The Story of Moolya Technologies by Pradeep Soundararajan

images/stories/Entrepreneurs/tech/moolya.gifThe story of Moolya Technologies is definitely interesting but one worth reading by all the Startups and aspiring entrepreneurs,it lives up to the adage that a story should have wit, knowledge, information and a flow. When we got the answers from Co-Founder of Moolya, Pradeep Soundararajan, we knew we have a good story to share with our readers. So without editing and changing much we bring to you the startup journey of Moolya.

Pradeep: I was considered to be dumb in school. My school was producing 100% PASS result in 10th Standard and they feared I would cause a dent in their reputation but I managed to score first class. I was curious but couldn’t do anything good. One night while I was sleeping, my father woke me up and asked me to watch a movie “Edison – The Man”. That movie impacted me a lot and I wanted to do something as good as what Edison did. I got into Electronics Engineering hoping that would help me be like Edison but I saw the education system was forcing me to memorize than be practical. So, I decided to take my own parallel path of practicals of engineering. I ended up designing a system for saving lives in ICU through Bluetooth technology. I took this paper around India and found someone interested at it. They gave me a job as a tester instead of funding me to work on the design.

I worked as a tester for an year and thought I was good at it. I then met James Bach & Michael Bolton online – who are recognized experts. They proved to me I was not good at testing but thankfully they didn’t stop there nor did I. I went to be coached by these people and later I started to build my own philosophy of testing. In the process of trying to build my own philosophy, I was even fired by a large MNC as they considered me as the worst tester they ever hired. That was the best thing to happen to me. I then set out to challenge myself to be the Edison of Software Testing. Well, “Edison” is the metaphor here :)

I re-started my career in testing as an independent consultant while picking up skills on exploratory testing – which demands a lot of thinking skills. It appears that I have done well ever since because today I am a globally recognized tester for my testing skills. My blog on testing stands as the most read and influential testing blogs from India. I have a couple of awards to my credit and I have been hired by a lot of companies to help them do better testing. The sweet part to mention in this interview is I was hired by a company Nivio whose CEO was featured in Yourstory.in while I was consulting for them.

So, successful as a consultant and what next was the question. That’s when I met Moolya’s co-founder Santhosh Tuppad whom I had coached in testing and this guy seemed to be doing very well and wanted to join me. We were mentored by Mohan Panguluri, COO of Edista Testing Institute and that helped us form Moolya Software Testing Private Limited. As I am being interviewed by Yourstory.in, I get a news that Santhosh has won the Top Tester of 2010 at uTest. 

YourStory: So what does Moolya do?

Moolya Software Testing Private Limited ( www.moolya.com ) offers next generation software testing services. So, what’s next generation?

For software testers at Moolya, solving customers problem is the purpose of why they exist. That’s how much they love doing testing. To do that, they constantly educate themselves, pick up the skills and knowledge needed to help customers move forward quickly with their business goals. 

We offer offshore testing services, consulting and staffing in exploratory testing approach apart from test and check automation services. We have the strongest demonstration of leadership in exploratory testing in India and that’s our strength. Exploratory testing coupled with session based test management, we have been helping customers move faster and better.

MoolyaOur service offerings are tuned in such a way that customers can plug and play(test) during any time of their product life cycle. Be it before taking their product for a demo to a large conference, beta testing their applications, acceptance testing of a product they are buying before signing the big cheque, or throughout the life cycle of the product – we are geared and skilled for all.

YourStory: Business Differentiators of Moolya

Unlike other services companies that boasts of several processes that would help customers, we are talking about how the people we hire will help our customers make great progress. Its the people and their brains at work. We are the first services company who is proud to say, we would count brains, not heads.

We even coined the word “brainual” and made it our company’s branding in our logo with text “Brainual software testing services” indicating to our customers that its brains at work and not human robots executing test scripts.

YourStory: Competitive Advantage of Moolya

Our competitive advantage is our ability to be the small “a” agile, “practice” testing everyday, gain new skills and knowledge and be satisfied only when being of great value to our customers. 

These days there are plenty of organizations claiming to be agile just for driving in business. Unlike them who tell the world that they are agile because they follow what other agile people seem to be doing, we are seasoned to be the true sense of what agile means. We are flexible to changes and we do a faster course correction that saves a lot of money for our customers. We provide extreme quick feedback about the quality of the software that helps the stakeholders take a quick informed business decision.

