Pune based startup MiracleCartes provides smart card and RFID linked web solutions to the SME sector in Cloud based environment. MiracleCartes is doing phenomenal work in the field of smart card solutions, and to know more about the venture, Jubin Mehta from YourStory.in caught up with the founders, Rakesh Jadhav and Maulik Shah.Give us a brief about MiracleCartes.
Miracle Smart Card Pvt. Ltd is a solution accelerator company based out of Pune. The company started two years back as Miracle Software Solutions, and got recently incorporated in March 2011 as Miracle Smart Card Pvt. Ltd. Our key focus and philosophy is to provide Smart Card and RFID linked Web solutions to the SME sector in cloud based environment making it affordable and easily manageable for the clients.
Is there a story behind the name MiracleCartes?
“Miracle” as the name suggest implies transformation. With our focus on working in new and emerging technologies (i.e. Smart Card and RFID etc.) we believe can definitely bring in the transformation /change in the way things are done. “Cartes” is a French word for ‘card’.
You have smart card solutions for three verticals. Tell us a bit more about it.
We provide solutions on cloud which use Smart Card (as a loyalty card / payment card etc). Our current solutions are for three different areas:
iSpice ( a POS billing software ) for chain of restaurants for dine in , take away and home delivery
iGain - Web based loyalty application
imFit – Web based software to manage the fitness / wellness center
All the three services have the option of using MIFARE smart card as a loyalty card or as a payment card (in a closed system). iGain is a pure loyalty solution for any business organisation. A single smart card is a multi-purpose card and hence can be used for more than one application by organisations.
What technology did you use to build these solutions?
Our core application solution framework is in Java. The smart card integration is in .Net technology.
How are you different from similar players in the market?
We have developed web based smart card integration software to ‘read and write’ on smart card over secure internet (It is our copyright - we have applied for the same). We use MIFARE smart cards and read over the compact contact-less smart card readers. Besides, the unique photo-identifiable feature provided in our solutions - makes it a good cost effective security feature that can be easily implemented. Simplicity, 24 / 7 availability, pay as per usage, easy multi-location implementing, smart card with contact-less technology and security are the key value propositions of our solutions.
When were your solutions launched in the market? Which of the three services have better traction?
We launched our solutions around December last year. We have been getting more traction for iSpice and iGain.
How do you market your solutions to target audience?We are small and working with shoestring budgets. We are using multiple approaches in taking our solutions to the market. In India, we have a small sales team to do direct sales (they approach organisations, merchants etc). And we are in advanced stages of closing a tie-up with a marketing and media agency in Ahmedabad to promote our solutions. While in UK we have recently partnered with an IT company (specialized in POS solution) for marketing iSpice. Currently, they are using our customized solution for one of their clients. And in the Gulf we have tied up with an IT company who has key presence in Oman.
What is your revenue model?
Well, since we provide solutions on cloud, we follow a SaaS model (pay per usage). The client has to pay a one-time registration fees (per outlet) and a nominal recurring monthly fee.
Do you customize solutions basis company’s requirements? For instance, does imFit come in different versions according to the needs of different gyms?
Typically, features in our solutions are based on best practices for that vertical. Here we have kept a base version and then customize it to meet specific customer requirements. Our application framework enables us to customize quickly to meet the customer’s requirement.
This works 2 ways, customer perceives our solution to be flexible or in the process of customisation, we get to develop a new flavour which we can add to the base version and take to new prospects and create a product variant as well.
I can quote an example for iSpice. For a chain of restaurants (with 8 outlets) in UK we have customized our base solution to meet their specific requirements. The client does 80% of its business through home delivery and has a specific workflow. We customized our solution, and now we know that this is a new product variant we can offer.
Tell us a bit about your clients. Where are they predominantly from?
iSpice is being used at a popular chain of restaurants in Pune with three outlets, and a restaurant in Rajkot (Gujarat). iGain gained popularity with the first customer being a leading jewellery shop in Junagadh. imFit is being used by a Reebok certified training center in Bhavnagar
Currently, we are doing a parallel run for a popular Thai restaurant chain in UK with 8 outlets. Also, we are piloting an attendance system in the Russian Department of ARTs division, MS University Baroda for their smart card linked attendance system in cloud. The parents can know anytime (when their child has reached college) by login thorough internet anytime. After the pilot (of 1 months duration) the Department plans to roll out this solution across 2000 plus students in ARTs department. We have been invited by a leading IT company in India to implement the smart card based solution for their canteen cafeteria. The pilot is planned in phase I premises with around 2500 employees and across 8 canteen vendor locations on the campus. Here, we plan to customize our iSpice to meet the requirement of the client.
How big is your team? Are you hiring?
We are supported by a small cohesive team of around 6 people with 4 developers and 2 sales and support people. Yes, we are hiring and currently augmenting our development team.
What are your expansion plans?
In terms of people we will be sticking to our existing team till the next Quarter. If our current pursuits get converted, we would augment our team. In terms of location, we are currently consolidating our team at Pune. Gujarat will have representation from our sales and support personnel who are based in Baroda.
Now, that is what we call leveraging cloud in a meaningful manner. More about them at http://www.miraclecartes.com/