Q.Please Introduce yourself.
Hi I am Prashant. I am an IIT Kanpur alumnus and worked at Yahoo! for about a year post that. Even though popular media and blogs blow all these fair bit, but truth be told initially after college I was not even sure whether to come to industry or go the academia. I joined Yahoo! on advice of one of the professors mainly to see what work culture and environment in the industry is like and it was a good place to work. First thing that I wanted was to do stuff on my own but not in a big bang way. My idea was mostly to try out things in a quiet way and I said I’ll give myself 1 to 1.5 years to try things out. Somehow that 1.5 years is not over yet 🙂
Q.When and How did you think about PromptCloud?
I have always had this passion for technology and creating something new that I was waiting to start up something of my own. Around 2009, I tried my hands on the mobile VAS services but like most of the start-ups that failed 🙂
While doing experiments and trying out new stuff those days, there was something about data crawl and extraction that stuck – it was a pain point and there was a need in the market. During that time, when data levels were surging on the Web, businesses desired to derive insights from data and run analysis for various use cases. However, data sources were few and far between, and where available, noise accompanied it. This bloated the data, making it look much bigger.
Obtaining refined, relevant data was tedious and challenging. If businesses had the relevant data readily available, it would maintain their business edge and catapult them ahead of competition.
This is what PromptCloud resolved to do. The aim of our business was to provide noise-free structured data; and this was central to our inception.
Quite simply, we offered the solution to the data acquisition challenge. Our deliverable was ready-to-use data which saved analysts’ time gathering it on the Web.
Q.Introduce your Co-Founder/Founders and Team.
We have tried to build an exceptionally independent yet business savvy team at PromptCloud that can manage a lot of work hands on. A large part of the team consists of Carnegie Mellon alumni and folks from other IITs having work experience in conglomerates like Yahoo!, Deloitte, etc. In fact, you can have a look at our team page to get to know our team better.
Q.Explain more about your promptcloud.com, What makes you special and How is it different from other similar services?
We offer Big Data solutions to enterprises and our DaaS platform helps gather relevant data from user-specified sources with the desired schema at predetermined frequencies. We strive to provide noise-free structured data. What discerns us is our high technology stack, front-line cloud computing solution and efficiency in delivering quality data in desired format.
While there are some do-it-yourself tools in the market, using which, one can create, schedule and maintain your own crawlers, the results are limited in terms of scale and coverage.
Our USP is large-scale crawls and we cater to custom requirements. In addition, we also take care of end-to-end monitoring and site structural changes while taking responsibility of clean data at regular intervals.
We can crawl a simple website with as much ease as an interactive one. With PromptCloud, everything is customized according to client’s requirements.
Q.What’s the current Path and future plan?
The big data landscape is a sea of shifting sands. Technology changes are rapid. Till now we have been ahead of the curve, yet the technology barrier can shift anytime. Mitigating such a hurdle quickly could be a problem
Since ours is a niche offering. in order to adapt and survive, we must take a call on product diversity. An essential question we keep asking is whether we should also integrate analytics and not just data extraction or crawling.
Globally, the uses of big data have increased many fold. Sooner or later it begs to question on whether our offerings in current form will carry lesser value tomorrow. Since technology is the key here, we constantly push to adapt and adopt technology. It helps of course to work with Open Source which facilitates innovation and collaborative growth.
For the next 3 years we are looking to strengthen our core technology advantage and investing in a greater talent pool. We need to increase output and efficiency. More so, having a wider talent pool means that we can delegate tasks more effectively.
Q.What challenges did you face while setting up promptcloud.com?
Since growth and modification of our platform was gradual based on the solution’s need, we actually never faced a make or break situation from technology standpoint. But given that ours is tech infrastructure heavy product and web keeps changing, leaving out old solutions and moving to new ones every now and then to keep the infra usage optimal has been a constant ask. Every time you scale by an order of magnitude (or even 5 times), new issues become visible from the optimization and cost point and we have to continuously keep an eye on those. We realized early on the key was to adapt to the changes rather than resist them. If any further issues arise, we try to work around them or with them than making it a barrier in our quest for success.
Thank you so much Prashant for spending your valuable time with us. We wish you and your team all the very best with your venture. Keep motivating us. 🙂