Today we’d like to introduce you to Amit Mehta.
Amit, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was a fresh graduate and as trainee hated my consulting gig. I quit and poured all little savings into business without telling my parents. I did it as 99% people said oil and gas is not for young entrepreneurs, this became fuel to fire in me as I just wanted to be in than 1% who can do it. I had no idea, no vision just desires to prove 99% people wrong.
Obviously when you have no idea, all savings as expected dried up and I had to move into a shelter for people (run by a temple) as they served food free 3 times a day. I lived there nearly 15 months and eventually had only $3.13 cents to my name. It was hardest day as I had to make a decision to quit and get a job as I graduated from a top college in UK (Cambridge University). Everyone who knew me said to quit, but somewhere I just never gave up if I believe in myself and I said to myself I won’t quit $3.13 becomes negative.
As luck would have it, just around 4:54 pm the fax machine I had rang and it was my first contract of 30K consulting gig. I used that start developing an experimental product, then raised 300K and then eventually raised $1.5M without any business plan.
During this journey, I found my vision after few failed experiments. I eventually via failures kept learning and turned company into a profitable venture. Just as we were growing market crashed in 2015 and we came crashing down as well losing nearly 90% revenue by Dec 2015. Having lived on $3 makes you so strong that it didn’t faze me. I used what profits we had to rebuild the company. I knew somewhere to run software business you have to learn from the best. So I forced myself to go and live in SFO during entire market crash (spending 15 days there and remainder in Houston). I fiercely networked, attended meetups, and got to know amazing thought leaders. As I learnt from the best, I brought those best practices to Houston and reinvented ourselves as a company. As a result, today we have nearly 20% of US shale market, over 27 E&P clients and went from loss in 2016 to multi million dollars growth (projecting over $16M) by end of 2017, all attained in last 16 months alone while market is still depressed.
Has it been a smooth road?
I have PhD in failures but Masters in Manufacturing and Management.
Failures list is huge, Let me list few:
1) Living on $3.13 in a shelter and working at Starbucks for nearly 15 months.
2) No money to buy groceries so eating at temple 3 times a day 7 days a week for 15 months.
3) Hiring good people but wrong for our culture.
4) Losing all 4 big clients we had during market crash.
5) 5 years in a row missing NYE and Xmas holidays and not seeing family.
6) No mentor, no guide, no developed ecosystem so learning everything from own mistakes.
7) Commercializing 2 products which both failed to scale.
8) Finally built a good product but external forces (market crash) dealt a huge blow to our growth.
9) Living in SFO 15 days a month not knowing even one soul in that city. Build a ground up new network.
10) Learning to transition from founder to CEO. A huge undertaking.
11) Keeping everyone motivated when you are depressed.
12) Sacrificing all personal relations.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Moblize story. Tell us more about the business.
Moblize’s vision is to improve the daily life of engineers in the oil and gas enterprises.
We developed a SAAS platform to create consumer like experience for the enterprise users. The platform was designed with the vision, to use data analytics to make humans smarter first, not machines. A technological breakthrough, an all-in-one analytics platform gives enterprise users a single source of truth for all daily tasks during well planning, daily operations, post-well analysis, and reporting available anytime, anywhere. The typical enterprise user today in our industry is overloaded with work due to highly inefficient daily workflows.
Due to time constraints, decisions are often made on intuition instead of facts which can lead to overlooking opportunities, under estimating risks, etc. Our platform collapses all inefficiencies in daily workflows so they can spend time where it is truly needed – engineering. It applies machine intelligence on incoming raw data to provide Actionable facts and support big judgement from big data making humans productive, smarter like smart phones did to us in our daily lives.
Currently, we are known for our flagship product ProACT which is doing the above for one of the enterprise users namely Drilling Engineers. We are moments away from launching new offerings to support other enterprise users mimicking success of ProACT.
We are very proud of:
1) Implementing best practices from Silicon Valley on how to run a software as a business.
2) Our team, talented people who are self-driven and self-motivated and push each other.
3) Clients who keep us on the edge as they are very demanding.
4) Setting up international offices which lets us ensure competitive prices and sustain healthy margins.
What sets us apart?
Our Purpose, i.e. improve the daily of engineers in oil and gas just like consumer apps/smart phone did to us in personal lives. We all want to make a dent in oil and gas for next generations to remember these guys came from nowhere and changed the way oilfield works forever.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Oil and Gas will have to become Agile businesses and find a way to become competitive and profitable at $40-$60 bbl. esp. in North America.
More and more engineering jobs will become freelancers type jobs like in other industries.
Energy consumption will peak, and green tech (electric, solar, wind) will start to penetrate and eat oil and gas market share worldwide.
Many data analytics/Artificial Intelligence projects being run inside oil and gas companies will fade away as failed experiments.
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