With us today is Venkatesh, CEO of Dot Com Infoway. Dot Com Infoway is an IT Services, Consulting and Digital Solutions provider from India, with global offices across USA and Australia. We are glad to have an interview with Venkatesh and sharing his stories and journey so far with Dot Com Infoway.
1. I know you must have heard this question a lot many times and may hear even many more times – but I wish it never gets old for you. Now – how the idea of Dot Com Infoway came into your mind? Please include any personal experiences where you saw the need for such a platform.
Dot Com Infoway came about as the next evolutionary step in my and a couple of other pioneers’ desire to bring about an Internet revolution not only in not only Madurai, where we were based, but the entire country as well. We just saw a lot of potential in web technologies back then, and for my part, I also have an innate fascination for technology since time immemorial. So I’m really fortunate to have been able to work in a field I also happen to love a lot.
We’re glad to have been proven correct in our assumption by the sheer hold the Internet already has in our country. We are proud to have contributed and continue to contribute to its spread through DCI and other initiatives and platforms we’ve established in the past.
2. Please give us a brief of Dot Com Infoway
Dot Com Infoway can provide businesses all they need to make that necessary transition to the online world a smooth, all-out experience. We do this through our comprehensive mix of mobile, web, and marketing solutions that have web and app development and digital marketing at the forefront. We say so because these are the categories we have received plenty of recognition for and are confident to say that we have a solid grasp on experience-wise.
We’ve been at it for more than 20 years, and now we are actively finding ways to deliver our own innovative solutions to industries that need them the most.
3. Currently the technology space is lauded with words like Big Data, IoT and AI (artificial intelligence) and these technologies considered to be adding value to your business. What is your point of view on these technologies and have you adopted to any such technologies to improve your customer experience?
We have, more or less, already incorporated these technologies in our services, and I’m just going to say that they are real difference makers. But since they are still in their own evolutionary stages, we can’t say we’ve mastered them yet. We acknowledge their immense potential, and they would not have been consistently included in the biggest tech trends lists in recent years otherwise. I consider them as the keys that will unlock the technological advancement of human beings as a whole. Big words, I know. But, you’ll find that a lot of tech pundits won’t hesitate to say the same.
5. How were the initial days of starting a business, what were the most basic hurdles you face – personally and professionally? What changes you see now? People often give up, so what will be your advice to keep on going.
The challenges we faced as a startup back then share a lot of similarities with the issues faced by our modern-day counterparts. But it’s not without differences. For one, back when we were just starting, a lot of people and business owners still would have scratched their heads once you mention the internet to them. Imagine being a web development company in the late ‘90s, a time when the Internet was still a fledgling technology, to say the least.
But like many startups, we also faced a lot of the usual hurdles like managing finances, making do with our underhanded team, and a fair bit of competition (we admit that it’s fiercer now). There’s really no step-by-step way that any business can follow to overcome them. It’s more about sticking to your goals, being disciplined, and taking action, and finding and seizing opportunities. These take willpower and it really helped that we love what we are doing despite those difficult days. It definitely helped us weather the storm.
6. I have been following Dot Com Infoway to understand its digital presence and I must say Dot Com Infoway has garnered a quite good place for itself. How would you advise other entrepreneurs to boost their digital branding and what is the importance of it?
If you remain true and stick to providing value to your customers, your business is already halfway to gaining a sterling reputation in the long run. To me, our consistent dedication to customer satisfaction is one of the keys to DCI’s success. And we make sure to send out that message so all our clients will know first and foremost.
It definitely doesn’t hurt to use the promotional tools at your disposal as well. SEO and social media are such powerful weapons at every marketer’s disposal and we make it a point to capitalize on them. In the end, you really shouldn’t pull any punches in promoting your business especially if you know that it deserves the spotlight.
. How challenging it is to build your dream team and what’s your strategy to build a growth-centric team for Dot Com Infoway?
The challenge in building my “dream team” comes, of course, from selecting people who share the same vision that I have and can back it up with the skills and expertise required to get the job done. This is why I always base my staff selection on two criteria: attitude and aptitude. As long as everyone has the same drive and goal essential for a harmonious company environment, any business won’t carry as heavy a burden as others that don’t.
But, obviously, it doesn’t stop there. It’s also your job as the leader to reach out to them and uplift all of them. This is why I always make time for mentoring.
8. Which route are you preferring to grow – funding or build organically? What are the upsides and downsides you see in both the cases?
I’ve always preferred to build organically, but in a field as competitive as IT, you can’t really settle on just a single growth route. Since I’m constantly looking for ways to expand DCI, I still keep its doors open to external funding, but I do not actively seek it. It’s always secondary because I’ll always lean towards organic growth. And I think most startups should do the same, unless they’re left with no other choice.
Relying on investors often means you have to give up control of a portion or percentage of your business, and they can become distractions, which just doesn’t jive with how I prefer to run a company. To me, it’s better to have full control, especially if you have a solid strategy and vision of growth from the start, and you are well aware that you can achieve them and are confident in your skills as a leader – regardless of how much time it takes. Of course, the consequence of building organically is that your business might not grow as fast as you’d like it to. That said, I wholeheartedly ascribe to the, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” saying.
9. Staying organized makes your life simpler. How do you keep yourself organized? Any tools you want to refer to our readers?
To Do helps me organize tasks! It’s a product developed by Microsoft
10. Now, this is one of the most common questions. Let’s say you get the power to time-travel and you travelled back to your graduation day. Will you allow yourself to tweak something then?
I think I have lived my life as a student/engineer. Now it’s time to give back to society! So I don’t have any regrets!
Starting a venture is easy, but surviving is difficult. Will request a generic answer from you, for all those people who are planning to start something new – on “how to hang in there and make it a success?”
Always know and weigh the options you have at any given point your startup is in. More often than not, you’ll have to be strict and meticulous with your finances. Track everything, especially spending. I always subscribe to effective cash flow management, regardless of a company’s size.
At the same time, you should always keep an eye out for opportunities. All the better if you can think of ways to transform your current hurdles into opportunities. But as you do all these things, you should always be aiming to acquire new customers. And once you do get them, go all the way in proving your service or product’s worth. These beginning years are crucial to establishing your brand, after all.