My Building Blocks
Date: Monday , August 01, 2011
I do believe entrepreneurs are not born, they are made. It is in all of us to be passionate about what we believe in and go out there to prove the vision. How, where and to what extent differs, but entrepreneur is someone who is passionate about expressing her or his vision.
I started Serus Corporation in 2001, had a paying customer before we received our first round of seed funds. We call our first investor a “drive by angel”. In which I showed him a $250K purchase order and the investor provided a $100K investment. With that seed money we ensured that we had a satisfied customer and built something of value that could be sold to other customers. We Bootstrapped the company with positive cash flow for five years, until 2005. Later on Serus raised additional venture capital financing.
Six Build Blocks Principle
Compelling Value Proposition: The solution should deliver improvement or cost reduction. For Serus it is improvement of inventory visibility and accuracy, and reduction in manufacturing errors. The Return on investment is three to four month time period. Serus’ technology and business model is Cloud-based which provides scalable solutions to customers without the traditional large upfront costs associated with on-premise applications.
Large Market Opportunity: Make sure the market is big enough and there are many people to sell to. For Serus, management of the supply chain continues to increase in complexity as manufacturing processes are outsourced and globalized. Companies can ill afford to contribute to the approximately $1trillion of waste that exists in global manufacturing supply chains attributed to a lack of coordination and collaboration. These challenges have created an enormous opportunity for supply chain solutions that can assimilate heterogeneous data sources and provide visibility to all of the participants in the value chain. In 2011, the Supply Chain Management market is estimated to be $7 billion and expected to grow at a 7.7 percent CAGR from 2011 – 2014.
Highly Flexible and Scalable Architecture: Think big from start. Serus’ cloud technology is based on a highly scalable and reliable architecture. Today, manufacturing and supply chain networks are comprised of multiple players throughout many different countries making it difficult to access and exchange data in real-time. Serus’ patented technology provides connectivity across disparate systems creating two-way communication channels that assimilate and provide context to these heterogeneous data sources in the network. Serus’ on-demand solutions provide anyone in the network from anywhere in the world with visibility into live data with greater than 99.9 percent accuracy.
Customer Base: Always be a Customer centric organization. Serus has over 50 customer. Key customers include: Extreme Networks, Flextronics, Juniper Networks, Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm-Atheros etc. Serus experience is a very high customer retention rate of [95percent] for the last five years. They are crown jewels of the company.
Sustainable Revenue Model: Serus is High-Growth, High Recurring Revenue Financial Model. The subscription-based model offers a sustainable growth profile, long-term operating leverage, and attractive cash flow characteristics. The Company expects billings to grow by 87 percent in 2011 and by 85 percent in 2012.
Experienced and Proven Management Team: Serus’ management has extensive technical expertise and experience in leadership roles at previous high technology companies.
the author is CEO, Serus