In this Golden era of Entrepreneurship, it is imperative that you as a business owner make your Organization stand out from the crowd. And the only way you can do this is by adopting a long-term and innovative vision. Only such business organizations are able to survive in the current cut-throat world of competition. Solute TechnoLabs is one among such organizations that have not only survived this competition but have become a sort of Industry Leader when it comes to Web & Mobile Apps Development.
And hence, in this Expert Interview Series, we have Karan Shah the Director of Solute TechnoLabs with his candid take on the amazing journey of Solute TechnoLabs through the years. Karan, along with Prakash Donga conceived the idea of Solute TechnoLabs in 2014 and has never looked back since!! Here are the excerpts from the Interview. Read On !!
Q1 – How does Solute TechnoLabs LLP Help Businesses?
Solute TechnoLabs LLP helps Entrepreneurs, SMEs, and Large Corporates strategize, build and grow their brands, design and develop their products, ideas and much more.
In the past two years, we have helped over 25 Startup Projects with our deep expertise on the Mobile and Cloud. Three of them have already received funding so far and we’re hoping that figure to increase soon – so statistically one in every 8 projects get funded [Much better than the industry average].
We have helped people develop GIFs that went viral (5 Million impressions in a week), Android and iOS Apps (Ranked top #8 in Medical in India – both Appstores and the Playstores), Web Apps, and much more!
Q2 – How did you hit upon the idea for your company?
I personally have worked with MNCs within and outside India with large enterprises and knew a thing or so about making scalable apps while my friend from college, Prakash Donga, was a Mobile Developer who left his job recently to do some freelancing work.
While we both had family businesses, which we could help run but it wasn’t something that inspired us. Around Aug 2014, we both teamed up and started hiring without any project in hand (Always risk takers). The first employee joined a month later, the second joined after another 2 months and right now, we’re a team of 30+ people!
Q3 – What are the other software products you use to increase productivity?
We use a lot of tools to enhance productivity such as:
- Communication – Slack
- Project Management – Trello, Asana, and JIRA
- Time Tracking – Hubstaff
- Emails and Docs – Google Apps for Work
- File Storage and sharing – Dropbox and Google Drive
- Bitbucket – Storing our precious code
- BuildBuddy – Build Automation for Mobile Apps
- CodeShip – CD/CI for Web Apps
- Rollbar – Detecting errors on our apps
- Test Management – Lean Testing
- Accounting – Tally ERP
and much more!
Even though it looks like we spend a lot on these apps, it, in fact, saves us (and in turn the customer) a lot of time and effort thus reducing the overall cost and allowing team members to focus on important things.
Q4 – Think of something you’ve done in the past; what would you have done differently?
Life is all about learning from failures; there are three main things that I did not do:
- Invest more in Digital Marketing and Sales
- Hire more diligently – I had a couple of bad hires (though we were quick to fire them as well)
- See a Mentor early on
There are some lessons that are learned over time, organically. It’s important to learn but never repeat them again.
Q5 – What are some of the more important features or traits that many of the customers are looking for in the present conditions in the IT Industry?
In the recent past, there has been an explosion in the industry with a huge amount of start-ups and digitalization happening but the supply has increased even more.
While a huge number of people are entering the field, it’s becoming even more difficult to find people with the right attitude and the right skill set at the right price. It is no secret that people from western countries turn to India for cheaper manpower but at the same time, many of them have been burnt as well.
Q6 – Have your visions changed from the initial days of your company to the present?
Yes, and I feel that it will keep on evolving as we continue to grow and mature. One of my initial lofty goals was to double the size of my company every year but as I stepped into the real scene, I realized that aggression is not the way forward for every type of company.
Also, having more people will also have different challenges and not doing it organically can be a risk for many companies to fall apart. I would rather do everything right than in haste.
Q7 – What do you know is true that no one else agrees upon?
A very minority of people in the world (1-2%) controls the rest of the world indirectly. It may look like some nations are communists and some are democratic but it is the top 1-2% people and organizations who wield the power and money that they basically govern everything that we interface with – right from what we eat to what we think.
Q8 – What do you expect to see over the next five to ten years In the IT Industry?
Like the IT industry has disrupted many industries, I feel that IT itself is going to face major disruptions in the coming years. People will be under constant threats to not just learn new skill sets (like a new language) but also shift their roles – There will be fewer Managers, more of Robo – managers; There will be lesser people with brute force skill sets and more focus will lie on optimizing the workforce.
More people will start to take freelancing as a real career option, and I strongly believe that AI, ML/NLP block chain technology is set to revolutionize the field.
A true roller coaster ride, like any entrepreneur, will say. There are ups and downs and there is so much to juggle at every point it time – it gives an adrenaline thrill of its own.
You start small and grow continuously, I feel that’s what makes it so special about this journey – you never want to stagnate yourself, always in the challenge mode.
Q10 – What’s the hardest decision you’ve made so far?
My first fire, it felt so bad – I was almost in tears later. Letting go of someone who has high hopes for you is always painful. But again, you have to make business decisions from time to time that will create internal conflict within yourself.