Learning from RapidValue’s Entrepreneurial Journey
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain
Ideation to Growth
Started in 2009, the young entrepreneurs and co-founders of RapidValue, Rajesh Padinjaremadam (CEO), Sirish Kosaraju (COO) and Rinish Nalini (CTO), have managed to scale-up the company from three employees to over four hundred and fifty employees, with operations spread across geographies. The founders had decided to opt to unravel the path that seemed to be untrodden. Instead of getting into the usual computer software solutions, that most IT professionals prefer, they dared to try something new and innovative.
They wanted to work on the latest technological revolution then, as smart phones (in 2007 by Apple, Inc.) had just been launched worldwide. Very few firms had ventured into enterprise mobility, even in the West. In eight years, RapidValue has expanded from an enterprise mobility services provider to enabling digital transformation for enterprises, including services and in omni-channel, IoT, Analytics and Cloud Engineering.
Vision and Direction
Rajesh has proven to be the true leader to lead the teams, building a team from ground-up, motivating and guiding employees to work in the direction of a common goal. It is not an easy task to sustain strategic and operational goals but Rajesh has always succeeded in managing the important parameters as RapidValue started its journey.
The trio, Rajesh, Sirish and Rinish had a common vision and started working towards a consensus. It is an arduous task to organize and manage decisions and goals. A lot of hard conclusions need to be taken during the process of decision making. They have been successful in finding the right people and have trusted them in delivering quality work for seamless product development and innovation.
Blend of Technology and Simplicity
When the founders began their journey, the organization was a small group and a middle-sized company was their vision. They were entrusted with the task of institutionalization of the vision. The aim was to hire and build the right team. Apart from acquiring teams who fit culturally together, they were able to nurture a healthy work culture. RapidValue employees or Rapidites, as they are fondly addressed, not only have opportunities to bring in new ideas but also, implement them and take ownership.
Being humble and down-to earth, the co-founders are approachable and available anytime. They strongly support the fact that in order to yield good results and obtain a respectable working environment, it is essential to connect with the employees just the way you do with your friends and acquaintances. And, that is the reason why RapidValue has a congenial work atmosphere. Companionship is what is needed and not dictatorship – this is what the three of them believe.
It is interesting to find men, who in their thirties and a family to support, decide to leave their well-paid job to commence a ‘start-up’. It draws much attention to the importance of experiment and showcasing knowledge while going for the innovations in the market. Rajesh and Sirish are forward thinkers and like to focus on new technology trends. Rinish is the Tech Guru of RapidValue. He leads the technology initiatives and always keeps track of the next generation technologies.
Plan and Execute
If you decide to break-away from your present job to start your own business then you might have a brilliant and innovative idea and should be well equipped with all the resources needed to be a successful entrepreneur. However, it’s always better to take a planned approach – be proactive and ensure that you have the fundamental elements and assets required to succeed in your venture.
These tips from the RapidValue co-founders might help scale-up your start-up.
- Understand your Ecosystem – Before you get going on your idea, you should spend time in understanding what other players in similar space are doing.
- Have a Business Plan – Since you have decided to take the risk, you need to have a business plan. While having a long term plan is important, also have short-term plans (say bring on 5 customers during the first year, and break-even)
- Market Focus is important – It is easy to get stuck in technology and product, but it is really important to keep a strong focus on market and customer acquisition.
- Cash is the Word – Needless to say, cash is very important for any business. Ensure you have planned for funds to get going until you can generate revenue. Once you start generating revenue, be very focused and disciplined on ensuring and managing cash flow. Ensuring all spend is optimized, and eliminates unnecessary expenses.
- Hire and Nurture the Right Team – You might start alone, but eventually the aim is to build your team. First step is to hire the right team. Hire for attitude than skills. Skills can be developed, if somebody has the right attitude.
- Be Prepared for Tough Times – With all the planning in the world, be assured you will face turbulence and headwinds. Bracing and preparing yourself for a rough ride in advance can help steady the ship when the tide is against you.
Believe and Accomplish
Start-ups are literally considered to be a journey into the unknown. The enthusiastic entrepreneurs need to be comfortable in dealing with ambiguity, various uncertainties, taking risks and facing multiple challenges. RapidValue co-founders had a well-defined vision which served as a compass during the phase of high and low tides. They together envisioned how to monetize and got work done in a prompt manner to reach the goals and milestones. The company started with one office in India, and now it has expanded to eight offices across the globe (USA, UK, India). RapidValue has grown year-on-year since 2011 and have won many prestigious corporate/ technology awards and recognition from Oracle, Nasscom, Red Herring, VentureBeat, UNICOM and is also backed by venture capital firm, Helion Venture Partners.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” ― John C. Maxwell
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