Vivek Pande, Founder, PrincipalSoft Technologies, Pune

In his own words, he never dreamt of being an entrepreneur.

Vivek's journey started when he moved to Pune after completing his graduation from Nagpur. He did a post-graduation course in computer management and joined Patni Computers in 1997. "Right from the beginning of my career, I took interest in the complete gamut of software development such as sales and marketing, operations, and cost arbitrage rather than just working as a programmer," says Vivek.

He also did MBA in sales and marketing while working in the company.

 In 2001, he migrated to US to work with healthcare and insurance companies. "I wanted to work with a US company rather than an offshore employee of an Indian company. It helped me understand American culture, work ethics and also their perspective about Indian companies operating in the same domain. This helped me gain valuable experience in both Indian and US market," says Vivek who joined Avastone technologies, a software company in Wisconsin, USA. Soon, he was made project-in-charge of an assignment from concept to final implementation change.


But large corporate clients of Avastone had quality issues with its outsourcing firms in India. Avastone had ongoing legal battles with Indian companies for compliance issues. One such particular project was on healthcare and valued at half a million dollars per year. "That's when I proposed to Avastone to become their Indian vendor and work on this project. However they rejected it saying that I didnâ't have my own company," says Vivek.


Spurred by rejection, Vivek asked his business partner, Abhijit, to set-up a company in India. "Thus, Principalsoft Technologies came into existence in March 2004," says Vivek. "I came back to India in June 2005 and worked for six months on this project. I proved to be indispensable. Finally in December 2005, they agreed to have me as an independent vendor for the project."


Vivek recruited five people for the project. Soon Avastone gave him another project on event management and Principalsoft Technologies business picked momentum. By 2006, the firm had 35 employees. And then Vivek faced a unique problem. "We primarily worked in healthcare vertical, which is highly technical and functional in nature. I had to train every employee personally and it consumed lot of time and effort, besides the opportunity cost of handling the project. I started looking for software to automate HR practices such as train people, handle appraisals, manage their pay rolls, and leave applications etc. But there wasn't a single comprehensive product, which could take care of all HR activities," says Vivek. "The need-gap in the market motivated me to develop software for HR practices"


Principalsoft came out with HR Care in December 2007, a web based human resource management product, which covers HR activities including induction, training, performance appraisals, leave management, timesheet, terminations and basic payroll etc. "The software is workflow-driven, have email notifications, and helpful to employees, H.R., management and accounting functions," says Vivek.


For the past one year, Vivek has concentrated on marketing this product. But, here again, lack of a full-fledged marketing team motivated him to develop a framework for online market survey and technical evaluation.


"Our software product called Online Evaluation Exam provides a secured way to perform evaluation over internet. It adds immense value to the organisations needing assistance in the areas of market survey, employment screening, and training evaluation, distance learning programs, corporate training evaluation, appraisal evaluation and quality control," says Vivek."We are open to partnership in tier- II and tier-III cities and have both B2B and B2C models. The product also enables certification test for


The company has already sold the product to few clients and focusing on school and colleges to provide support to their distant learning education programs.


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