Ashok Balasubramanian, CEO at Open Weaver
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Ashok Balasubramanian: I have worked with multiple global enterprise customers over the past couple of decades, with a predominant focus on making technology more efficient. This includes moving legacy technology to the cloud or automating inefficient processes with AI. More and more people use smart devices and are connected across the globe. Every aspect of life and business is becoming a digital engagement. This is a trend that is here to stay. Despite this new paradigm, technical teams still write millions of lines of code every time to create digital experiences. This is also evident in the rapid scaling of the IT services industry. It has also resulted in a profound technical talent shortage. It's time for a change. The need for digital is almost infinite. The way digital experiences are developed is still effort-intensive and decades old. The development models that powered the technology of the past cannot scale in the digital age. We founded Open Weaver to make application development easier and faster and help the world scale into the digital era.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Open Weaver?.
Ashok Balasubramanian: Open Weaver helps developers build digital applications faster and easier. Our main platform kandi, helps developers build scalable applications faster using reusable open-source libraries and code snippets. kandi also helps developers learn digital skills by building complex projects across all hot technologies in minutes.
kandi is pronounced like candy and signifies knowledge of open-source and our artificial intelligence algorithms (k and i), which accelerate the development through reuse.
We support over three million developers globally and are growing rapidly.
Great Companies: What makes Open Weaver different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
Ashok Balasubramanian: Interesting question! Through our extensive R&D and customer research, we are proud to have kandi as a unique platform. Today it is the only platform where you can get all open source resources across code snippets, dependent libraries, and fully-built solution kits in one place. We have also patented our unique algorithms. We continuously innovate our platform to revolutionize how applications are developed quickly and easily. Our innovation is driven by our users and their value journey, which are our guiding principles. By putting the developer first, we have always stood out with our platform. We extend the differentiation by bringing in customer adoption and ease of use. With kandi, developers build applications faster and better by reusing open-source components. We didn't stop at providing a platform where they can find millions of libraries and code snippets to reuse. We continuously take user feedback and tune our algorithms to recommend components that best suit user's needs and environments.
We also recommend code snippets and install commands and FAQs to help developers build their applications. Further, we have implemented features to make executing complex solutions a 1-click for beginners and experienced developers. We have also added the ability for developers to stay ahead of complex technology trends in the digital and open source field. Together these capabilities help developers build digital applications faster.
Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Ashok Balasubramanian: Open Weaver is my first startup. We were founded just days before the first COVID lockdowns hit! Coming from a well-established enterprise background, I had a steep learning curve across setting up operations, scaling the teams, creating a scalable digital marketing approach and much more.
Building a team that brings in complementary skills helped bridge this gap. Also, we live in a flat world of information today, and help is more available if we seek it. So I would recommend everyone to seek help when required.
The vital aspects that helped me were to acknowledge what I did not know, being patient, building a complementary team and asking for help.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Open Weaver?
Ashok Balasubramanian: As more and more people embrace digital technologies worldwide, platforms like Open Weaver that provide acceleration and foster innovation will be crucial for shaping the digital future. We aspire to be the preferred platform for global developers envisioning the next generation of digital solutions.
Our team of engineers are also developers who can empathize and foresee users needs. This user-driven approach, combined with our R&D team specializing in artificial intelligence, cutting-edge software development, and generative technologies, help accelerate our innovation.
We file over a dozen patents every year for our innovative solutions. These make us a preferred platform for developers today and for the future.
Millions of developers rely on Open Weaver and kandi to jumpstart their application development with open-source libraries, code snippets, and kits. We are aiming for 100x growth. And with the huge digital opportunity and our commitment to an innovative product roadmap and developer-centric approach, we are sure to achieve it.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Ashok Balasubramanian: Based on my experience, I would suggest two areas to focus on. Being an entrepreneur is very challenging on different levels. You will be the leader of a small boat in stormy waters. Make sure you are prepared for it so you can guide the company and your team to the goal.
An immediately actionable piece of advice is to learn digital marketing. Don't be obsessed with it. I have seen many people use terms like SEO, social, and others without understanding the core customer value proposition. You may get views and feedback but focus on deeper product usage and the value you are providing. Once you are clear on that, use digital marketing as a tool to reach millions of users.