs from NSRCEL, over and above a very healthy and productive working environment. Many people including you have helped us in our early days with a very small fraction of upfront money. But at the same time we have picked the best brains in the industry in this domain and have spent money generously there, followed strict process within the company (which many startup companies ignore) but which is very important for our survival.
Question: You have had limited resources, yet you have managed to build visibility for yourself amongst customers, amongst industry bodies and other entrepreneurs. Can you share four to five things that you did, which you believe were responsible for your achieving this?
Answer: I would give the credit to the team work and our focus on the target market segment which is Bop in the mobile phone industry. While most of the big guys like Microsoft, Symbian, Apple and Google are getting ready for the high end of the pyramid, we are keeping our focus on the bottom 50% market share.
Question: What are your thoughts on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangalore in India? Please elaborate if you wish regarding the advantages and disadvantages.
Answer: Bangalore is rocking; sometime I feel we have more number of forums to promote the entrepreneurship than the entrepreneurs. I think Bangalore has adopted itself to the startup culture so we have many people who understand that there may be less cash in hand but equity is good enough for their time. We have good bootstrapping centers like NSRCEL, IIMB, IIITB etc.
Question: In hindsight would you have done things differently for your company or are you happy the way things have worked out? Please give reasons for your conclusions.
Answer: You can always have "Ifs and Buts". We at Mango feel that whatever we are getting in terms of customers, employees, it’s great and that too without having any VC money in the company. Don’t you think international customers in the portfolio, more than 30 engineer team, and completing 2 years as Mango is a great achievement in itself?
Question: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Answer: I think if you have self belief, confidence in your team and ideas just do it!
Sunil can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org