“Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” -Nelson Mandela
The world of technology witnessed the spectacle of Steve Jobs, launching the Appstore platform. For the first time, the world got smitten by an ecosystem of a product and a plethora of possibilities. It was indeed a game-changer.
This event would open the flood gates for innovation, and developers like us could only imagine what this promising future beheld for us.
I wanted a piece of this pie too, and soon graduating with my MBA from UT Austin, I was to join this bandwagon of technology enthusiasts in the service industry as their head of sales for North America. We were flooded with inquiries for iPhone app development that year!
Two years later, in 2010, my brother Aakash Sareen (the smarter one in the family and graduated from IIT Madras) and I decided to use the opportunity and experience to set up our own app development company. That’s how Copper Mobile was born.
Even to this day, I get asked, what is the significance behind the name, so here it is. There were a couple of reasons to pick this name #1 everything you could do over copper communication traditionally now we wanted to bring to mobile. #2, as a new company, I thought it would be tough to be memorable if the name was not familiar, I wanted to be able to say – Copper like the metal!
While I was good at selling ideas, Aakash was good at putting it into perspective. However, we lacked a specific structure and were like a viscous blob of ideas and insights. There was no method to our madness. We needed someone with a level of maturity and understanding to jibe our wavering efforts in the right direction.
Along came Rupak Lohit, our co-founder and COO, who turned out to be the best man for this job. His focused approach, willingness to take on challenges head-on, diligence, and attention to detail streamlined our efforts as one cohesive unit, with a marked increase in efficiency across all departments.
We were slowly but steadily becoming a force to reckon with in the mobile application development industry, and our team was expanding.
Initially, we started testing the market and would do an app for anyone who would walk into our Dallas office with a check. In about a year and a half and confronting the truth about our identity as an organization, we found our niche – the enterprise space.
We became good at solving business problems, which may be attributed to our innate passion for comprehending and aligning ourselves with the stakeholders. Our mobile apps reflected the sleepless nights we spent thinking of ways technology could address and fix these complexities at an organizational level.
We knew no two business problems were the same. So, we personalized each project we took, giving ourselves room for flexibility, learning, and iterations to make our products more efficient.
Soon after, we saw an exponential increase in revenue (we went from $340K in 2010 to $3 Million in 2011), and that was a massive milestone for us. That’s when we focussed on setting processes and scaling our business. The fact that we built more than 750 enterprise solutions, witnessed a 20x growth in revenue and retained more than 60% of our employees is a testament to the culture of Integrity, Empathy, Innovation, and Service we built around scaling our organization. We also know that our most significant achievements still lie ahead of us!
It has not been easy to work in the most demanding sector of the mobile application development industry. Still, the love, support, and appreciation from our customers always made this roller coaster ride all about the adrenalin rush!
As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, I feel humbled by the efforts our interns put in. I feel privileged to serve with colleagues who shaped the very landscape of app development. I feel gratitude towards the sacrifices made by families of our employees who accepted me wholeheartedly and gave their loving embrace through thick and thin. I feel immense joy in building lasting relationships with our customers. I feel proud to work with people from all walks of life and learn from the diversity of their cultures. I feel overwhelmed when our ex-employees (or Copper Mobile Champions as we like to call them) come back to us with their new learnings and insights.
I understand that we cannot celebrate this day like we would have hoped to, with all of us working from home. However, I sincerely believe that we can celebrate by giving back to the community. We started free training programs for all those who lost their jobs in this pandemic and would continue to strengthen our resolve in making a difference in people’s lives. We want to give back the dignity to people by empowering them with the skill set to re-establish their careers.
As we prepare for the “new normal” in the foreseeable future, we want to ensure our employees’ safety before anything else. We’ve incorporated the necessary protocol changes in our business to follow the stated safety guidelines and encourage you to practice social distancing.
We may be in different geo-locations, but our hearts are connected to our well-being and our minds to our shared goal!
Cheers to all of you!
Chairman and CEO