How Nadhi Information Technologies is solving supply chain challenges for the construction industry

How Nadhi Information Technologies made sure the construction industry entered the digital space at the right time.
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The construction industry in India is growing rapidly, and the entry of digitization into the sector has fast-tracked its growth. With construction technology poised to revolutionize the real estate and infrastructure industries, several organisations have risen to the challenge to make their mark in the sector.

One such success story belongs to Nadhi Information Technologies, which deals in integrated project controls solutions for the construction industry. Founded in September 2008 by IIT Madras alumni Kalyan Vaidyanathan and Ravi Mundoli, Nadhi was incubated at the IIT Madras incubation cell which is part of the IIT Madras Research Park. Kalyan and Ravi founded it after having moved back to India. They both had studied abroad after their degrees in IIT Madras and worked together at i2 Technologies which is where they met.

Building a brand

Prior to starting Nadhi nPulse, Kalyan and Ravi worked for Dallas-based supply chain company i2 Technologies out of their Boston office. Kalyan worked as a product manager in their scheduling solutions and Ravi worked in the R&D team of the logistics solutions. They found each other through the alumni network in Boston and used to meet often at the recreational room.

Eventually, Ravi moved back to India and started working in a Hyderabad-based startup, before Kalyan popped up out of the blue and told him about his idea of a supply chain product for the construction industry. Ravi agreed, and gradually became Kalyan’s outsourced developer in India, and together they built a prototype with an aim to target small and medium construction contractors in the United States.

When they pitched their idea, they realised that Indians faced digitisation challenges in construction. They decided to pivot and started addressing the digitisation and project controls needs whilst catering to Indian contractors, construction companies, real estate developers, and capital project owners.

Talking about the idea behind the company, Kalyan says, “When I started working for i2, it was known for its supply chain expertise. I joined them to see if that expertise could be taken to the construction industry. But it didn’t work out because of a multitude of reasons, and the problem with the supply chain persisted.” He adds that the idea they were working on was about bringing together multiple people and organisations to make the project work and for it to be delivered within time and budget.

Growth and challenges

The ability to connect several disconnected sources of information has been the USP of Nadhi since its inception. “We connect people and process in a way that has not been done before. In spite of all the technology they have, decision-makers in the construction industry today aren’t able to answer simple questions. The fact that we can connect time, cost, and geometry and use them to answer these questions is our core USP and adds value to our company,” says Kalyan.

Ravi says that they deal in a lot of repeat business, as their customers usually return. Adding to his views, Kalyan says that they had around 10 projects within the first five years of their inception, but landed 250+ projects and more than 3,000 users in 25 countries in the next five years.

The Chennai-based company has made inroads in 12 different sectors such as real estate (commercial and residential), rail, road, metro, oil and gas, bridges, power (conventional and solar), port projects, etc.

Talking about roadblocks, Kalyan says that convincing people to integrate technology in construction was their biggest challenge. “Getting people to appreciate the streamlining of information was a major challenge we faced in the early days as entrepreneurs,” he adds.

Conquering India and abroad

Talking about engagements on their website, Ravi says that a lot of business development happened through word of mouth. “We have definitely had people calling us after finding us on Google, or after hearing our name and searching for us on the internet. The only concrete statistic that’s available would be a call per month saying that they found us on a search engine,” he says.

Adding further, Kalyan says, “In a more recent trend, the .in extension helps as there is a lot of buzz around ‘Made in India’ solutions. When people look us up, they think of us as a company with a solid IT base for construction, which is homegrown and applicable in India, but also has a presence abroad. That turns out to be a huge advantage. So if you look up construction technologies on search engines, Nadhi and its flagship product nPulse show up quite high in the search.”

Many companies in India dream of the position that Nadhi is basking in at the moment, and a lot of those brands get to realise that dream, thanks to the .in and .Bharat domain. Available in 22 different Indian languages, the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) gives budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to make their mark in the online space with the help of these domains. Not only do these domains provide them with a platform to showcase their services, but they also help them get noticed by potential customers as well as investors.

Looking forward, Kalyan says that their acquisition by Bentley Acceleration Initiatives is indicative of the faith that has been put on them by one of the largest infrastructure technology providers in the US. “We have a target to expand the solution across all of southeast Asia over the next couple of years. Now that we have Bentley’s backing, we’re looking to accelerate some of our research and development initiatives apart from expanding our market and reach,” says Kalyan.

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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