Startup > My Story > Jignesh Parmar
Jignesh Parmar

Jignesh Parmar

Aruhat Technologies

Short Description

Being entrepreneur, you need to focus first on business; secondly, you need to focus on the synchronization of people as per the vision.

Brief about company, offerings and foundation of the company

We are a full of enthusiasm and technology savvy IT solutions company who focuses on technology to deliver various solutions to our customers.Our main offerings are Web Data Extraction Solutions, Scalable Solutions for VAS in Telecom Area, SMS based workflow solutions, CRM solutions for Cable ISPs and e-learning mobile applications for Kids.We found the company in 2004.

Unique about my way of motivating troops

Vision, target achievements, continuous guidance, trust, freedom and authority

Most critical decision

At every month there are critical decisions to be taken, however, the most critical was to involve myself in the Sales and to consider Myself as sales person and a part of the sales team. Being a person with technical background, applying management skills was coming as a secondary task, which had to be reversed for the growth. However, this decision has brought positive aspects e.g. Pre-sales & meticulous sales process, which are are actually the keys to improve sales numbers to multi fold.

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

'Connecting dots' – a real difficult one. As there are lot of alternative in doing things and picking one is a real challenge.However, this challenge becomes a bit more towards achieving success with broader vision and direction of approach at our level. There are several do's and dont's at our level, which are also key values or gradually becomes core values, that we need to stick to them, and which lead us in a longer direction and chances of mistakes get reduced.

Some of the difficulties faced while building product/ solution

The difficulties include Leadership/People Issues: Aligning people with the large vision – This had its own hurdles, as in the initial period people are very sceptical about the success and had considered the large vision as just a thought and did not get themselves aligned with the vision due to lack of confidence in the vision itself.
• Developing and building the skills required: As the required skills were not be easily available in market at cost affordable to us and some cases it became difficult to retain people who have learned and grown with us
• Keeping people aligned with the vision – as even after initial alignment, people tend to evaluate & criticize us upon failure, they intend to build up their opinion and it is really difficult to change people once opinions are built due to their lack of openness.
All these are people issues, but they drive the building of the product/solution by staying on same page and thus resolves most issues relating to the building of the product/solution.
Opportunity to Solution Mapping: Next Level of issues are to find right opportunity from market and converting the opportunity into technological solution.
Technological: Next level of issues are technological, as technical teamneed to be synchronized with business needs and still they need to add their value in terms of technology. This is lacking in many cases as technical team surrenders to customer explained technical solution and drives the scenario where the build solution by asking to customer what exactly he wants. Now, being a customer we cannot assume him responsible for technical articulation of the solution, and we have to add a value at our end to match up the end result expected by customer.

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

I would prepare the proper business plan, focus on the target customers, and work on building the team who can sell to those target customers, and also focus on building good customer accounts (without loosing patience), and gradually aligning back office team.This keeps the pressure in right direction and also keeps wrong issues aside; which otherwise may defocus us from main business capturing activity.

My role at different dimensions as the company evolved

Initial role was to build up strategy, later it added conceptualization of product and shaping up the solution as a product. Later the focus came on people, then to technology (to achieve higher scalability), and now it has come to sales scalability (sustainable growth). So there has been lot of opportunistic transitions that were relevant at different stages of the Company's evolution

Risks involved in business and way of addressing
Major risk areas are :
1) People risk: Being a small sized Company we cannot have spare staff size, and this makes us heavily dependent on people, but that is how the business needs to run, and people are the ones who will take us to next level;
2) Continuous sales performance: If in any month the revenue generated is low this has a direct impact on the whole profitability model, and this might not balance the risk even by working in Multiple Domains. This results in the risk of not having sufficient scope for R&D due to limited resources, and also driving us to work in a manner where failure is not allowed.
Best company I admire globally
Being Indian IT company, obviously first comes is the InfoSys. The way they have given the visibility to Indian IT skills is great and the way they are driving profits and achieving numbers according to their own targets is really encouraging and keeps me motivated that such practices can be implemented at our level too.
Motivation and Drives factor
The vision to build a product/service mix company having huge revenue from products/solutions. At personal level, achievement of targets/vision/objectives drives and builds confidence.
Way of choosing my people
Choosing people is a quite tricky, especially at senior level. The quality which I first choose is the right attitude towards work. It may happen that person might not have right knowledge of the work, but if he is inclined towards working on that gap, he is the right choice.Once chosen, we discuss on continuous basis, providing freedom,and putting trust by providing sufficient time to perform. This makes the person confident as well as performer, and this improves the bonding as well.
My thoughts related to entrepreneurship/ leadership and management
Being entrepreneur, you need to focus first on business; secondly, you need to focus on the synchronization of people as per the vision. Lacking the synergy would result into lot of confusions and lack of direction, which will decrease the focus from results and outcomes and in the end may build a non performing organization.
Sometimes you might need to take difficult calls, but you should be confident to take and execute them.
The challenges and lessons learnt to get first customer
Getting the first customer was a bit very difficult and took lot of pain. We did not know the right price and there was competition as well. And due to competition there was a tremendous pressure on finding a successful approach to close the deal. Then after taking a good amount of stress, we decided to work out on the possibilities, and we worked out on paper about different possibilities from our end, customer's end and competitor's end,and finally we could decide on paper for our approach for the success of the deal, and it worked out very well!!The learning was that the competitors are reality, and we need to stay aligned with the target customers for identification of any move on their end at right time. This builds up a good relationship with customer as well.
Experience of reaching out to potential investors
Not much. However, during initial stage, the potential investors were not ready to invest much and also we found a huge risk of getting defocused into something else due to their pressure. So, we dropped the idea in the initial stage and decided to achieve growth that is organic & self sustainable.
Three big lessons/ mistakes encountered while building company
Big lessons are :
Lesson 1: Keep the vision ready even though it seems unachievable or abstract. Having lack of vision, humans are intended to drive in their own favourable way and lack of Vision statement makes it difficult to measure what is right and what is wrong. This makes us indecisive in many cases and may also result into our own defocused & confused approach. And we need to segregate people who are with vision and who are not with vision. This gives a clear picture on how to deal with People.
Lesson 2: Never to build a back office team without sufficient pipe of business. It may be uncomfortable for the back office team managers, but that team has to be the last to grow in terms of number. Without sufficient business pipe, growing that team (due to perceptual/emotional pressure) will only increase risk and reduce the flexibility. So, even though back office managers are not comfortable/demotivated you should not increase your back office team.
Lesson 3: Take decisions and stick to your decisions, and build up mature decisions even though few of them prove to be inappropriate in between. Changing decisions all the time will confuse others and they will stop adding their value due to the nature of continuously changing environment.This makes the human environment the most confusing, as well as noisy, which builds up dissatisfaction across the board in challenging conditions. Hence, we need to stick to our decisions for certain time interval. However, at times this makes us indecisive, but that we have to correct at our level and we internally should drive ourselves for taking decision based on our own logic and without thinking whether it is right or wrong in absolute manner.
Advice for fellow entrepreneurs
Trust and empower people by providing authority and give them Vision to work with and keep them aligned with the Vision. And at the end, we have to deal with people and invest in them.