Leverage Existing Contacts
Aejaz Ahmed is the CEO of Inteligizn with over 18+ years experience in providing Engineering Solutions. He has undertaken different roles over the years in different Technical, Techno-Functional & Managerial positions of medium and large projects providing real value to customers in Engineering and Manufacturing space. With a Graduation in Mechanical Engineering, he has been in forefront of about 20 implementations world-wide in Europe, USA and Asia Pacific regions. These projects include different domains including Automotive, High-Tech, White Goods and Oil & Gas industry verticals.
Aejaz says that he got his first customer through his past connections with his previous industry connections. He was associated with specific products portfolio for more than 17 years in different roles and responsibilities. When he decided to start his business, he was able to get his first project through the industry connects as a consultant. The situation for Intelizign’s founding team at that point in time was being sensitive to the cost aspects because there were no external funding. One of the whole marks of the company was with very little seed funds with no external sources be it bank financing or angel investment. They had to run their office from a ‘run down office’ for the first few months. After the first client acquisition , focus on quality delivery increased the footprint within the client organization and the subsequent deals came because of the flawless delivery in the earlier engagements. After some time, this first client even began giving references to the other customers. The initial task of business development was taken by the founders who did not have any sales background. Since the founders had worked in a large enterprise as implementation consultants, the mind-set had to change because now they are founders of a Systems Integrator (SI). Aejaz says that his customers took their own time to recognize Intelizign’s efforts and lots of patience was required to land a few good projects. Even the customers were hesitant to trying them because they perceived this to be a smaller firm, but due to the past reference of projects they began getting lot more customers.
Aejaz advises that founders need to have high endurance and patience in order to gain the trust of the customers. They should also gauge the potential customers clearly and have a continuous follow-up with them to demonstrate their persistence. Aejaz also says that founders should also have extraordinary control on the finances and not diversify in meaningless ways. Founders should ensure that there is cash flow trickling within the first three or four months of the venture to maintain an upbeat sentiment.
Today Intelizign within 8 years is a recognized player in the engineering services space with around 300 plus employees and having 6 offices globally and also boasts of 10 plus F1000 clients.