With a clientele spread worldwide, here’s how a .in domain helped this IT company have the best of both worlds

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A Dotcom boom, an agile IT services industry and a steady stream of dynamic talent are among the many factors that have enabled Indian software companies to make strides and drive impact globally. Inspired by the Indian entrepreneurs who made it big in Silicon Valley, Shabbir Merchant harboured the dream of writing a similar success story some day.

An alumnus of University of Maryland Baltimore County in the US, Shabbir had a keen interest in combining open source tools and, technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. While working with a company in Chicago between 2003 and 2007, he realised that he was ready for a more challenging role, which is when he decided to return to India and launch his own business.

Established in 2010, Pune-based Pragmatic Technologies helps startups and MSMEs undergo a seamless digital transformation and compete with bigger enterprises by achieving last-mile business process automation and implementation. The company's offerings help businesses become more productive and efficient and drive customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention.

"We are currently working with Odoo, a leading open source business suite of applications, for implementation, customisation and integration with third party systems," says Shabbir.

"I was interested in growing in a dimension I was not exposed to earlier. I wanted to change my domains, learn new things and apply them in emerging fields," he says while talking about his early days as an entrepreneur.

A journey of inspiration and empowerment

The business has been making strides by enabling small and mid-sized businesses to undergo digital transformations and automate mission-critical processes. “Our solutions empower SMBs to grow and scale efficiently. Over the last couple of years, we have been working extensively with enterprises in the retail and e-commerce sectors,” he adds.

A key growth driver for Pragmatic Technologies’ business was its decision to get a .in domain name to reach out to a wider audience. "A .in domain name proved to be important in building credibility and a presence in not just Indian, but international markets as well. Also, as we blogged a lot, we needed to do it on our own domain for better SEO rankings and generating inbound leads," adds Shabbir. Pragmatic Technologies applied for a .in domain in 2010.

Talking about why he chose a .in domain, Shabbir says, “I was confident that the technology industry would be growing rapidly over the next few years and India would play a major role in its development. The .in domain helped us build an image as an Indian company that offered reliable services at an affordable price.”

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has helped hundreds of businesses across sectors and sizes distinguish themselves as a brand with its .in or .Bharat domain — which is India’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). It’s among the only internet exchanges in the world to offer a ccTLD in multiple languages. By opting for a .in and .Bharat, one can choose between 22 languages for a domain name.

What added to the benefits of a .in domain was that the application process was a very easy and quick one, he added.

Small steps to a big impact

The company’s clientele is spread across Asia, the US, Europe, Middle East and Australia. In 2016, Shabbir and his team launched Pragmatic Voice, a voice technology services and products company that is catering to voice-based platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Actions. Another launch by the company, Pragmatic Commerce, is assisting retail and e-commerce companies run efficient online businesses.

Shabbir also feels that while social media can help businesses ramp up their reach, it can't replace a website. “A website is a must for any company to build a reliable image. Also, for any business wanting to scale, a website is a bare minimum marketing collateral.”

For several budding entrepreneurs like Shabbir, a .in or .Bharat domain has paved the way for a level-playing field where they can compete with bigger organisations. Explaining his views, he says, “For us, our website is the primary mechanism to generate leads. A .in domain also helped us serve domestic customers more confidently.”

Looking back at Pragmatic Technologies' journey, Shabbir says that a .in domain helped the company create a robust digital identity. “It helped us to create an online presence for our customers both locally and internationally and gave them a medium to know more about our products and services.”

The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.


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