Bengaluru-based Eka Software is among those enterprise software companies that have gone about building their businesses quietly, away from the spotlight that many consumer startups enjoy. This has much to do with its founder Manav Garg, a soft-spoken commodity trader turned entrepreneur.
Manav, 41, launched Eka in 2004 as a provider of commodity trading software and has steadily picked up global commodity biggies as clients. It today counts multi-billion dollar companies like Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Rio Tinto among its clients.
Eka, which is at a revenue run rate of $30 million, raised a Rs 250 crore funding in 2013, led by US-based technology buyout fund Silver Lake Kraftwerk. Thailand-based GP Group and venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners are the other investors in the company. Manav says the company is not on the look out for fresh capital as it, like many enterprise software firms, does not require the kind of risk capital that some of the consumer-focused startups need.
The company is now diversifying and entering the analytics segment, a move that will help it reduce its dependence on commodity companies. The crash in commodity prices earlier this year has adversely affected many commodity-trading companies—Eka’s main customer base.
Eka began R&D work on the analytics platform about 18 months ago, much before the crash in commodity prices. The platform was launched over three months back and much of Manav’s attention will be on this new product, which follows the Software-as-a-Service model.
Manav is also a firm believer in using the inorganic route to fast track growth. In 2013, Eka paid about $20 million to acquire a significant stake in Australian supply-chain management technology company Matrix Group, giving it access to clients like Rio Tinto, BMA and BlueScope. Earlier that year it had bought Canada-based provider of energy transaction and risk management solutions, EnCompass Technologies.
Manav says acquisitions are on his mind and this time he is looking at analytics companies, both in India and globally. Manav speaks about acquisitions, the new product and the importance of thinking about scale in a video interview with YourStory.