Ruchir Punjabi, Founder, Langoor - Web Services and Products company based in Australia and India
uchir is serial entrepreneur who started Langoor as his third venture in mid 2009. Langoor is an atypical web services and products company based in Sydney, Australia and Bangalore, India. In the digital world, Ruchir has consulted and worked on a few hundred projects including projects for Politicians, ASX listed companies, NGOs and Small Businesses alike. Currently, he is busy growing the business with plans to set up a Research & Development arm of Langoor in India.Ruchir is also known for his work on Youth affairs in Australia. He is the Chair of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC) Young Professionals and sits on a few other Boards including the AIBC NSW Management Committee, International Advertising Association's Young Professional Chapter Committee amongst others. Ruchir is a former President of the University of Sydney Union and has served on numerous other Government and Non-Government Committees and Boards. He was also one of nineteen young Australians invited for lunch with Prince William by the Governor General in early 2010. YourStory caught up with Ruchir to learn more about his journey and plans for India.
How was Langoor born? How did you diversify along the way?
I have been in the web design and development space since I was 15. I got to a stage at University where I kept on getting work. Towards the end of University, I got more work including one project that would pay my first year's rent. So I decided it was time to jump in!
Jumping in was only half the story though. You may be aware that the web design and development space is highly saturated and unorganised as a market. I aspire to change that, and more importantly, make everyone's life easy to create websites. So we decided to diversify by creating products in this space. Products include langoor.net, langoor.mobi and some unannounced products that we believe will make everyone's life easier. Importantly, it has also offered our business scalability.
Interesting name. How did it come about?
The honest truth is that at the time I had a Norwegian housemate - the only hindi word he knew was Langoor. At first I laughed, and then sat on it for a month. I realised that being "crazy" is not a bad thing and often leads to a different way of thinking, or approach. At the end what I am trying to do (organising a saturated marketing) is crazy. That got me excited! It also highlighted my Indian connection so I said to myself - if Yahoo! can pull it off, I am sure Langoor can too.
Expanding to India - Plans and reasonsAs I mentioned before, part of our growth strategy is to look at products seriously. We want to have an impact in this space and to do that we want to look at scalable products. Subsequently, India offered two main benefits for this.
First is the talent pool available. I think I overestimated the talent pool available in India and expected it to be low cost. Wages in India are rising fast and to find the top 1% of the designers and developers in the country is harder than you think. Having said that it is still better than resources and the skills available in our space in Australia.
The second is the market opportunity - we want to be in India when it is ready for our products and so we want to start establishing our presence now. India, for us at the moment is a $100mn market rising close to 25% every month. I think this growth will accelerate with high level of mobile web adoption and we are excited about being part of that growth story.
A smaller reason was for me personally - I want to be in India in the long run.
What next for you and Langoor?
Our upcoming product launches are central to our strategy at the moment. We are focusing on that right now. We are looking at a user base of 10,000 users across all our products before the end of the year. At the same time, we want to customise our services and product offerings for the India market and we are doing this at the moment.