Shah Helped Me Keep Focus on Fundamentals while Reducing Costs
More often than not, people enjoy working with companies in good times. However, it is the support one gets during tough times that matters. Sometime during 2013-2014, there was a sudden drop in oil prices. Consequently, some of our key customers and prospects slashed their IT budgets. Kirit Shah’s support was instrumental in helping us sail through this phase. He helped me keep focus on the fundamentals while reducing costs systematically. (Shah’s GP Group is an investor in Eka Software.) I do believe that the best lessons any entrepreneur can get about his business are from his own experiences. Having said that, the best advice I received from my mentor was to never shift focus away from the first principles — customers satisfaction, cashflow management, and profitability. That has guided my entrepreneurial journey.
You may have a great product, the best in the industry with the most sophisticated and latest functionalities and technology. Ideas do matter. But unless your product provides solutions that specifically address your customer’s problem, it has little value for them.
I also learned that getting funded — be it through a loan, venture capital or through an angel investor — is where your journey really begins. And as you gain momentum, it is important that you stay frugal, keep a check on the cash burn, and plan well to allocate funds through the critical stages of your growth. Often, good ideas don’t materialise into a business due to unplanned financial support. I would advise young entrepreneurs to keep their personal expenditure at a minimum. When you have fewer debts to worry about you can focus better on your own venture.
(As told to Shadma Shaikh)
A VALUABLE LESSON