A dirt poor small town boy successfully runs a Software Company in Chennai today
The Story is about a poor boy, Suresh, from a small town in Tamil Nadu, who has today reached what he is today, running a software company in Chennai, despite all the hardships he faced. His parents were not in a position to provide even the basics for him. He studied in Government schools and colleges where the fees was supposed to be affordable, even for the poor. But, his father was not in a position to afford that also. He managed to become a Computer Science Graduate. He started as a Freelancer that grew into a team, then a sole proprietorship, and today into a Private Limited Company. I would want to take the privilege of narrating his initially sad story, which then becomes a happy success story.
Birth and early years
Suresh, who is now the Founder and CEO of a Private Limited Software company based in Chennai, was once an underprivileged child. His parents, who were poor farmers, were not in a position to afford education for him. So, they sent him to his Grand Parents’ place, who were at a little better in position than his parents. His Grand Parents put him in a Government school. Suresh then, was too young to realize the importance of education in anybody's life. He was average in studies. When he finished his tenth, his marks was not suffice to get an admission for a science group in the Higher Secondary. Although he showed good interest in science, he compromised and ended up getting a seat for the Commerce group, with computer science as one of the subjects. While he was struggling to meet the necessity of fee payment for his school studies, private tutorials were by far out of his reach, while most of the other students in his class were able to afford. During his higher secondary at VDS Jain Higher Secondary school, Tiruvannamalai (Tamil Nadu), vowing to interest, which Suresh showed in the subject of computer science, one of his computer science teachers Mr. Muruga Das offered to tutor him in computer science studies, by spending extra time, after school hours, without taking any money. As he started mastering the concept of computer science, with Mr. Muruga Das, he started developing a passion for the subject.
At this point, for the admission at Periyar Arts and Science College, Cuddalore , it was a major challenge for Suresh to join the college. His father was not in a position to pay as less amount as Rs. 750 towards the tuition fee. And, this seat in college was something very foolish to lose. Because, for BSc computer science, the eligibility criteria was, study of science in the Higher Secondary. By luck, where they considered 2 students, one boy and one girl, who studied commerce with computer science, for BSC computer science. This was because, the Government wanted to encourage more and more students to study computer science. Suresh did not have all that good marks in Pre University. There were many people in the waiting list. Luckily, they did not turn up on that day for college admission. And, Suresh got the seat. When Suresh explained this to his father, his uneducated father decided that, Suresh will study BSc computer science at any cost. With as little knowledge about college and admission, and how it works, Suresh's father approached the Principal of the college, to bargain for the tuition fee. Principal who laughed at first, then understood about his ignorance, and told him that, for the seat which your son has got, people are willing to pay up to Rs, 20,000 also. And, we are not asking anything more than the basic tuition fee. Suresh's dad only had Rs. 650 with him. He came out of Principal's room with a sad face. Seeing this, the office assistant asked him what the matter is. When he explained, the office assistant straight away put his hands inside his pocket to pull out Rs. 100. He landed him the money and said, your son's admission is important, and you can pay me later. Suresh's father was pleased, and he went and paid the admission fee at the admission counter, and successfully admitted Suresh into BSc computer science.
Developed keen interest in Computer Science
Suresh developed best interest in computer science. By this time, he was old enough to understand the importance of education in one's life. He always tried to be innovative in his computer science classes. While other students mugged up the programs, Suresh tried writing his own program. He did not mind even if he went wrong. He believed in trying again and again. During computer science lab tests, other students used to get through by mugging up and producing the same.
Suresh always tried writing program on his own. Being a newbie in the field of programming, he used to get errors in his programs. For which he always scored the lowest marks, as compared to others who never tried writing programs on their own, but always scored marks by mugging up the pre-written programs written by their teacher. His final grade will get affected and ultimately he might end up not getting a seat for admission for masters or not get a job. Suresh's answer to this was, ''I will not search for a job. I will provide jobs to others.'' He also said, I don't care if I fail in the computer science lab test. But, I always want to write a program on my own.''
Now, he decided, he had to sit day and night, to come up with innovations in computer science programming. But, definitely not for scoring more in his lab tests. But, for his passion towards computer programming language, and an urge to learn and find solutions for complex problems, through computer programming language. He decided he has to buy a computer for himself. Because, attending few hours of practical sessions in the College, will definitely not be enough to seek in-depth knowledge in programming. He felt the need of putting in extra hours, even from home. However, for a boy who is struggling even for the basics, buying a computer could have only been a dream. His grandfather who was pleased with Suresh’s interest, offered him to give him their old television, which was lying at home. Suresh sold the television to buy a second hand, used computer for himself.
