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October - 2012 - issue > CEO Spotlight
Never-underestimate-the-Entrepreneurial-Spirit
Bastian Gerald
CEO-Apptivo
Monday, October 1, 2012
Headquartered in Fremont, CA, Apptivo has built over 40 Apps to help small businesses manage their projects. The firm was initiated in 2009 to build business software for small businesses. Automate time tracking & invoicing, increasing customer engagement using CRM and enhance web presence by employing business website integrations are their specialties.

The past decade saw a big shift in the way business software was delivered – we saw the birth of cloud computing. Although cloud computing stole most of the limelight during the last 10 years, we are still in the nascent stages.

If we take just the business software segment, small and medium sized businesses did not get what they needed or wanted badly. They were left to the next best alternative – purchase a bunch of point solutions and cobble them together to get their business processes working.

This approach was fraught with the same inefficiencies that plagued larger businesses in the 80’s and 90’s. We saw the advent of ERP software to solve that crisis. Now, small businesses want something similar and have realized the need for enterprise grade software to manage their businesses. A May 2012 study by the Aberdeen group called “To ERP or Not to ERP for SMBs” provides several evidences that underscore this trend.

When you have disparate systems, managing them becomes a part of managing your business and that means unnecessary overhead in an economic environment where every nickel counts.

Small businesses want a single platform that provides for all their business software needs, on the cloud, for a single, affordable price or period. We have seen so many customers call us and tell us how much they have wanted and appreciate an integrated service. Now that’s a tough ask – but that’s where we are headed.

For first time entrepreneurs, fund raising is a big challenge. So, bootstrapping is the good way to go, if possible. And there are many mundane challenges, many questions – How do we acquire customers? How to keep them happy? What product features to build? When? Who to get advice from? And so on. These decisions are critical and have huge impacts on how your business shapes up.

But I will always remember what my former CEO Sanjeev Dheer used to say, “Never underestimate the entrepreneurial spirit. It will prevail over the toughest of times”. So, the biggest challenge in my mind for any entrepreneur is how long can you be persistent? As long as that spirit is alive, you’ll find a way.
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