A freewheeling interview with Nikhil Peter (startups.in)

Deltecs helps students and employees better utilize their time by providing mobile learning applications. The founders of this award winning start-up share their views in an interview with Nikhil Peter of Startups.in deltecs

1. What exactly is Deltecs.com? Why the name Deltecs?

Deltecs InfoTech is pioneer in providing innovative learning and training solutions on mobile phones and desktops. Idea incubation and early work started in October 2005 and finally incorporated in Feb, 2007 with key members from Wipro Technologies. In short span on existence, we have been involved in business with blue chip companies, either partnering with them or providing solutions to them.

It was formerly, Delta Technologies and hence Deltecs InfoTech Pvt. Ltd. seemed like the closest possible name not to lose our already created identity.

2. How did the idea of this start-up originate?

We used to work with Wipro Technologies for a couple of years before we started on our own. So while commuting to work, we used to see a lot of MBA aspirants preparing for their CAT by utilizing their travel time. That’s when it struck us as to why not come out with mobile learning applications which will help students utilize their time in a better way. That’s where it all originated from.

3. Are there any other players offering similar services?

When we started off, I don’t think there was any competition. But recently there have been a few companies sprung up in the same domain if not offering the same services. Unfortunately, we see Deltecs as the only Indian entry in the hand-held learning annual awards this year.

4. How does Drona prove to be helpful to students and employees.

Drona basically helps an institute/corporate/university to author, distribute and analyze tests and their results within no time and for far lesser costs. Also, for the employees and students it’s just in time learning and testing which they can refer to anytime. Drona-BES is a blackberry based plug-in for corporates where the senior management in any corporates can access their training modules and finish their allocated training time even with their hectic schedules without spending dedicated time on their desktops.

5. How is Deltecs.com doing do so far? How well was it received by the community?

Deltecs has been well received by the student community as well as the teaching fraternity since it has products catering to both the markets, viz. B2B as well as B2C. In fact, Deltecs has 10,000+ individual users as well as fortune 500 companies as their esteemed clients and partners.

6. Could you tell us more about yourself, your position & other key players, if any?

I am one of the 3 Co-Founders in the company and have been playing varied roles since the inception of Deltecs. I am presently handling the Product and Innovation portfolio in Deltecs.

7. How large is the team behind your start-up? Are you all based in India?

We are 3 Co-Founders in Deltecs. I, Jinen Dedhia and Akash Shah and we are a team of 14 people now. We are based in India, more specifically Mumbai.

8. How is your startup being funded so far? Do you plan to receive any external funding?

Deltecs presently is self funded and yes, we do plan to seek funds in the near future.

9. Throw some light upon the initial hurdles you came across while setting up your start-up?

For a startup at different stages the hurdles keep on changing at every step but Entrepreneurship is all about tackling and overcoming them. Be it funding, setting up an office, choosing the initial set of people to build a core team to setting up the processes, motivating and keeping the whole team focused and man management have all been challenges at their times, but overcoming them becomes fairly easy if you have your goals and objectives set and everyone involved aligned with your vision and the hunger to go that extra bit to achieve it.

10. What are key technologies your service is built upon and why did you opt for them?

Well, we basically work with Java as well as Microsoft technologies depending on the kind of market feasibility. For e.g. in the Indian markets j2me works best since the market has majority of java based phones and it makes business sense to opt for java rather than Microsoft technologies since Windows OS phones have very little market share. But we do opt for Microsoft Technologies when it comes to web based development since we are a member of Microsoft bizspark program where we get access to a lot of Microsoft tools and services. On the other hand, for internal purposes we do work on more technologies. But it is only for internal Deltecs purpose and not offered as a service or a product.

11. In your experience, what has been the most effective way to market a business?

Well, since Deltecs offers Software Products and Services and not physical ones, we find online marketing as one of the most effective ways of marketing and promoting our products and services but it has to be appropriately supported by traditional media like offline PR strategies, BTL activities at strategic places, event participation, sponsorships and good media relations.

12. What is the best advice you’ve ever received.

I think the best advice that I must have received would be… “Believe in yourself and every problem will have a solution, stay down to earth and people will respect you”

13. On a personal front, who is your role model? Also, do you follow any other websites religiously?

Personally I think Narayan murthy, Dhirubhai Ambani and a lot of 1st Gen Entrepreneurs who made it big have given me some learning or the other. I do follow a lot of start up websites and forums regularly.

14. How did being an entrepreneur affect your lifestyle? Do you get enough time for yourself/family?

Well yes, to be honest I have become more patient and focused and also value money more than I ever did before. Also I think one should balance their personal as well as professional life since it helps you connect with one self as well as rejuvenate and recharge timely which eventually has a huge positive impact on the professional side.

15. Tell us One thing that you love the most?

Well, I love my team the most, coz honestly they have been with Deltecs in its toughest phase as well and believed in the vision unanimously. I would never want to lose them.

16. Have you, or your organization, been recognized in any way for your great work?

  • We won the ISB B-Plan competition in the year ’08 and came 5th in the Asia moot B-Plan Contest ’08.
  • We were also nominated for TATA NEN hottest start-ups in ’08.
  • This year we have been the only company from India amongst the finalists for award of innovation from hand held learning being held in London. Do not forget to vote! 🙂

“Entrepreneurship is all about tackling and overcoming hurdles — Divyesh Kharade, Director of Products, Deltecs
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One more news, Deltecs is the only Indian company to be among the 4 finalists for the Innovation awards to be held in London on Oct 5th 2009. (Handheld Learning)
The Other 3 companies being from Aus, Ireland and Israel
The winners will be decided on sms voting, send sms DRONA to 00447786205637…..

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About Divyesh Kharade

Co-Founder & Director of Deltecs Infotech - Pioneering company in the field of mobile based learning and training. Recently Launched Drona- mobile author which lets you create, distribute and analyze your own tests and test results respectively.
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