This Jammu entrepreneur hopes to take his B’lore software business back to his hometown
Ladybird Web Solution Pvt Ltd
Founded in 2009
Founder: Bhanu Pratap Singh Slathia
Turnover: Rs 70 lakhs
Hailing from Jammu city, Bhanu Pratap Singh Slathia, 33, started Ladybird Web Solution Pvt Ltd in 2009 as a sole proprietorship and in 2015 it became a private limited company.
He set up the company in Bengaluru after he completed BE in Computer Science from here though his dream is to move to Jammu and provide employment to the youth there.
Ladybird Web Solution makes helpdesk software, called Faveo Helpdesk, for companies to manage their customer support in an organised manner. Though it started as website design & development company, but in 2015 Bhanu and his team built the Faveo Helpdesk product and today most of their revenue comes from this product.
With a team of 21 people, the company caters to clients like Vodafone Fiji, Mahindra Holidays, universities and banks.
“Our work helps companies organise their customer support and offers efficient and quick solutions to their customer problems. With our software they can track the whole service cycle, reducing the service time and increasing accountability,” says Bhanu.
Helpdesk software is a huge market, and a Garter report pegs it as a $ 5 billion market worldwide.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Bhanu reveals more about his business and why he wants to take it to Jammu.
Excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory: As a small company, what are some of the challenges that you are battling?
Bhanu Pratap Singh Slathia: Oh! We have plenty of them. Building the right team where the focus is on quality, is a huge challenge. More so motivating the team and keeping it together especially in the initial stages when salaries are lower. This is even more so in a city like Bangalore where people can shift jobs easily.
SMBS: What is your customer acquisition/channel strategy?
BPSS: Most of our customers find us online as our major marketing is through digital means. Most of our customers are from outside India and they find us on the internet.
SMBS: What is your advice to others?
BPSS: Find the right problem to crack, focus on the quality of your product/solution, don’t compromise on quality, be a people’s person, and learn how to manage and build a team.
SMBS: How do you manage critical areas such as supplier management, cash flow management & capital management?
BPSS: We are very aggressive with sales and follow up. We use CRM and other tools on a daily basis to manage our business. There cannot be any lack in our business even on a single day as startups are running on a very thin line. We are constantly on the edge of the cliff, so we are on our toe’s most of the time. We always find the best processes and keep evolving to bring in new changes that make us more efficient.
SMBS: What is your dream for your business in the future?
BPSS: I want to eventually set up an office in my hometown Jammu and generate employment there. Many brilliant students have to go outside Jammu for higher studies or to look for employment. Now with IIT and IIM opening in Jammu, the next step is for companies like us to set shop in Jammu and to provide employment to these graduates who can work from their hometown.
SMBS: What are your expectations from the government?
BPSS: The biggest challenge for a small company like ours is access to money/investment. It will help us a lot if we could get a non-collateral based loan or an overdraft limit from the government.
SMBS: What are the top 3 leadership lessons that you have learned over the years that you live by?
BPSS: Being genuine, working with the principles of ethics, justice, and efficiency.
Learning to think like others, ability to step into their shoes and put your customer and team needs before you.
Creating an open and transparent environment where your team can grow in terms of
knowledge and finance.
For customers, creating a product which solves their problem in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
SMBS: What are the biggest learnings from your business journey?
BPSS: I feel a business is not about making money, it’s about bringing a change. It’s about improving the lives of people who work with you. As a leader of the company, you help improve people’s lives you work with, they spend 80 percent of the time with you, you need to create an environment which is ethical, where people can grow not just in terms of technical knowledge but also as a person.
From the customer end, you provide quality and an efficient solution that are economical and quality products. The focus is to work with values, the focus has to be on something higher and not lower, for example, just for survival.
Money is a by-product of quality. The focus cannot be money but what is that we are doing and how is it impacting the lives of our team and customer and what values are we bringing to this world through our product is of prime importance, the rest of the things fall into place.
Website: & www.ladybirdweb.com
(This story is published in partnership with the MSME Ministry to showcase success stories of SMEs)