Rootcode: The Catalyst for Global Enterprises
Rootcode provides innovative solutions to companies in 29 industries around the world, helping them adapt to the ever-changing realities of business and technology. Rootcode’s technology touches the lives of over 79 million people with its solutions in mobile apps, web apps, data analytics, UI/UX design, machine learning, AI and cloud.
Founder and Managing Director Alagan Mahalingam and Mangala Perera, Partner and COO at Rootcode, talk about the company’s journey from startup to global catalyst. With a growing customer base, especially in the Nordics and North America, they share insights into how the company reassures its employees and customers and unlocks opportunities for growth.
Rootcode started the journey as a startup that grew into a global tech company in a short time. Could you explain this trip to us?
The story begins with Alagan developing an AI-powered karaoke app while still a graduate student. The app was a smash hit, was nominated for the Asia Pacific ICT Awards, and a UK-based company acquired the app soon after. Companies that heard of Alagan’s successes began to inquire about the possibility of building software solutions for them. And that’s how Rootcode was conceived, as an outward-looking startup that could scale by solving complex problems facing businesses of all sizes in more advanced economies.
The company grew to about 20 people in the first five years as we tried different things, weren’t afraid to develop innovative solutions to complex problems, test them, fail fast, and quickly iterate development process. Two and a half years later, Rootcode had grown to 100 dedicated tech assistants serving some of the biggest brands in the world. We empower businesses, from multinational corporations to startups, to create better technology-based products and services. Our clients are almost entirely European or North American companies. In a nutshell, Rootcode provides a comprehensive suite of software engineering, design, AI, data analytics, backend, and cloud capabilities to help businesses reinvent themselves for growth and even overcome with successfully overcome economic challenges.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to scale quickly and provide solutions to our customers, many of whom were struggling to cope with the unprecedented economic consequences of the global pandemic. For Rootcode, 2021 was the best year ever, with business growing 85% that year.
We recently launched another vertical called Rootcode Studio to help businesses with superior designs for enhanced user experiences. Rootcode Studio is one of the first high-end design studios in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a well-known software engineering destination, but we are on a mission to put the country on the map for designing and creating unique user experiences.
As Sri Lanka faces the worst economic crisis in its history, how does Rootcode reassure and motivate its people?
Employee motivation has always been at the heart of everything we do. Rootcode is all about people. They are the reason for all our success and the engines of our growth. It all starts with the hiring process. We are looking for self-starters and self-starters who share our values of integrity, technical excellence and a desire to make a difference for us and our customers. They must also be able to collaborate well with teams. An aspiring Rootcoder must have all of these attributes, and we offer exciting prospects in return. We give them the freedom to do what they do best without micro-managing people or projects and the opportunity to accelerate their careers in a collaborative atmosphere. We expose them to new opportunities in developed markets and challenge them to continually grow on the latest technological disruptions while constantly mentoring and supporting them. Their well-being is a primary concern. We have taken extraordinary measures to make them feel comfortable during the pandemic and continue to do everything to reassure them by easing the burden of the rising cost of living through our cost-of-living allowance program. By doing so, they can focus on what they do best and find meaning in the transformative changes they help businesses achieve.
How do you reassure your customers?
Our customers have expressed complete confidence in Rootcode as we always deliver beyond expectations, as we aptly demonstrated during Covid. Our customers love the technology solutions from Rootcode, they admire our resilience and drive, and their feedback so far has been encouraging.
As Sri Lanka faces an economic crisis, the global economy faces headwinds. Businesses, even those in developed markets, are beginning to feel increasing pressures from rising inflation due to global energy and food supply constraints. Cash flow is tightening for several industries around the world. However, companies have the opportunity to engage with companies like Rootcode who have mastered the ability to create solutions that support growth. So, amidst all the uncertainties, we are confident that the demand for our expertise can only grow, which is good for the country and Rootcode and means better opportunities for our people.
As a Sri Lankan company, we are committed to developing and elevating the technology ecosystem. We are investing in an initiative that has the potential to transform the tech landscape in Sri Lanka. The computer industry generates approximately $1.5 billion in revenue from export services each year. It is possible to increase revenues to $5 billion, but this requires considerable capacity building, both in numbers of professionals and skill levels – Sri Lanka needs to raise its skills to move up the chain of technological value. As a company, we will help build this capacity by investing in a technology academy that will focus on graduate employability, professional development and helping professionals in other industries transition to IT.
We plan to maintain this growth each year by aggressively expanding our global reach and growing the team to 500 by 2025 to capture Nordic and North American markets.