[Startup Bharat] This 50-year-old entrepreneur bootstrapped an IT solutions startup in Indore to expand to 3 countries in 4 years
Shubhra Shrivastava, the Founder and CEO of Digiprima, became an electrical engineer at a time when women in tech was not how it is today. After graduating from Maulana Azad NIT (a regional engineering college), Bhopal, in 1989, she made the switch to software engineering by joining NIIT Limited as a project lead and a faculty member.
After working with multiple software corporations, including HCL Technologies, she took the entrepreneurial route in February 2016 by starting Digiprima, an IT Solutions company, in Indore.
Speaking to YourStory, she says: “Soon after graduation, I did not work for the first four years because I had to take care of my family. During the course of getting married and running a family, I was away from the workforce for almost seven years, and getting a job again after a long gap was really hard.”
Shubhra says, her husband had been a rock of a support system throughout her career, and encouraged her to startup when she was 47. Today, Digiprima is present in Indore, New York City, and Dubai, while catering to B2B customers across India, the US, the UK, and Australia.
The startup, which has presence across industries like banking and finance, retail, ecommerce, logistics, healthcare, education, and manufacturing, offers solutions in IoT application development, website development and design, AI solutions in Tensorflow, Microsoft CNTK, and Accord.NET.
Besides, it also offers solutions in mobile applications, cloud services, content management (CMS), customer experience (CRM), and mean stack development for digital transformation.
How does it work?
The startup involves its B2B enterprise clients at every stage of the project development cycle - from the very inception to its end live deployment.
The business analysts and the product managers first conduct online workshops to fully understand the requirements of the end-users, followed by research and analysis of existing and new data points.
“This gathered information from quantifiable entities helps us understand the overall needs of the project and also the core needs and pain-points of the end-users.”
Towards the conclusion of this exercise, the team delivers user stories, detailed scope of the project, a breakdown on resource allocation, and a detailed communication plan.
Keeping up with an agile methodology, the startup deploys a UI/UX team first to work on the visual representation of the project, with a focus on showcasing a simple and user-friendly design layout. The core development team along with the product managers work on concluding the overall application architecture while ensuring that the app is secure, stable, and scalable.
Shubhra says, “With a data-driven, decision-making engine, the enterprises get UI designs with relevant data, customer flow, listing, and management processes of their third-party suppliers.”
Growth so far
Starting with a team of three out of a small co-working space in Indore, Digiprima now has a team of 30 working at three different locations across the world.
Shubhra bootstrapped and started the company with Rs 5 lakh, and claims to have clocked an annual revenue of over Rs 35,00,000 in FY17.
Shubhra says, the startup grew 30 percent y-o-y and ended up at close to Rs 70,00,000 as of the latest financial results. The CEO’s goal is to maintain the growth rate at 25 percent CAGR for the coming years. A member of Women in Technology and Google Women Techmakers in the United States, Shubhra is a diligent observer of quality assurance in her offerings.
She says she listens to the user’s requirements very carefully. The startup operates only via reverse engineering the solutions back to the user, instead of a templated approach. Digiprima charges its users on an hourly basis, ranging from $12 to $20 per hour.
While the expertise primarily lies in IT development and consultation, the team also extends to help its clients in digital marketing solutions. Shubhra’s idea is to not just be a vendor but also a growth partner.
“While the project scope and statement of goals make the output of the project clear, one important element that needs inclusion in the project execution plan is the quality or technical specifications of the work processes and output,” she says.
Some of the clientele of the startup include Aviva Life Insurance, Twilio, Birla Global Finance, and Rio Capital among others.
Going forward, the startup aims to expand its team size by more than 120 and hit $1 million in revenue by the end of 2021.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)