Meet the Whizkid CEOs – Shravan & Sanjay Kumaran

05 Jun,2014

 

Brothers Shravan and Sanjay Kumaran could well be the youngest CEOs in India as they head an app developing company, Go Dimensions. Content with the ‘Whizkids’ title that has been bestowed upon them, the duo were in Goa last week to deliver a knowledge seminar to stalwarts from the media, marketing and advertising domains at Goafest 2014.  While Shravan is 14 years’ old and in Class 10, brother is 12 and in Class 8. Both are students of  the Vaels Billabong High International School, Chennai.

 

Shobhana Nair caught up with the Kumarans who were visibly upset about the fact that so much “rich food” gets wasted every day in 5-star hotels and were pondering what to do about it. Having developed more than 150 test apps before launching their first app, Catch Me Cop, these kids are well-versed with all the programming languages.

Excerpts from a conversation with the dynamic duo…

 

What is the one thing that you both have always believed in and mention it in all your seminars?

Shravan Kumaran: One idea can make the difference. It’s not about making many products but it’s just one small idea that can make a change.

 

At this age, most kids are active users of apps themselves while you both are out there developing apps for the market. What’s the inspiration behind developing so many apps?

Sanjay Kumaran: It’s just our hobby which has now become our passion.

 

Take us through the latest app that you’ve developed?

Shravan Kumaran: It’s Car Racing HD. The car moves depending on how much you tilt your phone. It was released a couple of months ago and got 2,000 downloads on the first day. It has seen more than 10, 000 downloads till date. This app was also rated as one of the Top 300 apps by Apple on Day 1.

 

Sanjay Kumaran: There’s another one called Emergency Booth where women in distress can reach out without any internet or extra support.

 

How many downloads have you managed so far for all your apps?

Shravan Kumaran: All our apps put together have had 60, 000 downloads from 60 different countries.

 

Do you envision any strategy for your company which was set in December 2011?

Shravan Kumaran: We want to build our company as a billion dollar company and we want to continue developing apps. Our ambition is to get more and more people to use our apps on their phones. Our vision is to have 50 per cent of the world’s smartphone users to be using our apps.

 

The venture indeed sounds promising. Are the returns as exciting?

Sanjay Kumaran: All our apps are free, as our intention is to reach many and try to learn how our customers are using it. We have monetization through ads in the app. But we get just 0.05 per cent from the online advertisements which are put up on our apps. However, these ads appear only internationally and not in India. We’ve made $700 till now through such ads out of which we’ve decided to give 15 per cent for charity as soon as we get the money. We don’t believe in delaying the process of charity.

 

When do you see yourself taking the paid model route for the company?

Shravan Kumaran: Only after 50 per cent of smartphones have our apps.

 

Sanjay Kumaran: We’ve reached only 1 per cent of that. But I am still not convinced about this as I myself don’t buy paid apps. I have downloaded only 2-3 paid apps.

 

But then if you don’t charge, how do you plan to make money?

Sanjay Kumaran: It’s just a hobby and not meant to make money. We are not sure about this in the long run as we want to make cool gadgets and devices.

 

How much time do you usually take to develop apps?

Sanjay Kumaran: Gaming apps take 3-4 months while others take 2-3 months. Designing, getting images, making it colourful, creating caricatures take time as we believe in quality work.

 

Which would be the most memorable moment of your lives?

Sanjay Kumaran: Meeting the South Korean Prime Minister. We were invited amongst the top10 designers from the world.

 

Who would you attribute your success to?

Sanjay Kumaran: The reason we don’t fight is because of the values inculcated in us by our mother. The reason we code is because of our father.

 

Shravan Kumaran: We only fight over chocolates and compare who has eaten most. Otherwise, we are best friends and can’t away from each other even for few hours.

 

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