Exclusive Interview with Manish Bhalla- CEO, FATbit Technologies
In this exclusive interview, He shared his experiences in IT and several more things. Let’s check his success story and thoughts.
1. Tell Us about yourself how you started your career in the IT Sector?
Being a combination of Type A and Type C personalities, I was always into keeping things organized and analyzing general practices, behavior, processes, interactions between people, personal as well as commercial, and was given freedom of choice by my parents. Though I was studying commerce, business management, and taxation, penetration of IT and eCommerce into business always fascinated me.
Technology is all about improving the analysis and management of the 4 Ps: People, Products, Processes, and Performance, with the objective of making human life easier and safer. As I was intricately engrossed in ‘Efficiency and Performance’, IT was a natural and logical career choice.
The basic learning around programming and building solutions came early as a result of self-learning and determination, which I got as gifts from my brother and father.
Building on my interest towards reading, I enhanced my skills in the IT domain and began offering services and solutions in 2002. The formal inception of FATbit in 2004 allowed realizing the dream of providing IT solutions to entrepreneurs and enterprises around the globe.
As the Founder and CEO of FATbit Technologies, I find myself driven towards the vision of augmenting the e-commerce industry with adept software and robust turnkey solutions. We accelerate the online business launch with solutions that are well-tested and market-ready.
2. Tell us in brief about your company and the leadership.
FATbit Technologies is an e-commerce behemoth founded in 2004 with an aim to empower businesses and young entrepreneurs to adapt to the digital revolution and thrive in the digital age. FATbit is a world-renowned software development company
that offers value-creating digital solutions for start-ups, small & medium-sized business and large enterprises to optimize their operations. We offer an array of services like web and enterprise app development, UX & UI design, digital marketing, business strategy consultation, competition analysis, e-commerce solutions and more.
We help startups & brick-and-mortar stores to become successful e-commerce businesses with our ready-to-market e-commerce solutions. Our e-commerce marketplace solutions enable entrepreneurs to empower business ideas pertaining to every niche of the industry including lifestyle, grocery, food & beverage, liquor, jewellery, rental and the list is quite long.
Yo!Kart (A product of FATbit) is one of the leading multi-vendor B2B/B2C marketplace solutions that has earned the trust of several brands worldwide. Our e-grocery solution - Growcer powers many online grocery stores at various locations worldwide. We have enabled several entrepreneurs to establish their online learning platforms with our e-learning solution - Yo!Coach. Similarly, we have a wide range of software that help businesses build vital capabilities online- Tribe, Yo!Yumm, Yo!Rent, VivoCabs, Yo!Meals, to name a few.
3. What is your outlook for 2021?
I only see opportunities approaching us in the year ahead and we are ready to capture and realize them all to the best of our potential. Though, 2020 was a setback for several industries, especially for the brick and mortar businesses. But the lockdown resulted in the growing popularity of online platforms and I took it as an opportunity to be of service to various businesses that suffered due to the pandemic. So, we helped thousands of businesses navigate the COVID-19 crisis through our e-commerce solutions. As the pandemic continues its coast-to-coast march and in 2021 we intend to introduce new products to the market that will help local businesses to migrate online.
4. How do you assess the role of research agencies like TopAppFirms in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?
I highly acknowledge the role of research agencies like TopAppFirms in laying the foundation of trust between clients and businesses. Agencies like TopAppFirms prove to be a reliable platform where clients can find relevant information about the businesses and at the same time, businesses can reach out to potential customers. These agencies act as an information transmitting channel for businesses where they can convey their vision and values to the customers and talk about their approach, expertise and offerings.
5. Any particular technology or industry you would be targeting? How do you plan to prepare your workforce for the upcoming technology upgrade?
As I said earlier, we are recognized as the world-renowned e-commerce solution provider and we are constantly expanding our realm in the e-commerce industry. To meet the changing customer needs, we are continuously evolving and iterating our solutions. Like we recently built an online party rental platform and a B2B marketplace for selling liquor. We would be diving into diverse niches and revolutionizing the sectors that are yet to experience the digital transformation.
I firmly believe that learning is a never-ending process and we inculcate this in our company’s culture and people too. I consider my people one of the company’s most valuable assets and upgrading their skills and knowledge only adds more value to the company. My team constantly engages in skill development programmes. We frequently organize knowledge gaining sessions and seminars for our employees. Also, we facilitate our employees to take up online courses, explore new technologies, and expand their horizon to easily adapt to the constantly changing technology trends.
6. What all services do you think you would add to your offerings in 2021?
So I covered a part of this while talking about my outlook for 2021. We are currently focussing to scale our e-commerce services. We have recently launched a single store e-commerce solution - TRIBE, for small scale vendors and store owners to keep their businesses running during the COVID-19 pandemic. We developed Tribe with an aim to help local store owners whose businesses were shut during the lockdown to easily create their online storefronts. The solution is available to global businesses at FREE of Cost.
Also, anticipating a major shift in the education & learning sector from offline to online due to the pandemic, we released an upgraded version of our e-learning solution - Yo!Coach at the start of 2021. I could see how the lockdown and restrictions posed by COVID-19 were causing the education industry to rely on online means of learning. So we made enhancements in our software and added more functionalities to enable a seamless and personalized learning- teaching experience. In 2021, we intend to scale up our e-commerce services and empower small scale businesses around the world.
