From selling milk in India to founding construction-tech startup in Australia

Murthy Muthuswamy's startup InSimplify was also a finalist in the Wyndham Council Awards 2022.

Two years ago Murthy Muthuswamy created InSimplify, a highly innovative system that integrates every stage of a construction company’s process with a leading-edge cloud-based software system.

Murthy Muthuswamy with family in India (Image supplied)

Born in a rural village to a farming family in Karnataka, India, Murthy told The Australia Today that he used to work on his family farm and sold milk to make ends meet. He adds:

“I was born in India and grew up in a small village near a town called Hiriyur, three hours from Bangalore. We were an agricultural family and used to work on the farm every day. We would get up at 5am, milk the cows and buffaloes by hand, then take the milk by bicycle to the nearby town to sell. I used to sell milk, go to school, and then work on the farm again.”

Murthy Muthuswamy at the award ceremony; Image Source: Supplied

Murthy says that initially he never thought of doing a formal degree at university. However, when he finished school, someone suggested that he should consider studying engineering. So, Murthy enrolled in mechanical engineering and graduated in 2003. He observes:

“I ended up studying mechanical engineering, and when I graduated in 2003, everyone was going to Bangalore to find work in software engineering. They used to say: ‘You can’t throw a rock in Bangalore without hitting a dog or a software engineer.'”

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Murthy’s passion and problem-solving ability landed him a role with IBM where he excelled. However, since Murthy’s brother was in Australia, in 2012, he too decided to migrate down under.

In Australia, Murthy started working as an IT manager with a property marketplace startup, Investorist, which then only had four other staff members.

Murthy Muthuswamy with his family (Image supplied)

Murthy says that it was while constructing his own family home in Tarneit that he started meeting local builders and noticed a big gap in communication and record management – “everything was on paper or in various excel sheets.” Here, Murthy got a breakthrough prototype idea for a start-up. He adds:

“I proposed to the builder that I build some software to address the issue. It was just a simple one-page application that could create quotes, but he got very excited and began asking other people to use it too. I didn’t have plans to launch a startup then, I just built it for him and to solve my own problem, but it became a kind of prototype for InSimplify.”

Murthy launched his start-up InSimplify in 2018 to offer software products for home builders in Australia. He adds:

“I bootstrapped the company from our savings. I began with just two builders, but have been acquiring about two construction companies on an average per month.” 

Murthy Muthuswamy with the Director of Ashton Homes (Image supplied)

Murthy says that the company’s product is primarily for builders, but they can allow customers to access the system too. He explains:

“It’s an end-to-end solution for builders — they can use it for sales, capturing leads from different sources, online colour selection, construction, and maintenance. It allows builders and customers to rely on one system from start to finish.”

Using InSimplify builders can manage and document the customers’ preferences through the portal. murthy says that based on his own experience he realised that every customer is different:

“Everyone has different requirements when you’re building your own home — like different colours for different rooms — customers can select these through the software portal rather than having to go to the builder’s office.”

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Murthy Muthuswamy at his family farm (Image supplied)

For his innovative startup idea, Murthy was also accepted into ‘Innovate to Excelerate’ by Wyndham Council in 2019. Here, Murthy connected with a business coach who helped him rebrand the product and become more commercially minded. He says:

“My vision is to create an offering for the entire construction industry in Australia, with modules for different suppliers or customers, but all connected internally, like the Google Suite for construction. This will give us an overview of data in the industry. Once we get several hundred builders on our platform, we’ll be able to produce some really good reports on the home construction industry.”

Murthy says he likes to give back to the local community. His startup supports Wyndham-based sports club, Westgate Cricket club, through sponsorship. He is also associated with the Australian India Foundation Inc (Aifi). Aifi is involved in promoting the backyard gardening project which helps more than 100 families in Wyndham to help grow their backyard garden before Covid and is planning to organise the same this year.

Murthy Muthuswamy at a local blood donation camp (Image supplied)

Further, Murthy has facilitated donations to Aifi through InSimplify’s clients and other channels. Murthy’s good work is not restricted to Australia, he has also helped some schools in remote India which need urgent infrastructure, academic, and technical support.

In 2020, InSimplify was one of the finalists in the Australian Construction Awards in the category Construction Software of the Year 2020. However, the finals event did not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Today, through sheer hard work and with a keen interest in helping others, Murthy has successfully onboarded more than 100 home builders onto the InSimplify system from all over Australia, and once again his startup InSimplify is a finalist in the Wyndham Council Awards 2022.