CXOToday had engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Lalit Mehta, Co-Founder & CEO of Decimal Technologies
- With what mission and objectives, the company was set up? In short, tell us about your journey since the inception of the company.
The venture started with the onset of the mobility revolution when smartphones started to become ubiquitous. The idea was to use smart devices to bring efficiency in enterprise operations and also help improve the life of users. The idea of enterprise mobility evolved into a no-code platform. As the realization set in that the platform approach was much more suited for mobility and that the variety and volume of expected applications would be humongous, we focused on creating a no-code platform capable of delivering enterprise solutions in a rapidly changing world.
- Tell us how your company is contributing to the AI/Alternate Data Analytics industry of the nation?
The No-Code platform contributes in two ways. One is that AI/ML output feeds into the platform, which can consume that data. Second, it generates a vast amount of data that can be further fed into AI to improve applications and offer better user experiences.
Let’s focus on the first one. No-code platforms can provide hyper-personalized experience and completely dynamic context and data driven experiences to users without the need to generate code manually. By leveraging the output of AI/ML engines, personalized experiences can be delivered efficiently.
Second, since the entire process is based on configurations and largely event-driven, it generates substantial data on the behaviour patterns of developers who are creating applications and end-users using them.
Currently, we generate two types of data: one related to the behaviour and patterns of developers, and the other related to the behaviour and patterns of end-users. This data can be fed into AI/ML engines to loop back and either provide hyper personalized experiences or enhance user journeys for improved efficiency and effectiveness.
3. What is your biggest USP that differentiates the company from competitors?
I’ll start by giving you the reasons for the USPs. This platform originated in India, which provides several advantages. Firstly, India’s digital journey has been mobile-first in enterprises over the last decade, making us a native mobile application producer on our platform.
Secondly, around 8–10 years ago, India lacked core digital functionalities, leading to investments focused on creating user experiences, digitizing last-mile processes, and complex onboarding procedures. This presented an opportunity for our platform to quickly fill the gap and cater to these needs. As a result, we have been able to deliver complex enterprise use cases rapidly, a feat that many other players couldn’t achieve as they were primarily focused on the US market, where these areas were already covered. We excel in three crucial areas: mobility, addressing the complexity of enterprise use cases, and comprehensive coverage of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). While our competitors may excel in one or two of these aspects, we stand out by effectively ticking all the boxes in the no-code world.
- How do you see the trends changing in the industry in the future ahead?
One thing that is expected to change is the entire platform approach, which will be used for offering hyper-personalized experiences. Second, the ever-changing environment, including regulatory and market factors, will play a crucial role. Third, the trend of collaborative data gathering, with people contributing their insights, will become increasingly important. And, of course, AI/ML will play a significant role in this transformation. In the earlier questions, I discussed how AI/ML integrates with the platform, and that integration is bound to happen very soon. As these platforms mature further, enterprises’ ability to conduct A/B testing and offer highly contextual experiences will greatly improve. This will enable businesses to respond much faster to changing markets, such as introducing new products.
The focus is expected to shift towards new product introduction and improving efficiency in functions that are largely internal to the organization. Once these functions are digitized and available on the platform, the ability to respond rapidly to changing contexts will improve, filling the gap that exists today. Currently, while digital tools exist, the ability to leverage them is hindered by legacy systems. The true benefits of digital transformation will be realized when nimbleness and agility permeate throughout the organization. These are some of the changes that I expect in the industry.
- How is your company helping customers deliver relevant business outcomes through the adoption of the company’s technology innovations?
I will just talk about three things – Growth, Uniformity of experience, and Skillsets.
Starting with the first, imagine the markets that our customers could not think of reaching. Opening a physical branch or finding a partner was expensive and engaging with them was difficult. However, with these platforms, business growth is now largely driven through self-service, reaching geographies and segments that were not addressable before. Companies can think of areas that were not a priority just a couple of years ago, making them a priority now, and they can deliver stable applications with reduced costs.
Second, the entire ability to respond to the needs and innovations arising in the industry. Let me give you an example. So earlier, it used to take about two years to deliver one project. The bandwidth available in the organization is limited. So, they would pick, at best, two or three projects in two years’ time, deliver them, and then stabilize. By the time they stabilize, it would require changes, taking another year or six months. So, it was a cycle, and the focus would be only on a limited few critical areas. However, now what used to take two years can be accomplished in six months or even less. With this, the entire ability to focus on your inventory that can be taken up in two years’ time is much more. Therefore, the coverage of the organization is much broader. Today, you’ll find that in all progressive enterprises and BFSI, their coverage for products and segments is much wider, including onboarding use cases that were not addressed earlier. This enables offering a much more uniform experience to users across products and channels they engage in.
Another thing that has become possible is overcoming the challenge of skill sets. The number of skillsets needed to handle digital projects and manage them used to be overwhelming. But now, with these platforms, the ability to manage similar projects with fewer skilled individuals and a shorter ramp-up time for capability is much, much easier. So now you are able to do the things that seemed formidable earlier.
- What are your plans going forward? How are you planning to add value to your community in the next year?
It’s a personal dream that I’m talking about. Tomorrow, when an engineer graduates from college and wants to become an entrepreneur, it’s not practically possible and easy for them due to a simple reason. To become an entrepreneur in the IT and digital space, one needs a whole lot of skill sets and investment. However, a platform like Vahana Cloud can transform anyone with a fair understanding of digital basics into a company that delivers a complete digital experience single-handedly.
I would love to see engineers coming out of colleges benefiting in two ways. First, they become more value-adding in the organizations they join because this will make them efficient, reducing their ramp-up time for delivering value. Second, if they aspire to become entrepreneurs and solve problems in tier 2, tier 3 cities, and villages, this platform makes it possible. While large organizations may not address the problems faced by farmers with smaller land holdings, an engineer passing out from college will be able to do that. Empowering them to do so is the significant change in society that I aim to achieve. Essentially, my work is to lower the bar for aspirational individuals to participate in the digital transformation.
- What is your leadership mantra that has resulted in the success of the organization?
First of all, your reciprocity style has to be that of a giver, rather than a taker. In my view, only a giver can lead people.
Second, you need to help people reach the best of their potential. It’s not about your style; it’s about whether people can perform to the best of their potential. If they do, they will be aligned with you, even if your style may or may not align with theirs. So that’s the second thing.
Regarding thought leadership, I believe you always have to bring excellence as a problem solver. Push the boundaries on any problems, whether it’s a client’s problem that needs solving or a problem that you believe is hindering progress. That’s how I would put it.