GoodWorkLabs is one of the leading new-age outsourced product development (OPD) firms and UX design studio - Startup Terminal

Thursday, November 17, 2016

GoodWorkLabs is one of the leading new-age outsourced product development (OPD) firms and UX design studio

"By providing tech solutions based on the ideology of design thinking and user-centric UI/UX, we managed to grow our venture to a multi-million-dollar company"- Sonia Sharma, MD and Founder, GoodWorkLabs

Sonia Sharma, MD and Founder, GoodWorkLabs

ST Bureau: When did you decide to take the path of ‘entrepreneurship’ as your career? Do you remember any special incident?

Sonia Sharma: I always wanted to be an entrepreneur even when I was a child. I dreamt of being a businesswoman someday and my passion took me towards the field of Information Technology. I would say that I was wired like that. There is not any particular incidence.

After completing my B.Tech in Computer Science Engineering, I went on to work for a couple of startups which eventually got acquired by some of the biggest IT companies. Finally choosing Bangalore as my home base in 2006, I eventually co-founded the employer review website ‘Jobeehive’ with Vishwas Mudagal and Sandeep Gudibanda. We had heavy traction and user base. But we did not know how to make money. In two years, it had to shut down.

After gaining experiences in startups, I founded the web, mobile, and software technology startup GoodWorkLabs with Vishwas Mudagal as the first investor. Our goal was to create a world-class product oriented services company that were bootstrapped with an initial funding of 25 lakhs. By providing tech solutions based on the ideology of design thinking and user-centric UI/UX, we managed to grow our venture to a multi-million-dollar company. I would call myself a practical dreamer, I have one dream at a time.

ST Bureau: Can you briefly tell us more about your startup?
Sonia Sharma: GoodWorkLabs is one of the leading new-age outsourced product development (OPD) firms and UX design studio. We are focused on helping Fortune 500 companies and start-ups alike to design and build robust products, be it mobile apps, software or games.

We started in 2013 with the objective of becoming a powerhouse of innovation in technology and design for clients globally and focused primarily on providing mobile technology solutions. By growing at a rate of 500% year-on-year, we are poised to become a global leader in the ‘innovation outsourcing’ space.  We have several marquee clients and partners. GoodWorkLabs is headquartered in Bangalore, with offices in San Francisco Bay Area, USA, and Kolkata.

The products we have built for our clients have reached millions of users worldwide and we are now set to take it to the next level by launching the best-in-class enterprise mobility platform called GoodWorks Mobility through which we will strengthen our clientele and footprint globally.

We broadly have four business units that run independently and have focused roadmap and growth targets. These are –

O Mobile Apps division
O Software Products division
O Gaming division
O UX Design Studio

We help companies, startups and entrepreneurs design and build products.

ST Bureau: How big is your team at present? Are you planning to increase your team size?  

Sonia Sharma: We have an 80-member team. We are constantly looking out to attract new talent. We are able to attract and retain good talent because of sheer quality of work we do. Our teams are constantly on an accelerated growth curve. We are currently are hiring for our Bangalore, Kolkata and California offices.

ST Bureau: Did you get any funding for your startup? Are you planning to attract funding in the near future?

Sonia Sharma: Initial Capital was funded by Vishwas Mudagal (Rs. 25 Lakhs) and we achieved a growth of 500% in the first financial year itself. We initially saw a rolling revenue of USD $0.5 million in 2014-15, which grew on to become five-fold to USD $2.5 million in 2015-16 and we are going strong. So, we can safely say that we are one of those companies who is bootstrapped, self-sustained and are very profitable.

We are bootstrapped and also not looking out for any funding, as we are very cash positive. In fact, as part of our diversification drive, GoodWorkLabs will fund and incubate a few startups in the next few years, and help them succeed.

ST Bureau: How do you see yourself in next 2 years from now?

Sonia Sharma: As part of a future roadmap for GoodWorkLabs 2.0, productizing our services was critical. We have spent a lot of time with our clients, industry experts and our internal teams. What we realized is that in order to reach out to a larger audience across the globe we have to build a robust and scalable platform that enterprise customers and businesses can use to launch their mobile applications, automation, workflow processes, and business solutions. After a lot of iterations and piloting with clients, we came up with a phenomenal enterprise mobility platform called GoodWorks Mobility.

We will be launching GoodWorks Mobility shortly. What’s amazing about this launch is that we already have successfully signed up marquee clients for pilots and have further tied up with industry biggies (Fortune 500) to take our product to the market with several partnerships. That’s super validation that the product will succeed because we have been very practical in our approach and worked with clients to make it better. We are very excited about this launch and this product will be most probably handled by a separate entity. With this move, we will become a group of companies.

We are also coming up with an innovation centre (work space) were we’ll invite few handpicked startups. They’ll also get mentorship from GWL leadership team.

ST Bureau: What are your hobbies in your personal life? Which is your favorite holiday destination?    What challenges do you face in your daily professional life?

Sonia Sharma: I love travelling. I make sure that I take vacation to a new country every 6 months.

On a personal/professional front, I look forward to work every day. Fortunately, I am doing what my passion is. So work doesn’t feel like work and I look forward getting up and going to the office every day. I feel miserable if I don’t. Also, I look forward to going back home and spending time with my 6-year-old. If you are not doing what you love, it’s difficult to keep high motivation level.

It’s very important for me to pursue my passion, spend time with my family and to have some personal space as well. I need all of it and over a period of time, I have learned how to optimize my time to get the maximum of everything. GoodWorkLabs gets my attention during any normal day during business hours. Evenings are reserved for my family. My husband and I have split the responsibility of our daughter. I do take some time for myself during the weekends. There are days when one thing gets priority over the other but ultimately it evens out.

Interviewed by Startup Terminal Bureau