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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Dental surgeon-turned-entrepreneur rides the mobile revolution with Queppelin

In 2013, on behalf of the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, Cologne Institute for Economic Research conducted a study that revealed that India’s per capita GDP will grow by $51 per year between 2010 and 2020 due to, hold your breath, rising mobile phone subscriptions.
Pulkit Mathur
According to the study, mobile devices will contribute to economic growth with increased use. The report stated that mobile subscriptions’ contribution to India’s GDP per capita growth will be 11.4 percent (2010-2012), 4.9 percent (2012-2015) and 2.1 percent (2015-2020).

Sensing this growth graph there has been an influx of tech companies since 2010 in the domain of mobility, such as location-based services, mobile payments, internet messaging and social networks, among other categories.

Meanwhile, Pulkit Mathur, a practising dental surgeon who was heading the dental wing of a major private hospital in Jaipur, got bitten by the entrepreneurship bug.

It happened while he was involved in mobile healthcare implementation and soon found he was interested in mobile technologies.

In 2010, when the mobile technology market was preparing itself for the coming revolution, Pulkit, and his brother, Prafulla Mathur, and Vikas Saxena, an investor, decided to be the part of the coming mobile revolution.

In 2011, they launched Queppelin, an end-to-end mobile applications provider at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona. The company shot to fame with the development of multimedia streaming and compression platform, which was later used in apps like Gaana.com and Reliance BigFlix.

“Our technology capabilities have grown with time. We have developed multiple apps which have been among the top 10 apps in India for the last six years,” says 30-year-old Pulkit Mathur, CEO and Co-founder, Queppelin.

The journey

The Jaipur-based platform raised two rounds of angel investments in 2010 and 2011, which came up to around $150,000 back in 2010-11.

“We didn’t have to raise more capital as we have been very cash-flow positive ever since,” adds Pulkit.

The platform has served more than 200 clients till date, including large corporates and successful startups from India, US and Japan. The company’s mobile and web solutions have helped clients in verticals such as e-commerce, healthcare, travel, utility, real estate and education.

The client list of the platform includes Facebook, MakeMyTrip, Oxigen wallet, Gaana.com, Reliance Bigflix, The Times of India, Allgeier, Aon Hewitt, Nissan Micra, Nokia, Aircel and others.

Sharing his early journey, Pulkit says, “We received two unexpected calls in the first year of our business, which gave us significant impetus as a company. One was from Red Herring when we got selected amongst the best emerging startups in Asia (Snapdeal was also selected the same year) and the other call was from Facebook’s country head. He was keen to work with us for the brand’s backend mobile technology.”

On challenges, he says that the most important part is to be the first to develop and deliver a solution in the market and take the competition by surprise. This makes or breaks a product. We have been achieving this for our clients time and again, he adds.
The largest tech market

According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India accounts for approximately 67 per cent of the $124-130 billion tech market, the world's largest sourcing destination for the information technology industry.

Experts say entrepreneurs are now starting app-first and sometimes app-only businesses. That itself talks about the market opportunity. From the smallest of startups to the largest corporates, they are all focussing on developing their apps.

Growth opportunity

Mobile and web tech is now being adopted by even the largest of organisations.

The process of product development has also evolved over time. Tech platforms are changing by the hour. They are using new-age tools like Basecamp for project management and Github for version control, providing full transparency and accountability.

“As an IT service company, the focus always has been on innovation and it's important for us to keep up with the times so we can suggest what is best for our clients. We are working on a unique mobile solution for one of the largest private banks that wants to combine the offline and online world through mobile. A new wave of Internet of Things is coming up enabled by mobiles. We are living in a world where even mobile-based fintech, e-commerce, travel is considered traditional mobility,” says Pulkit.

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