Today is a special day. Verinite will be celebrating its 7th anniversary (1st June is our Foundation Day). I knew that it was going to be one roller-coaster ride but didn’t expect it to be so satisfying and fulfilling.
This entire journey of 7 years can be easily divided into two phases. The first phase was focused on only one thing – “Survival”. The two best outcomes from this phase was that: we survived and also established a strong credibility in the market space. The second phase was focused on thriving. It was all about relentless focus on getting our execution right and opening up new avenues/opportunities.
I have penned my thoughts on the first phase in my earlier blog while this will focus on some of the key takeaways during the second phase of this wonderful journey.
- Build great services and products – This is one non-negotiable according to me. We started as services company and then later created an entirely different department focused on building products. The only mandate for delivery department in “Services” and engineering department in “Products” should be to build a great service and product respectively. A great service or product goes long way in empowering sales and marketing as establishing value proposition becomes easy. You cannot build a sustainable business based on shitty service or product.
- Hire awesome people – This is one thing I thought we were good at but then growth took its toll as we ended up making mistakes. We learnt this the hard way. It is extremely important to be surrounded by colleagues that are hungry to grow, bring focused skills to the table and enjoyable to work with. Do not compromise on this principle for any reason.
- Hire slow – The tempo of hiring has to be right for the stage of the company. We remained small for longer period of time to ensure our objective of survival was met. Once we crossed that phase, it was time to be aggressive with hiring but then it ended up with we ignoring certain key behavioural aspects over technical skills. Again, we learnt this hard way. Now we are okay to compromise little bit on growth and hire slow. Think long term and build a sustainable business. Don’t be in mad rush to grow at all costs.
- Celebrate small wins – This I believe is our strength and something that we have been doing from Day One. Starting, running and growing a company is extremely hard, tiresome and draining. So, we decided to celebrate our small wins as they boost morale and give that much needed surge of energy. In your short-term plan, identify small wins to celebrate. Avoid the whole thought that says you need to reach fantastic landmarks before celebrating. We have even celebrated “deal loss” as “small win” as there was immense learning that we gained in the bidding process which only made us wiser for future.
- Stay Curious – This is one thing that has helped us immensely in our journey. By keeping mind open to new ideas and embracing novelty, you make opportunities for yourself. We have uncovered new possibilities and opportunities just by being open, curious and aware about the trends. There are 2 new service lines we created just by observing the way emerging markets operate, prevailing skills gap, client pain-points and these new service lines have now become differentiated feature of our value proposition.
- Seek right mentor to help guide your growth – As a founder, there’s a natural tendency to assume that grit and hard work are sufficient to drive the growth. But what we tend to ignore is that journey of founder is lonely, taxing, full of apprehensions and emotionally draining. Having co-founders definitely makes the journey easy but having mentor is the actual solution. I have two mentors and they have helped me immensely especially in motivating me to push the limits and encouraged me to take risks. A mentor that comes from your industry has that knowledge and can condense wisdom required for you in a few lines. The key thing is to find a right one.
- Right Investors – We were lucky to get good investors who are fully aligned with our way of thinking. They are our cheer and support us. Thanks Ashwin and Salil for all the help over the years.
So many people ask me this question “Should I start a business?”. It is such a simple question without a simple answer.
Starting and building a company requires ridiculous amount of passion, focus, commitment and hard work. Being an entrepreneur is an experience like no other. Running your own successful business probably won’t turn out exactly how you imagined — but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn out even better than you imagined!
Remember that if you put your mind to it, anything is achievable & I hope my experiences of my own entrepreneurial journey will help you on yours
Ashish is Managing Director @ Verinite. His passion is to build a next generation technology company focused on BFSI industry in emerging economies. An ardent Arsenal, Amitabh, Kishore Kumar and Sachin Tendulkar fan.