A Radiologist who founded an App Company – Rohit Singal
Posted: Mar 09, 2016
In India, lots of parents have dreams that their child becomes a lawyer or a doctor. It usually is because these professions offer a highly lucrative career, which is stable and respectable. Rohit Singal is not one of those. His inspirational tale is all about grabbing an opportunity when it presents itself to you. How many times have you heard that entrepreneurs follow their instincts? They are geared up with a certain mindset. Singal’s inspirational story is about it all.
Singal first pursued his MBBS from Government College in Haryana, where his bug for computers began. His father got him a desktop to which he was instantly drawn towards. It became his hobby but he knew he had his medical career to pursue. He finished his MBBS successfully and went on to pursue his MD in Radiology. Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, Bangalore had a requirement for a communication system software, which large organizations like Siemens were selling for a huge amount. This is where Singal saw an opportunity and chose to make the most of it. He developed it and offered it to the hospital at a price of USD 100,000. He thoroughly enjoyed it and as soon as he finished his studies, SourceBits was born.
Singal started his entrepreneurial journey in 2006, when he was 30 years old. He rented out a garage to pursue his passion. With four employees, they launched their first application "Fun Booth" which was meant only for Mac systems. A gamble indeed but it paid off as Apple featured it. Soon, Freeverse got in touch with them for a joint project. For this, they developed a game and shared profits arising out of it. This was their first entry into services although they did continue making their own products as well. An alarm clock app called "Night Stand" was launched by them in 2007. This was the first iPhone app by an Indian developer. They chose to opt for native mobile application development and this paid off.
SourceBits was clear about its USP, which was have design led engineering approach to offering solutions. In 2009, came their biggest success when they developed Coca-Cola’s very first mobile app called Coke Cheers. It was a big moment for Singal and his startup, as few years back they were a handful people operating from a garage and were now working with one of the biggest brands in the world. The campaign was a roaring success and since then Singal knew sky was the limit. They had worked for brands like Intel, SAP, P&G, The Coca-Cola Co., Bank of America, Columbia University and Hershey’s.
In 2011, they started seeking venture capital and were funded by Sequoia Capital and IDG Venture for USD 10 Million. Post this, they set up more offices, shifted their base to San Francisco, USA. The main reason for this being that 95% of their business was out of that country and the remaining 5% was from India.
In 2014, Globo Plc, the global provider of complete enterprise mobility solutions and Software-as-a-Service ("SaaS") acquired SourceBits. The reason for the same was to boost mobile app development offering. The cost of acquisition of the Bangalore startup is unknown
Singal in an interview stated that, "Was it a direct path to success? No? Was it challenging? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely!"