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Pallav Nadhani, Founder -Entrepreneur, InfoSoft Global Pvt Ltd

Thursday August 27, 2009 , 6 min Read

Pallav Nadhani, an MS in computer science who graduated from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded InfoSoft Global Private Limited in 2002 when he was still a teenager. The enterprise, a leading provider of visual web applications and solutions, specialises in making data visualisation components like charts, gauges and maps, and caters to customers world over. Based in India for over seven years now, the company boasts of having an edge over its competitors by dint of its enormous experience in information technology.

The firm has so far lured over 13,000 customers and around 2, 50,000 users spread across 110 countries, and interestingly the organisation’s clientele covers almost 80% of the Fortune 500 companies.

“We believe that data should be simple to understand and should empower a user while making decisions. We therefore constantly indulge in innovating our existing means, techniques and services to equip users with everything they need to make the best out of their available data,” said Nadhani.   

The fact that data visualisation components, like the one the enterprise offers, are used by almost anybody and everybody explains how colossal the scope of the organisation is. “We have clients in fields as varied as government, health, banks, education and the more expected — IT. More often than not, the data consists of important business metrics (like cost per sale, monthly revenue and profits, attrition rate and employee experience, among others) and these are essential for any business operations if they seek to make decisions in a fast and confident way,” Nadhani explained.  

Unwavering in his ambition, this young entrepreneur aims to make InfoSoft Global a name in itself. He also envisages expanding the company’s customer base to over 25,000 by the end of 2010. Confident Nadhani says the quality of the products and its innovativeness are the prime differentiators of the business. The company also claims to be a pioneer of Flash Charting; it has introduced a number of first-of-its-kind products which have been eulogised by web developers across nations. In fact, over the years, Flash Charting has become synonymous with FusionCharts and the reputation the company has earned itself differentiates it from other players in the field.

Recalling his experience during the initial years of the set up Nadhani said, “When we started off, I used to work from home. So when people mailed me their queries on Saturday night they didn’t expect a reply before Monday morning. But when they received a solution within 15 minutes they were pleasantly surprised.” He further said, “And since I was the one to develop the product, I knew exactly how to deploy it. The solution I sent in reply would be precisely what they would be looking for. This is when people actually sat up and took notice. Positive feedback and customers’ support is one of the core principles of our business model.”

The company offers licenses of its products to users for application on their website or software. Depending on the requirement of the users, the firm provides different licenses.

Until now, the company mainly targeted web developers as its potential customers, but it is now coming up with more products to target non technical users as well. This set of products will help the firm foray into an entirely new market which was untapped till now. This besides, the company is also entering into strategic partnerships with companies in other countries to capture local markets there.

The biggest challenge Nadhani faced was to conceal the fact that InfoSoft Global was mostly a one-man company and that too run by a 17-year old. Although individual developers wouldn’t be too perturbed to know this, big organisations have their own trust factors before they enter into any contracts or make purchases. “What worked for me was that ours is an entirely internet-based company, so know one got to know that we were small. But I strived hard to make it look like it was a one big enterprise. I enhanced the product literature, wrote extensive documentation and provided tons of real-life examples,” said a candid Nadhani.

Although his prudent strategies made FusionCharts look like a brand, the company was yet to enter into full-fledged sales. “We had to get our first few set of customers and then cross the chasm to become a mass product. For this, I put in a lot of effort to make the early adopters of the product happy – offered them all the help they needed, even free hours of coding so that they could implement FusionCharts in their solutions. Once I had this base, I used this to move on to the pragmatists.”

Challenging were the times when he had just started off with his entrepreneurial journey. “I used to spend 80% of my time coding and the other 20% on marketing and gain customer support. But as the company started growing, I had to build a team. And that is when managing people and dividing tasks among them took most of my time. Managing a team was something I had never done before; it was as good as a headache for me. So, I did contemplate giving up being the technology geek. But one positive feedback from a customer would light up my day. And luckily for me, our users have always been heart warming with their compliments,” said Nadhani.

Hiring veterans who turned out to be less receptive to new ideas was one of the biggest mistakes Nadhani made as an amateur entrepreneur. As for the seed capital for the company, it was nothing more than bootstrapping. The company started with a desk and a computer, which Nadhani’s father had provided for. Today the firm has strength of 30 and operates through two branches.

The biggest achievement of the organisation, in terms of growth, was the release of the current version of our flagship product, FusionCharts v3. Over time, this version has gone down so well with the people that companies as big as Cisco and Nokia have started bundling it with their products to help their customers get the best out of their data.

“Our products are being used for some of the most popular websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Rediff and Moneycontrol. And what more, the Federal IT dashboard and Barrack Obama have also been using its products. Such massive recognition is motivation enough for us,” he said.

The enterprise was also recently nominated in the Nasscom Top 50 Emerging Companies of India. And the company is still in contention to be among the top 10.

Tips for budding entrepreneurs — On the internet, no one knows you are small. So whether you have an online business or an offline business, leverage the power of the internet to create the buzz around your product. Give solid product literature, feature case studies of customers – all of these help in developing your company as a brand.

Second to achieve all your dreams in life entrepreneurship is the way to go.

Yourstory wishes Pallav all the best and hope he continues to add feathers to India’s technology expertise.