An obstacle in business comes with a hidden opportunity. In 2001, when Vishwas Patel wanted to sell his company garments online, he encountered lot of problems in making online payment. The whole experience spurred him to launch his own easy and efficient online payment gateway solution. Today Avenues India is the largest e-commerce company in South-Asia in terms of transactions. He shares the evolution of his company with YourStory.
Why an entrepreneur? Why didn't you pursue a regular job?
I come from an entrepreneurial background, so I never really thought of doing anything other than setting up a business.
I started off as a lawyer and even practiced in High Court for a couple of years. But the entrepreneurial instinct was in the blood. So I worked with my brother to start and set up Seasons, India's biggest ethnic garments store. After it achieved a certain degree of success, I trained my sights elsewhere.
Something on starting years
In 2001, when I wanted to sell my ethnic garments online, I realized that the banks' existing payment gateways did not meet the needs of an Indian Businessman. The average Indian Businessman doesn't want to spend time and energy in understanding Technology. He wants Technology to understand his business requirements and give him a simple solution. What I wanted was a low cost, simple to use and quick to market payment gateway solution. What I got was an expensive, complicated Solution for which I had spend a lot of time and effort to acquire and then after getting it, I had to hire expensive IT professionals to run it. So I decided, why not build my own eCommerce Solution that meets the needs of Businessmen like me. And that's how CCAvenue, my first payment gateway solution started.
Turning point in your business
Within 24 months, CCAvenue grew into as huge success story. We were one of the first companies in Asia to offer the Software-as-a Service model and we were making a grand success of it. That is not a small achievement when you consider that it was launched during the days of dot com bust and 9/11. Soon we decided to broaden the offering to other industries where our model could add significant value to the business. So we started building solutions for the travel industry and the community development sector. Today after 7 years, we have launched 4 solutions that are globally scalable and are undefeated market leaders in India in their respective segments. And two more solutions are in the development queue for launch.
Did at any point you felt like giving up and getting back to taking a job?
What drives you?
To be the best in my field!
On business - the differentiators of your business
I work keeping three Success Mantras in mind:
Always deliver more than you promise.
Always look at the bottom line. If it doesn't add value to the bottom line, don't get into it.
Always maintain a significant and relevant differential over your competition through innovation.