Interview with BootStrapToday CEO and Co-Founder Anand Agarwal
We recently caught up with Anand Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder at Sensible Softwares Pvt. Ltd, the company behind the online integration platform BootStrapToday. Starting out as a small startup in 2009, with three partners and a vision, Sensible Softwares happens to be Mr. Agarwal’s first business.
BootStrapToday was launched in 2010 in beta and gathered good reviews, following which in January 2011, they received funding for the project and it was launched in full swing online.
What is the target consumer group for BootStrapToday?
Anand: The target group includes all IT companies, both big and small. We’ve looked to take out our project at two levels, one being the SaaS model for small to medium companies with 100-150 people. And we’re looking at in house integration model for larger companies of more than 150 people.
Is there a special provision for start-up companies who might want to use this product?
Anand: Well, most start-ups operate with a maximum of or usually lesser than 5 people. Our free plan accommodates 5 users and gives space for upto 5 projects as well, which is really good for a start-up company. Besides, for start-ups abroad, with the pricing of the bronze or silver plans, it’s very easy to use our platform.
Are you targeting the student community where in students are actively involved in open-source projects?
Anand: We all know for a fact that there is a huge gap between industry and academia and everyone’s trying to bridge that these days. We’re looking to do this through our BST Campus project wherein B.Tech and engineering students can use the platform to do live projects posted by companies, thereby not only doing them seriously but also gaining from the collaboration the platform offers.
How are you planning to sell the product given the presence of already established products like BaseCamp and GitHub in the market?
Anand: We aren’t competing with BaseCamp since when it comes to features, the platform does not serve the purpose of most IT companies at all.
Yes, GitHub is a competitior, but we’re trying to build on integration and intelligence so as to deliver maximum capability and provide statistics which will help identify critical resources and critical and bug prone files. This will save IT companies huge cost and possible embarrassment for companies by avoiding bugs getting caught by customers.
We’ve been building content for a private audience and getting their feedbacks and also been collaborating with channel partners to sell the product. We’ve teamed up with AppDirect, a Canadian company, which works to help companies find web-based applications such as ours. We’re currently looking for more channel partners.
Are you using any payment gateway on the website? Did you face any problem in implementing them?
Anand: Yes, for Indian users, we’re using CCAvenue and for users abroad we’re using Paypal. There weren’t any problems in implementing these as such.
What are your future plans for the project?
Anand: We’re working to improve both intelligence and integration. For the next one and half year or so, we’ll be trying to add more intelligence features. With any such platform, maximum money and effort goes into bug-fixing, so we’ll be looking to improve on this to maximize consumer satisfaction with the product.
What more new products or projects are you working on?
Anand: Well, for now we’re looking to expand the BST Campus project. We’ve collaborated with Noida Council NASSCOM which has adopted a college and is using our platform for its activities within the college. So, this is a pilot we’re undertaking. We’ve also had agreements with universities in Noida and Greater Noida, such as Sharda University to bring more visibility for the project.
For more details and a coverage about the BootStrapToday tool, you might want to check this out.