Vishal Porwal is a civil engineer who got his masters degree in construction management from Texas A&M University in 2008. He went on to work with some large companies like Turner Construction and Hoffman Construction. While on the job, he was exposed to the industry and the prevalent challenges. A good quality web based solution for construction management that can be used by companies of all sizes is something that Vishal felt the need for and the itch to startup was too strong to resist. In the meanwhile, he was also in talks with Mayank, a graduate from the University of Texas who was a computer science major interested in the problem statement. Mayank came onboard soon after the initial foundation was laid.
“I had worked for a couple of years and this problem was right their in front of my eyes. I quit my job and came back to India and started working on this project,” says Vishal. The year was 2011 and after a good year and a half, they were ready with a prototype which could go out in the market. The aim was to create a solution which was completely online so that they can get the initial customers and support them fully even if there is a crunch in terms of funding.
The team started pitching to companies and in the ensuing months, they were able to get close to 500 signups from 35 different countries. “There is a specific niche that we are trying to address -lean construction in building information modeling and this niche has very few products in the market,” says Vishal. Gameplan is not a replacement for ERP but intends to integrate numerous (around 20) different applications one has to buy and use them separately. “We are bringing the power of internet and cloud to integrate everything and produce a lot of intelligence from raw data all other systems have failed,” says Vishal.
Gameplan is primarily targeting the US market and has already got attention from consultancy firms and the top 5 construction companies. There are a few products in the market but Gameplan intends to penetrate the market by allowing the small and medium construction companies realize the power of the software. “These firms do not have the huge money to spend on expensive software and so we are building a product at one-tenth of the price,” says Vishal. Being the exclusive online channels will help them offer attractive rates but as soon as they go on ground, they will need more money for marketing and sales.
The company has had a promising start and aspire to be one of the best solution provider in the construction industry. Operating in an unconventional sector where startups generally don’t enter, Gameplan is potentially onto something very big if they can get their product dead right and penetrate into the coterie of the big construction players.