GOT Softwares is the largest cloud-based construction IT service provider in the region. It caters its services from single contractors to a network of construction giants. Right from contracting to land, project estimating to planning, Payroll and Finance to Accounting, GOT’s solutions seamlessly integrate with everything. GOT is headquartered in Chennai, India.
In conversation with Darwin, Founder and Director of GOT softwares,
What made you think that there was a need for something like GOT softwares?
Since my childhood, I was inspired by Bill Gates. It made me think how a simple solution made the world use his software. Windows 98 was an eye opening product that enabled everyone to use computers everywhere in the world. This inspired me to start an IT company (GOT) and deliver more innovative IT products to the Globe.
How does GOT help businesses to streamline the process?
Our well designed UI/UX delivery enables our customers to use our products easily. They can collaborate with other team members and connect with other software platforms without any hassles. It helps to achieve our customer business goals easily.
Tell us about the challenges and opportunities you observed in this long journey.
I started this company after quitting my IT job in 2008. In the initial stage, it was not an easy go. I faced a lot of challenges on getting projects. As we were new to the industry, no one trusted. So, I decided to work on small level projects like web design, content management. Slowly and gradually, we started growing as a service-based company with 14 headcounts in Chennai. 2011 was an establishing phase in my journey. I signed a high contract project with a Dubai Bank and increased our revenue and headcounts to 150+. In 2013, I started a separate research team to develop an IT product, Engineer ERP, for the construction industry to solve their estimation and operation problems by automating our software solutions. We started marketing in 2014 but unfortunately didn’t work well due to domain gaps. In the same year, our high-contract Banking project withdrew due to an economical crisis by adopting other IT product service. At the same time, revenue from both service operations stopped and my research Engineer ERP product also didn’t do much business. Put in a heavy financial crisis, I was struggling to pay regular dues and employee’s salaries. Finally, in 2015, I decided to sell my house and settled all my dues and employee’s salaries and continued to focus on redefining the construction IT product Engineer ERP. In 2016 again, I started to market the product. Slowly I started getting customers and in the same year my health went critical due to a spinal cord injury. I was not able to walk and planned to handover the product operations to my sister with the concern that our existing customers should not be affected in our delivery and support. I concentrated only on sales and marketing by appointing my wife Subhasree Engineer ERP. Finally, in our week’s agreement with our sister’s firm, our sister’s concern transformed as a competitor and dropped the product Engineer ERP in 2017. To restart with a fresh idea and technology, I planned to develop a user-friendly pre-sales B2B SaaS-based CRM in cloud environment for small and medium enterprises that is GOT CRM. It worked out well and started getting 100+ subscribers in 6 months with 15 clients and continues. With this good and tough times in my entrepreneur journey, we continued successfully.
What are the metrics of success according to you?
Keep your customer expectation focused. Appoint a business analyst or any domain expert to interact with customers and understand their pain points. Then, plan for a solution. This is the action point for innovation to develop or design a product and make it successful.
Tell us something about the most important thing you are working on right now. How are you making it happen?
In the last 2 years, the IT industry is learning to deploy new technologies like microservices, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning in their existing products or service deliveries. In that manner, to delight our existing customers and future customers, I have designed a “GOT BOT” an AI-based sales assistant which helps the customer to give reports or prioritize the leads to be focused for the day and gives any kind of sales report by a voice search or without much navigation. It just reports like a Marketing Manager. We are soon going to launch an interesting AI Chatbot.
How do you define the culture at GOT?
We have an employee-friendly environment which makes our employees work with us for the long term with us. We basically hire employee not with their high academic qualification or top performance. We just hire employees who have good talent in extracurricular activities and have a passion to be an innovator, not a developer. This reflects in our customer satisfaction stories. Our employee and customer-driven culture define our success and sustainability.
Can you tell us something that your company does better than its competitors?
As I mentioned earlier, our product or technology should be shaped according to customer problems. For example: if customer 1 has problem 1, it will not be the same problem for customer 2. He will come up with problem 2.
Keeping this in mind, our GOT CRM basically addresses problem 1, if the customer comes with problem 2, we have a separate team called product customization (PC) team to address the problem 2. This is where I feel we deliver better than our competitors.
If you weren’t building GOT, what would you be doing?
I would be working as a Chief Architect or Technical Lead in any MNC IT organization.
Share the most satisfying moment in your business till now.
Really an interesting question! I would love to answer this. I would say I first received recognition from my client L&T Hardo carbon engineering. They appreciated our Engineer ERP product saying it addressed their end-to-end operations and was very user-friendly even for their unskilled labourers as they were also able to update their daily work status easily. This appreciation I would say was the most satisfying moment in my professional career.
What advice would you give to someone willing to be an entrepreneur?
Recalling my Entrepreneur journey itself will be a good guide for a new entrepreneur as to think what to do and what not to do.
Plan well before being an entrepreneur. Have short term and long term goals. Come up with new ideas to solve a customer problem from the existing technology. Build up your team with sound technical talents which is very important.