A fascination with creative design and innovation was the leverage for Ramesh Balakrishnan’s venture into the entrepreneurial world. A home-bred, Kuala Lumpurian, Ramesh’s resolute determination since his childhood days on design as a career choice later extended into web design specialisation and innovative solutions for everyday living. This materialised into the establishment of iResidenz, a leading cloud-based resident portal for condominiums and gated communities. Ramesh’s success in tapping into a growing market with high potential is evident from the growth of the company. In a conversation with Top 10 of Malaysia, Ramesh tells of his personal and entrepreneurial successes achieved through the transformation of innovative designs into business solutions, current business plans and his vision for the future of iResidenz.
A leading player in the market for resident portal for condominiums and gated communities, Ramesh Balakrishnan, elaborates on his journey from a middle-class upbringing within the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur to his current position within the entrepreneurial world. Although fascinated with the creative world of art since his childhood, making it a life-long ambition was considered an anomalous career choice amongst his parents who were harbouring images of medicine and engineering for their offspring. In Ramesh’s case, the situation was doubly challenging with an electrical contractor for a father. There was quite a bit of convincing and the usual career choice drama before a resolute Ramesh settled into his chosen educational and career path.
“I did my undergraduate studies in accounting and international business before embarking on a one-year professional programme for webmasters,” elaborates Ramesh. On completion of his studies, there was a two-year stint with a local broadcasting station accompanied by another two years in the United Kingdom on a working visa. “Working with the local station plus the two years in the United Kingdom helped me gain the experience I needed and it reaffirmed my passion to be involved in the creative field on an entrepreneurial basis,” says Ramesh, “I felt the time was right in setting up my own web design house upon returning from the UK.”
The first company, a software web development house was set up in 2005, followed by iResidenz in 2013, a software company providing solutions for high rise building.
“In looking for creative solutions, I observe and study the current challenges people face in their everyday lives. Ideas on making life easier is something that people are eager to buy into,” says Ramesh. “The ideas behind iResidenz cloud-based resident portal for condominiums and gated communities came out of frustrations of having to deal with issues such as inefficient administrative processes at properties.”
iResidenz is an online resident portal which is ideal for condominiums and gated communities to make property management and communications easier for owners, tenants, and property management offices. Using iResidenz, homeowners/residents can easily access their monthly invoices and statements online, pay maintenance fees, book facilities at their condos and manage tenants and rental collection. Management offices too greatly benefit from iResidenz in making their work process and flow more productive and efficient.
“High-rise buildings are taking off in the region and there exists a great potential in providing solutions for this market. It is a new market utilising new technologies and iResidenz is at the forefront of it,” says Ramesh with excitement.
Funding, an important growth accelerator for the business has been successful and the company is now ready for another round of investment sourcing in the coming months. “We have been successful in our efforts in seeking capital. Three rounds of capital investment, two from angel investors and another, a corporate investor have enabled us to aggressively corner the market by meeting clients’ expectations with proven reliable solutions,” says Ramesh. “We started operating actively in 2015 and currently serve clients from over 70 high-rise buildings around the country including the Klang Valley with online payment transactions of more than RM2.5 million to date,” adds Ramesh.
The success of the business is attributed to the support of family members and friends together with the determination of the current team in making iResidenz a sustainable success story. “My family, friends and some of my shareholders have been very supportive of my business ideas from day one and that has helped me tremendously. My team at iResidenz possesses similar motivation and determination,” says Ramesh.
With another 127 buildings on the cards, the company has plans to expand within the region which includes plans for an IPO in the near future. “We have the capabilities for it and the market out there has strong potential,” says Ramesh.
“And then I might retire and take a back seat,” grins Ramesh.