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Fireside chat with Ramesh Mahalingam, Chairman&CEO at Vizru

Who is Ramesh Mahalingam?

Ramesh Mahalingam is a CEO and founder of Vizru. He has served as a technologist, thought leader, entrepreneur and investor for the past  22+ years. Ramesh has worked for Impact Innovations Group, Dell, Force10 Networks, Nicira and VMWare in the past. He serves on the board of multiple startups both in the US and abroad. Socially, Ramesh is deeply passionate about empowering marginalized youths around the World. Ramesh is the founder of TIME initiative (Training Internship Mentoring and Employment) a CSR initiative that provides hands-on workshops and gainful employment for marginalized students around the World.  

What’s the story behind Vizru?

Our vision is to empower anyone to build smart applications. We wanted to eliminate the fundamental barrier to innovation today in the technology field i.e. coding/programming. Vizru developed industry’s first Zero-code  Application Development platform that allows business teams to design, build and deploy by themselves without IT. We call this Democratizing Innovation. Today IT controls development. We wanted to remove these shackles and empower business teams to actively participate in corporate innovation. We believe this would create a new generation of creative thinkers, builders and innovators.    

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

Saying “NO, thank you” to VC funds. We continue to get multiple offers every week, however, we decided right from the beginning to bootstrap the idea with minimum angel funding, until it made sense to raise more. We believe in order to preserve the integrity of our product’s vision, we had to do it. We have been immensely successful thus far in our journey. However, walking away from an ungodly amount of funding is one of the toughest decisions of our experience. Second, losing to a large conglomerate during a bid always stings. Unfair advantage they have on the of the playing field from marketing dollars, ground force, reach is difficult. However, our product has been superlative which has been a huge reason for our incredible success story.       

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

  • 45% of the Vizru workforce  are women
  • We are empowering 90% of employees to participate in technology innovation 
  • We have a goal to upskill 100,000 students from marginalized backgrounds around the World in Zero-code app development platform
  • We are the first product that offers FULL-STACK development without a line of code.  

What is your vision for the future of Vizru?

Provide free workshops to millions of youths around the World. 3.9B people lack proper internet access. Recent decade, opportunities are associated with unfettered access to the internet. We intend to change this mindset. We want everyone to be able to become an entrepreneur. We plan to have 10,000 startups build on our platform in the next 5 years. We are at 30 now. 

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

  • Don’t try to impress investors 
  • You don’t need to find investors. If you build a valuable company, investors will find you 
  • Until you build value “STAY CHEAP”. Staying cheap will give you major dividends. 
  • Intelligence is doing more with less, and not in raising more money than you need  
  • Trust your customers. Impress your customers. They, and only they, will make or break you 

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business

Tesla: We learned from Tesla that a disruptive technology requires persistence, unshakeable faith in your vision, abilty to convince consumers to adopt to new technology, keep it affordable, build an ecosystem to support it and scale. iPhone: While Microsoft was just focusing on making minor upgrades to their gravy train i.e. Word and Excel, Apple went ahead and disrupted the entire music industry with the launch of iPod. Be bold. Vizru’s Zero-code technology is an unprecedented technology that challenges development of full-stack applications from top to bottom.       

What books do you have on your nightstand?

World is flat, Guns Germs and Steel, Eyewitness to History, How to Win friends and influence people.

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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