iMahal Interview Series: Rahul Roy
August 22, 2002

iMahal:  We are not familiar with your new software and why it is so popular. Could you tell us about it?

Roy:  Sure. What happened is, our application PlanWell became an industry default application for managing and searching documents, especially in the construction industry. I had taken a top position in ARC. Along came Goldman Sachs who invested $400 million in the company so that we could acquire more companies. Today we have acquired 50 operating divisions in 180 locations with 3000 employees. Our current revenues are running over $500 million. This year we want to go to IPO. Last week we had Wall Street Journal reporters here interviewing us.

We also had some temporary trouble with the FTC, who claimed that we were creating a monopoly in the reprographics industry. We said to them, "Well what about Home Depot and Wal-Mart? They enter a market and take over, but so far the consumer benefits. And we aren't doing anything as dominating as their expansions. We offer services that are lower price and higher quality, so why are you going after us?" So the FTC is backing down after our attorneys made a strong case.

So we are waiting for the Dow and NASDAQ to reach higher levels and then we will go IPO this year. Goldman Sachs is confident about an IPO. We are not some fake dot-com company. We have had real revenues and real profits for the past 4 years. We may pursue the Fedex IPO model: sell some, hold some back, sell some, hold some back.

Our application is poised to do very well. It is growing into a complete ERP application. We have incorporated bidding into it. And it distributes drawings electronically in all formats. It actually gets rid of the need for a lot of printing. We expect it to revolutionize the construction industry. All those construction sites have those trailers, and in those trailers are racks of drawings. Our software will replace those racks with computers. Already this industry is a big user of our PlanWell application.

There are more than 2 million users of PlanWell at this time. It is a big success.

first job
Silicon Valley



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