But, Suresh was never a kind, of accepting a failure, or head back saying it is not possible. He decided to take up a part time job. The job was with a mosquito coil manufacturing company, for Quality Check analysis. For example, how long a coil can burn after lighting it? He had to note down the duration, keep a record of it. He had to work in night shifts. He attended college during the day, and did this job during night times.
While Suresh was doing his BSc, he hated maths, as much as he loved computer science. He always scored in single digits in Maths. He cleared all other subjects in BSc, and came out of the college with arrears in Maths. By this time, Suresh had become an expert in programming. While Suresh, could write even the most complex programs, with complete ease. He decided to move to Chennai, the city of more opportunities.
Struggle for Living in Chennai
After having got rejected from several software companies, due to arrears in mathematics, Suresh decided to take a job, whatever he could at that point, for his living. He joined a vendor of Hutch, where he had to go roads and call people, for selling hutch SIM cards to them. This job, offered a free lunch for employees, along with the salary. For Suresh, this was a feast then. He accommodated himself with a few of his friends and seniors in a room in Chennai. After this, he found a job with one of the Citi Bank back office vendors. He managed to get a job here, with his prior experience in QA checking, during his college days. His job here was to check the proper placing of credit card statements into the envelope for a proper display of address. On this note, he visited Avon Solutions, a vendor of ICICI back office. There, Suresh happened to find a team of developers who were working on VB programming. Suresh, who showed keen interest in software programming, interacted with the developers to find out about the software they were developing using VB. He did this regularly, whenever he went to visit the Avon Solutions. Avon Solutions is the sister company of a company by name Cyber Tunnels. As he mastered VB programming, he slowly moved to join Cyber Tunnels. The CEO of the company Mr. Vasantha Krishnan and the developer by name Mr. Muthukumaran, appreciated Suresh's keen interest in Software development, and encouraged Suresh to move further, in terms of knowledge and career.
Later, Suresh joined Pensez Software in Chennai, which is now called Rebha Software. Since he knew VB and dot net, the company assigned him into one of the modules of their project to Facility Management System. Suresh worked on this project, for bug fixing and enhancement of an existing system. Suresh was sent to Hyderabad, while he was working on this project. The director of the company Mr. Regi Baskaran, was pleased with Suresh’s dedication towards work and his interest in exploring the technology for creating innovations. While Suresh stayed in a room, all alone by himself, he got plenty of time to explore more opportunities. Suresh also joined as a Part time consultant in another company.
Life of a workaholic and a wandering person
He worked for three different companies, apart from being employed at Pensez. His shifts for work were like three meals a day. He was constantly juggling between companies. One of them was a start-up, which was in the development of a social community portal. The other one was called Verve Media, an eCommerce development company. He satisfied all his routine habits like brushing and bathing, while he used to be on the go, wherever he worked. At this point, he was only hungry for learning, and not bothering how he let his life.
While he was working as a part time consultant, he came across the open source software solutions and PHP. He realised that his future lies in Open source software solutions and not VB and dot net. He went and suggested about open source to Pensez. Inspired by Suresh’s innovative mind, the Director offered a project in Joomla, an open source Content Management System to Suresh. However, Pensez which was mainly dealing with VB and dot net projects couldn’t further offer any opportunities to Suresh.
Here's where Suresh's entrepreneurial nature raised into a picture. He decided that, he will start up taking projects in open source, on a freelance basis. And now, his entrepreneurial journey actually began.
Became a laughing stock
His roommates always insisted Suresh to search for a job. But Suresh’s answer to them always was, to start his own company and not search for a job. While his roommates got jobs in MNCs, Suresh was only planning on how to take projects on his own. In the process, he had actually become a laughing stock among his friends.
Struggle as a freelancer
Suresh had no idea about getting projects for himself on a freelance basis. All that he knew was to create a website with a portfolio for himself.
He created a portfolio for himself with the domain name www.s-suresh.com. Then, he did not know about any marketing strategies like SEO, content, and so on. . But today, with his best SEO tactics, as per google analytics report, his site gets 20,000 visitors on a yearly basis.
All that he did was list a few projects which he had already finished. Once his website was ready, a person who came across his website, approached Suresh for one of his projects. His first project was for Rs. 780. The project was about bug fixing for an existing PHP application. Although small, this project became a major stepping stone in Suresh's life as a Freelance PHP developer.
