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Get To Know Subodh Parulekar, CEO and Co-Founder Of AFour Technologies

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With a proven executive management track record, Subodh brings over 25 years of experience driving business strategy, sales growth, marketing, solutions architecture, and software engineering. After working extensively across multiple startups and MNCs across North America, he recognized the need to address certain gaps in software service offerings. This inspired him, and his time there played a crucial role in inspiring him to create AFourTech.

Good day, Subodh. What a privilege to have you with us today! Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself and your professional background?

Thank you, the privilege is mine. After completing my Master’s in Systems and Computer Engineering from Carleton University, I gained hands-on experience in the wireless networking industry, working with leaders and pioneers in the sector. After a decade of working extensively across multiple startups and MNCs, I joined my MBA at the University of Washington. I have been fortunate to learn a lot from my tenure at Disha Technologies, Aztec soft, Mindtree and other MNCs. I have more than 25 years of experience driving business strategy, sales growth, marketing, solutions architecture, and software engineering across the USA, Canada, and India. I am the co-founder and CEO of AFour Technologies, based out of Redmond, Washington.

Can you tell us about your company’s software engineering services?

With the rapid surge in software requirements from startups, Unicorns, and large enterprises, the need for technological solutions that can handle this pace of development has snowballed. Companies are scrambling to ensure they do not get left behind by the Digital Zeitgeist across operations, platforms, cybersecurity, storage, applications, and more. Such a situation demands experts that can handle a holistic digital transformation to bring the companies up to speed. At AFour Technologies, we enable software companies to optimize their modernization and digital transformation using product engineering, cloud migration, mobile enablement, and app framework upgrades. We also offer software reliability engineering through managed services and packaged IP services.

Today, a tangible push exists to develop applications with a rich UX and minimal time-to-market. At the same time, there is also a need to modernize legacy systems to secure business continuity and process large volumes of incoming data to unlock its full potential – and that’s where we come in.

AFour provides design and maintenance of applications with a blend of unparalleled data insights and scalable infrastructure. Additionally, our Cloud Engineering Services also allow for faster migration of assets and processes to the Cloud, which speeds up companies on the road to digital transformation. We also offer services that include product engineering, infrastructure design and configuration management, software prototype development, CI/CD pipeline, DevOps strategy consulting, system architecture design, UX and UI design, backend/API development, performance and security testing, test automation development and execution, and more.

It appears that AFour Technologies has a solid track record in software product engineering spanning more than ten years. What was the inspiration behind establishing AFour Technologies?

In my experience across startups as well as MNCs, I noticed a significant gap in the market. And we filled the gap remarkably well. Let me elaborate.

We have a product engineering DNA and a reliability engineering pedigree. With a software product engineering DNA, AFour builds and maintains modern applications with intuitive and connected user experiences. Our best-in-class Cloud Reliability Engineering practice ensures that the software systems we deliver are scalable, resilient, and secure and enables faster Cloud adoption and smoother migration of infrastructure and services to the Cloud. Our data analytics practice provides customers with actionable insights from unstructured data. We’re a summation of specialists.

We can see how the world is evolving and progressing in terms of technology. Could you tell us what you believe is changing in terms of how innovation is done in the digital age? What’s new?

We have seen a dynamic shift in the way technology is viewed, especially in the recent light of the pandemic. Intelligence, foresight, and interaction are the future of innovation in the digital age. Understanding and using Big Data in analytics and bots to predict future requirements has become essential to any innovation.

Data is now the most valuable asset available worldwide, and customers’ experience determines how well they’ll take to your technology. In these cases, the UX/UI, analyzing unstructured or structured data and providing actionable insights, AI, and Machine Learning technologies become crucial. Cybersecurity fortification is increasingly gaining ground in the wake of so many cyber-attacks on companies and governments. In the coming years, protecting consumer and company data will be a space for innovation, quick thinking, agility, and adaptation.

