Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
This is Salman Lakhani, the founder, and CEO of Cubix Inc, a multi-million dollar mobile app development company with unparalleled expertise in developing chart-topping mobile apps. The company leverages trending technologies such as Blockchain, AR, VR, IoT, and Augmented Reality, for its app development processes. Over the past 11 years, the company has successfully developed software solutions for top brands like Walmart, Swatch Group, Sapient, Estee Lauder, Politico, Engro Corporation and many more. Cubix’ headquarter is located in Washington DC, while a branch office is in Dubai, UAE. The company’s production site is located in Karachi, Pakistan. My primary role is to maintain the cash flow, implement strategies, build the brand, participate in PMO meetings and, most importantly, make sure that we build solutions that can create value for businesses and help clients take advantage of innovative mobile and software strategies. However, culture is an integral part of every organization, and I take special measures to encourage an employee-friendly culture in Cubix.
What was the idea behind starting a digital product development company?
I think to be an entrepreneur; one has first to identify problems and then provide the solution for it. I was working remotely (From Karachi, Pakistan) for this US-based company, where we used to build digital products. And I was not happy with the paycheck I received. I always used to look at it and feel how meager is it compared to my friends drawing a paycheck from Pakistan based companies. I knew that this was the problem and down the line, more western companies will be looking for more remote resources, teams, and companies, due to price differences, available talent, office expenses, insurance, and whatnot. I thought of a solution, to build a service company to serve US-based clients and lead the company with my less is more approach, experience, and passion for the business. So I founded Cubix Inc with a vision to deliver superior software development services to the US market. Today, Cubix’s portfolio boasts of developed apps and software solutions for small-scale industries, startups, blue-chip organizations, and fortune 500 companies.
What is your company’s business model? Do you have an in-house team or you prefer to outsource work to vendors?
The very first step that we take before responding to a query is to first work upon its scope and also figure out how to add a distinctive value of our own to the project. If it’s a startup, we proactively pitch ideas offered by our creative team to make the app more engaging, interactive and expandable. We convert the basic idea into a functional product that takes care of all the measures needed to build a stellar product, be it competitive analysis, USPs, quality assurance, feature management, etc. Additionally, we provide consultancy to our clients in developing better mobile apps, system integration, software development, and solutions. Talking about resources, I am a firm believer of in-house employee strength, and this is why Cubix has over 100 employees, globally, that align with the vision of the company. Be it engineers, DevOps, UX/UI, data Science, project management, or content; every individual is proficient in his domain.
What is the USP of Cubix and accordingly, what makes a client give you a project?
Our USP is, we take the lead from the front, and we provide multiple unique selling points to our clients. We research for product development, come up with the idea that is fueled by innovation and then consult with the client on how our concept can beat their competitors on the go. Moreover, Cubix follows global standards to develop software solutions, and this is the reason why the company has a reputation of building groundbreaking digital products. Our product development process includes top-class strategy, clean UX/UI design, and robust development practices. Team Cubix always tries to raise the bar by delivering solutions that surpass client expectations.
What industries do you develop solutions for and how many of your clients keep coming back to you?
We exceed the expectations of our clients, and we build products as if it's our own. Our company’s structure includes product owners as well, whose suggestions and insights are taken into account. We provide our services to almost every industry, specifically the US market. Some of these include tech businesses, e-commerce, health and fitness, entertainment, cosmetics, wearables, marketplace, food, and drink, etc. Cubix has diversified experience in building apps and games both. Be it 2D, 3D, RPG or Casino games; we have been building games for globally renowned organizations such as Tissot and Estee Lauder. Moreover, I am a die-hard advocate of blockchain technology, and we already have developed a distributed exchange for one of our clients. In fact, I am eyeing to build products for the blockchain industry too as we have proficient blockchain developers and architects working with us. Additionally, most of our clients are repetitive, and once they start working with us, we take their growth as our success. So we keep suggesting different ideas that could prove to be fruitful to them. Talking about the ratio, over 99% of our clients are repetitive.
How do you decide the timeframe of a project?
We thoroughly analyze the work scope of the project. Our PMP professionals come up with a work breakdown (WBD) that is further expanded into an LOE (Level of effort) document that defines the hourly work required on the project, and it includes every aspect involved in the development, including design, development, strategy, delivery, etc. It also includes the hourly rate for consumption of resources, and the level of effort required is then divided by it. However, the time frame gets lesser if a client has already done our part which includes competitor analysis, product planning, etc. So this is how we decide the timeline of our projects.
How much of time and effort does it take in developing the back and front-end of a mobile app?
It depends upon the features of a mobile app. An app with basic features can be developed within two months. And this includes the design aspect as well. Some apps may even take a year to be ready. To cut down the time-frame of the app development process, we encourage app owners to undertake smart resource planning alongside carefully monitored estimation process.
When it comes to choosing the right platform for an app, how do your team decides it?
Mostly we provide consultancy on the kind platform that needs to be picked for an app. And this is done by our seasoned team of creative designers, developers, solution architects, and discovery team. Next, I question my team about their choices, before the development process actually starts on the app. The final decision involves the target audience and the level of engagement required to get successful results. While a cross-platform app needs more developmental efforts, an app that will operate on a single platform needs to cover all the hardware and UX features because ultimately it is all about providing an engaging experience that creates value for the users.
Which platform is your preference to build an app for?
To facilitate device ownership and to accommodate full features, it’s crucial to pick the right platform. My personal preference is React Native for apps and Unity for games, and both these platforms are currently trending. Cubix is comfortable building top apps for both iOS and Android. However, the final decision is taken only after discussing the final feature list and market cap with the client. Regardless of the platform, we’ve built apps that attract ROI and ensure long-term results.
How much does it cost to create a mobile app with Cubix?
It depends upon the length, feature list and time invested in the project. Every aspect involved in an app development process is included in the costing. In fact, every feature increases the price of the app.
What payment structure do you have at Cubix?
We come up with the cost of a project and then, we determine milestones. We charge fees for every milestone in advance. It could also be in phases including versions, months, etc.
What is the primary budget requirement of Cubix for a project?
Our minimum budget requirement for a project is $30,000. However, we have done projects worth millions. The pricing also involves the number of platforms involved. Simply put, each project is analyzed and evaluated on its metrics, resource allocation, etc.
What is the minimum and maximum price range of the projects that Cubix catered to in 2018?
2018 ended on a high note. We have done projects worth of $40,000 to a million. Also, we explored the 38th Gitex 2018 as participants and made some strong pipeline full of prospects.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid - which platform is best to use to build your app? What is your recommendation?
I think it mostly depends on the type of app and its target audience. For example, when it comes to building a social media app, I would prefer making it on Hybrid, and if there is an app that requires hardware integration and enhanced features that are focused on performing specific actions, I will go for a Native platform. Talking about iOS and Android, it solely depends on the user base and target audience of an app. For example, if an app is to be distributed in the USA, I’ll pick iOS, but if it’s to be used globally, Android has more advantages because of its massive market cap.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications and why?
I always prefer suggesting the freemium model to my clients where users download the app for free and if they find the app valuable, they could pay for the additional features. The trial model comes in at the second place where you make users test your app and then charge them after a certain period. We follow a very different model for specific niche apps; for example, the CRM app. Charging up-front for such an app doesn’t come easily to us because such apps, though heavily invested, are available for free. Other heavily invested apps available for free include PUBG, Fortnite, Canva, etc.
Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
I think GoodFirms has played a vital role in scrutinizing legit prospects and it is one of the best platforms to get visibility and quality leads, globally. The authenticity and trust that the platform has built with its user base are amazing.