We spoke to Neeraj Singh of BigBinary about how COVID-19 has affected its building of mobile and web applications.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Neeraj Singh: I’m doing great. My family is also ok. We are very fortunate to be in a strong position in this pandemic.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded BigBinary.
Neeraj Singh: I always hated to commute to work. The commute used to make me more tired than the work itself. So I wanted to be a freelancer to avoid going to the office, and that’s what I set out to do. Nine years later, I find that I have a company with 95 team members. It’s hard to believe now, but BigBinary has been remote-first for over 9 years now.
How does BigBinary innovate?
Neeraj Singh: By asking what we are doing today, no one will notice that we are not doing that thing if we stop doing, for example, commuting to work. Our clients do not care where we build the software. As long as quality software is being delivered on budget and on time, our clients are happy. From day 1, BigBinary has been a remote-first company.
The next thing is the meetings. What will happen if we don’t conduct a meeting? Can we discuss that over email or slack or basecamp? And that’s what we do. We have very few meetings in BigBinary.
Next, we looked at managers and what do they do. What will happen if we do not have managers and let our team members decide what to work on? BigBinary does not have any managers.
Similarly, we challenge our assumptions in other areas, and we innovate.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Neeraj Singh: Because of the pandemic, businesses have less money to spend. We lost some clients permanently. Some clients provide work to us on a part-time basis.
We are trying to be as resourceful as possible without spending too much money.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Neeraj Singh: Very early on, we decided not to have any layoffs. That was an easy decision.
The difficult decision was deciding how much reduction we need to do in salary to ensure that we are not in the red. And then the difficult part was conveying this message to the team members. Some folks were impacted more than the others.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and BigBinary in the future?
Neeraj Singh: Light exercise, playing cards/games with family, and watching youtube videos is my stress buster. I also go for long walks.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Neeraj Singh: All software development agencies are our competitors. Our core values of innovation, transparency, sustainable working hours, and a culture of open discussion will help us be competitive.
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