Vivek Raina, VP, CTO, and Co-Founder of Foreignerds tells us about mobile app development.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vivek Raina: My mother got the virus nearly 5 months ago. She suffered and was hospitalized for nearly 20 days. With senior citizens, it takes time to shrug it off.
That has been my personal experience of Covid. Other than that, all well since then. Taking all precautions and in-home lockdown.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Foreignerds.
Vivek Raina: I am one of the founders of Foreignerds. I’ve spent nearly 15 years in the industry and realized the pros and cons of it through those years. We finally decided that it is time to do things differently, and we started 6 years ago, and here we are, working with clients from all types of industries and adding value to their businesses.
How does Foreignerds innovate?
Vivek Raina: We innovate through necessity and try to find loopholes that are time-consuming, create issues, and go unnoticed. We try to solve them through technology solutions and process implementations, and we’ve done that successfully for ourselves and our clients for the last few years.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Vivek Raina: Massive. Due to local lockdown, we had to shut offices and turn the whole operations into a remote environment overnight, and that’s not easy. Obviously, we used tools and all the help we could possibly get to make it a smooth transition. Efficiency does drop a little when working from home, and anyone who tells you differently is lying. So, we’ve taken measures to manage that, and that is where the everyday struggle is with companies of our size. 6-7 hours spent over the phone, meetings every day, and nearly every senior management personnel.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Vivek Raina: Yes, we had to. We had to let people go because they could not adapt to the work-from-home culture and were struggling. We had to spend countless hours coaching people and dealing with IT issues and Zoom calls. We had to spend additional funds on monitoring, tracking, and compliance tools, and we gained some great insights on how to cope with the pandemic and the new normal. Since the first lockdown last year, we are entering our 12th month, and I can tell you, as the head of the company, it has been one hell of a ride.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Vivek Raina: Tools like Microsoft Teams, Teramind, ActivTrak, OneSpan, among usual suspects such as Slack, Jira, Bitrix, etc.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Vivek Raina: We try to compete with ourselves and better ourselves from our previous exploits and yearly results. That’s what we believe in as a company. The outsourcing and web services space that we operate in is an age-old industry and you have to do things differently and in a better way to stay relevant and be successful. So, we don’t look at others, but others do look at us!
Your final thoughts?
Vivek Raina: We call ourselves Foreignerds because we are basically a bunch of nerds working from a foreign space, catering to our global client base and providing top dollar outsourcing services at low cost.