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Community > Hemalatha Sriramulu
Hemalatha Sriramulu

Hemalatha Sriramulu

Founder & CEO

Rossitek Software Solutions

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Hemalatha Sriramulu is a member of:

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

Rossitek Software Solutions is not just a
mobile app development company, but a mobile solutions provider. We look at how
we can provide end to end seamless mobility solutions not just apps.Our focus
is on producing quality applications with our sights set on enterprise
applications, and providing business solutions on the mobile platform for our
global clients. Rossitek was initially formed in 2009, when we noticed a paradigm
shift in the market towards mobility. We had seen a need, and moved with the
market. Rossitek was created out of a need to provide high end, innovative and
cost effective solutions to our growing customer base.

Risks involved in business and way of addressing

Every business or market will have risk. We
have to try and reduce these risks to ensure the company is a success. A)As a
start up, you need to watch your outgoing costs. Our biggest issue was
infrastructure. We needed to accommodate staff with new Mac Computers, Mobile
Devices etc., which can become costly. Ensure to allow for extra overheads and
having a close watch on your budget. B) Competing against other well established
companies which are established and already have existing customer bases to
undertake and market their mobile development to. We had ensured that we are
noticed through website, events .A good business plan and speaking to people
who have gone through these experiences which also helped us to identify the
shortcomings of our competitors and identifying markets to focus on. Read,
research and know the market we are in and step out a plan to implement and
improvise Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up and say you don’t know or
understand.

Most critical decision

Throughout your business we were faced with
challenges which are key or critical points that has determined the direction
of our business. Everyone will have a story, we have one too. Prior to Rossitek,
We had tried several freelancers and some well known established development
companies, all with disappointing results. A critical decision was made at this
point to create Rossitek in India, and employ our own people and manage our
projects on our own, to our satisfaction. For me the most critical of all
decisions was to live away from my family to get Rossitek started, up and running.
This had now taken our business from a small one bedroom company to a business
half way around the world. This critical decision allowed us though to deliver
on the quality & solutions that we wanted to provide. It was a key
decision, and one that wasn’t taken lightly considering the sacrifice the whole
family had to do.

Some of the difficulties faced while building product/ solution

Being away from India for a long period of
time has contributed the many difficulties which I had to endure from the
setting up of the company to complete build a product. Which I think, I have
over come with more understanding of the work culture here. Having lived in
Japan and Australia, I am used to believing in what is said. There are many examples.
 Time Management - I have found the lack
of respect for TIME in most of the areas. Quality - Lack of Focus on the
quality of end product. Interview and Appointment -> many a times it is a
very tedious and tiring process to find that right person to do the job , even
though you find them and wait long notice period for their joining , they back
off and I am back to level zero again. Though we had staff with skill set in place,
there was a lack of passion, enthusiasm, commitment to my expectations. I had
to personally ensure the quality and timely completion. Creating the sense of belonging to the company was another challenge. We had clients, jobs, staff
and resources but we needed to find a way to weave all this together to come up
with an almost automated process to ensure the best outcome for our clients and
us.

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

Seek an Investor or Business Partners to share the load. Use Expert
Partners where you are unable to provide that level of service or expertise. Spend
more time, researching, planning, and then putting into action. Focus on small
high skill set team and pulling them together

Motivation and Drives factor

To
hear positive feedback on the end product. The urge to try and  remove the wrong notion about the   Outsourcing experience to India.

Unique about my way of motivating troops

I motivate our staff with incentives and encourage them to give
their ideas and be innovative. We like to see our developers come up with new
ideas. We would rather; they come to us and say, they would like to try implementing
something new and innovative even if it takes extra time, because we want to be
seen as being innovative and cutting edge in our industry. Why follow what
others do, when you can do as you wish to do? Give your staff all the right
tools to do their job correctly. Setup mentors in your office environment, so
that younger staff can sit, watch & learn. Finding key staff is paramount.
It is difficult to hire very experienced people in a startup environment if you
do not have the lucrative offers for them. 
However, you need to try offering them security. Explain your plans,
your market and how you see the growth in your business to sell them the idea
they can be part of something new and exciting. Your staff and especially your
development people will be the engine of your company. Quality people will
equal quality results. As a CEO I walk the hallways, sitting with staff from the
ground up- ensuring that I understand their job, what they do and identifying
any areas change or improvements can be made. “Ensure you engage with your
staff” .

