Over 100% year on year growth, 230+ employees, clients as diverse as mobile startups and US defence contractors like L3 Communications and Dow Chemical Company, unprecedented success in mobile social casino space; RNF Technologies has experienced exemplary success bootstrapping under the radar in a very short span of their existence. Nishi Dangi of Aapka Times got a chance to speak to the founders of this exciting company of which very little is known, at least in India.
Nishi: We would like to make our readers aware of your experience of setting up such a successful enterprise ‘RNF Technologies’ to inspire those who want to become successful entrepreneurs as you are.
RNF Technologies is an IT and products company founded by former employees of Google and AOL. Being its co-founders, what ignited the spark in you to establish a new enterprise when you were already working in such a successful system?
Faisal: The spark was there while we were still in college and working for Google and AOL only strengthened the resolve as it made us realise the need to work for something that we believed in, something that we could call the shots on. Following a set path never appealed much to us and we always preferred the driver’s seat than the passenger one.
Nishi: There must have been a few difficulties you have faced, what were they? How did you manage to make your idea a reality even after so many difficulties?
Raghib: We did not face any serious difficulties as our’s was a very practical and well thought out approach. We knew early on that getting corporate experience would not only help in accumulating funds but also learning how businesses work. Post that we moved a step at a time and tried to stay as close to reality as possible without letting the false sense of romanticism associated with entrepreneurship affect us.
Nishi: What made you stick on your dream before giving up? Or so to say what motivates you since both of you first thought of it?
Faisal: The desire to take control of your destiny and work towards something bigger, something more than normal was a motivation that used to and still drives us. When you enjoy what you do and are convinced about your own abilities it is easier to stay motivated. You cannot get through the ordeal of starting a company in a country like India without an iron will and some luck.
Nishi: RNF technologies is a very well-known company but many of us are not aware of what RNF stands for. What do you want to say about it? What is the aim of your company?
Raghib: RNF is a an acronym for Raghib and Faisal. We got inspired by HP in a way while deciding to name our firm. Our aim is to be a top IT firm in the fields of offering IT services and creating mobile apps as world class products. We see the diverging philosophies of services and products companies merge well in our office but have registered a separate firm, Phonato Studios, for all our mobile based apps.
Nishi: What role do your employees play in taking your enterprise to the heights of success? Do they serve the company in same way as you do?
Faisal: Our employees mean everything to us and we believe it is their cohesive bond with the company’s vision that had led us thus far. We treat our employees and partners and expect them to have an entrepreneurial spirit. Our recruitment process emphasises on hiring the best talent for the job without giving much significance to their past experience or the college they come from. Moreover, we strongly believe in promoting young talent wherever we find it.
Nishi: What would you consider the three top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Faisal: The ability to find an intelligent business partner you can trust; come up with the right answers consistently, more so under pressure; and an undying desire to succeed.
Nishi: What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Faisal: Entrepreneurs usually tend to have a deeper understanding of the world around them. This increased consciousness and the ability to try different things leads to immense satisfaction, both personally and professionally.
Nishi: What are the biggest mistakes you have ever made in business?
Faisal: Too many for me to mention here but too few for the company to not grow.
Nishi: What do you recommend to overcome one’s follies so that it would not turn into barriers against your destiny?
Raghib: Determination, hard work and willingness to achieve one’s goals can overcome most follies and daemons one might have. Not losing focus of the goals one has set for him/herself plays a very important role in getting to your destiny. I don’t think that the entrepreneurship road is an easy one to tread, but if one starts walking on it with passion, energy and willingness to achieve, then regardless of the challenges and mistakes he/she commits, they are bound to be successful. Just stay ‘focused’ and don’t give up!
Nishi: Any advice that you want to give to the college students who desire to become an entrepreneur?
Raghib: First things first – I don’t think entrepreneurship can be planned. The most important thing for a student at college level is to identify what he is good at. In my personal experience, I have seen many people doing things and opting for careers which don’t excite them, which probably they aren’t good at either. Unless you chose a field of your interest and pursue that with utmost conviction, you cannot become a successful entrepreneur. Every individual has got his/her share of strengths and weaknesses. You become an entrepreneur the day you start pursuing your interests!
General advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to not be upset at your failures because the path to becoming a ‘successful’ entrepreneur is full of failures, which in turn gives you experiences and the knowledge that come in handy over the course of one’ life.
Nishi: What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Raghib: The favourite thing about being an entrepreneur is that I get to do things which I truly like doing. You decide what, when, and where! The failure will be yours, but so will the success be.
Nishi: Apart from it, we all know that you are friends and co-founded RNF Technologies, have your friendship turned into a partnership in business or is it still the same as it was in your college life?
Faisal: Our friendship is the base of RNF and it has only grown with time. We were, and always will be, friends before business partners.