How Pune-based nCircle Tech achieved ARR in sub-$10 million bracket and 90 pc user retention after bootstrapping
Design thinking is now reaching the core of every industry, and engineering and manufacturing companies are building robust platforms to design their future innovations. The need for customised software solutions for visual engineering is of prime need in manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and construction companies around the world.
The demand for workflow automation, information management modelling, and design solutions are growing multi-fold. And, if they were to stay ahead of their markets, they need to understand the same.
Varun Bhartiya, Co-founder and CEO of nCircle Tech says,
"That is an opportunity we saw. As we sit on the cusp on a new decade, we do not see the demand slowing down. We want to help our clients develop and design their innovation on platforms we deliver."
Varun has worked with General Electric (GE) Aviation in India and has developed applications for aircraft engine blade profile designing and optimisation. After that, he moved to 3DPLM and worked on implementing a 3D fluidic module in CATIA Software.
His wife, Tarika Bhartiya, on the other hand, was a part of the supply chain team at Maruti Suzuki, where she was involved in the launch of the factory fitted CNG versions of Maruti Suzuki for the first time in India.
Pune-based nCircle Tech is a specialised engineering software development services provider in the domain of CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM, and BIM. With 130 employees across multiple expertise areas today, the startup began its operations in October 2012. With its software solutions engine, it claims to help global organisations achieve their time-to-market and business goals by developing their mission-critical engineering applications.
nCircle Tech reports having been successful in catering to more than 50 clients in 15 countries, across five continents.
How it started
After her first job at Maruti, Tarika decided to take a loan to do an MBA from ISB. After two job changes and a failed startup, Varun was introduced to Tarika’s parents who accepted an unemployed Varun with open arms. The first project brought the couple high hopes and that made Tarika, now armed with an MBA, let go of her lucrative Amazon offer and partner with Varun, both personally and professionally.
Varun says, "Our story is a testament to our complementing partnership. While Tarika is eager to take forward leaps without worrying unnecessarily about risk, I am always calculating risks and analysing problems with a microscopic lens. I have been the technical backbone of the company, still trying my best to be involved with every aspect of project delivery for every project, with each client. Tarika is not afraid to take the big steps that have eventually resulted in giant leaps for the organisation."
The couple firmly believes in the power of collaboration through networks, forming ‘circles of trust’ with their clients, partners, and employees, hence the name – nCircle. The startup’s revenue model is like any other services company delivering IT services.
The customisable options, however, are based on the nature and potential of engagement. In addition to the standard pricing models like time, material, and fixed cost, the startup also owns or co-owns the intellectual property piece as well.
Bootstrapped since day one, nCircle’s journey started with a custom project to develop a 3D web visualisation solution that was well ahead of its game in 2012. With each successful project delivered, and as their confidence and industry network grew, the team undertook its first end-to-end product platform development project, and the client has since been successfully acquired.
"We also ensured that we got into development partnerships with industry giants like Autodesk, fairly early on in our journey, which led to decent global visibility and projects for us to win and deliver," Varun says.
The technology and the growth
Speaking of annual revenue, Varun says they are in the sub-$10 million bracket, with an average CAGR growth at 70 percent, over the last six years. He says the startup has delivered more than 150 large-scale solutions to more than 50 clients across 15 countries, with a reported user retention rate of 90 percent.
Technology plays a major role in 3D visualisation and design. The design includes everything that skyscrapers are made from, to a small part of a machine, reducing the time undertaken in creating the final product output. The startup has its expertise in visual software development platforms like Autodesk, Siemens PLM, and Vectorworks. The clients get software plug-ins, apps, and code from the platform, that allows them to design products, buildings, and manufacturing processes according to their needs.
"We are also proud to have worked and partnered with Fortune 500 giants like SIEMENS and Autodesk. This is a very niche sector, and only a few such companies are offering specialised and custom design software solutions. Our domain expertise, ability to integrate advanced technologies like AI/ML and VR/AR, strong R&D, and a very strong team of engineers help us stay ahead in the industry," Varun adds.
The competitors of nCircle Tech include the likes of Capricot Technologies, Neilsoft, Rolta and 3D PLM Global Services among the others.
The way forward
At present, nCircle Tech holds a strong presence in the global market and is looking to strengthen its reach by further expanding in Japan, along with penetration in Europe. The startup aims to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to up-sell the solutions and increase the level of automation in the workflows to increase efficiency.
The company also focusses on building proprietary products to help deliver solutions faster. Starting this year, the team is branching out to new industry sectors, where the adoption of visual engineering has a lot of potentials.
"Being a services-oriented company, we focus on providing an awesome and consistent client experience, founded on the pillars of absolute transparency and empathetic consulting," Varun concludes.
(Edited by Suman Singh)