7. What are the challenges you see in the outsourcing industry and how much you’re prepared to face those challenges?
With the globalization of the outsourcing industry, the competition has been intense so the major challenge for businesses is to have a competitive edge and stay up front. With new businesses entering the market every second, existing ones need to put in constant efforts to secure their position. Another major challenge that companies face is to overcome the time difference while dealing with offshore clients and establish seamless communication.
The key to staying relevant in this constantly evolving industry is to be flexible and evolve. We do not hesitate in reinventing our processes whenever the need arises and that helps us to be at the leading edge.
For us, clients come first and this resides as one of our core values. While dealing with either onshore or offshore clients, we make sure to be available for our clients whenever required and establish a seamless communication flow.
8. How helpful are the Web and mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?
Whatever we do, we do it for our clients to scale their growth and help them achieve their goals. We specifically design and develop our web and mobile apps to meet our clients’ vision and business goals. We help businesses become e-commerce companies by providing our value-based solutions. The apps and websites we develop help our clients to establish themselves in the online market space, deliver a seamless user experience, expand their customer reach, and streamline their business operations.
9. What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
Bringing transparency in everything you do for sure helps you build trust among your clients. One factor that has majorly contributed to our success is our transparent processes. We adhere to transparency in everything we take up, be it client interactions, terms & conditions, policies, or product development. Adopting transparent practices has immensely helped us to attain client satisfaction.
Another factor that has helped us render optimum results is the practice of understanding clients’ vision and expectations with the project before actually working on it. This helps us build exactly what the client wants.
10. Tell me about your successful projects?
We measure our success with our clients’ growth. We consider all those projects successful that have added value to our clients’ business and the list is quite long. But I would mention a few of our projects that are a huge success and have helped our clients gain a leading edge.
From among the long list of client associations that make us feel pride in our products and services is a world leader in the brewery domain. The leading brewery brand connected with FATbit to solve issues around setting up an online channel .
By developing a marketplace with YoKart, FATbit’s premium marketplace platform, we provided them with a system to facilitate distributor-to-end customer transactions and improve price and service level transparency. The rich experience delivered helped add operational value and ameliorated business.
The most recent one is the UNI Diamonds. We built a b2b diamond trading marketplace that enables diamond merchants from all over the world to connect, bid and trade diamonds. The project has added innumerable value to our client’s business and has proved to be the most efficient diamond trading platform.
AnyTutors37 is another project that we take pride in. We built an international online learning and teaching platform for our client with our turnkey solution Yo!Coach. Built with a customer-centric approach, the platform delivers a personalized learning and teaching experience and is performing really well in the market.
MALCA-AMIT, Noor & Zafir, & Superlivery are some more projects that have set a benchmark in the industry and are a fine specimen of our expertise.
11. How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for Web development?
I always tell my team to first understand clients’ requirements, discuss various aspects of the project, the doable and the challenges, and then come up with the best-suited solution. We have a team of experts that help clients with choosing the right platform for web development.
12. What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2021 after COVID 19?
We catered to a wide range of projects after COVID-19. Some were start-ups websites, some were elaborated multi-functionality platforms. The price of the projects varied as per clients’ requirements. Since our e-commerce solutions extend a wide scope of customization, the price structure greatly depends on the customization required by the clients and ranges from 1000 U.S. dollars to 500,000 U.S dollars.
13. Please describe the operational structure of your company- from the moment a client walks in, to the product deployment.
Transparency has always been the major element in our work processes. We follow agile methodology and our processes are extremely flexible. Let me run you through or routine project flow:
Introduction & Requirement Analysis:
When a client connects with us to discuss his/her requirements, a subject matter expert is assigned to understand the clients’ business requirements and objectives.
The interests of different stakeholders along with functional as well as technical requirements and feasibility analysis is done.
Then, a team of professionals sit down to execute project planning.
To propose the estimated timelines for the project, the solution development plan is matched with the expected timelines.
The plan is then discussed with the client along with the proposed time frame. Once we receive approval from the client, work on the project begins.
The project is divided into sprints/milestones.
The segment completed is shared with the client for UAT (User Acceptance Testing) after every release.
After their approval the code/portion is uploaded to the staging server/URL or the live server/URL
A sign-off is requested from the client for the completed sprints so as to move to the next sprint .
Support and Maintenance:
After all sprints are successfully completed, the support and maintenance phase begins.
We keep optimizing the solution as well as the UX Design to ensure it is delivering a smooth user experience and performance, as per client requests, as a part of the Agile development process.
Maintaining Total Transparency:
To keep the client updated at every stage of the project development, we connect our client to our project management software - BIZixx.
Any other Project Management System of their choice eg. JIRA is also a welcome choice to stay updated together.
All the updates related to the project development are regularly posted on these by various team members.
14. After service is a necessary part of development. How do you provide customer support to your client?
We believe in building a long-term partnership with our clients. We provide technical support to our clients and help them tackle the challenges they face with deployment, set up or onboarding. We have a team dedicated to provide after service support and is available round the clock.
15. Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
We have delivered a large number of mobile app development projects for both platforms. We cannot say which platform is the best for mobile app development as the choice of platform majorly depends on the client’s business requirements, target audience and budget.