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Community > Basil Abbas
Basil Abbas

Basil Abbas

Co-Founder

TECSOL Software

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Basil Abbas is a member of:

startupcity - Expert
Brief about company, offerings and foundation of the company

We are a
mobile application development company. We currently deal with iOS and Android
development. Very soon we will be staring up windows mobile development
and  web development. Our software
development was started in July 2011. We started as a one person company. Today
we are proud to be a 14 member company.

Risks involved in business and way of addressing

The biggest challenge
when stating any service is that you need to know at least 70% of the
technicalities. Hiring professionals was not an option as experienced people in
this domain are really expensive. In order to be lean with very calculated
risks I started to develop my skill over a period of 3 months. I leaned the
application development form Stanford online courses and started to execute
small projects. Our first set of projects were obtained online through the
various freelancing websites. Today we have our marketing and sales team
looking for projects from alternate sources.

Most critical decision

In a startup
every decision has a risk attached to it. Without taking a risk growth can be
limited. For example while expanding from out small 500sq foot office to a
2800sq foot space we need to pump in a lot of funds. This was the real risk and
critical to our startup. There is no real way of analyzing the ROI at such an
early stage. We needed the space in order to hire more people and intern
contribute to our revenue. Every startup must have at least 6 months of capital
and real passion for getting the organization rolling. A demand and supply kind
of arrangement leads to a very difficult and slow growth pattern in return for
very little or minimum risk.

Some of the difficulties faced while building product/ solution

As a startup
you are really crunched on funds. Getting a good product/solution requires an
excellent team. How did we battle this situation? Knowing 70% of the technicalities
involved I was in a position to train people. I stated to look for people who I
knew well during my engineering days, who had real passion for the technology
and made them an offer. I didn’t even mind hiring freshers and training them
internally. This really paid off. We were able to not only able to have an
excellent technical team that was truly passionate, focused, fully understood
our goals, missions and values but our team was better than any person with 3+
years of experience and all this for a very optimized cost.

Three big lessons/ mistakes encountered while building company

As a startup
you need to be as lean as possible in order to survive in todays economy. Know
70% of every process in your company. With today’s social and online platforms,
information and learning material can be found very easily. There is no excuse
for not knowing something. If there is some skill that you posses and can do
the job yourself, get it done YOURSELF. For example while we were expanding we
were presented with a 1.12lac electrical wiring by one of our contractors.
Since we had extensive knowledge of electrical systems we got entire work done
our selves with a total bill for 15,000.00INR! This is just one of the examples
where we were able to save a lot. What’s more we involved the whole team. This
contributed a lot to the team working and collaboration skills. Never ignore
marketing from day one. We always focused on supply and demand and had comfortable
with the number of projects that were coming in. Fast we realized that we could
do better with an efficient marketing team. Marketing takes at least 6 months
to have some effect on the organization. Never loose hope on marketing during
this time. Invest heavily not into the office, but rather into your employees.
We have a very small office. But this office has everything from a PS3, an
unlimited pantry this is always filled with any eatables of the employees
choice. We never think twice before any team outings. At the end of the day its
your team that can take you to great products and services. Just an expensive
office has never got any start up any where. 

Different actions if I rebuild my company from scratch all over again

Have at least
six months capital to run your startup. This will help to really get up to
speed with the industry. Focus on marketing from day one. Have a detailed
business plan with well defined targets and ensure you stick to it. Look for
mentors that will guide you wherever possible. 

Motivation and Drives factor

Technology has
always amazed me. It changes everyday and this is what makes the whole industry
very exciting. We always wanted to be the best at what we do. We are looking to
be atleast on the top 25 of every application store online. Always run behind
something that you have real passion for. This is the only way to ensure your
startup has the best solution or service. If you do not have the passion it is
very difficult to loose your way in the process. If you have an idea make sure
to run behind it till it makes it till the top.

Unique about my way of motivating troops

Always listen
to your employees. Communication is very important no matter what the scale of
your office. Spend at least 10-20% of your time talking with them and
discussing important issues with them. We even discuss revenues with them so
that everyone has the same drive and responsibility that we have into the goals
of the company. If there is any issue address it immediately. Do not wait for
it to brew and explode. Keep reminding everyone of your mission, goals and
values.



 

Way of choosing my people

All our
hires are done internally. We look for people who come from reference so that
there is a sense of responsibility to wards the company. We generally hire freshers
as we have already mastered the art of training them. We make a clear
distinction between an MNC and a startup to them. We explain to them why a
startup is more fun, exciting and challenging to them rather than a boring
assembly line kind of work at an MNC. If this is truly what they are looking
for then they join us. Since for most of them TECSOL were their fist jobs there
is a sense of collective responsibility and commitment from them. Also the kind
of work that we do is challenging and exciting.

The challenges and lessons learnt to get first customer

You always
need a backdoor entry while approaching your first clinet. It all depends on
your networking skills. You really need to look for a company that has a real
need of your product or service and then approach them through some contact
that you may have within the company. This is not an easy task but some one
needs to get it done. You have to be very social and make a pitch the moment
you get a chance. Social gatherings are the best place to advertise your self
via word of mouth!

Experience of reaching out to potential investors

An investor
never really invests in your idea or business plan. Yes they love to see that
you have put in the effort for the plan. They simply
throw away your financial projections. They really invest in you. The look fro
the passion and invest in this. We have never had to approach an investor yet.
We are taking the slow growth path so that we learn from every single mistake
that we make. Eventually when we need the investment we would be fully
prepared.

My role at different dimensions as the company evolved
Share your passion with every fellow employee.
Create a drive for innovation and excellence. From the initial days I used to
code with my employees along with them. As the company grew I started to look
into more skills that needed attention and developed them. I am a strong
believer of the 70% rule. Today I guide my team be it in marketing, sales,
leadership etc.
As a leader how I make sure that I am connecting the right dots

Always
calculate your risks. For me Excel has become my favorite tool. Every major
decision that involves numbers are taken using Excel. But excel will only take
you so far. Be open to suggestions. Get your employees involved and listen to
what they have to say as well. Look for mentors, industry experts and get
suggestions and feedback. Do your research online about other companies and how
they got so far. Books and biographies are also another major source of
inspiration.

My thoughts related to entrepreneurship/ leadership and management

Your team is
your biggest asset. If you can convince them that your company is the best
place to work and keep them happy, you have nailed it.

Best company I admire globally

Apple would
the company. They have the best missions and values. No doubt they work very
hard and has had the best metor and guide (Steve Jobs). Steve Jobs might have
not been the best person. But lets face it, if he didn’t push it the company
would not be 1% better than the rest of the competitors.

Advice for fellow entrepreneurs

Every business idea is a good business. The
question is are you willing to run behind it and make it to the top. Have real
passion and make sure you love the job. This is the only thing that keeps you
going and things get tough.

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