We at AFour look to provide solutions for precisely this but are not limited to it. With a competing market and an industry that is continuously growing, we stay on top of our game, keeping up with industry trends to provide the best possible solutions in software product engineering. While building and maintaining modern applications with intuitive and connected user experiences, which is the need of the hour, we are already working with AI-ML and have had success with Big Data technologies. Our cybersecurity testing capabilities are currently being used by companies that recognize the genuine threat of cyberattacks and want to protect sensitive information from hackers.

I am sure others are intrigued about what you focus on when it comes to starting your own software product engineering company. What are your thoughts on this?

Well, a few crucial points that, in my opinion, play an essential role in shaping up an organization are:

  • Forming a good team of co-founders with complementary skills and relevant experience
  • Taking guidance from a board of advisors
  • Being passionate about the area in which one is planning to start a business
  • Focusing on the right things and not trying to do everything under the sun

Being in the field for more than 10 years, what has been the most difficult or memorable challenge you’ve faced?

During the early stages of the company, we had to let go of our most significant customer, constituting a major chunk of our revenue stream. Let me elaborate. Our people are our priority; they were overworked in this project, and the working conditions were not conducive, resulting in a mismatch of expectations. We had to take a call at the earliest to prevent further damage; losing people was not an option, and we decided to let go of the customer. We made sure that the customer was not left high and dry – the transition to the customer’s in-house team was smooth. Losing a big customer posed a serious challenge, and it hurt us in the short run; however, we focused on acquiring newer clients, and eventually, we crossed the hump.

What impact has the pandemic had on your business, and how are you dealing with it?

Throughout the pandemic, all sectors observed a rapid surge in digitalization. For software companies, this acceleration was more visible. We have seen a surge in demand for digital engineering, reliability engineering and cybersecurity testing services. Specifically, startups and unicorns in this space started seeking our software engineering services to meet the needs of rapid digital transformation of their systems and infrastructure. In such a situation, we are best positioned to meet these demands. Our mission is to enable our customers to build and maintain resilient, scalable, and secure software systems with high predictability and reliability using agile methodologies. This approach has been particularly impactful in the pandemic and the post-COVID world.

Do you have any plans for the company’s future growth?

In the future, we want to establish ourselves as leaders in Cloud platforms, Data Analytics, AI, ML, and Next-generation Data Center Technologies. Our work in AI and ML has been developing for the past couple of years, and we are looking to make great strides with customers in those areas. We are also making inroads into Analytics (ETL) and AWS Big Data. Both these plans are centred around attracting companies that wish to ensure a smooth transition to the next phase of the digital age.

I see. You must have a few role models who inspire you to be the person you are today. When you think of it, who is the first person who comes to mind?

Well! I would say the founders of Disha Technologies are my role models. They had the passion and ability to inspire, were leaders who would lead from the front, had a clear set of values, were selfless and accepting of others, and certainly could overcome obstacles.

What are your goals in 2022?

In 2022, we anticipate a more significant surge in the need for cybersecurity testing and the development of Cloud applications. We anticipate demand for our services from Unicorns and startups that are showing a rapid progression in terms of scale. We will continue to build on our momentum to assist new and existing customers in their digital transformation journey through our digital engineering services. We look forward to working on projects that let us explore and employ the full extent of our capabilities across all our areas of expertise.

That’s awesome, Subodh! Now, what would your advice be to young entrepreneurs who want to start their own business like you?

I see a lot of young entrepreneurs coming into their own with innovative ideas and dedication to their work. What matters the most is a balanced, holistic approach to working. It is essential to recognize and analyze the landscape and trends in the technology space to find more avenues to work with. Another important thing for me is to have a robust set of core values that guide my work. At AFour, our name stands for Agility, Automation, Aptitude, and Attitude – four qualities that are paramount in launching any new project or idea in today’s digital landscape. Valuing these terms can push a simple idea into becoming the next big thing, and those are my two cents for all the young entrepreneurs out there.

How can we reach out to you, Subodh?

You can reach out to me on LinkedIn! One can follow me on LinkedIn and drop a message!

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