Mad Mobile, founded in 2010, has been at the forefront of the digital revolution that accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interview, Chathura Ratnayake, Senior Vice President – Global Engineering of Mad Mobile and Seshan Gunatilaka, Country Head of Mad Mobile LK, shed light on the company’s journey, its innovative approach to retail, restaurant and payment technology, and the pivotal role of its Sri Lankan operations in global expansion.
Can you take us through the key aspects of Mad Mobile’s business strategy, especially in response to the evolving restaurant and retail landscape accelerated by the Covid19 pandemic?
Chathura Ratnayake: Initially, our businesses focused more on the retail industry, and later diversified into three core sectors: restaurants, retail, and payments, allowing us to adapt to the changing business landscape accelerated by COVID-19.
Primarily, we looked to assist large-scale clients, focusing on the retail sector, to navigate the evolving landscape – those who favoured touchless and digital solutions. During this time, our product suite set us apart allowing businesses to digitize their operations and move away from their traditional legacy systems.
For the restaurant sector, our product suite includes next-gen point-of-sale solutions, advanced handheld ordering devices, and payment solutions, to name a few. Our pursuit of innovation ensures we are constantly evolving our products, and even have plans to introduce more products and features in the coming months, further establishing ourselves as leaders in the U.S. market.
What is Mad Mobile’s approach to establishing itself as a technological cornerstone in the industry and what makes it stand out from its competitors?
Chathura Ratnayake: We have two critical segments within our business: one dedicated to the restaurant sector and the other focused on retail, which inherently requires more customization. Payments is a solution that overlaps both these sectors. By positioning the organization as a product-oriented company, we set ourselves apart from competitors in the market right at the onset by offering comprehensive solutions across the areas we operate within – all under one roof. Our successful track record is a testament to this approach, with trusted relationships lasting over five years, reflecting the trust, and expanding partnerships we’ve built.
Could you provide insights into why Sri Lanka has become your organization’s strategic focus and what factors influence this approach?
Chathura Ratnayake: Sri Lanka is strategically important to us for several reasons. Having worked in and with the local IT infrastructure for over 25 years, I’ve gained valuable insights into its exceptional talent pool, particularly in product development.
Sri Lanka offers a promising solution for our expansion, particularly in engineering and product development, suited for medium-scale companies like ours. Furthermore, we are able to operate 24/7, known as the ‘follow the sun’ model, allowing us to assist our clients at all times which is invaluable for us as a global business. What that means is that with the time difference between the US and Sri Lanka, once the team in the US is done for the day, the team in Sri Lanka takes over – thereby maximizing our productivity.
Can you give an overview of Mad Mobile’s operations in Sri Lanka, highlighting the key focus areas and how they contribute to your company’s success?
Seshan Gunatilaka: In Sri Lanka, our operations span various verticals, including software engineering, customer support, quality assurance, product management, and more. Our primary goal is to accelerate product go-to-market while ensuring top-tier customer service and constantly maintaining an unwavering focus on customer delight and the highest quality standards.
In essence, our Sri Lankan operation functions like a well-coordinated orchestra, harmonizing diverse skills into a cohesive entity that is consistently delivering exceptional results.
Could you provide more details on Mad Mobile’s workforce strategy, as it seems to be a critical aspect of your organization?
Seshan Gunatilaka: Our workforce strategy is critical in our business operations with the ultimate goal of cultivating a team of individuals who are genuinely passionate about their work and find meaning in what they do. We’re not just interested in task fulfilment; we’re building a team of technology enthusiasts and business advocates within the organization. This approach is essential to our retention strategy.
We look to provide a solid work-life balance for our people, where we not only set them up for success but also help them establish a healthy balance. A key area that we are always looking at is internal grooming and succession plans, we provide constant training for our Mad Mobilers to upskill them, prepping them for bigger roles within the organization in the future.
Could you outline Mad Mobile’s plans for the future, considering your recent growth and expansion?
Seshan Gunatilaka: Mad Mobile as a global organization is rapidly expanding, with the Sri Lankan operations acting as the foundation for this growth. Currently, the SL operations only focus on the restaurant and payments segment but in the coming months, we will be venturing into the retail sector too – servicing renowned clients like Ralph Lauren, Tractor Supply, Estée Lauder and more. We’re also bolstering our Sri Lankan engineering team to support these endeavours by leveraging AI and data science for our products.