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More AI, less code: This app development company is helping SMEs go digital

More AI, less code: This app development company is helping SMEs go digital
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ONGO Framework’s mission is rather simple — to help businesses across sectors boost their digital presence. The rapid app development platform’s operations range from creating an app with a real-time bidding engine for rice farmers to devising a point-of-sale (PoS) solution for mom-and-pop stores to sell insurance.

Seven years since being set up, ONGO Framework currently churns out roughly eight solutions a day for businesses across 300 categories including restaurants, insurance and agri-tech, among others. 

The firm claims its artificial intelligence-based model automates the process of development and reduces the time taken to create digital architecture by 60-95%, depending on the business category.

“We work on a low-code/no-code framework, which is category-agnostic. The costs for development come down because we are building for a business vertical,” says Rama Krishna Kuppa, the founder and chief executive officer of ONGO Framework.

Personalisation is key as the platform also brings together different customers with complementary capabilities. A case in point is a restaurant chain in Dubai where ONGO Framework identified a delivery partner for fulfilling online orders.

Kuppa, a former software engineer at Motorola, told TechCircle that building an online presence through an app for a category -- say bookings and appointments for a dentist -- will take time for ONGO’s developers at the first go. By the time the sixth client is on board for a dentist app, the framework has a ready workflow with required features on time slots, details on procedures and other aspects.

The AI-powered solution also builds intelligence around the business and personalisation for customers coming to the app on the ONGO Framework for an improved experience.

The company, which works with over 68 enterprise clients and more than 780 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), also acquired digital marketing agency Hockystick Media in August to help customers promote their digital assets and boost customer acquisition Along with this, ONGO also received $1 million in funding from a group of angel investors including Mitesh Majithia, who is also a venture partner at Unicorn India Ventures.

Monetisation

Apart from monetising its services for a digital presence, the company also designs white-label solutions and acts as a channel partner for cloud telephony companies, payment gateways and small-and-micro business listing companies. 

“The customer acquisition costs for these companies go down. By the next financial year, we plan to on-board close to 1 lakh SMEs,” says Kuppa.

Recently, ONGO Framework also partnered with Alibaba Cloud to offer cloud computing services to its customers.

Competition

The company, which has a product similar to US-based low-code app development platform OutSystems that recently raised $360 million from investment giants including KKR and Goldman Sachs, plans to increase its global presence through the Middle East and North Africa markets. ONGO aims to digitise close to 5 million SMEs by 2021.

IT services majors Infosys and SAP have a strong presence in some of the overlapping categories, though Kuppa says that the level of personalisation offered by ONGO Framework is not viable for the large players in the sector.

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