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We are moving from the age of application development to the age of data analytics

Digital companies have to change their business model every 4-5 years to remain relevant

Abhishek Rungta, Founder and CEO, INT
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Abhishek Rungta, Founder and CEO, INT

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More than two decades ago, when he was still in his teens, he founded Indus Net Technologies (which is now being re-branded as INT). Twenty three years down the line, his expertise across technology and marketing gives him the unique ability to synergise systems with business, ensuring a high success rate of innovation and change management initiatives. Abhishek Rungta, Founder and CEO, INT, is now an entrepreneur, digital strategy consultant, software architect, marketing geek, angel investor and a visionary. Speaking to Bizz Buzz, he minces no word in saying that Covid-19 has forced digital transformation across the spectrum of industries, and his company is one of the direct beneficiaries of the same. Rungta feels that economic turbulent times are great for starting up as these are times of change, and people who can identify the change and direction of the future can build great businesses

Economic turbulent times are great for starting up. These are times of change, and people who can identify the change and direction of the future can build great businesses. These businesses are resilient as they are built under difficult circumstances where customers are looking for value. Only companies with a no-nonsense approach survive

Trends have a short lifecycle and changes do exist which vary in intensity across industries and people depending upon their environment. Some possible changes are: Rise of decentralization like never before, Major adoption of digital across functions and industries, Remote working and rise of smaller businesses, Rise of the "Enterprise of 1", or as commonly known as the gig-economy

You seem to have handled the pandemic situation pretty well for your company. During this phase you bought over an European company and announced your plans for a significant jump in revenues. How did you manage to do that and what has been the rationale behind taking over the European firm?

We have invested in a European firm basis our TechCapital initiative, where we build software for selected startups in a partnership model where we split our professional fees into cash and equity, thus putting our skin in their game. We have announced our plans and significant growth in revenues based on few emerging trends and changes we are making within INT. Covid-19 has forced digital transformation across the spectrum of industries, and we are one of the direct beneficiaries of the same. We have launched our analytics, BI, ML/AI division in the open market. It was in private beta for the one last year where we were only serving few existing clients. We are moving from the age of application development to the age of data analytics, and this movement is timely to add to our top line.

Due to Covid-19, our older business development methods were badly hurt. But our team persisted and created new methods and has done better than in the past. Now, with things returning to normalcy, our innovative new approach to business development will be complemented with the traditional process, and hence multiply our sales.

Many companies across sectors are taking digital jumps in the wake of lockdown, social distancing norms etc. How does it help companies like yours? Do you think that this trend is here to stay?

In today's world, trends also have a short lifecycle. Transformation is loosely used. There will be changes in behavior, some temporary, some permanent. And these changes will also vary in intensity across industries and people depending upon their environment. Some possible changes are: Rise of decentralisation like never before, major adoption of digital across functions and industries, remote working and rise of smaller businesses, rise of the "Enterprise of 1", or as commonly known as the gig-economy. What it has done are change mental constraints. It has given people an understanding that businesses can be run in a simple way. And this will take root in many places.

You have recently been incorporated into the coveted Forbes Business Council. What does that signify and how do you envisage your new role?

I look forward to sharing my experience and insights which I gather while working closely with my people, clients and industry experts.

You have also been a successful serial investor and have been associated with the startup ecosystem quite closely in various capacities. How has the pandemic impacted the startup ecosystem? And how and when do you see them bouncing back? What needs to be done to help them bounce back?

Economic turbulent times are great for starting up. These are times of change, and people who can identify the change and direction of the future can build great businesses. These businesses are resilient as they are built under difficult circumstances where customers are looking for value. Only companies with a no-nonsense approach survive. I was a dormant angel investor for few years, and I have already started taking an active interest and aggressively investing in startups that match my investment thesis.

You would now like to make inroads into the UAE market, right? So what are your plans?

We are in discussion with few local partners in the UAE. Once we are able to structure a deal with one of them, we will launch our services in the market and use it as a base for GCC and Africa. We are in no rush. We want to make sure that the right partnership is put in place and we make steady progress.

You have recently done a rebranding exercise for INT. What prompted you to do so? What are the strategies and how would you like to see INT, say, 2-3 years down the line?

Digital companies have to change their business model every 4-5 years to remain relevant and stay on top of the changes that happen in the industry. INT has successfully navigated this landscape since 1997. Overtime, the company has changed in spirit, purpose and dimension. However, our brand identity and the story remained unchanged to align with the real change. It is high time that we align both these things. The pandemic was a wonderful time to pull it off, as it gave us mental space and a lot of time to work closely without disturbance.

Ritwik Mukherjee
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