“An Ode To The Success Story of Internet” – Ajay Data, CEO, Data Infosys
In a relatively short period of time, the Internet has had an amazing impact on almost every facet of our lives. With it, we are able access to new ideas, more information, unlimited possibilities, and a whole new world of communities. It has grown and evolved to influence how we interact, how we conduct business, how we learn, and how we proceed day to day. And as much as it has changed our lives, in the process, the Internet itself has changed too. The Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before.
The history of the Internet in India started with launch of services by VSNL on 15 August 1995. They were able to add about 10,000 Internet users within 6 months. However, for the next 10 years the Internet experience in the country remained less attractive with narrow-band connections having speeds less than 56 kbit/s (dial-up).The gift of dial up internet connection was first rolled out in six Indian Cities.
It was during this time that a young man from Rajasthan with no prior experience in IT industry thought of making it big in Indian Growth Story of Internet. He was none other than Dr. Ajay Data. Dr. Data had completed his graduation and was assisting his dad in the Family Business of Oil. But his true calling was lying somewhere else.
Talking about the earlier struggling days of Dr. Data, his friend and partner in crime, Mr. Tarun Taunk, Editor-in-Chief, says,” Ajay was very clear about how he wanted to go about his business plan. He wanted to put Rajasthan on the map of Internet growth story in India. Those days the monopoly of VSNL had ended, and the ISP policy was introduced in the country. Ajay was one amongst earlier to buy ISP in the country. To be more precise he was first person to buy ISP in the state and with this he started off his own company DATA INFOSYS in 1999. I remember we used to joke that a man who has Data as his surname, he is destined to make it big in the IT Industry.”
But just buying the ISP policy is not sufficient; developing the entire infrastructure to provide internet connection was a tedious. His friends recall that those days they just survived on the Pav Bhaji on a ‘katta’. Mr. Taunk recalls, “Unlike today where the company person comes and the does the formality and within 24 hours one has the connection; those days one had to fill plenty of forms to get a single internet connection. But he kept trying to make the process easier for the customers. He wanted to make the entire internet surfing process really enjoyable for the customers.”
One of the other high point of the journey is that Dr. Data was the first person in the state to come up with Cyber Café culture. In that period, it was a costly affair and was limited to few. The riches, the heavy-pocketed college guys and girls had enjoyed this facility.
But Dr. Data was not kind of man who would rest on his laurels. He realised the value of usage email as the basic form of communication, and started working on the idea. He along with two of his other colleagues and a seed capital of Rs. 1 lakh started working on a software, that would enable fast retrieving of data and users would get to enjoy other multipurpose features. This gave rise to a very efficient email service XGen Plus Technologies, an advanced email server.
Describing the commercials for the company, Dr. Data, recalls,”We sold our software to companies for Rs 2.5 lakh providing unlimited usage, while the annual rate for individual users was Rs 700 (we also sold Xgen cloud for Rs 1,000 a year, per person). In the first year of operations itself, we made a great revenue of Rs 90 lakh.”
It is due to complete dedication and the urge to realise his dream of making his mother state a tech savvy state, Dr. Data has taken DATA INFOSYS has carved a niche for itself in the competitive information technology world and offers services successfully to more than 2.5 lac internet subscribers and 250+ corporate in the country and abroad.
Some of the other major achievements have been developing anti-spam software products, such as Spamjadoo, for IT consultancies and large call centres. Spamjadoo.com was patented in the US in 2002 and is now offered by companies like IBM, NICSI and MTNL. The company was the first to roll out Wi-Fi in Jaipur and online ticketing systems for Rajasthan tourism and the state’s forest department. The company has completed 15 years of its operations, and has a strength of 100+ employees.
When asked to highlight the factors that played important in the 15 years odd success journey of the company, Dr. Data, proudly says,”
The most important factor contributing to the success of Data Infosys is the mutual trust between the client, team and the management of the Company. Our process centric approach to projects, our people, our work culture all combine to form a close relationship with our customers which helps us deliver software and applications that are successful even before they are launched. Our customers know this very well and opt to stay with us for years. That’s why most of our major customers are our oldest customers, over six years since we signed our first contract with them.
The second factor that is needed for the success is the proper knowledge management and we stand as a leader with this concern also.
According to latest TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority in India) report the company is enjoying the position of the 6th Largest Internet Service Provider in India. The service portfolio of the company has increased to offer high tech services like Dialup, Brodband, ISDN, WLL and Leased Circuits. We also possess years of experience in developing solutions for VPN, Extranet, Internet, Network Solutions, and e-commerce including payment gateway. It has VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), UMS (Unified Messaging Services), Call Centers and Transcriptions.
Talking about the future of internet in the country, Dr. Data positively says, “In the past few years India has seen a tremendous amount of growth in IT Industry. The days of dial up connection has been replaced by internet on mobility platforms. E-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds. Of India’s >160 mn Internet users, 86 mn access Internet using their mobile devices and mobile is the 1st experience of the internet for over 50% of Indians. While it took 17 years to hit 15 mn fixed line broadband users, there are already 22 mn 3G users in the last 3-4 years, in spite of the various issues faced in 3G connectivity. These statistics themselves speak volume about kind of IT growth the country is yet to see.”
DATA INFOSYS is among the largest and most respected ISP providers in India. Its Founder and CEO, Dr. AJAY DATA, has humbly attributed his success to being at the right place at the right time.
Kudos to the makers of Cyber World in Rajasthan!!!!