How SoftServ took its barcode automation business online with a .in domain
In the past decade, the IT sector in the country has evolved by leaps and bounds. Tech innovation is at the heart of all existing business entities. But when Jaipur-based Manoj Pipersania startedin 2012, there was a glaring gap between businesses and their adoption of innovative tech solutions. With SoftServ, Manoj aimed to empower businesses with tech solutions like barcode automation.
A graduate in mining engineering, Manoj pursued a career in Information Technology. While working in the US with corporations like United Health Group and Electronic Data Systems, he was fascinated by how all businesses in the US have automation processes in place. “I was shocked to look at how businesses of all scales and verticals had automated their customer experience, inventory management, return management and sales using the barcode system,'' he shares.
According to Manoj, “Barcode is the most powerful tool to manage warehouse sales and even after-sales for that matter.” He thought of this as a golden opportunity for the market in India that was still adapting to integrating technology in its businesses. In 2014, SoftServ launched a product named ‘blackBar’ and ever since it has helped many businesses automate their processes using barcode and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
Leveraging the power of the internet
“The good part about the internet is that your potential client is just a click away,” says Manoj. After struggling initially to crack the deals, he moved his business online with blackbar.in. Back then, it was India’s only e-commerce portal for barcode products.
“Looking at Amazon’s potential in the Indian market, we started selling our products on their platform and that gave us a major edge in the global marketplace,” says Manoj. SoftServ additionally offers IT consulting services and with a website, they were able to convert traffic into leads to scale the business further. SoftServ has helped clients like Aecom, Derewala, Genus, Integrity, RCM Business, InUnison, LeadTrack, Panda Perio and more.
Like every other startup founder, Manoj’s journey too was riddled with challenges. “Initially I lacked guidance, I had a vision but did not know how to execute things. When I look back in time, I feel a little guidance would have helped me grow better,” he says.
Manoj got the company’s website registered with a .in domain. Elaborating on reasons, he says, “I felt that .in extension symbolises India’s uniqueness. Our business caters to local and regional audiences, it lets the visitors know that we are one of them. Also, it is cost-effective as compared to a .com domain.”
The National Internet Exchange for India (NIXI) is helping many startups across the country to get a .in or .Bharat domain. It is affordable and available in more than 22 languages for businesses coming from all regions of the country.
On the benefits of getting a .in domain, Manoj says, “ Getting a domain with minimal procedural requirements plus a name of your choice at an affordable rate is only possible in India.”
Focus on sustainable growth
SoftServ clocked over Rs 2.36 crore as annual revenue for FY 2020-21 which is 20 percent the previous year and is on track to achieve targets for the next year. Manoj says, “Everyone talks about growth but very few people talk about sustaining. I want to remain focused on retaining my present clientele and offer them innovative tech solutions. With fundamentals in place, growth will take care of itself.”
With a clientele placed globally across the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, SoftServ opened its first physical international office in Wyoming, USA in August 2020, and is now planning to expand its footprint in Japan.
On global dreams, Manoj says, “India is a software hub of the world and there is no doubt in my mind that we will establish ourselves as a company that competes in the global tech landscape.”
The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.