Deniel Singh | HokuApps | Cloud Expo Asia | Singapore

Avatar Ben Fower | 19/11/2018

Deniel Singh from HokuApps joined us at Cloud Expo Asia in Singapore to talk about his company and how they’re disrupting the industry with their unique working methods. Hosted by Andrew McLean.

Andrew: Like I was in Hong Kong. I’m now delighted to welcome back my guest Deniel Singh of HokuApps. Welcome, Deniel.

Deniel: Thank you so much.

Andrew: How’re things going?

Deniel: It’s been a crazy one at half days. I guess we have collected about maybe 80 potential leads and a lot of companies looking out to build a mobile application or complex application for vertical Industries for example healthcare, insurance, and finance sectors. So, we’ve seen a lot of traction over the last one and half days.

Andrew: Okay, interesting. Well, I want to talk to you about these verticals in a minute. But first of all, for the benefit of the audience just tell us a little bit about HokuApps and where you’ve come from and what you are now?

Deniel: So, I represent HokuApps. We started off about 15 years ago in the U.S so we have our own cloud-based rapid application development platform that allows us to generate apps faster. So, generating apps faster means that we can reduce timeline and cost up to 70%. So, on one hand, we’re also disrupting the entire industry.

Andrew: Amazing. Well, how does it work? I’m speaking to you I want to do something how would it work?

Deniel: So, when I see you as a potential prospect, we get your requirements put it onto a document and go through a design phase. We build a prototype once you confirm the scope and then we start developing. So, we call it a rapid development cycle and then we deploy within 8-10 weeks. So traditionally it takes about 5-6 months. So, we’re cutting it down.

Andrew: And how does that work on your end? What’s the logistics behind it?

Deniel: That is a trade secret

Andrew: Ah, it’s like that. So you don’t get to tell me the secret sauce. Well, whatever the secret sauce is it’s clearly working, so well done.

Deniel: So, I just want to add on one thing because of our own platform is hosted in AWS Cloud. We handle security, storage, load balancing and the most important thing, we do not generate codes.

Andrew: Right. Okay, interesting. All right so we understand the mechanisms behind it and what you do. Let’s talk about the practicalities. You mentioned earlier verticals. What kind of verticals are you dealing with?

Deniel: Accounts? Customers you mean?

Andrew: Well first of all industries so I know for example you deal with Healthcare, so it gives me an example.

Deniel: Yeah, so I’ll give you an example like for healthcare, right? So, we built an app it’s called Caregiver App where I guess the biggest challenge in Singapore today is ageing population. So, we are building an app which keeps records of your client. When you want to request a caregiver to come to your doorstep go to the app. You see a caregiver nearest your location. Click it, look at their the history. Look at their background and if you are comfortable with the rates, select it. Make an online payment then they will come back to your doorstep.

Andrew: That’s amazing it’s like Uber for carers. That’s amazing. Can you give us any more examples of some industry verticals that you’re in?

Deniel: Recently we are doing a lot of insurance applications. I guess a lot of large Insurance like AIG, AIA, Manulife, Prudential all these large companies are going through a transformation where they’re trying to find a way to enable the internal force and also the consumers buying behaviour giving them the right data. So, we are involved in all these projects now.

Andrew: Okay, and can you, without breaking any confidentialities, give us any case studies?

Deniel: Yes, so a very excellent case that is close to me is Manulife Singapore. So, Manulife wanted to go through a whole transformation. Where they wanted to get all their service agent in-house, to go onto the platform to go for training certification courses online so they could promote the right products. So, they do not misrepresent your products. So, this is just one use case that we have.

Andrew: And are you finding that, we find this in Europe, people are now using phones for pretty much everything would that be a fair assessment to say.

Deniel: Yeah, so we did a survey last year, we have about 70-73% of people today interested in buying behaviour using their phones for making transactions online. Using a tool app to do to do something for them.

Andrew: Wow, amazing. And the other question, of course, is you’re obviously doing very well, but you mentioned right at the start that one of the areas you were and are in is America, you started in America, you’re now in Asia. Bit of an unfair question, but do you see any differences in trends between the different geographic regions?

Deniel: Yes, we do. We do see a lot of challenges that we are facing in some markets where they are going through transformations, especially in emerging markets like Vietnam, Thailand even Indonesia and also, for example, Cambodia. They are going through a complete transformation. So, we will advise them in three parts in terms of peoples mindset change, technology and processes. So, we spend more time doing consulting rather than selling there but in Singapore, in Hong Kong and in Japan, we are doing extremely well because these markets fit us well and they are looking for partners like us as a tech partner where they are telling us what they want to build it and how do we do it together.

Andrew: And with that in mind my last question if you can see into the future, where do you think HokuApps are going to go? In the next let’s say year, but whatever timeframe you’d like. What trends are you seeing? What direction do you see?

Deniel: As a rapid application development platform player. We see that we are in fact a disruptor and over the next 12-24 months we feel that we are taking on more projects and we are finding more projects at the same time because of our affordability, Here’s a little example, building an app cost 10,000 Singapore dollars. Can you believe that?

Andrew: Wow.

Deniel: Imagine building an app for your business.

Andrew: Yep.

Deniel: And then you can get customers coming on board.

Andrew: Love it. I love it. It’s amazing.

Deniel: All for10,000 Singapore dollars. So, coming back to the question. We feel that we are a disruptor in one way, but it seems that we are powering all companies to go through a transformation, especially on a digital site.

Andrew: Okay, excellent. And I suppose my final question of the day is, tell me a little bit about the day in the life of Deniel Singh?

Deniel: Well, this is my 23rd year in the IT consulting business. I started off in SAP and doing all those large enterprise software and I saw a great big shift in trend over the last five years when everything is going through mobility. So, I’m happily married. I have four lovely kids and I’m local, I’m based in Singapore. And I feel that mobile is the future for the next five to seven years down the road.

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