Entrepreneur Siddharth Goyal: On aspiring to create 20 web entrepreneurs through his web development company Dulcet Solutions.
Tell us about Dulcet Solutions Pvt Ltd
We are a web development company that offers web development services and web based products. Our mission is to educate people in India about the benefits of internet and the students of India the methodology to create world class websites. We specialize in wordpress and mobile optimized websites and love to teach people web development.
How is Dulcet Solutions Pvt Ltd different from other web development service providers?
We are a web development service provider company. We utilize social media and articles and blog entries and make an effort to educate prospective clients about our services through the medium of our website.
How did you come up with the name Dulcet?
The story is not really interesting. Everything else I wanted was taken so I basically started looking for words in a thesaurus. The idea was to think in long term and have a name which is easy to pronounce and is relevant. Dulcet, although, is related to sound, also means “pleasant” and so Dulcet Solutions means Pleasant Solutions. The irony is that most people pronounce the word as “Doolset” and so I guess the purpose did not get served.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I was born and brought up in Delhi, passed out of Birla Vidya Niketan and got through NSIT, University of Delhi. I passed out of NSIT in the year 2009. Since college itself, I had enjoyed web development a lot and was totally into it. The summer of 2008, I had a bad experience at an internship and that is when I decided I am not made to work for others. I did not sit for placements (which was very ironic since I was one of the placement coordinators in NSIT) in my college and started Dulcet in late 2008 itself. My very first product was labelled Placecom which I developed when I saw what my fellow placements coordinators were going through. Thanks to PlaceCom, the coordinators could devote more time in calling up companies and almost all the paper work and data entry work was reduced. Luckily I found my first client for PlaceCom that year itself and sold the package to Sri Venkateswara College after a lot of effort.
Let us know about the tie-ups that you have (if any). Is there acceptance for your concept? Can you give us some incidents to illustrate the same?
This is an interesting question. We have several tie ups for various products and services. The very first tie up was forged in the year 2009 itself when we sold our product: The PlaceCom (a placement management system) to Sri Venkateswara College. Due to lack of man power, I could not pursue it any further and got really busy with my services. Luckily I met a designer who started outsourcing all his web development jobs to me and I kept on learning and developing. He also recommended us to several other clients of his and we did regular business with many of them (with a few hiccups I must admit). In the winter of 2011, FMS (University of Delhi), approached us and we sold our package “The PlaceCom” again which is now taking care of the placements of FMS. We also have a tie up with a design firm in the US called Aha Design studio. Most of our business comes from that firm. We have also forged a couple of tie ups recently with a company called Marketingninjas.com which is a Canada based internet marketing firm and a new Danish web development company called ewebsolutions.Us, MarketingNinjas and Aha Design Studio are now collaborating to create a new product very soon.
Where do you see Dulcet Solutions Pvt Ltd three to five years from now?
When I started Dulcet, my mission was to provide low cost websites to businesses in India. Over a period of time, that has changed and now I have several goals, one of which is to create more entrepreneurs. In 3-5 years from now, I see Dulcet having created 20 entrepreneurs, with at least 20 full time employees working for us. My target for 2015 is to convert Dulcet into a million dollar company with offices and coaching centres in at least 5 cities. Our progress is slow but steady and I believe my targets are very realistic and easily achievable.
What is Dulcet Solutions Pvt Ltd ’s revenue model? Have you been funded? If yes, can you throw some light on how the funding came about and from whom?
Our revenue model is very simple: We provide a service or customize our product Placecom and get paid. Most of our revenue comes from clients in the US and Europe. That said, we are about to launch a couple of new products which will hopefully generate revenue on a subscription basis and through advertisements. No we have not been funded as yet unless you count the room, the AC and the furniture and the laptop which my parents bought for me when I was in college. In that spirit, we are now seeking round 2 of funding mainly for hiring purposes . Most of this funding is also likely to come from my own pockets! But yes, we are open to other sources also. In all we require close to Rs 20 lacs more over a period of 2 years.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
For an entrepreneur, the challenges themselves are the joys although that is not always the case:
Hiring is always a challenge. It is very difficult to find the right person at any point of time.
Training the staff.
Juggling different roles as I am the chief developer, (although that is now changing), chief marketing officer, taking care of accounts, client interaction.
Balance between specialization and diversification: In a technology based start up one always needs to enhance one’s skill sets otherwise they will become irrelevant within a year itself! That said, one still needs to keep on gaining knowledge about their existing strengths since that is what generates revenue in the present and brings food to the table.
How big is the Dulcet Solutions Pvt Ltd team? Give us some info on team composition. Are you looking at hiring?
At Dulcet, it is our policy to take people from small towns and cities into our company since we believe there is a lot of potential and talent there, not to mention the market potential. Including myself, there are 3 people in all. Ashok Verma, a fresher engineer was hired last year. He is now our marketing manager cum junior web engineer. Nidhi Sati joined us this year. She’s an experienced web developer and is right now in charge of our mobile product offering which we will be launching in the month of July. We regularly hire summer and winter interns and one of the guys, who did his very first internship under our company, has now started up Autobudder and has even been featured on YourStory. Most of the interns we take are from India’s top colleges such as NSIT, Delhi College of Engineering and Manipal University. We are looking to hire one marketing expert and after that, 3 rock star web engineers.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
I believe this is one of the most crucial years for our company since we are planning to diversify a lot and will be launching some products soon. Our first goal is to set up web development coaching classes (both online and classroom program). Secondly, we plan to conduct lectures and workshops in various colleges. We are already in talks with about 10 colleges and are making a lot of effort so that something materializes soon. Mainly we are targeting tier 2 and tier 3 engineering colleges. In June, we will also be launching an online web development institute. Apart from that, we believe that the time for mobile web has now come and so we have taken a dive into developing a platform that will enable businesses to create mobile version of their websites very soon. This product shall be launched in the month of July.
So far and on future plans
In all we have worked on over 50 projects both small and big. Our clients have been from all corners of the world including US, Canada, UK, Russia, Cyprus, Portugal, Australia, Danmark and of course, India. Maximum response is from US/Canada. Our most popular service is wordpress theme development and our product PlaceCom has found acceptance in 3 colleges in India. Another product of ours is webspoonfeeds.info which contains short tutorials on web development We will be marketing ourselves quite aggressively in the same countries i.e US and Canada and at the same time, will be launching and marketing our mobile website product soon. If our plans fall into place, we should become a million dollar company by 2015 and should have been responsible for creation of at least 20 web entrepreneurs.