Krunnal Gharre, Six Steps, On their Patented Technology - Screen Independent Stereoscopic 3D
Pune based entrepreneur, Krunnal Gharre, is making companies talk the 3D language. Swati Maheshwari find out more about his venture Six Steps, exclusively for YourStory.inWhat is Six Steps all about?
Six Steps provides services in the business communication space, enhancing it by way of innovation 3D visualization and software-independent interactive tools. Our combination of Dynamic Interactive Business Documentation (DIBD) and the 3D technology makes communication effective, easy and cost efficient. Companies use our services to boost their service manuals, technical manuals, marketing fliers, product demonstrations, etc. Our offering has wide applications such as: Dynamic Interactive Business Documentation (DIBD), Conceptual Industrial 3d Visualization, Screen independent Stereoscopic 3D, Interactive PDF documentation etc.
Tell us about your designers.
Our core design team consists of two members, Amol Daundkar and Gaurav Tangde. To be an integral part of a startup requires great mental strength and ability to take big risks, at personal as well professional level. These young designers have done that and continue to perform, innovate and add value that even bigger firms would envy. We always strive to get better at our skills consistently and work on new ways to enhance our service. The latest offering of DIBD and Screen Independent Stereoscopic 3D is the result of such efforts
What instigated you to start Six Steps?
I grew up in a family-business environment and even as a child I was determined to start my own business when I grew up. The zeal to do it only got stronger with time. After finishing my MBA from the US, I was working there with an IT firm. During one of my visits to India, I decided to quit my job and pursue what I always wanted to do. Six Steps started with the single agenda of enhancing business communication. The initial offerings were different from what we have today and that was our learning experience. The use of 3D as a medium to communicate was a thought that got initiated after I saw my sister work on 3D architecture and modeling. We thought we could mix, modify, and innovate this application to help industries enhance communication.
How has the entrepreneurial journey been so far?
The journey so far has been fascinating, thrilling and enjoyable and I hope to continue enjoying it. As a person, the adventurous feeling and a sense of belief that we are creating something valuable makes the journey pleasant. We have had and continue to have our share of ups and downs but never once have I regretted the decision to pursue my dream of setting up a successful and innovative business. Immense social and financial pressures continue, but with God’s grace and the right people at the right time have helped us stay afloat. We continue to build our customer base, experiment with business strategies, offerings, business process etc.
How do you manage the business development? Most of our business development is managed by a single person. We have invested in a few marketing initiatives, but major business development continues to be through networking, customer referrals and cold calls. As a business, this is something we would like to resolve and focus on with utmost priority. We have a desirable and a value-add product, we just need the right team to take it to the market.
Tell us about getting your first big client.
As a startup, we were approaching the target market with cold calls. Then we had the opportunity to meet the Director of Patsons Engineering. Patsons deal in equipment manufacturing. They had a complex and conceptual equipment presentation that needed to be done on priority basis. The machine was highly technical and the decision making audience non-technical, a typical scenario. They needed the audience to visualize and understand the capabilities and uniqueness of the machine in the shortest time frame. Our designers created a conceptual video that was just 40 sec long, but conveyed the message so effectively that even a novice could understand what Patson proposed to do. We have continued to work with Patsons till date. We also got referred to PARI with whom we share a great work relationship and continue to do multiple projects with them.
How did you invest the initial capital?
The initial capital comprised of savings from previous job, some help from friends and family. We had calculated our approximate monthly expenses and knew where we had to focus on. Unfortunately, we made some wrong decisions and invested a lot of initial capital in useless avenues and lost a lot of time. But, looking back, I am happy that I made those decisions early on. However, we were lucky to have realized soon that, as a service provider, we needed to develop a strong team for client servicing. Also, just providing the standard service was not important, but continuous development was needed to gain competitive edge. We still continue to spend a lot of time on developing and experimenting with new features, developments, and applications; the results of which can be seen in DBID and Screen Independent Stereoscopic 3D.
What are your expansion plans?
Our DBID services were launched recently and we received a tremendous response for the same. Our Stereoscopic 3D service is ready to be launched. We are currently focusing on making the DBID a popular concept, especially amongst equipment manufacturing companies. We need to use our resources very carefully to avoid previous mistakes and therefore we plan to hold on to the stereoscopic services until we have the necessary backup. In terms of business structure, we hope to develop a core team and set up business processes that will enable us to cope with the expansion and more number of projects. We plan to increase the size of our business development team and start working on half yearly targets as opposed to yearly targets that we had until last year.
Your advice to young entrepreneurs?
I am a young entrepreneur myself and it would not be right for me to give advice, but as a suggestion, belief and based on the advice I received from my mentors, I would like to say that if you really believe that you can and would like to do something, Do It Now. There is never a right time to do the right thing. Every business has its own curve, you should work hard and not give up. There are pressures, there are comparisons, and there are setbacks; you need to hold onto one positive thought and that would take you across.
Are you on the look out for external sources to raise funds?
Six Steps is looking to raise funds of up to 1crore for the Stereoscopic 3D Services that we plan to launch as a B2C service. It’s a patented technology and we are looking for partners to commercialize this.