Vikas Agarwal joined Innovify as its co-founder in 2011. We caught up with him to know his plans for Innovify, and what he had been before this & more.
1) What inspired you to be a part of Innovify as a co-founder?
Frankly, After finishing my engineering in IT, I was involved in many different domains of businesses and achieved many milestones but when Maulik approached me with the idea of bridging the gap between technology innovation and implementation as a startup incubator, not only was I excited, I found a link between my passion for IT and Innovify’s core idea of empowering startups which inspired me to join Innovify as its co-founder.
2) People call you a Tech Evangelist, why do they call you that?
I am following technology since the 3.5” floppy disks where you could load the LOGO Programs. Also my vision through Innovify is to introduce many revolutionary products that change the way the world perceives and uses technology.
3) How do you coordinate with so many scrum teams at your India office?
Well, Scrum is a framework in Agile. Scrum believes in self organized cross functional teams that follow the rituals and essence of this framework. These teams are motivated to deliver. Hence, practically they don’t need me.
I am more of a silent observer in some of their retrospective meetings but always available to speed up the process of removing blocks.
“my vision through Innovify is to introduce many revolutionary products that change the way the world perceives and uses technology”
4) What is the forte of Innovify’s team in India?
It’s simple! Process & Passion, most importantly Eagerness to learn new things.
5) Can you tell us something about your clients – Instant and Kybe?
InstanttTM has identified the need of coffee in the UK market and understood consumers’ behavior. Innovify helped them develop a secure digital platform that seamlessly consolidates e-ordering, e-payments and e-loyalty into a single secure mobile app.
Kybe is an absolutely different product that we are working on currently. It is a trustworthy personal data management platform where people across the globe share their personal data and it empowers them to gain benefits out of it. It’s a platform where the market meets their end user and it’s a win-win situation for all.
6) It is considered that UK is way ahead than India in technology, in such a scenario doesn’t it become difficult to reach UK’s standards with Indian resources?
Well, I would say no and yes both. Yes to “UK is ahead of India in technology” and No to “reaching UK’s standard with Indian resources is difficult”. All the latest technologies and processes that are practiced in UK can easily be adapted in India, if the core purpose is understood well. Our office in UK with its infrastructure & human resources make knowledge sharing quick and effective. And our scrum teams in India are efficient & adapt quickly. It’s a great synergy between the two giving us a cross country advantage.
7) When an aspiring entrepreneur comes with an idea which is not feasible enough, what is your next step?
95% startups fail sooner or later! If we believe that any idea is not feasible in terms of scalability, business model, revenue, market, we mentor them in the areas they lack. Our incubation process helps an entrepreneur structure his idea in a way that he finds his own potholes and encourages him to find solutions.
At times even re-looking at the existing startups with different perspectives helps in disrupting the product.
8) How does Agile make a difference in the operations of a Product Management Company?
It’s simple – Agile helps engage stakeholders, predict delivery and cost, be responsive to market needs and stay ready for quick adaptations, which encourages valuing customers and adhere to transparency. This entire process makes product development feasible and achievable. If you are not agile you are bound to fail in the world of product development.
9) You have worked in industries like education, event management, real estate, plastics and petrochemicals, which are very different from each other. Does this diverse experience help you deliver better business solutions?
Definitely! A diversified experience means having met a lot of dynamic people & tested many different ideas. It has helped me understand different business models of startups and products from different perceptive. This experience helps me give technical guidance & clarity to revamp business model for the startups with.
10) Where do you see Innovify 5 years down the line?
5 years is a lot of time, I see Innovify having nurtured at least 25 startups, scaling these start-ups to the highest peaks of success and strong experienced alumni of entrepreneurs.
11) As per you, what could be the leading reasons behind a startup’s failure?
Most often startups dig their own grave at the very beginning. One of the common mistakes is not carrying out enough research towards the market needs and problems against what the startup actually understands or feels. Other similar reasons are no tangible revenue model, no scalability in terms of operations, team composition and many more.
Ideas can make you Big – If you implement them right. 🙂