This way, Suresh started finding projects slowly one after the other. However, none of the projects were worth more than Rs. 10,000 the cost. He still did not bother. For him the actual satisfied lied in his talent getting used for a purpose and not getting his talent converted into money. He did care about how much he earned. All that he had in mind is to establish a name as a freelancer for himself.
He began working as consultants for companies. He travelled in buses, and sometimes walking. He obviously did not have money even for a two-wheeler. However, he did not care. His main aim was only to work towards his goal. He got an opportunity with Ekgoan Technologies, for a project which was for micro financing, which was to be developed using Drupal framework. Suresh went to the company as a programming consultant. This is where Suresh realized the importance of brand for a more exposure.
Starting of the Company Piccosoft Software Services
Suresh realized that despite having a portfolio, and delivering high quality projects, in order to grow to the next level, having a brand is a must. Now the name of the brand was a question. Having always been inspired by Bill gates and Microsoft, Suresh came up with the name Piccosoft for his company.
With his high level commitment and dedication towards whatever he did, started making him popular among his clients. They started giving him more projects and also referred him to their friends. As he started getting overloaded with the work, he hired a developer, to assist him in the work. While all these days, he was working from his home, now, with another developer, he couldn’t follow this anymore. He managed to a single room, which was available then, in his own apartment complex. Slowly, he started hiring developers one by one, and he rented a small office space of 300 square feet.
With several projects coming up, with on-time delivery, and with an ability to establish a long term relationship with clients, Suresh successfully established a market for himself and Piccosoft successfully in Chennai , for where one can reach through www.piccosoft.com
Conquering of Bangalore Market
Entering into Bangalore’s market gave Suresh a big break.
He was called by a respectable individual, Mr. Vijay Singh, who has established a reputed name for himself in Bangalore. This was for the development of a B2B web portal.
Mr. Vijay Singh signed gave him an opportunity and signed a contract for a period of one year. Suresh and his team of 3 developers came down to Bangalore to work for Mr. Vijay Singh’s company, while Suresh would work as a consultant for the project. Suresh travelled every week from Chennai to Bangalore, for consultation. This gave him an opportunity to reach out to some prospective project givers in Bangalore also.
For this, Suresh thanks Google. It is because, for any keyword search, with regard to freelance developer, Google pops up Suresh’s website www.s-suresh.com. On this note, Suresh has got increased visibility on Google search pages, which has helped him create a name for himself as a top notch freelancer.
Aimed at creating a software for MNC and never dreamt of fetching a job there
Suresh, unlike other individuals of his age group, did not dream about getting a job in an MNC. He is proud that, the software he developed for the MNC is used by them, for a purpose. This is what makes Suresh unique and stand out of the normal crowd. Suresh got a project from one of the top MNCs in Bangalore. Suresh signed as a vendor for this MNC. This is where Suresh’s dream came true. He successfully delivered the project, as per their expectations on time. The MNC, which was very impressed with Suresh’s commitment towards the project, gave him more opportunities. Suresh has now completed 4 projects for the same MNC. In the current start-up boom, with the mushrooming number of start-ups in India, and vowing to their requirement of technical expertise, Suresh and his team at Piccosoft has become one of the most sought after team of developers, who can offer a great deal of technical support to them. They have successfully completed projects for several start-ups
New Innovations in Software technology
From the past 1 year, Suresh has been trying out new innovation in software technologies, including mobile apps, web development and IT support for Start-ups. These products have established a good demand for themselves in the market. Vowing to this new innovations, Suresh recently changed the name of the company to Piccosoft Software Labs India Private Limited.
From Freelancing to Sole Ownership to a Private Limited Company
Over all Suresh’s spotlights includes, from being an underprivileged child, with minimum exposure to the world of competition, Suresh has made a remarkable achievement, having started as a freelancer, Suresh then turned his one man show into a sole proprietorship. And now, the company has gone as a Private Limited organization, with an employee strength of 20. Suresh is still hungry for success and also to contribute his knowledge and efforts to the society’s betterment.
Campus Recruitments of Piccosoft Software Labs India private limited
Suresh hires college students on campus, for giving an opportunity to Fresh Graduates. Suresh looks out for students, who show keen interest in programming. He doesn’t go by their marks and their consistency in academics.
Suresh’s Start-up Venture
Suresh has also started an online portal www.finalsem.com, which connects final semester engineering students and project training centres. The portals vision is to help students, who struggle to find projects during their final semester, which is a mandatory requirement for earning their degree.