A Tale of Two Success Stories


In India, college or school drop-outs are looked upon unfavorably, & if you will think of entrepreneurship, you will get many whanks & spanks from family, friends, & soceity. Here goes the success story of Senthil Nayagam - a college drop-out, but the new epitome of the 21st Century Indian entrepreneur.
During 1999, Senthil started an Internet Cafe to supplement his livelihood, where he taught himself the skills of troubleshooting Linux, Perl, PHP, Python, & MySql. The startup business was initially a mediocre success, but later on failed. Not disheartened by his relatively failed first attempt, Senthil moved to Bangalore during 2004 to make a career in software, where he met his friend Dinesh Kumar who shared his passion for business. It was then that Senthil discovered the potential of RubyRuby on Rails. Two years later, RailsFactory was born. 

RailsFactory focusses on consulting & delivering cutting edge Ruby flavored solutions to its global customers, without putting holes in their pockets. In the last 9 years, the firm has gained over 150 employees, completed over 200 projects, & an enviable 100% year-over-year growth. RailsFactory remains a volume player with the freedom to work with both small startups & enterprise businesses. Whether your company needs iPhone or Android apps or complete ecommerce solutions or long term partnership for IT projects, RailsFactory can deliver quality & cost-efficient services with minimal turnaround time.
Transforming from a self-proclaimed lone-wolf, to an aspiring leader in software services was no easy feat for Senthil, but with power comes great responsibility & he has not shied away from moving his company forward with authority.
During 2000, Susan Gregg Kroger started fulfilling her passion of vintage clothing by launching a salespoint in her college (Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh) house basement, where she engaged one part-time student to help in packaging and shipping, & the products displayed were the clothing not fit for her closet. During 2002, in association with Eric Kroger (now husband of Susan), she launched an ecommerce site ModCloth for vintage sales, & the revenue generated helped both of them in supplementing the college living expenses & books.

From 2002 to 2005, ModCloth created a lot of interest in the people, & Susan-Eric thought ModCloth can be the full-time business venture of Susan after her graduation in 2006. This thought came to their mind when the online ecommerce site was hitting 70,000 unique shoppers a day. Their 1st website was built in PERL on an open sourced shopping cart called Interchange, & the 2nd was upgraded to osCommerce built on PHP. During 2009, finally they relaunched the website on Ruby on Rails. The growth in demand for ModCloth products increased exponentially by introduction of two programs called Be The Buyer & Make The Cut in the website. Susan-Eric also interacted with the customers via the community building social media like Pinterest & Polyvore.

Today, ModCloth is one of the fastest-growing fashion and ecommerce ventures to emerge in the past decade. The company did more than $100 Million USD in sales last year, & its annual growth rate is nearly 40%. Growing ModCloth in such a short span is no easy feat: Susan & Eric have faced many challenges of business, not only in terms of employee additions and office expansions, but also in technical infrastructure & supply chain. They expanded their business from a tiny unit to an enterprise with 450+ full-time employees, & corporate offices in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, & San Fransisco.  

Ruby on Rails:

In both the stories narrated above, Ruby on Rails played a vital role. 'Ruby on Rails' is an open source web application framework which runs on Ruby programming language. Senthil used 'Ruby on Rails' to create websites and other IT products for the people, whereas, Susan used websites made out of 'Ruby on Rails' to sell her products. 
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