September 22: There is a notion that all the technology companies in India are born out of big cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Gurgaon, and such. Though this might have been true in the past, today, the tech landscape of India is changing, and new companies are mushrooming in smaller cities as well. HCode Technologies is one such tech company based in Karnal, a small (& upcoming smart) the City of Haryana, nestled between Delhi and Chandigarh. HCode is a brainchild of Shweta and Shashank Singla, batchmates at IIT-Delhi, and now a real-life couple. Preceding HCode, they both worked in New York- Shweta as a VP at Goldman Sachs & Shashank at his startup funded by Human Ventures.
In 2018, after feeling a sense of missing identity in a foreign country, the Singlas realized they would instead serve their country. The duo decided to take a plunge and come back home to India. After several months of self-exploration, they felt a significant lack of good work opportunities in small cities such as Karnal. HCode was born in August 2019 in an old factory of Shashank’s father. HCode started by taking up projects from Shashank’s industry connections, startups mainly in NY. They set up the company with a strong focus on professionalism and quality work, a combination they had seen while working in New York. Soon their batchmate from IIT- Delhi, Rakesh Sehgal, ex-co-founder of Paytunes, joined the team and moved from Delhi to Karnal.
Later years saw more senior management joining the team, like Rishabh Garg from NIT Durgapur with 10+ years of experience in senior engineering roles, and Harshit Garg from NIT Kurukshetra and NITIE with experience working at the CEO office at a multi-billion USD enterprise.
What does HCode do?
HCode is an IT services company. It builds tech products and provides engineers on demand to startups and enterprises. It has recently ventured into the Blockchain space as well. Most of the HCode clients are US-based. It is astonishing to know how a small company from Karnal is building software for Silicon Valley Startups and has also serviced some Y-Combinator startups. The founders say they have no sales team, and all of their new business comes from referrals from their existing customers. This in itself is a testament to their quality of service. Shweta said, “While our choice of place is non-conventional, our clients get at-par or better quality of work than any other respectable agency.” The work-with-us page on the HCode website reads, “We keep our working hours sane so that you get time for whatever else is important in your life.”
Working at HCode
Rakesh elaborated on this by saying, “We do not believe in rewarding long working hours. Working late nights on weekdays or weekends does not serve as a mark of working hard. We set clear expectations on work timings with the clients as well.”
It is only possible to maintain a high delivery standard while maintaining a work-life balance by hiring the best fit for each role. In order to ensure this, Hcode has a rigorous process for hiring the best engineers. Currently, more than a quarter of the HCode team comprises alumni from TIER 1 engineering colleges such as IITs and NITs. In line with that thought, HCode operates from a plush state-of-the-art 10,000 sq. ft office within a 24,000 sq. ft. campus. The campus houses an in-campus basketball cum badminton court, a lush lawn that doubles as an open office in winter, a small gym, and space for Table Tennis. A couple of employees say that based on the quality of work, professional culture, and work-life balance, they find it hard to imagine working at any other company.
Completing 3 Years & Celebration in Thailand
Completing three years in operations, and being profitable from the start, was a key milestone for the company. To reward the efforts of the people who made it possible, the company decided to take the team to Phuket on a fully sponsored 4-day vacation.
On asking why they chose to go international, Shashank said, “We knew that an international trip adds a lot of confidence and broadens a person’s horizons. It contributes immensely to their personality and growth. We wanted our team members to have this experience as well. In hindsight, it turned into a much more enriching experience than we had imagined for everyone.”
What is next?
The company is expanding in depth and breadth by onboarding individuals who can help scale up the existing business. The company is also exploring new avenues for growth by forming partnerships with various product companies. HCode has recently opened its New York office and is about to launch its offices in Sec-62, Noida, and Dwarka, Delhi.
Shashank said, “We are grateful for the amount of trust endowed on us by both our team and our clients. We provide an environment for our people to deliver their best work and invest in their growth. We are proud to say that we have become an employer of choice for many in a short period of time.”
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