Sahil Parikh, Founder, Synage Software

Saturday August 08, 2009,

4 min Read

Armed with his qualifications and determined to wipe out the image of India as a low-cost service country that is perfect for off-shoring and incapable of building a quality product unless directed from abroad, Sahil Parikh, a young entrepreneur, moved back to India from USA in 2005. He then went on to develop Synage, a web company delivering software as a service (SaaS) over the internet to the global audience. Their key product, DeskAway, is a web-based project collaboration service that provides a complete hassle-free, central

location for easy organising, managing and tracking of their projects.

He was discontented to see other products that failed to fulfil customers’ requirements. “It was dissatisfying to see similar other products yielding poor results. They lacked a drive to serve the customer; they got away with meagre simplistic features stating that that was their policy. They virtually left the customers high and dry,” he said.

Compared to its peers, Synage Software has one of the most efficient operating structure since its entire operation is governed from India. This not only cuts down the costs, but also ensures that the company delivers efficient services to its customers without compromising on the quality. Synage Software’s customers include professional service firms like web designers, development organisations, consulting and marketing firms, architects and education institutes, as well as startups, freelancers and non-profit organisations — all of whom are web erudite and use their email as a means to collaborate.

“DeskAway caters to collaborating teams that manage multiple projects. It solves their problems like email spam, multiple file versions, lost files, task accountability issues, lack of work transparency, insufficient project reporting and management overview. And this we intend to do by providing affordable, simple and hassle-free online collaborative service,” says Parikh.

With millions using consumer services online, it would soon become inevitable to consume services online rather than buy packaged licensed software. DeskAway's revenue model is based on the ‘Freemium’ model. Consumers can sign up for free and try out almost every aspect of the service. Once convinced of its utility, they can upgrade to a paid subscription plan. Partnerships with SaaS vendors, focused internet marketing through various mediums and building features that customers want, are their key strategies to scale up their business.

Parikh aspires to build an empire for himself, work on his own terms and provide employment opportunities to others. “I want to do things that I really enjoy doing. There is one life to live, one must make the most of it!” said the dynamic Go-Getter.

His biggest challenge so far has been to swap from service to product business. Initially, they took up a few projects, but it diverted most of their attention from DeskAway. “It reached a stage where I took the critical decision to stop all service projects and concentrate 100% on DeskAway. This has also been my best decision till date,” he claimed. Parikh, however, regrets not starting the venture in 2005, waiting for almost a year to launch DeskAway.

The capital was procured both, from the revenues of web design and development business and a portion of Parikh’s savings. He takes pride in having a central office and ten employees, who have effectively doubled the clientele from last year. DeskAway is headed to become India's top project collaboration product and also ranks among the top 5 products worldwide. Parikh plans to extend DeskAway to other applications, include more social features and also come out with a mobile and iPhone version. “On the marketing side, we are looking at more partnerships and a full-fledge affiliate programme,” Parikh informed.

In 2008, Synage Software Pvt. Ltd was chosen as one of the top 30 hottest startups in India by Tata NEN. To focus on the core product, to have a clear vision of the goal and to recruit budding talent, have been the secret of his success.

The firm is presently looking forward to recruiting LAMP, Javascript, Ajax and API developers; internet & social media marketing enthusiasts; customer support & community managers; software testers and network administrators.

Parikh and his core team members have accomplished a high-point in a short span of time, but he believes he still has a ‘milestone to achieve.’

To those who aspire to become an entrepreneur, he suggests, “Build a small, motivated team, keep things simple, stay focused, go for less capital-intensive methods, scalable business models, outsource what is not core, and monitor and measure everything daily.”

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