Vijith Sivadasan, MD, and Co-founder of Codelattice tells us about a global technology company that offers pre-engineered software solutions.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vijith Sivadasan: All of us are doing great. Thank you for asking! COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown allowed us to find more quality family time.
Tell us more about you, your career, and how you founded Codelattice.
Vijith Sivadasan: I grew up in a traditional business family, and hence, there had always been this passion for establishing my venture. As soon as I completed my bachelor’s in Engineering, I joined Infosys at 22. Shortly, I founded Codelattice with two other partners in 2009. I was fortunate enough to find two extremely skilled people with a similar mindset and different skill sets. Being a young and vibrant trio, we were willing to work hard and create something unique to be proud of. I had been working full-time with Infosys at a time when projects were pouring in at Codelattice.
As you know, one needs proper time management and discipline to build a company while working full time for a multinational corporation. For me, it was more exhilarating than exhausting to work on my dream. Later, I worked full time with Northwestern Mutual, AON, and GE Healthcare and continued to build Codelattice. In 2018, I finally left my job at GE Healthcare to focus full-time on my startup.
How does Codelattice innovate?
Vijith Sivadasan: For us, Innovation is an invention that can be commercialized. We have a framework that helps our team to validate if ideas add value to the user. It helps them develop methods that improve an existing system’s efficiency, a potential solution for a current or future problem, or ideas that pave the way for a new way of living.
We arrange periodic breakout sessions with people from across disciplines to discuss and prioritize our innovation pipeline. Innovation needs brainstorming and much observation. During our breakout sessions, we encourage our team to express their ideas without any inhibitions.
We built every product and solution at Codelattice to solve a problem either in our personal or professional life, leveraging technology. Analyzing the need for the product is one thing; developing and finishing a project is another. Here, we have an innovation-friendly leadership process. For example, our company budgeting process is inherently conservative. However, we allocate sufficient funds for experiments and trials. We take a portfolio approach. Some of it may work, and some may not see the light.
How did COVID-19 affect your business, and how are you coping?
Vijith Sivadasan: More businesses have opened up to technology during the pandemic. We do not have to convince anyone of the need for digitization anymore. There was an influx of new clients and more spend from existing clients since the pandemic started. Since its inception a decade ago, Codelattice has had a flexible work culture with our team working from anywhere, anytime. So remote work was not a new norm for us.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Vijith Sivadasan: Codelattice gained fame for digital marketing and custom software development. Over the years, we worked with many Fortune 500 companies. However, I realized that with our refined tech-prowess, we should help more clients at a given time than on a one-on-one basis. It was a tough decision to steer the company from its inherent service approach to a new ready product approach. We started building homegrown products and intellectual properties in 2014, and by 2020 it already started getting spectacular results. We learned that we could create more value and revenue for the company by commercializing intellectual properties rather than exchanging our time for money.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Vijith Sivadasan: Most companies use a multitude of applications, files, documents, and templates for their routine work. At Codelattice, we use Google Workspace, Slack, Asana, Quickbooks, Hubspot, and similar business apps. The organization’s repository grows over the years and is unorganized. At Codelattice, as more and more people started working remotely, their bonding and interactions reduced. The new joiners felt left out and could not get immersed in the company culture. The new joiners suffered more since they were not familiar with all the resources available for their jobs. That’s when we realized the need for a company intranet portal to bring together all resources like applications, files, documents, and people in one platform. We built a new age smart intranet called ‘Collate.live’ to address the unique challenges. Though we created this product for ourselves, now we offer it to other companies too.
Collate.live declutters the pile of information and saves time finding the right resources for the job. You can access all the integrated business apps with a single sign-on in Collate. It also helps to build a culture of oneness. It has in-built utilities like timesheet management, leave management, employee documents safe, and much more.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Vijith Sivadasan: We do not believe in competing with others. It makes more sense to keep improving our previous self. We believe in co-creation and co-existence. We always work on bleeding-edge technology, and Codelattice is known for its culture of learning and Innovation. We have built an array of solutions and frameworks that act as pre-built, well-architected building blocks that help our clients stay ahead in their industry. We partner with industry pioneers like Google and AWS to provide the latest technology.
Your final thoughts?
Vijith Sivadasan: Entrepreneurship is not about taking wild risks. It’s about building a portfolio of innovations to stay current and relevant to the industry. A company’s success is all about its people and its culture. Be selective in choosing your clients and go the extra mile to serve them. Setting the culture of a team is a lot up to the leader’s ideology and behavior.
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