We are skilled testers who practice various kinds of useful thinking approaches such as logical thinking, lateral thinking, brainstorming ideas, modeling, mind mapping, visual representation of ideas,  heuristics and oracles.

 

As a side note: Indian software professionals fail to learn from Sachin Tendulkar. Despite being the greatest batsman he practices before every match to keep himself fit and connect the shots well. Today’s software engineers fail to practice. All practice they do is within the company and hence we see lot more failures than what we were supposed to.


YourStory: How has it been so far? Challenges/ Difficulties faced – how are you managing it?

OK, let me break open a secret. I am writing a book on the story of how Moolya Software Testing Private Limited started. There are tons of difficulties and loads of fun. 

YourStory: Bootstrapped or raised money?

We are self funded and with a couple of projects in, we are on the path of sustenance. As me and my co-founder are publicly known in the testing business, we have been getting calls from people who have expressed their interest to invest in our company. 

We know we would need investment in future but we are pushing ourselves hard enough to make the potential investors feel great value of having invested in us than to get them invest and watch them keep their fingers crossed. We are getting good everyday.

YourStory: What drives you as an entrepreneur? What give you the “aha” feeling?

 

I don’t know about others but for me its excellence in what the company does. There is a feeling of a magical juice flowing in the body when we do great work and deliver great products. There is also a sense of a magical juice that flows when we see our customers enjoying the value we offer. To get that magical juice flow more often and to make it a routine is what I am striving for. I guess that would keep me going.

Call it the 3 idiots movie principle – Excellence brings in money and not the other way around.

YourStory: How do you differ from others in hiring testers?

We have a “test the tester in testing” approach to interviewing. Its a skill based interview than a knowledge based interview. We have been noticing that many organizations ask testers questions whose answers are memorizable and even the fakers get through such interview. They end up making loss for the company than adding value.

We don’t ask for a resume of a tester at the first step. We expect testers to send us a test report based on testing an open source project. We look into the test report of a tester and that tells us what we could expect from that tester if we hire them. Based on whether their test reports interest us or not, we make a decision to invite them for further rounds of interviewing.

At Moolya, we would actually do “inter-view” than the traditional process of “one person’s view over the other”.

All this makes us feel more confident of hiring the right set of people who can help the company grow. Many organizations don’t do all of this because they think these ideas cannot be scaled. The question that has left us wondering is “Why people conclude that some ideas cannot be scaled even before trying them out”.  Its working for us. Our first hire was a fresher who started his blog on testing. We found him on the internet and asked him to send a test report if he is interested to work with us. He was delighted, passed through our tests (of testing software) and is now working with us after having relocated from Pune to Bangalore. There shall be more stories like that in making.

YourStory: What can testers expect to experience in Moolya that is not in other companies?

We have an answer to that. Its “freedom that comes with responsibility”. We wonder why companies think they hire talent but constraint the talent they hire by processes that are either obsolete or doesn’t help the customers move faster and better. Oh, BTW, our culture that we are building is going to be so much fun. We have a Pro Logic Dolby Music System in our office for testers to play the songs they’d like to while working. We also have a fun designation apart from the traditional ones that our employees can have. Testers working with us can choose their fun designations. We hired a tester recently who appeared to be silent but does good testing and we though he is a Silent Jingo and he was glad to make that his fun designation.

YourStory: Ok. So why the name Moolya?

We wanted to have a name that symbolizes the kind of testing we do. Our testing reflects the goal of cost versus value for our customers. We found this unique word in Hindi which had two meanings “cost” & “value” in it. It must be told that selecting a name for the company is as interesting and important as selecting a name for a new born baby by its parents. We spent one full night over it and then we got this name. We were also lucky to get www.moolya.com being available for us to register.

YourStory: What all can we expect from Moolya in the coming months?

We could expect Moolya to be demonstrating the value it can offer to more customers than what it is serving today. We could also expectMoolya to attract most of India’s testing talent because good testers can maintain being good only if they could work with more good testers.

We could expect Moolya’s brain count to go higher and be known as the most preferred testing vendor of more parts of the world.

We at YourStory will keep you updated on the Moolya story as it progresses.With Pradeep at helm, we expect alot happening.So lets see if our words come true.