Brick by brick, Avanthi Shah has created an empire called Nextbrick Solutions, which provides virtual platform to other businesses across the globe. YourStory, in conversation with Avanthi Shah, tries to decode the algorithms of her entrepreneurial journey.
Having NASA in your client roaster is by no means an easy feat. But, achievements and laurels sit easily on the shoulders of Avanthi Shah, IIM graduate, and founder of Nextbrick Solutions. Walk into her office and her disarming charm makes you feel accepted.
Your Story caught up with Avanthi Shah on a rainy afternoon- the perfect backdrop for Avanthi to take some time out of her busy schedule and retrace the footsteps of her entrepreneurial journey.
"I wanted to do something on my own since childhood," reminisces Avanthi over a cup of coffee. Born in Hyderabad to a middle class family, Avanthi got some early lessons in leadership from her father. "He is my role-model. He encouraged me to be self- reliant and excel in whatever I do. I have always been a go getter and was involved in extra-curricular activities right from the school days to college," says Avanthi, who lost her father when she was still a teenager, "The loss was unbearable but made me more resolute to chalk out my own path. Of course, my father remains the biggest source of inspiration and guiding force."
After graduating from IIM, she worked for CMC for six months and realized that a new approach was needed to enable companies in content management and web infrastructure. "Mid-90s" were the boom days for dot com companies as organizations around the world were in the process of transferring their data online to reach a wider audience.
"I along with my husband started Nextbrick in 1997 to cater to this need gap," says Avanthi. Quiz her on the name and she compares her company's job to a brick, which provides structure to any building premises. She adds, "We act as a backbone to any company' online presence when it comes to content infrastructure and application development. That's how the name Nextbrick-that extra bricks... the helping hand to help grow your company.
And over the years, we have grown with our clients."Not even the dot com burst in 2001 could keep her off the growth pedal. But, that doesn' t mean that she was completely insulated. "January to April 2001 was the time when we were hit badly. I had to write-off half-a-million dollars in collections as clients went bust. I had to lay-off some newly recruited employees. We had to start everything from scratch," says Avanthi. And how did she manage to survive when many other dot com companies shut shop. She attributes her survival to her financial prudence and value-driven growth approach: "We got repeat clients as we had always focused on giving maximum value to our clients. They saw us through those difficult days. And, it remains our biggest differentiator as we bring lot of skill and knowledge to the table and provide 360 degree consultancy to our clients rather than offering just the solutions,"
NextBrick's growth has been substantiated by the numerous corporate and government deals that they have bagged over the years. Building blocks, for sure, as this young entrepreneur is planning to replicate her international success and have a leadership position in India.
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