After MBBS, MD, He Built Rs 30-Cr Tech Start-Up That Began In A Garage

Founder of tech start-up SourceBits Rohit Singal could be easily called master of many trades. After spending 10 years studying and working in medicine, he started his own IT business. Not only he set new milestones in the app development scenario but he also made sure that he kept on experimenting.

Besides having much sought-after MBBS and MD degree, Rohit Singal founded SourceBits, a worldwide leader in web strategy, design and expansion, setting an example of why one should not restrict their dreams to just one field. He had keen interest in computers while pursuing MBBS, but never had any plans to make a career out of it.

After receiving his degree, he went on for a post-graduation and came across an advertisement seeking pictorial archival and communication software that had been quoted by companies like Siemens for more than $1 million. Using open software, Rohit built the identical solution for the university and was paid a sum of $100,000 in installments. That was the moment when he realised that he can live up to his ardor.

Immediately after his graduation, Singal launched Sourcebits in the year 2006. Initially, it was a one-man company, having no concrete knowledge whatsoever about IT firms. The most challenging bit for him was the efforts he put into finding a suitable office space. In due course, he managed to get a garage, that too on rent. The initial months were grey. Everything was tough. He was short on funds, lacked support, had no solid business plan or strategy to get in touch with customers.

The first break that came along was a product named Funbooth, constructed by Singal along with other two developers. Sourcebits got their first contract from Freeverse, because of the app used to amend various photographs by adding up of different props such as moustaches, masks etc. Singal was quite aware of the fact that getting a sales deal in a normal way is not an easy job. He believed that creating one of the most innovative and world-class product is the only approach that will help him move forward and be recognised by the whole world.

Taking risks is something that Singal believes in. He hired an Apple award-winner designer offering Rs 2.5 lakh a month at the time when the monthly income of his company was only Rs 6 lakh. He incurred losses for the subsequent few months. He did not have any prior experience of recruiting. He trusted his gut feeling and his mantra is to observe how much passionate the employee is regarding his line of work and whether they support his idea.

Initiating Sourcebits as a Mac company helped develop apps that were quite suitable for the iPhone. They developed a product named Night Stand (an alarm clock) for the iPhone that  took over the second spot on the whole AppStore within just three days, with more than three million downloads within the following three months. This made Sourcebits the cynosure of the mobile revolution and Singal and his company never had to look back ever since then. They have now fabricated more than 300 apps for organisations like MIT P&G, GE, Sloan, Coke, Sling Media, and last year earned revenue of Rs 30 crore, with 95% of deals approaching from US. Interestingly, Sequoia (world’s largest tech investor) and IDG (world’s largest tech media company) invested $10 million in Sourcebits last year.

Beginning as a small organisation in a petite garage 5 years ago, Sorcebits today, has become a major company of the tech hub in Bangalore, expanding to about 46,000 sq. ft. in the Electronic City.

As a suggestion to the younger generation, Singal says that in India everything is designed out of requirement, instead of having a long-standing viewpoint. Technology should not be taken as a challenge any longer. Schools must emphasize more on design, not only or technology, but for every possible aspect.

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