Headstart got into conversation with Mr. Abhishek Rungta, Founder & CEO, Indus Net Technologies. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Q. Tell us about “Indus Net Technologies” and why did you foray into the “Enterprise Technology” Space?
A. We entered the Enterprise Technology space “by chance”. We used to work for SMEs and small agencies as their outsourcing partner. One of the smaller agency got acquired by an insurance company in the UK, and here we go – we were into “Enterprise Technology” space. To be honest, we did not even realized for couple of years that we are in “Enterprise Technology” space. We only started realizing when resilience of the process, systems and software was getting more importance than the “cool idea”.
Q. How easy or difficult it is to sell in an “Enterprise” domain in general and in particular how was it for you?
A. Selling to enterprise is difficult. As, I said, we did not sell. We had a “by chance” entry. Getting the first enterprise to work with you is the real challenge. The journey after that becomes a little easier if you are persistent and are creating real value. Because, if Enterprise A can benefit from you, so can Enterprise B, and it is more of a matter of communication and reaching to the right person – a marketing and sales problem, which is a public domain thing.
However, Enterprise selling has long sales cycle. It needs working with all the different stakeholders and having pitch ready for all of them – the user, the decision maker (usually IT) and the financial departments. We had our share of tough time and learning. But it is fun. Each sale is like – fighting a new battle with a different type of field setting 😉
Q. Pricing is a dicey thing for any kind of venture but more so for an “Enterprise” Start-up, what are the best ways to go about pricing your product?
A. I will suggest that the pricing should be “value based pricing”. Something, which makes it risk free for the enterprise to buy. They will only buy from a startup if the product is risk free for them. I have seen trial / freemium models working well to get decent traction. Also, in most cases, you will be asked to do a POC. Sometime paid, but sometimes free – depends upon who is more desperate.
It is very critical, that you know what value you are creating and your pricing should be based on that. Lots of times, you can make it our from the discussions. Therefore keep the dialog open at all times.
Q. Entrepreneurship is picking up fast in India, but we are seeing more and more consumer tech companies propping, what are the reasons you believe for entrepreneurs not venturing into this space?
A. Is it? I am not sure. If this is the case, the reason might be that consumer tech company is the flavor of the season and it is cool. Enterprise tech does not give you the “public image” as the user is generally a corporate body and not consumers.
Also most enterprise tech company does not need a lot of generic PR and therefore the perception that many entrepreneurs are not venturing in that space may be wrong in itself.
Q. How do you see the “Enterprise Technology” space shaping up for future, in a sense what should aspiring entrepreneurs look forward to in the coming 5 years?
A. Enterprise technology is shaping up around SMAC – Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud. Some people call it “Nexus of forces”. At the end of the day, its the same thing. We are talking about inter-play of emerging technologies and mediums to create new opportunities, which enterprise will like to leverage. The question is – how can you make it happen and get your share of pie.
You should not ignore IoT (Internet of Things) though.
Q. What is the single most important advice you would like to give to entrepreneurs in this domain?
A. Persistence, Communication and Product Adaptation (to create measurable value for your clients / pilot clients).
Q. Finally, please share with us the most inspiring moment you have had in your journey of building “Indus Net Technologies”
A. There has been many to list down. We recently implemented the Election Monitoring System at the Assembly Elections of West Bengal. Our system was able to collate data from 70,000 polling booths and provide real time status of the happening on the ground to the entire hierarchy of Election Commission. It was widely referenced and is being used to bring transparency in some states in the current Lok Sabha elections as well.