Scaling new (Apps)

Scaling new (Apps)

Jaipur-based mobile application development company, Queppelin, aims to scale its business by tapping into the enterprise mobility segment and plans to enter the U.S. market and record a turnover of U.S. $3 million in FY 14 

MADHUMITA PRABHAKAR

PRAFULLA MATHUR, FOUNDER, QUEPPELIN TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS PVT. LTD.

In 2011, when Aircel approached the mobile application development start up, Queppelin, to build traction for its Save the Tiger campaign, it had just one mandate for them; to build an impactful application.  “As a user, I don’t see a tiger every day, how do I save it? If you come preaching to me saying go save a tiger, I’m not going to do that. So we thought, let’s create a game that users play for fun, while the message reaches them indirectly and hits their subconscious,” shares Prafulla Mathur, founder, Queppelin Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Queppelin) Within a month, the Save the Tiger gaming application, which incorporated the likes of Corbett National Park, Bengal Tigers and poachers, received a million downloads.

When quizzed about the early days of his entrepreneurial journey, Mathur says, “Even as I led a team of technology experts at Mastek-Halifax Bank of Scotland, London, I was keen on coming back to India and starting a business in the technology domain. Just then, there was a boom in the sale of cheaper smartphones, the adoption of 3G and the like. My hypothesis was that this will bring some kind of an inflection point in the market and when this point comes, I should be visible in the market and co-create the future of mobility.”

Mathur founded Queppelin in 2010.  The company launched its first flagship product, Zephyr, a multi-media streaming and compression platform, in 2011. The application recorded 26,000 downloads within a few days of its launch and gained recognition from Oracle Corp., which helped showcase it at the Mobile World Congress, at Barcelona.

With its headquarters at Jaipur, today, Queppelin has offices in Gurgaon and the U.K and its client base comprises companies such as Facebook, Times of India, Reliance, MakeMyTrip, Nissan Micra, Gaana.com, BoxTV and KDDI (Japan). The company currently has 45 employees on board and plans to expand into a 100 plus team in the next one year. Simultaneously, it also plans to aggressively tap into the U.S. markets in the near future and is targeting a turnover of U.S. $3 million by FY 14. The company primarily relies on word-of-mouth to market its services.

Queppelin raised two rounds of angel funding, one in mid-2010 and the other in 2011. Both have been channelised towards building extensive mobile platforms, sales and hiring in the technology department. Ever since, it has not sought funding because it has been cash flow positive. “Currently, we are not actively looking out to raise money, but, since we are in the growth phase, we might raise funds for strategic expansions in the future,” adds Mathur.

Being an able partner

Queppelin adopts two business models; one, where it conducts proactive market research and develops an application on a common platform and second, where it enters into a strategic partnership with an enterprise or a client in the consumer segment and develops customised applications based on specific requirements.

While developing an application, Queppelin works with the client right from the strategy phase. For instance, if a client approaches Queppelin to drive revenues through a mobile application, the team will strategise with the client in terms of discovering its requirement on mobile, developing the right application, testing it and then launching it. “We also provide our clients guidance on which distribution channel they can adopt and advice them on the best channels they can invest their marketing money into,” adds Mathur.

When quizzed how the team determines which applications will succeed on the common platform, Mathur says, the insights are drawn from a deep understanding of the market trends. “Three years back we could analyse and understand that media streaming would be big and we leveraged on that opportunity. We also foresaw that the media publications that are in print today have to move to mobile because print revenues are dying down. Prior market research gives us ample time to create the right applications and deliver in time to our clients,” he further indicates.

Every company’s sales and human resources department requires mobility and we are in the process of developing applications to cater to these requirements.

In the initial stage, the company’s challenges were limited to building a good team and acquiring clients. Now, as it expands into newer markets, Mathur indicates that the same challenge will be on a higher scale. “As we look to build our team, we are being very cautious about who we hire because acquiring the right people who are technically strong and have the right attitude matters a lot,” says Mathur. The company typically holds multiple rounds of rigorous technical interviews to filter the right candidates.

Entering the next phase

Going forward, the company is focussed on tapping more enterprise mobility products. “Every company’s sales and human resources department requires mobility and we are in the process of developing applications to cater to these requirements,” adds Mathur.

In the current financial year, the company plans to setup an office in the U.S. “We already have a large share of revenues coming from the U.S. and we want to leverage our presence there to multiply this,” says Mathur.

Lastly, it plans to expand its team size to over a 100 employees across India, the U.K. and the U.S. and record a turnover of U.S. $ 3 million by FY 14.


Concept in brief:

Queppelin Technologies, the Jaipur-based mobile application development company, was founded by Prafulla Mathur in 2010. Queppelin adopts two business models; one, where it conducts proactive market research and develops an application on the common platform and second, where it enters into a strategic partnership with an enterprise or a client in the consumer segment and develops customised applications based on specific requirements. It currently has runs offices in Gurgaon and the U.K and its client base includes companies such as Facebook, Times of India, Reliance, MakeMyTrip, Nissan Micra, Gaana.com, BoxTV and KDDI (Japan). It has 45 employees on board and plans to expand into a 100 plus team in the next one year. Simultaneously, it also plans to aggressively extend its presence in the U.S. markets in the near future and is targeting a turnover of U.S. $ 3 million by FY 14. Queppelin raised two rounds of angel funding, one in mid-2010 and the other in 2011. Both have been channelised towards building extensive mobile platforms, sales and hiring in the technology department.