Venkatesh Kothandaraman, is now a Founder & CEO at Collective Minds Digital SolutIon He comes in with around 30 years of experience and he has been the Head of BD and Operations for more than a decade. He also has worked with two startups where he was part of the early sales team and has acquired first few customers for those companies. He shares his experiences about a company where he was hired into the newly spun out division of this large company with a mandate to build the IT Infrastructure division from scratch.
Venkatesh talks about the situation at that point in time where he divided the market segments into two. One is SME (any segment) and the other one is IT/ITES/BFSI. The reason this segment was chosen was because he believed that these would be the segments that would have to outsource their IT Infrastructure to be efficient. He talks about focusing on his initial set of Angel Clients – who he defines as someone who knew him, his company and the strengths. He was very confident that he could build a large entity within no time. Unfortunately, he found the clients resisting giving the business because this division was unproven and had no customers that he could leverage as reference. He also realized that the parent division was not into similar services background that the customers could immediately connect with.
He realized that he can win the confidence of the customers by only setting up a system and demonstrate the process of handholding and began investing in setting up the process on training, service delivery, resourcing practice and continual practice of training technical engineers. He then began projecting this with the prospects to win their confidence and since it was support business, he was able to convince the prospects to try it out with a few engineers for a few months to begin with and then spread this over the entire support process. If dis-satisfied, he also committed that he would provide proper transitioning till the client found an alternate service provider. This worked like magic as this reduced the resistance from the prospects side and they tried with a smaller team and once they were convinced, they expanded the team. He stayed on and built the division for around 6 plus years.
Now, that division went on to deploy around 600 employees across India and the retention of the client also shot up to around 98% because of the investment in the backend process.