TechSparks Top Finalist: Divyesh Kharade, Founder, Deltecs InfoTech Pvt. Ltd. (Mobile Learning)
DRONA- Corporate Mobile Training
The Basic fact of corporate life is that everyone needs training, and the basic fact of life in India is that everyone has a mobile handset. If you put the two together then you have a winner of an idea, only problem is that Divyesh Kharade has beaten you to it. He is the entrepreneur with the amazing business idea of putting corporate training on mobiles. The founder of Deltecs InfoTech Pvt. Ltd told us more about DRONA, India’s only purpose built development and delivery platform for mobile learning.
They were also among the top 17 Tech Product companies in India competing at the recently held YourStory.in’s Microsoft Canaan TechSparks 2010.
What areas has Deltecs successfully merged to become a crossover technology company?
Deltecs offers DRONA, India’s only purpose built development and delivery platform for mobile learning. DRONA enables corporates with a complete end to end infrastructure and a turn key solution to take their training to their employees’ handsets. It presently caters to product trainings, sales trainings, mobile assessments centers, senior management Video Casting trainings in association with leading content partners worldwide.
How does DRONA bring corporate training to the mobile handset arena?
We presently have 3 flavors of DRONA viz. DRONA-Basic is for basic training and assessments starting from even basic phones. DRONA-V-Cast is a video casting solution for Senior Management training specifically on Blackberry phones. DRONA-Mobile Assessment Centers is specifically a mobile assessment solution which comes along with hardware.
Presently we have 20+ corporate customers on SaaS as well as enterprise levels with number of users using it around 40,000 and growing.
How does training over your medium score over others? What is the business principle here?
While targeting the Learning and Training/HR department in any organization who are generally technologically challenged. The users of our tools are content, admin and training management teams in these corporates. We basically address each and every stake holder in the training life cycle of an employee. Also if you see our competitors they are all e-learning players and provide customized M-learning solutions while the customers that we have spoken to prefer a vendor who has 100% focus on M-Learning, where we fit the bill. On top of it we provide a one fit all productized solution for which our turn around time to enable a customer is less than 10% of what our competitors give.
The business model that we follow is in 2 ways:
a. Could based model: per user per year license fee
b. Enterprise model: fully deployed annual license fee with annual | biannual commitments.
What others markets are you looking at expanding into?
If you look at our value chain: content, technology and managed services are 3 components in it. We presently provide technology and managed services and tie up extensively with leading content players. We plan to set up an extensive channel sales model which will mean a win win situation for us as well as our channel partners. Also we plan to have strategic tie ups in the US as well as the European continent.
What was the tipping point that pushed you into the entrepreneurial life?
When I was working with Wipro Technologies before, me and my colleague Jinen Dedhia (also one of the founders at Deltecs) used to work on a lot of ideas and b-plan competitions. We always wanted to do something far more challenging than the mundane work schedule we used to follow and didn’t want to be stuck in a rat race. We had a goal in life: the goal was “Not to live forever but to create something that will” that sole thought made us take the jump, Jinen took it first and I followed, since then there was no looking back.
Has it been smooth sailing all the way at Deltecs?
There have been varied challenges in the course of 3 years of operations at different stages of Deltecs. One of them has been the funds for the product development which we overcame by strategic services that we provided in the first year and a half to fuel our product development in-house as well as network and validate our idea among our prospective customers. Quality resources have been our challenge throughout but we were fortunate for the recession or melt down that happened, which gave us a good lead in rapid product development.
What is your opinion on the mistakes you have made as an amateur entrepreneur?
I have taken a lot of hard decisions which may or may not be a mistake, but we at Deltecs are a close unit and we stick by all the decisions we take and do not have a habit of looking back. Decisions or things that look like mistakes at that time are boons in disguise after sometime.
How did you find your seed money and what has grown out of it?
We bootstrapped ourselves by providing strategic services in the first year and a half of operations to fuel our product development in-house before we formally launched DRONA in Sep 2009 last year.
We started off by working from home initially with only a single laptop with only 2 of us and we have grown to a 12 member strong team with a state of the art infrastructure. We presently have a 12 member team and operate out of a single branch in Mumbai.
What is your organizations biggest strength?
I think the rapport we share with our customers which makes them come back to us again and again is one of our biggest strengths and achievements in the growth of our business. This enables us to have multi year commitments with our customers with strong order books.
Has your work found any industry recognition or awards?
We won the prestigious Handheld Learning award for “most innovative product” in the business and training category at London in Oct 2009 and are the only Indian company to do so ever.
We also won the Indian Govt. South Asian mBillionth award (of Manthan Fame) in the M-Education category in the year 2010.
Also we were selected as one of the top 17 Tech Product companies in India at the recently held YourStory.in’s Microsoft Canaan TechSparks 2010.
Yourstory wishes Divyesh Kharade great success with his products and believes that DRONA will live up to its legendary namesake in the field of training.