Sachin Menon, the CEO of “ Websignma” is a first-generation entrepreneur. After completing his MBA, he worked in the Investment Banking domain where he worked with industry biggies like Reliance, Axa investment managers, HSBC global, Kotak Group.
In his work profile, his major responsibility was to start operations from scratch when there were zero reaches for brands. After gaining momentum on his learning curve and amassing experience, he started his own venture.
Starting in 2014, the company grew into a 40 member team at a very fast pace. Over the 5 years of its existence, with perseverance and endless hard work, the company has emerged as a leading and trusted information technology partner for businesses across 3 continents and acquired 100 + clients.
“Websigma” has a passionate software development team that works on emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Securitas, Database Management, App Development. As the development team located in Tier 2 city of India, they were able to successfully execute projects for Leading brands globally.
The company believes in Agile methodology for faster and efficient development of the project to ensure that the quality is not compromised. They have a rigorous training module developed and in place before any new software developer is included in the project. They are professional in every sense during the entire time a product is developed and handed to a client.
Thanks for finding time for us!!
Mounika: Tell us more about your journey with Websigma and your team.
Sachin: Entrepreneurship journey can be a tough and long journey, the trick is to go through it with patience and hard work. I started my career in financial services, where I was into starting and growing markets for Mutual Fund Companies. I was fortunate to have worked with MNC’s when they were in their nascent stage in Indian operations and I saw a window of opportunity. I developed insights on gathering the main ingredients of a company — Product, Market, and Team.
During the course of my corporate life, few questions started to bother me — “What can I do better to be better suited to contribute to this world”. This went on for some time and I realized I had a knack for entrepreneurship which paved way for my current journey of starting and running a successful software business. During the entire period of setting up this business, I’ve been incredibly lucky to meet, work and be surrounded by wonderfully smart and genuinely good-hearted people. I owe our company’s success a lot to them.
What are the most important leadership lessons you learned? How have you scaled yourself as a leader?
In the process of working with a team, we understand practical issues and create lessons for ourselves. Three main lessons I have learned and would like to share :
- Build a continuous sense of Urgency: Even at the beginning, when we didn’t have competition or didn’t know market enough, we still maintained a sense of urgency — ‘I have to move quickly, I have to get things done, I have to deliver quality products before time’. We just can’t wait until business comes to us, we have to go hunt our business prospects ourselves. Do not wait for the right time as there is no right time.
- Always listen to your customers: Being in the software industry — this is the most important learning for me and fellow engineers. Sometimes we specifically, get obsessed with building products because they are cool and they have a new technology idea that is smart, as opposed to something that solves a real customer problem. So this is the statement we strongly abide by — ‘ No matter how good an idea, as long as it does not solve customer’s real issue, it is not going to make any difference.’
- Most Important — Have faith in success: We need to have the passion, confidence and radiate energy about being successful. This will spread to the team and the company will have a culture of successful atmosphere. So firstly, have complete faith in your business.
How did you go about recruiting people for your team?
Hiring right plays a primary role in a startup and I believe a founder has to be part of the hiring process till a firm reaches critical mass.
We must get our hands dirty and understand a role before hiring. If we don’t understand it, it’s very hard to get the right person. Understand what has to be our cultural values, these values should be embedded in the nascent stage of the organization. After this stage is crossed, hiring will be easier as we can assess the cultural fitness of candidates easily along with qualifications.
We at Websigma, give higher importance to cultural fit compared to skillset as the skill can always be groomed. Skillset is not constant, they keep changing with technologies every year but the learning attitude of our employees is our cream.
So you got a super team in place. How do you ensure that you have the team’s support?
The job market is ever-changing which favors employers who in turn are favorable to employees. We provide a good amount of flexibility — more autonomy and the freedom to choose working hours.
As a startup company, we are very transparent on our vision, current mission and goals with our team. This has created a team of oneness and result-oriented culture.
What are the failures you faced and how did that help the organization grow?
Success hasn’t always come easily. There have been many ups and downs. But failure gives important insights into running a business.
The first one was learning to attract clients, it took us a long time to figure out. I think in the early days what most startups struggle with is the credibility that is required to land very big and important partnerships. We realized the best way to move forward initially is through partnerships. This reduced our acquisition cost and helped in building a good portfolio. Now we have our own credibility to acquire the trust of a new client.
Second is to never to make decisions based only on emotions. This will hinder logical decision making. So, any idea will have to answer logical questions like — Are we aligned to our goals? Will it be helpful for our clients? Can my team deliver on time and so on. The decision can only be taken after analyzing costs and benefits.
How do you satisfy client needs?
As I said, we try to listen to our clients. By listening we mean understanding their real issues. Sometimes a client will be blinded on knowing their real issues. We think across all angles of our client and try to understand real problems. Once we understand it, we share it with clients. This has made us proactive and admired by our clients.
Where do you see Websigma from here?
It is very important for the process and the organization to let people take big bets because the truth is you don’t always know what’s going to work. We are trying to grow organizationally that allows innovation.
It will not be a long time before Artificial Intelligence(AI) will take on a very important space in the future. New technologies will also create many new jobs, which we cannot foresee today. We believe machine learning is going to be a huge part of future tech stack and will allow us to gain insights into what we call actionable values from the data collected. Our direction is focussed on moving towards it.
Thanks for your time Sachin!!
Edited by Aneesha Arani