| New Delhi |
Published: March 12, 2020 7:27:48 pm
Creating an app can be a challenging and time-consuming exercise, and for many small or medium-scale businesses, achieving this might not be so easy. After all one needs the right technical resources to create an app, and not every business will have a coder in its ranks. And that’s the problem that Builder.ai wants to solve, by offering a ready-to-go template for businesses looking to create an app, without having to bother about the coding.
Builder.ai wants to make software as ‘easy as ordering pizza’ if one were to go by the tagline on their website. The company’s client base includes brands like BBC, Virgin Unite and NBC Universal. We spoke to Sachin Dev Duggal, the CEO and founder of Builder.ai about the company and its services, and how he sees the app development industry in India. Here is an edited excerpt of the email interaction.
How would you describe Builder.ai, and what does it aim to achieve?
Builder.ai offers a 360-degree software service for entrepreneurs and enterprises to build, run, and scale any idea, without the need for coding. We aim to encourage entrepreneurs to build their dream businesses without experience in design or tech and enterprises to move their operations to the cloud with confidence.
How exactly does Builder.ai work?
Our human-assisted-AI platform lets you create on-demand, tailor-made software using a library of reusable features and a network of verified expert talent from around the world. Our after-care product– Builder Care, keeps this software up-to-date, and for businesses in need of an infrastructure to support growth, our cloud solution– Builder Cloud, combines all the best providers into one platform to bring you the best possible price.
To assemble the complex code necessary to build software, you just need to begin with an idea and then choose from hundreds of templates and recommended features. Then, based on your idea, Builder.ai works to give you a maximum price and estimated delivery date within minutes.
Builder.ai’s development process leverages AI to tap a library of existing components and manage a crowd-sourced global team for everything that’s unique. It delivers a custom product by the deadline and on budget. The platform can host and upgrade your product to ensure ongoing functionality.
What kind of apps one can build using your tool?
Our platform provides a solution for any business to operate, manage and scale their technology needs. From building websites, apps and even wearables, Builder.ai can create almost anything.
What about privacy and data protection on the apps built using your platform?
We take security very seriously– both our own and our customers’. In order to ensure we are protected from threats, we use a variety of tools and processes to secure our infrastructure at multiple levels. To give you an example, all of our persistent databases use encryption at rest and our ephemeral databases use encryption in transit. Our production environments all use a combination of jump/bastion hosts and private subnets to ensure they are not exposed to the public internet.
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We also follow a regular update schedule for our server packages in order to keep them up to date on security patches. Builder.ai also maintains GDPR strict compliance for all of its platforms and performs routine recurring compliance audits. There’s a lot more that happens behind the scenes, but to be clear, our AI currently is focused only on democratising software development. While the AI does not contribute to data protection and privacy, we do have robust practices in place to create a secure environment for our customers.
What are some of the projects delivered by Builder.ai since its inception?
We’ve been fortunate to have created some exceptional software for brands like BBC, NBC Universal, France TV, Virgin Unite etc. To give you insight into one: The BBC holds events in different countries. They wanted people to discover and register for nearby events, participate in live polls and submit questions for guests and speakers. Upon receiving this request, we only had five weeks until the next BBC Click Live event in New Delhi, India. We developed the app and over 200 users participated in the poll and asked questions. The India event was so successful that the app was immediately used at another event in London.
What are your plans for Builder.ai and where do you see it in the future?
Builder.ai is going through an exciting phase where we are seeing quick yet strategic growth, supporting both active digital markets and those that are ripe for digital transformation. We recently announced the opening of our new office in the Middle East located in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). Our research shows that there are a lot of up and coming businesses in the Middle East that want to elevate their digital footprint to better serve their existing customers and expand their base internationally.
This move underscores Builder.ai’s rapid international growth, as we now operate in five financial and business hubs across the globe including London, Los Angeles, Delhi, Tokyo and Dubai, with over 275 employees across these locations. We look forward to sustaining this growth by offering more entrepreneurs and enterprises the ability to bring their software ideas to life.
How do you see the app development industry in India?
Currently, the Indian app economy is dependent on three types of monetisation. These include app store purchases, in-app advertising, and mobile commerce. Indians are now spending over four hours per day on their mobile devices and a significant percentage of this is spent on apps availing services like ordering food, planning travel, playing games and hailing rides.
The Digital India initiative, along with other advances made by the government since 2014 has led to stupendous growth in the digital payments market as well, thanks to the symbiotic influence between mobile wallets and online shopping. Although China currently leads the world’s app economy, India’s growing digital population and rapidly changing consumption patterns are a sign to watch out for. We are only getting started.
How businesses/entrepreneurs are approaching software development in India when compared to the global trend?
India has established approximately 48 million small businesses over the past decade, nearly double the number of the US. However, unlike the US, most businesses in India are hesitant to invest in digital transformation due to a lack of tech expertise, resources or both. For a country like India, that is the fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy in the world and the fifth-largest overall, a necessary shift to stay competitive is the democratisation of software development so that ideas can transcend borders, compete in the global market and take India to number one.
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Do you think AI will help boost the app development industry? Are there more factors or technologies that can play a role in its advancement?
Yes, I believe AI will undoubtedly transform the app development industry for good because as I’ve said before, the only thing stopping thousands of powerful ideas from becoming realities is the very approach to software development.
Within the field of app development, the combined power of AI and ML (Machine Learning) with varying levels of contribution can modify the software development industry to break down the complexities at various levels, precisely as we do at Builder.ai. And the end result is that everyone is empowered to bring their ideas to life.
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