Sunday, 29 May 2011

Entrepreneur Narayan of Dexetra - On their latest product offering, Friday, which can make a smart phone actually “smart”! |

Entrepreneur Narayan of Dexetra - On their latest product offering, Friday, which can make a smart phone actually “smart”!

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images/stories/Entrepreneurs/tech/dexetra.gifTell us about Dexetra

Dexetra is a product startup that primarily works on the mobility domain. By combining the power of phones and the cloud, we are building an interesting product that gives a personal answering engine to the users. Called Friday, it can talk about you, your patterns and your life.

What is your market differentiator?

The major pillars of today’s smartphone users are communication, multimedia, gaming and social networking. We are bringing in a new pillar called “Self-discovery”, which is about helping you find answers about yourself, and managing your life better.

How did the idea for your startup come about? Have you fund raise to startup?

Friday is currently in Alpha phase, and is being tested by a crowd of invited users across the globe. To reach this stage it took us over a year. Dexetra with the team 7 has been boot strapped and self-funded for this period. We hope to launch Friday in the market by July and would be expecting revenues few months from there on.

Tell us about your background

images/stories/Entrepreneurs/tech/dexetra-founder.gifBy qualification I am a Computer Science Engineer, and had worked with Bosch for around 3 years before starting Dexetra SS Ltd. But even otherwise I have been a tech enthusiast, and have been creating applications since school days. Thanks to my dad, who was also a part of the industry, employed at CDAC, I had a chance to play with computers and gadgets as a young boy!

Let us know about the tie-ups that you have.

Since we launched Friday Alpha, we have got a lot of media attention and reviews from various portals like GigaOM, thenextweb, AndroidPolice, Android Guys and many others. We have also been receiving a lot of feedbacks and a wave of positive responses from the users of Friday app, both in the Android Market and across the social media. We look forward to keep up the momentum going to the commercial launch.

Where do you see your start up five years from now?

We are trying to build a platform here with Friday. A platform that could aggregate and map information from various streams, and this information could be of help in decision-making and customizing user experience across different applications.

What is your revenue model?

We are looking at a freemium model. Where in we are not forcing the users to pay for the service, at the same time we don’t cripple the product to the free users. We give a complete product for the users, which could make them, talk about Friday and evangelize the product.

As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?

Entrepreneurship is an acquired taste, and the joy is the journey itself. From a curated environment of an MNC to a freedom of a self-owned enterprise, the switch was very hard. There are a lot of dimensions to take care of, at the same time we have to stick to some policies and stick to them as there is no one imposing it on you. We generously borrowed practices and culture from our previous jobs and took the best out of it.  Managing finances is another major challenge, and much of the credit goes to my CFO, Binil Antony. Another major challenge was keeping distractions at bay, with new technologies and products sweeping the mobility domain, we had to work hard to keep focused on Friday and not to stray away from it.

How big is your team? Tell me a little bit about your team. Are you looking at hiring?

Our team consists of young techies who have been working with various MNCs before Dexetra happened. Each of them have their own areas of expertise, including UX designer, Cloud designer, Network administrator, System Architect, Marketing-sales and so on. We started with a team of 7 with 5 techies and 2 non-techies (manager, marketing & sales). Since then we have expanded to 11 members. Being a product startup we don’t hire in bulk, though we have some openings for specialist posts like UX Architect, UX designer etc.

Let us know about your expansion plans.

Though India is not far behind at the smartphone consumer market size, currently the meat of the market is the USA and the UK. So we are trying to make a presence in those markets, Friday would grow into a platform which third parties can tap into and provide customized services on. We are also trying to build an intelligent, intuitive and self-adapting  UI Layer on top of the Android platform that would make smartphone usage simpler and faster, by understanding user preferences and likes.

Anything else that you want to tell us?

While we were building Friday we also dedicated some time in building smaller apps to learn how the market responds and behaves to free-paid-ad based apps.  We have also explored different smartphone platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone7, Symbian, Blackberry and Bada. With these we have earned a customer base of over 1.5 lakhs across 140 countries. We are also first phase winners of the Bada Developer Challenge.

We at wish Dexetra good luck as Friday will soon go Beta! What do think about this product idea? Check out and let us know what you think. Please write to us at