Way of choosing my people

I am always looking for talent and the right person to be
with us. Being a start up company, not many experienced persons would
confidently join a start up. We look for key characteristics on our staff.
Number one is passion. We want people who are passionate about mobile apps,
innovative and have a desire to better themselves and for the good of the
company. A person with a good attitude, punctual, great work ethics would be
employed by us over a more highly skilled person. Staff with the
characteristics will soon learn and grow and be more than just a highly skilled
worker.

The challenges and lessons learnt to get first customer

We started a simple web site offering mobile app development,
earlier when the market was young. We had no SEO, no programmers, no idea how a
mobile app process worked. We got an enquiry and we were off and racing. We
focused on providing friendly and courteous service and as we went along we
learnt the steps ourselves. Your clients are everything. Having an approachable
company is key to building up relationships. Ensuring you can be easily
accessed by key clients. Small factors such as having the office telephone
answered in a timely manner and with a nice greeting script to follow will ensure
that the company shows a professional attitude in everything we do. Treating
every call as if it were, Steve Jobs calling us.

Experience of reaching out to potential investors

Rossitek is still yet to secure any
investors. Not out of trying but mainly out of focusing on getting key
products, strategies and business plans in place to provide maximum returns for
our investors.

My role at different dimensions as the company evolved

As a single person trying to setup a company with only a couple of
technical staff , I did everything from meeting with clients, doing the
accounts , to making chai for the staff. I had gone from managing all areas of
the business, at an early stage to the point where it is too much for one
person. I have had to find people to undertake some of my responsibilities and
let go of the things I would have normally handled myself. Not one person can
manage everything. You need to create a good network and support group around
you, to help you carry the load. Your role will forever change as the business
changes. As an owner and CEO, I will live my business 24/7.

As a leader how I make sure that I am connecting the right dots

As the CEO of the company, I am responsible to make sure every staff
is well advised on the direction the company is heading towards and what their
role is. Though most of our staff have no experience working over seas, i make
them see the outside the box perspective of the industry. My exposure to
working with Japanese and Western companies has helped me explain my experiences.
This interaction has helped the staff understand the short comings of the
processes followed earlier and the advantages of following the processes in
place within Rossitek .This has helped us to drastically reduce the mistakes
many outsourcing companies have done , which has given Outsourcing a bad name .

Three big lessons/ mistakes encountered while building company

Every Day teaches me a lesson, some small
and easy to learn and some very hard to believe, understand and act. To pick up
three of them -1) It was difficult appointing staff, as I had tried to
interview, source and scan candidates myself. As a lot of candidates were out
of Bangalore, it was difficult determining what was on paper and what they
truthfully could do. So many training courses & certificates undertaken by
people, but difficult to understand what weight these courses carried and the
level of expertise these people really had. I would advise not to rush, interview face to face, and if possible arrange a
highly technical skilled person to help find the right candidates. Even if they
are not in your organisation, find someone who can assist. Look for positive
people. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. 2) Try not to undertake
everything yourself. The time you spend trying to do everything can be better
spent planning & growing your business. You are the face of the company so
you need to be positioned to provide your vision, innovations and aspirations
to prospective clients and your staff. 3) Never put all your eggs in one
basket. Look at different product markets, assess the assets you have in your
business and see if they can be used elsewhere for other opportunities. Our
focus was originally on providing highest level of service & attention to
our client’s products. We should have created a R&D Team to simultaneously
develop our own products right from our inception.

Best company I admire globally

Google : the live and let live policy , which has encouraged
a many entrepreneurs. The company has innovation and never fail to try . Even
small things like the google search, the changing image is refreshing and lets
you feel that they care.

Advice for fellow entrepreneurs

In summary I would encourage all persons
seeking to go down this path, to do your homework, talk with as many people as
possible, research the market, spend only as necessary, employ the right people
and do the job right first time, all the time. Attention to detail, quality and
being innovative will help secure long term clients, and at the end of the day
it is about securing the future of the company. If I had to do everything over
again, I could change a million things to make my life easier, however the
lessons, the knowledge, the experience that I gained through the good and bad
allows me to be better prepared, understand and make more informed decisions
about the future of the company.  This
experience is something money cannot buy, and all entrepreneurs will have their
own stories of heartache and joy. Best of luck on your journey.

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