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August - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature
Compassites-Capitalizing-on-Ideas
Jaya Smitha Menon
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Compassites tells a different story in the Outsourced Product Development (OPD) space. When the other players in the OPD realm focus on developing products for other product companies, Compassites targets ideas. The company focuses on transforming ideas into web based business applications using next generation technologies. Naveen Lakkur, the CEO of Compassites bets on ideas and quotes Napoleon Hill – “Ideas are the beginning point of all fortunes.”

With a passion to foster entrepreneurship and create a company with a robust foundation of values, Compassites was founded a year and a half back by Lakkur and a three member team. Within 18 months of inception, Compassites has already been instrumental in shaping up three companies in the web 2.0 space, and six startups. They are powered by innovations backed by cutting edge technologies like web 2.2, ruby on rails, and PHP among others.

The edge in new age technologies has helped Compassites identify a crucial market in the OPD space. It decided to follow a different route, which is developing products with new age technology for established bigger corporates. This is done by engaging the corporate strategic initiatives by taking an idea and making it into a reality. The credibility in churning out successful companies and expertise in the new age technology have been their biggest strengths in attracting clients in the OPD market. “There is a huge market for new age technology in OPD, and studies reveal it to be a whopping $20 billion industry globally,” says Lakkur.

Yet another area in the OPD space which appeals to Compassites is enterprise solutions. It is becoming very important for ERP solutions worldwide to have a web interface and Compassites is focusing on cashing in on this potential. “Even the main players in the OPD space are slowly moving to the web space now. All product companies need to adopt the web interface and have methods and ways to leverage on this,” says Lakkur. Compassites aims to take up such products and use its expertise in the next generation cutting edge technologies that are high differentiators in the industry.

Talking about fostering entrepreneurship and ideas Lakkur says, “We are an ideation company.” “Ideation to us is alchemizing an idea into a business reality,” he adds. In Compassites even a simple one liner idea (after getting validation from the expert team) is incubated and nurtured throughout the development lifecycle into a web based business application. It’s amazing to see how an idea spins off into a company. “We realize that we are not just developing a product but nourishing a dream; dream of someone being an entrepreneur,” explains Lakkur.

When entrepreneurs in the making, Hari Shetty and Deepika Bajaj, came up with a radical idea, Compassites partnered with them to architect, design, and develop their idea and rolled out a company for each of them. Thus iPolipo Inc. (www.ipolipo.com) and Invincibelle Inc. (www.invincibelle.com) were born. “I could sense a passion in them to realize their dream,” says Lakkur. They were willing to give up their lucrative jobs to pursue their dream. iPolipo is an online service which helps to save time by accelerating the process of scheduling a meeting. iPolipo is now integrated with Microsoft Outlook and is on its way to patency of the technology. Invincibelle was a novel portal for multi cultural women in the U.S.

In its journey of fostering entrepreneurship Compassites has given shape to some more companies. Suggestica Inc. (www.suggestica.com) is one such company which has been rolled out through Compassites. Suggestica is a uniquely interesting site for bookworms as it contains book, audio, and video recommendations of thought leaders who are known and trusted all over the world. It contains suggestions of experts who are stalwarts from diverse disciplines. It is integrated with Amazon to make purchase of books easy for the readers. ActiveVibe Inc. (www.activevibe.com) is an online search engine for health and fitness solutions and a platform for Active Coaches which was also ideated in Compassites.

However, Compassites is not ready to take up all ideas that come to it. Ideas should make business sense too. With its Ideation Framework, Compassites not only validates the potential of an idea but also transforms it into a business reality. Lakkur says, “Many people have wonderful ideas, but they flounder during the execution because of many factors. The most important being the financials.” And this is where Compassites provides the edge by partnering with these entrepreneurs on a cost ++ model. Charging only a small margin to take care of the overheads, they take up equity in the budding company. Thus truly sharing the risk and imparting their passion to make the new endeavor successful.

For Lakkur and his team, working with the startup has been a learning process too. Now Compassites has a talent pool of new generation technology experts who constantly fine tune their knowledge antenna by incessantly updating on technology trends. In pursuit of excellence they go beyond code to help their customers by advising, guiding them on the market demand dynamics, and providing thought leadership by the active and influential board members.

Compassites aims to create 10 successful entrepreneurial companies by 2009 through outsourced product development. With its development center in Bangalore and a new innovation center in Pune, Compassites is fostering entrepreneurship within itself.

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