NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Startup 4: Pallav Nadhani, Co-Founder and CTO, InfoSoft Global (FusionCharts)


Pallav Nadhani is the co-founder and CTO of InfoSoft Global, the creators of FusionCharts. He has been programming in Flash since the last century (read Flash 4). He has co-authored a book on combining the power of Flash and .NET, conveniently called and written several tech articles for international journals. His entrepreneurial journey has been covered by popular magazines like Forbes and Entrepreneur. Pallav holds a masters in computer science from the University of Edinburgh, UK and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from University of Kolkata. In his free time, Pallav loves to share his thoughts on business and technology with other fellow entrepreneurs. He loves traveling, cricket and poker.

InfoSoft Global (P) Limited, cofounded by Pallav, is a leading provider of visual web applications and solutions, and the creators of FusionCharts, the leading Flash Charting Suite globally. Based in India, InfoSoft Global identified Rich Internet Applications based on Adobe Flash™ Platform as its focus and has been in business for 8 years now. InfoSoft believes that Adobe Flash is a breakthrough in delivering effective experiences to end users, enabling rich Internet applications that blend content, application logic, and communications.

Pallav was 17 when he started his entrepreneurial venture and has achieved international recognition for InfoSoft Global’s innovative product FusionCharts. This inspirational entrepreneur shares his take on entrepreneurship with NASSCOM EMERGEOUT startup initiative.

1. Why did you take up entrepreneurship journey?

Pallav: I was 17 when I started off and was in college. Nobody would really give me a job as such. And I had always wanted to play around with technology and make money out of it. So it's pretty simple – I had this option to play around with the technologies that I wanted with and make money out it and since I did not have too many ways of doing it, I started my own thing. Plus, the ability to get recognized for something was a huge kick.

2. What keeps you going (how and where do you find your motivation levels)?

Pallav: Compliments from customers and other people around is the primary source of motivation. Recognition from industry bodies and media also help. Not only on the products itself but being mentioned as being at the forefront of the Indian product industry by national and international media is very motivating. Making good revenue and keeping it growing surely keeps you going, but to be the source of inspiration to a lot of young budding entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas of theirs is pretty inspiring as well.

3. What is your advice to wannabe entrepreneurs in India?

Pallav: I have a number of things to share, but will mention only two of them to be precise.

First, being successful is not the work of only left-brained hot-shot MBAs. If you can solve simple problems people have and solve it well, you are good. So play around, know what you are good at, know your playing field and feel free to play around in that. There is no one way that leads to success. If you are convinced about your way and you have thought it out well, go ahead with it.

Second, 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. Convey the benefit that a customer gets from using your product, give good solid product literature, feature case studies of happy customers – all of these help in developing your company as a brand.

4. What success means to you and your organization?

Pallav: Success in like an aphrodisiac for us. It intensifies our desire to do better, to beat our own best. It reasserts the fact within us that we are doing something well. In factual terms, profits help us measure success, but generating profits is not the game itself, it's just a way to maintain the score.

5. What are your learning’s from the failures?

Pallav: When starting off, if someone had too many differing ideas from mine, I thought he did not fit into my company vision. Over a period of time, I have realized that there is nothing better than constructive controversy. I don't need an army of "yes" men. I want people who differ from me, I want people who bring out other facets of whatever we are discussing. If someone says yes to everything I say, he is just doing whatever I ask him to. He is supposed to be better at his thing than me – that is why I hired him in the first place. That being said, in a startup I would rather avoid hiring heavyweights in the early days. Have a young, dynamic and passionate team who you can connect to you well.

And, it is good to fail. I learn more from my failures than from my success. Every time I fail, along with the team, I want to go in-depth into why a particular product failed – did we go wrong with its pitching, did we not learn the market properly, was our timing not correct? So we see a more holistic picture when we fail. When we succeed, the only thing we want to see is where we are succeeding and we just want to multiply that.

Pallav’s views seem to be rightly stacked and that has made him the success story what he is today.

As part of this initiative (NASSCOM EMERGEOUT startup initiative), the views of three entrepreneurs have been presented on YourStory so far. You can visit the links given below to know about them:

Kishore Mandyam of PK4 Software,

Anil Pagar of Spadeworx,

Ajay Sharma of Shristi Software,

NASSCOM Emerge Forum is bringing the EMERGEOUT conclave to Chennai on 30 April 2010. You can register for the conference here.

Mr. Bharat Goenka, founder, Tally Software is the keynote speaker. Tally is a product that revolutionized the way businesses at the bottom of the pyramid perceive and leverage technology. It makes people resonate and relate “software” with Tally in most parts of the India. The story of Tally was started with a belief and vision of one man – Mr. Bharat Goenka. Come and hear him at the conclave. Don’t miss it!

- Contributed by Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Chief Evangelist, YourStory


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