Raghu Raaj Shekhar is a serial tech entrepreneur with a focus on emerging tech like Blockchain, Games & AR/VR, IoT & Robotics etc.He started his career right from his undergraduate days at IIT Roorkee, when he founded Edlogiq which was a neuro-tech company. Its flagship product Neuron Gym was a brain training application that managed to have half a million users globally. He is the founder of Monkhub, a software development company focused on emerging technology. INCUBEES talked to him who mentors several startups in his free time.
INCUBEES: Tell us about your Company?
RAGHU RAAJ SHEKHAR: Monkhub is a software development company focused on emerging technologies like blockchain, AR/VR, IoT, AI/ML, etc. apart from regular mobile and web application development.
Recently, we have started a new vertical called Monkhub Ventures which is a product studio where we work on our own ideas and build products majorly in consumer internet space. Few of the products launched by us in the last couple of months are as follows:
a) Nello: Nello is an audio content application where one can listen to audio stories, news, history, and more.
b) Super Neuron: Super Neuron is a free brain training platform that enhances your essential cognitive skills like memory, attention, visual perception, flexibility, problem-solving, and processing speed via mini-games.
c) Super Share: Super Share is an excellent sharing app with a fast transfer speed. Just select photos, videos, music, installed apps, or any other files and transfer them to anyone at a lightning speed.
INCUBEES: What makes your product unique and what competition do you see in India and globally?
RAGHU RAAJ SHEKHAR: We are majorly focused on emerging technologies that not many software development companies are working on. This eliminates a lot of competition for us. Although companies are adding emerging tech in their offerings, we obviously have an early movers’ advantage.
INCUBEES: What are the challenges you see in the market at this point in time?
RAGHU RAAJ SHEKHAR: In Covid-19 times, most of the businesses are facing a lot of issues. We also had similar problems but we have adapted to the new normal and adjusted to work from home and made our 100 per cent operations on the internet.
INCUBEES: Tell us about your team and what inspires them?
RAGHU RAAJ SHEKHAR: We are about a 26 people team at the moment. Most of us are young motivated professions. As we work on new and emerging technologies, our work is not boring like normal IT services as everyone is learning new and exciting stuff on a regular basis which keeps the whole team excited and inspired.
INCUBEES: Where do you see your company reaching in the next five-years?
RAGHU RAAJ SHEKHAR: We see Monkhub as one of the largest software development companies in emerging technology space. We aspire to make a dent in this universe.
INCUBEES: Do you have plans to raise funding to grow your business or allow your business to organically grow?
RAGHU RAAJ SHEKHAR: We are self-sustainable with decent cash flows and not looking to raise any funds at the moment. We might be looking for some external fundings in the future for scaling up the business.
INCUBEES: What are the challenges you face as a startup?
RAGHU RAAJ SHEKHAR: The challenges we faced as a startup are the most typical ones. Some of them are as follows:
- Building the initial team was a challenge. Getting good guys and retaining them is a challenge especially when the team is working on new technologies and there is a lack of talent in that space.
- It’s hard to manage the cash flows especially when the client payments get delayed. Paying the office bills, salary, etc. gets tough many times. Especially in the times of Covid-19 a lot of payments got delayed which impacted the whole business cycle but we have recovered and are back on track.
- Building processes in a startup is again a big challenge. Everything starts with few guys in a small room where not much of the process is in place (or not even required), the decision cycle is quick, and not many things are at stake. But once you start growing you need to build processes and not everyone is happy with the new processes but there aren’t many alternatives. Building strong processes is always a challenge.
The key to success for a startup is to overcome these challenges and keep moving forward. Challenges may be overwhelming at times but they are exciting and necessary for a strong foundation.