What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Design isn’t something we can quantify, but the wow factor was definitely there. I’ve been in the industry for nearly 20 years, in the US and India, and I’ve not seen design as good as this. I don’t know how to quantify that, but I’d give them a 5/5 in terms of design.
In terms of product strategy (i.e., the ability to consult, rather than just being a doer), they studied our market and competition and came back. I’d give them a 5/5 in this respect as well.
Development or technology skills are a bit more common than the others mentioned. I’d also give them a 5/5, with respect to the skills we needed. React Native was the chosen technology, and they’re definitely good at it. They have people with the right kind of experience in terms of handling complex projects. We actually checked the complexity of their past deliverables and found that the people who worked with our team had previously worked on some of the most reputed mobile products in India.
How did Kustard perform from a project management standpoint?
They executed high-level turnaround times and communication. We got responses in less than an hour whenever we called. Our requirements weren’t clear at first, but they met with us and helped us to understand what we really wanted, to the minutest level possible. They boiled down what features we required from a business perspective, and in what order they would be launched. They gave us flexible options in terms of development.
We knew that the project would run for 2–3 months, and they gave us the option to change features after a month’s time. We discussed the changes required every month and redefined the product strategy and development. This was a very difficult task.
There were extensions on the timeline, but that was because of changes required from our side. I’d give them a 4.5/5 on that.
What did you find most impressive about them?
It’s their ability to understand our business and suggest or recommend the right technologies, optimizations, and features. Kustard suggested key features themselves, whereas other companies we evaluated wanted requirements from us and would only do what we told them to. Kustard consulted with us on strategic, technological, and feature levels. They pointed out that too many notifications might actually disturb the user, so they gave us different options. They were business consultants for us, and they weren’t biased by what we said.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They’re technologically-focused, but their salesforce is a little weak. I told them many times that they should publish what they’ve been doing. They’ve worked with some of the largest companies in India and have created some really innovative products, simply from their thinking. Often, the clients don’t actually tell them the idea; Kustard provides the idea, and the client implements it. Looking at their website, I never got that sense.
It took us more time to select them because it was difficult to differentiate them from other providers. They all talk about creative technologies, on-time delivery, etc. Innovation capability is not as highlighted on their website. Kustard could do a lot more for companies like ours if they sold themselves better.