Learnings from First Experience as an Entrepreneur
The days with failures and the days of vagabond are not yet over. When you start thinking of entrepreneurship and that to a B2B model, it’s hard to sit and enjoy as a CEO. You have to be the T2S (Technology to sales) person of your own venture. And I am proudly of two ventures.
The journey started from 2010 when I was doing web development of my Institute fests and other club’s website. Being an Electrical engineer from NIT Rourkela, people always ask me why I didn’ttake CSE in 2008. And to that I happily reply that there was recession in IT. From the day 1 of my self-learning of codes, I am a fond of Open source. The first introduction of Joomla to my institute was initiated by me and my friend Suraj Dash who is best at Adobe world. Then I started a web hosting and Design Company called Sell4u. Now it is Hosthangout.in and partner of TEDx as a service provider.
After graduating in 2012 I joined Coal India Limited and learnt many managerial quality and left on July 2013 with some inspiration from RajeshwariPurohit (CTO and Co-Founder at Simplibuy Technologies) who clearly said “Burn your boat b4 u start”. Then a happy life began at voylla.com and I owe my thanks to Jagrati and Vishwas for the faith but I have to quit for illness of my mother. After some months of wandering to find my own goal, I met with an accident and accidentally developed a SAAS based Institute management software called SATiED(School Administration Tool in Education)from a Fedena Open source. I was acquainted with institute management from the beginning of the engineering degree in NIT Rourkela, we called it EIMS. And this was the driving factor.
At Present, I am working as Intern with 36hrs.in and on a parallel track planning out the marketing and sales strategy with two of my co-worker Sarthak Nayak & Priyanka Priyadarshini. We are now conducting client and parent’s feedback on automation of school management on cloud. For now we have 2 schools from my native (Dhenkanal,Odisha) who are using this for rigorous testing. We are planning to launch public demo version within Jan 20, 2014. In private beta version, 3-4 Bhubaneswar (State Capital) based Engineering Institutes are shown their keen interest and given 30-40% consent for implementation for their institutes due the lean pricing structure as compared to small ERP players.
Being a newbie to marketing and survey, I personally visited some of the premier Institutes of Odisha. And I experienced some appreciation, some feedback and some new trends. The director KIIT, Bhubaneswar said “Beta, you are late by 15 days and now I am thrilled by knowing cloud solution of ERP.” The placement director of Shrusti Academy of Management appreciated the cloud solution and planning to go for SATiED. These days I sit and talk to the clerk of school/institute rather than a boss, because I am jumping in to solve the issue of clerk in managing salary slip to accounts.
When you design a product for a business, it’s not only technology or UI but the marketing and sales achievement matters. The day when I jumped to market with a new cloud based ERP for institutes; I got some appreciation and some feedbacks. Points to remember when you jump to market:
Always have an appointment with fund approving authority: This is because the idea can be sold to anybody and you will listen “Beta, Actually I have to talk to Chairman/Director regarding this.” So avoid this. Grab contact info about the boss of bosses.
Always take 4-5 minute to describe you and your product:Make your presentation brief. Let yourself bounded to describe your idea as you do when pitching a VC.
Show them their profits: The important factor is how you make a business analyze that the profit they can make when buying your service/product.
Get their VCard and leave yours: The person accepts your idea to implement or not, but always get their VCard as it will help you in future. Always leave your VCard too.
Email and Phone Marketing: If you are starting without any fundraising, then before you visit their business, send a mail about your product and demo versions (if available). Before you reach their place, just ring them up and inform about your arrival. Actually they feel privileged.
Be Prepare for Q & A: Get yourself armed with every field like pricing, why your service? I was asked about the difference between a ERP and ERP as SAAS on cloud. The business will compare you and even a small ERP provider of your locality. So don’t get harassed, just get energy from the QA session.
List your future goals: The best thing to attract a business is describing the future add-ons to your SAAS which will dramatically change their mind.
Don’t Compare: Never compare your service even they tease you like hell.
About the Author
Ajit kumar Satpathy has graduated from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela in 2012, and has work experience both in PSU and startups. An electrical engineer by academics and tech entrepreneur by passion. A vivid traveler, small town boy(I would love to say my native i.e, Dhenkanal), passionate about short blog and poem writing, TEDx Organizer and speaker. Crazy about self-learning (specifically coding languages) and a bindass attitude for problem solving.