A Start-Up Journey from Count Down to Take Off
Like they say “Energy & Persistence Conquer all things”. It took us nearly 2 years to even channelize our energy towards building a very systematic organization and another 2 years to build an automated machinery that is capable of delivering world class quality solutions.
It’s been 4 years since we launched our start-up, an IT Services firm with a bunch of fresh faces yearning for a break in their career . We, like any other new organization, had stumbled up on numerous hurdles along the road and have successfully steered through the first few turns in style; enabling us gather a respectable portfolio that we could brag. The crux of this article is to try and give a bird’s eye view of those tiny steps that snowballed into right decisions for us.
As an Entrepreneur there are few important learning from our experience, especially the prerogatives that defined our approach:
(i) From day one we wanted to build something unique, which stood out as an accelerator and would give us a market advantage.
(ii) Secondly, we were patient and gave more time to learn from the industry leaders & market experts, before we thought of the leap.
(iii) We were passionate about delivering the best; which means:
a. We would always see options to accommodate emerging & cost-effective technologies for our services.
b. Instead of running hither & thither for projects; we concentrated on building an automated machinery that will provide sustainable result.
c. We maintained a decentralized management approach, which will ensure faster and efficient decision making.
So , as a start-up we needed to first settle in and understand the nitty-gritty of the business . We too started slowly with limited resources and ensured we don’t burn all of it at a shot. We were very sure the game doesn’t end with just a solution or product creation and it is the marketing which will throw hidden challenges at us. Because till we reach the stage of marketing, we would be just busy handling hiccups within our 4 walls and once you open up for business we will have to shell out more to tackle competition and market positioning. So, in order to handle the extrinsic pressure we would want more people support and funding. And we knew , the day we learn to craft this , we are good to grow.
The Realization :
There are days when we had no clue how our organizational structure should look like until we got to closely assess our gaps one by one. Advise from good consultants & mentors helped. It’s very important to organize and structure our organization if we need to take it to the next level. It’s not cake walk moving from a startup to a bigger organization . There are serious detailing required on each segment , starting from Production , Marketing , Sales , Finance , Procurement , HR et al .
The Crafting of a well knit system :
Access to the best in the industry taught us that we need to equip each of our divisions to handle the challenges as we grow or as we gather more opportunities. Our organization should be a fully functional machinery which would bring out the result quickly . Now this is a very important point because we can have a machinery all run and controlled by physical resources/manpower or we could automate as much of it. Automation not only gives you quick results both good and bad , but it would also help us save a lot of time on our decisions. As they say an Entrepreneur gets involved in around over a 100 decisions each day and spends around 16 to 17 hours at work . Now just imagine if you could speed it up with quick access to the data for those decisions. You might as well work on something more lucrative for the rest of the available time , instead of whiling effort on intrinsic decisions.
When we say we need a very good responsive system which is very well automated, its also important to remember the word decentralization . A good mentorship really helps us understand the importance of letting loose from the noose. When we make decisions, its easier and efficient if we have an empowered team capable of making decisions rather than just depending on the prime authority for every thought.
Ideation in Digital Age:
For a successful product or solution line to grow, it is also important to create a system where we encourage free thinkers and motivate them for more ideation. Considering the current inflow of data, we had to rewrite the rules of employee engagement in this digital age. Positive Employee Engagement enabled us to bring in proactive re-skilling and also reduced attrition. It took us a while to understand , but we need to do away with the conventional management of business which is in practice from the age of industrial era. This is the Digital Age , where data manages the show and hence there is a level playing ground for all category of resources. We utilized this opportunity and built a machinery within our organization that encourages & nurtures ideation from the bottom up. It’s the practice we create to monitor and nurture such ideations within the organization which will enable the company for new market shift .
Balanced Approach :
Now once we had the structure , the resources and a well crafted system ; the next thought was to bring business. Every management based on his/her background has a habit to focus more on sales or too much into technology . This needs to be balanced and we had to inculcate non-linear practices in the system, in order to handle multiple buckets in parallel . Neither we could omit investing in R&D nor we could focus on immediate projects in hand alone. Likewise, with Business Development and Sales too we couldn’t keep aside a piece for later. Constant attention keeps the system moving closer to best. So, a balanced approach with focus on each of the segments enabled us create a matured and self sustainable team within the first few years itself.
THE PEOPLE PHENOMENON :
From day one the phenomenon that keeps us going is relationships. It will take us a while to realize this, but what will take us ahead is the capability to manage wonderful relationships in the market. The people you are associated with will really shape the way you do business. Be it in the form of Mentors, Advisories , Guides , Colleagues , Well-wishers , Trainers and the list goes on and on. We need to learn the art of cultivating a strong relationship with the best in each of these categories. If we can strike the right note with those who can guide us during our growing days, our transformation will be more appropriate and successful.
Our mind is the Only Limit:
Needless to say ,that these are early days as a maturing organization for us and we have invested time to structure & position ourselves in a league where we offer the best . Alongside we have also successfully broken that intimidating barrier of a new organization where we had to instill confidence in the contingent at the very sign of a struggle. We still have those off days and when it comes, all we do is walk to the desks of those resources who anchored the growth of this organization from day one and share a lighter moment on our initial days . Looking back, it has been an amazing ride.
So, the unthinkable at one point has been achieved and now its time to dream bigger . And trust me “OUR MIND IS THE ONLY LIMIT” .