The startup serves as a great example for entrepreneurs and investors as it challenges the norms for running a business .
By Srinath Srinivasan
Chennai-based MacAppStudio is a $5 million (in revenue) bootstrapped success story. Started by George Christopher and Suresh Kumar G, it churns out apps for multiple platforms, across sectors, for a host of global clients. The startup serves as a great example for entrepreneurs and investors as it challenges the norms for running a business .
“We started this company with the resources we won in competitions conducted by Intel and the likes. We invested them, including the money, in developing apps. Our first big break came when one of our apps was listed on Torrentz and a popular app packaging brand actually contacted us to get the license as our app was the most downloaded in its category on Torrentz,” says Kumar. “We don’t spend the money we don’t have and till date there hasn’t been any necessity to look for extra.”
With time, the startup has set up a digital assembly line which aids its speed and customer service. “We took care of the technical side so that we can focus on the workforce who would be working on the assembly line,” explains Kumar.
MacAppStudio hires people without looking at their CV. It doesn’t put them through a long interview process. It hires based on the need and the new employee’s inclination—towards technology, design or management. Once in, the employees get free food, accommodation and higher salary compared to peers throughout the year. The startup trains them on various aspects of the business right from the first day. “We only have one rule—if anyone lies, he would be fired,” says Kumar.“We have people from diverse backgrounds—kids of fishermen, tea stall owners and labourers.”
After a year of completion, it rewards employees with gold coins as a token of accomplishment. Some of them have gone on to starting their own ventures after a good stint at the company. This may seem contrarian but Kumar says it would be difficult had they followed any typical recruiting process.
The team leaders interact in their native language—Tamil and share knowledge and train juniors. “If we had rejected them because they couldn’t communicate in English, we would have lost talent and stripped them off their confidence. And that’s what is happening with many other companies today,” says Kumar.
“Its not that we have an aversion towards investors but the ones we have come across so far have tried to dominate and disturb this culture we have built,” says Kumar. With the clamour for made-in-India products growing in the digital world, Kumar now aims to launch a made-in-India social network that would rival Facebook by August 2020.