Prakash is an award-winning artist, technocrat, and a filmmaker. He has expertise in mobile development, Identifying opportunities, Raising Capital, Implementing IT and Quality Systems to achieve common goals. He is a seasoned serial entrepreneur with successful record of accomplishment in the areas of Technology, Innovation, and Story Telling with a decade long experience in building great Teams and successful companies.
After completing his bachelor’s in electronics in telecommunication, he started his career as a programmer. Few years down the line he moved on to become a filmmaker and thereafter launched his first startup, Paradigm Creatives. However, his true ingenuity came to the forefront with his latest startup Bulbul apps. Their main aim is to enable artists to create local content and global quality for kids. Bulbul Apps has more than 300,000 downloads with close to a Million books downloaded so far. It has 2 Million plus views on its YouTube channel.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Bulbul Apps is a library app for kids filled with stories, rhymes, activities designed and developed by artists all over the world with care and love. Bulbul Apps focuses on bringing local content at the global quality for kids.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Kids content category is one of the most underserved categories on app stores. If you search for kid’s apps, 90% of the apps you see are International stories, international characters. You will find very few apps with local characters and local content. Even those few apps are of very poor quality. It is same everywhere in the world. The reasons local stories do not make it big are
a) Access to talent
b) Access to technology and
c) Marketing knowhow
We wanted to solve all these problems for both the storytellers and for the kids all over the world.
What is your life mantra?
Enable the storyteller
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
We built an impressive array of effects and animations in our stories. But when we went live, we realized that most of the people’s phones have very little or no memory in their phones. Thanks to the gazillion pictures and videos, everyone is sharing on WhatsApp.
We had put an equal amount of effort to cut down the size of the average story from 70MB to 20MB without losing interactivity. Some of our partners pushed us to bring down to 10MB which apparently is the sweet spot for the Indian market. We are working on that now.
People are willing to pay for our apps. But they don’t have a mechanism to do so on Android. Whenever we go an event and ‘ask’ for money for our stories, usually parents don’t mind paying us in cash. But when we ask them to buy the stories ‘on’ the phone, they usually are clueless. I see that India needs some more time to make the payment process easier, friendlier.
We have developed a mechanism to deduct the payment from user’s postpaid or prepaid accounts. We are going to roll out this feature shortly.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We started with a seed capital of $200k and in a later round raised another $250k. We are currently raising a pre-series A round of $400k.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We are at this moment too small for this. We are a team of passionate individuals who strongly believe in the success of Bulbul Apps.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
I don’t think there is a single formula out there. It depends a lot on the leader, opportunity, timing a lot of randomness.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I use Evernote a lot for my travel and saving articles. I am a big fan of Feedly. I follow my favorite people and companies with it.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I use a simple notebook and pen. I write down my tasks first thing in the morning. This more than anything helps me in thinking clearly and converting my thoughts into tasks.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Less internet. More reading.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Success is too broad a term. It means several things to several people. One defining moment to succeed is to understand what you want from this life. It does not come that easy. It requires getting out of your comfort zone doing things irrespective of the failure.
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Mistakes are part of the journey. Trying to avoid them and trying to be right all the time would be a big mistake.
• One most important lesson that you have learned till now:
What are your plans for next 3 years?
In 2015, we focused more on Product market fit and identifying the right growth channels. In 2016, we will focus on seeding the market and monetizing. In 2017, we would attempt at replicating this model worldwide.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would have a mentor quite early in my life. I would make partnerships not based on my comfort but based on the requirement.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Andamans, My native village, London.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Complexity is inherent in compounded things. Act with diligence.”