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How design-driven development studio ‘NFN Labs’ clocked 40% YoY growth since 2011


Life is simple and up-front. In life nothing whatsoever is complicated. Existence is not a clandestine, but entrepreneurship is something that calls for taking up the challenge. It was one such challenge to develop a never-seen design and to translate it into the fully developed product, that led to the foundation of NFN Labs, an independent design and development studio that continuously experiments.

Founded by Gokul Visweswaran, Sonaal Bangera and Rajesh Padmanabhan, NFN labs was created to make products out of need.

“We wanted to take the challenge of teaching designers the hardships of development, and teaching developers the nuances of design,” says Gokul Visweswaran, one of the founders of NFN Labs.

The firm has made many unique products that include Vookmark, Buysell Tickets, and Storm It.  NFN’s screenshot deleting app Screeny, which was made for deleting too many screenshots on iPhones, was in top 10 in about 40 countries and sold for $1 a pop.

“The original needs were selfish, but we ensured that we build, ship and make them useful for others too,” adds Gokul. Another thing they offer is their services, which include helping their customers build team and design.

NFN Labs has helped FundsIndia, Floh, OptaCredit, HueTrap, Eat Italy, Paris Pastry, Surround Swar, and HyperVerge among many. It has designed MovieBuff, JusTickets, har.com, MultiCall.

Besides, designing and building products, “We built and maintained complex products like ContextTravel and HyperQual,” quips Gokul.

Digitising diagnosis through SlashDr

While their all products are different and unique, one that is making wave and proving to be head turner in the health sector is SlashDr, through this product the company is making an attempt to address entire scope of a single physician clinic, so that the doctors do not have to hunt for other solutions to integrate.

More than 70% of healthcare in India happens in neighborhood clinics; not all patients visit doctors in hospitals. Currently, the entire clinical history of the patient sits on a bunch of papers and prescriptions, which are prone to be lost or burnt. This adds to the problem of documentation of patients at health centres.

“SlashDr is a complete workflow solution for Single Physician clinics, not just an app. It solves a near-future problem of making records in a clinic electronic. It answers doctors’ woes of remembering his/her own patients and the patient’s’ medical history, ”says Gokul.

It has recorded more than 3000 unique patients on the platform and their complete records.

How NFN Labs is different from existing solutions

There are very few firms, who do both design & development under a single roof. The plus NFN Labs holds is that it focuses on missing link, that transmission loss between design and development teams.

“The best way to go forward is to put the two teams together, under a single roof. Where design is a promise and development is delivery, we deliver what we promise,” exclaims Gokul. And the reason for their success is the quality team of developers and designers they have. At present, they have 35-member team.

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Growth and Revenue

Talking about its business journey, NFN Labs claims to have grown at a rate of 40% Y-o-Y since it’s inception in 2011.

The company growth has primarily due to high customer satisfaction and referrals. “When we started out 100% of our clients were based out of India. The trend over the years has changed with 50% of our clients now being international, “ says the founder. Till date, NFN team have worked on more than 150 projects.

Clients categorization: A to D

Category D- clients with a budget ranging between $5-7.5k.

Category C- startups with a budget between $10-25k. This is the scenario where the company design, develop & strategize with our partners to deliver the best possible product. Achieved in phases with launch cycles.

Category B- risk takers with a budget between $25-50k. This can be complex projects where we work on certain aspects of a bigger project.

Category A- Path Breakers with budgets over $75k, where the teamwork as technology partners with a client to offer holistic solutions.

To scale up the business, the firm is hiring its first sales team since inception and plans to focus on markets that spend money in countries like America and the Western Europe.

Why did NFN Labs choose to keep bootstrapping?

When asked why did NFN Labs choose to bootstrap? Gokul says, “Our services business was born when we were a profitable design company. So, there really was no need to raise money to put together a team.”

Only after three years of their existence, they came to know about the word ‘bootstrap’.

“We are credit-averse by nature. We never took (even) a business loan for a very long time until we knew that we had to build our ‘credit history’, FWIW. We firmly believe in unit economics, and enforced it from day 1 of the business; we have been profitable since then,” says Gokul.

In next 3-5 years, the firm aims to take the product to countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia.

NFN Labs: Website

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