Not long ago, if you were to visit a large construction site, you would likely have seen engineers gathering information on clipboards about project status, supplies, equipment, staffing, and more.
Typically, these engineers would take this information back to a construction trailer and spend days meticulously entering it into Excel spreadsheets for the site supervisor to review on occasional visits. The lack of real-time information and project-wide communication ultimately led to enormous wastes of time, resources, and money.
In 2008, Kalyan Vaidyanathan and Ravi Mundoli assembled in Chennai, India, a team of consultants and technologists with backgrounds in business management and civil, electrical, mechanical, and computer science engineering to change the construction industry. Their goal was to apply manufacturing-style supply chain thinking and lean processes to the industry via a cloud-based technology solution.
Just over a decade later, Nadhi is helping large contractors and companies manage complex construction projects in 20 countries, enabling them to track time, cost, and quality, all in one place. Nadhi’s core business is providing intelligence for capital projects—construction of roads, railroads, metro lines and subways, buildings, and factories—essentially any project with a budget and a schedule to manage.
The company’s construction management software product, nPulse, is a cloud-based tool that enables construction managers to deliver their projects painlessly and minimize delays and cost overruns. nPulse integrates a wide variety of project information—including schedule, costs, revenues, drawings, documentation, meeting agenda points and to-do lists, and labor and material—and shares it among owners, contractors, and subcontractors.
Progress data gets entered in the field on mobile devices, and supplies get tracked with QR codes. The platform proactively alerts managers via email, smartphones, and SMS to potential issues and uses analytics to help them make better decisions. Everyone from onsite engineers to the CXO in another city or country has instant access to information through real-time dashboards.
Nadhi’s Long Partnership with Linode
Ravi, who now serves as the company’s CTO, recalled how the company found Linode. “When we were building our first version of nPulse, we knew it had to be a cloud-based, mobile solution,” he said. “We wanted the engineer to be able to access and enter information without having to go back to a trailer. One option was to buy hardware and build our own cloud data center. When we were thinking about this, we ran into someone who must have been one of Linode’s first customers in India. We decided to give them a try, and we’ve been with Linode and only Linode ever since.
“We use Linode for our source code, our CI/CD pipeline, and for all our QA instances where we test the product,” said Ravi. Our needs are pretty simple right now—cloud hosting and backup services—but we’re refactoring our deployment architecture a bit and will soon use some of the other features like IP failover and load balancing.”
Hariharan (Hari) Venkataramanan, product manager at Nadhi, described the advantages Linode offers the development team. “Linode gives us everything we need, all in one place, for a great price,” he explained. “The simplicity of Linode is something we find very helpful: it’s easy to manage; it’s easy to try things, to get started with a project and hand it off to the next person. That helps us minimize our time-to-market. We get a lot of pitches from the ‘big’ cloud vendors, but we find them to be too expensive and too complicated in terms of pricing and deployment, with far more options than we need.”
Besides enjoying Linode’s simple pricing and real-person customer service, Ravi and Hari are impressed with Linode’s global footprint. Nadhi currently operates mainly out of the Linode data center in Mumbai and has smaller presences in Dallas, Fremont, Atlanta, and Singapore.
“Having Linode in Mumbai has been great for our business because it offers proximity to many of our customers here in India and allows us to minimize latency. Another benefit is data sovereignty, which is particularly important when we’re bidding on government contracts,” said Ravi. “On the other hand, having access to Linode’s other data centers around the world gives us the capacity to mirror our systems for backup and have the redundancy we need to secure our workloads.”
Ravi also finds Linode’s business philosophy to be trust evoking. “I really admire that Linode is a private, independent company that is in it for the long haul. The fact that Linode has scaled up to this extent largely funded by customers inspires confidence that they deliver and keep customers happy, as opposed to a provider who may appear credible but are managing by burning venture capital. I have confidence that Linode is going to be a great partner for Nadhi for the long term.”