Gautam Rege, Josh Software: Building web apps on the Ruby on Rails platform
YourStory in conversation with entrepreneur Gautam Rege on the business idea behind Josh Software
Gautam, we understand Josh Software is primarily a Ruby shop.
Yes, we work exclusively in Ruby and Ruby-related technologies like Rails. We believe that programming is an art and strive to build master-pieces using Ruby.
How is Josh Software different from other software firms? Can you point us out to some of your work?
Since we concentrate on Ruby, we have carved a niche for ourselves in that space. As a Rails consulting company, our flagship web apps are brandpotion.com which is a portal that brings together brands and the creative community.
Another one of our products is samhita.org which is a portal that aggregates NGOs in India and links them to volunteers, donors and service providers.
We also have thedealpages.com which is a geo-location sensitive deals based aggregation portal.
How did the business idea for Josh Software come about?
It was always my dream to start-up way back since 2005! Over some beers one evening, my co-founder Sethupathi Asokan (Sethu) and I decided to leave our corporate jobs and start up. We were very passionate about programming – full of ‘josh’. The name “Josh Software” was available and we lapped it up!
Tell us about your backgrounds.
After completing my B.E. in Computers from PICT in 2000, I worked for about 7 years in various companies like Zensar and Cybage before I settled down for about 5 years in Veritas. After a brief stint in a startup, I started Josh. Starting as a C programmer on Solaris, I learnt C++, Java, Python and finally, found my calling with Ruby.
Sethu started his career in 1998 in Frontier technologies which got acquired by Veritas. He worked in Java for about 10 years before he quit with me to start Josh.
Where do you see Josh Software five years from now?
I see Josh Software as a leader in Ruby development. We definitely intend to grow in terms of revenue but not necessarily become a huge company in terms of number of people. We want to preserve the quality and premium that we currently command.
We also aim to give back to the Ruby community in terms of sponsorship, donations, talks at conferences and drink-ups. We organize the Pune Rails Meetups, which has quite a large number of Ruby developers now.
Has Josh Software been funded?
We are completely self-funded and from day one, it’s been our blood, sweat, tears and revenue that have kept us going. But we are growing stronger now. As a consulting company, we know that it’s not easy to get funding. But we are open to the idea today.
What are the challenges that you faced while developing your solutions?
As with every startup, finding quality people is an issue. We have had to sift through the rubble to find the gems that have formed our core team. That has been the biggest challenge - finding programmers who believe that programming is an art. Getting clients was also tough. But we kept our head down, focused on quality and gunned for more work and then things started rolling.How big is the team behind Josh Software? Are you looking at hiring?
We are 20 people, comprising of a core team of 11 developers, 4 in management (including Sethu and me) and a couple of support staff. We also have about 4-5 trainees, youngsters from college who pair with our core team to learn the ropes. We are always looking to hire people who have the desire to program and the itch to learn new things every day.
How has the journey been so far? Let us know about your expansion plans.
It’s been an interesting ride, to say the very least. We have 14 clients currently, quite a few of them from the Silicon Valley. We are seeing increasing traction from Indian clients and we are probably going to be more present in the Indian market from now. There is a huge traction for software solutions and more so for the lean versions with quick support and quicker changes. That is a perfect fit for the SMEs in India.
We plan to expand in terms of revenue, class and quality. We hire people not when we need them but when we come across them. We aim to have 30 people in the next couple of years. We have our business spread over the world, mostly in India and US and a little in Europe. We plan to expand our services to Australia and Africa and consolidate our presence in Europe.
We at YourStory.in wish Gautam and the Josh Software team much success. To know more about this venture, check outhttp://www.joshsoftware.com/. Also, do let us know your views on this story by writing to us at email@example.com.