In this digital age where most of the work is being done by computers, software & web-presence has been a very important need for all of us.
It is very true that a good hardware works flawlessly only with excellent software. Software has changed the way we work, earlier people used pen and paper to note and save everything, do accounting and almost most people use to work manually.
Now our life is full of software from accounting, automation, taxi booking, food ordering / delivery, operating systems etc. With this new era of android & apple phones, there has been a greater demand of software able to work on smart phones also.
Today we are presenting Saksham Agarwal from Acropolis Infotech who has been an entrepreneur in IT field helping SMEs & Fortune 500 companies with all their software needs, they provide IT services including website design and development, mobile app development (iOS and Android), enterprise software development, IoT (Internet of Things) & Digital Marketing services to their clients.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture?
I would also like to share the story behind this name. Searching and deciding the name of your first venture is always a tedious-yet-interesting job. So I was searching an appealing name for my new venture and I wanted it to start from letter ‘A’ (I am simply obsessed with letter ‘A’). After tirelessly looking up for a name for over two month, one fine day one of my dearest friend suggested me this name, ‘Acropolis’. I was so fascinated by the name that I went straight to book a domain with the same name, then and there. From that very moment, I never looked back and started my journey towards building the company.
2.Who is your target Audience?
We are a custom software development company having extensive experience in developing software and applications for web, mobile, desktop, cloud and gadgets. Our target audience are individuals, start-ups, SMEs and fortune 500 companies. We offer our services to everyone who either needs new Software infrastructure or wants to revamp their existing Software infrastructure.
3.Where is your venture based ( city, state, country) & What are your target areas?
Our Headquarter and Offshore Development Centre is based out of New Delhi, India. We also have our associate offices in US and UK. Our target areas lies all around the globe.
India along with many other Asian countries are booming up with start-up eco system. Countries and continents like US and UK have already thrived into established business eco-system. Scandinavian and middle east areas are also vigorously going towards establishment of more businesses and companies. Wherever there is need of business establishment, our services can be proved helpful. From creating and developing a simple website or a landing page to creating complex software and applications, we have the bandwidth to address almost all the IT (Software) requirements of start ups and well established companies.
4.What problems does your venture solve? What are your products or services.
Most of the ideas corresponding to new start ups can be optimised using technology but the problem is, how to find authentic and in-budget resources to do that tech job. Hiring resources in-house is mostly more engaging/time consuming as well as costlier. Here we come as saviour. We offer different engagement models such as hourly pricing, monthly retainer, fixed project cost, onsite engagement, etc. With all these options, our clients get the premium service with a single point of contact, within their budget.
Our Services in a nutshell are:
– Web Design and Development
– Mobile, Smart TV and Gadget App Development
– Custom Enterprise Solutions
– Cloud App development
– Enterprise QA and Software Testing
– Explainer Videos
– Internet of Things (IoT)
– Augmented Reality
– Big Data Analytics
– Digital Marketing and Outsourcing Solutions
Under the company Acropolis, we have plans to launch a few software products also. One such product is named as ‘AdFarm’. I will be happy to talk about it in near future.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to an existence?
Well, I always wanted to start and grow a company. With the same intend, I started working on my first venture when I was pursuing 2nd year of my graduation. My first venture was ‘HOSolutions’ aka ‘Home and Office Solutions’ which I started in 2011 with my college mate, Mr. Nitin Saini. Home and Office Solutions was a service based start up. We even launched a website to book our services online. We operated this business for over a year without any external investment or support and earned significant income during the course. As aspiring entrepreneurs, we acquired some really cool and loyal customers around Gurgaon and South Delhi. Moreover, as engineering students, we were very excited with everything that was happening to us regarding our business. However, due to the lack of knowledge, we shut down the operations in 2012. At that time, we didn’t know any of the fancy start-up terms, including FUNDING. We never knew that a similar business model, named as UrbanClap will be launched in 2014 and will raise $37 Million within 2 years after starting its operations from Gurgaon itself.
Later when I was done with my graduation, I joined a software development company as a Business Developer and learnt about this industry and operations. Working there was another turning point of my life and I started another venture in late 2013 named ‘Amwhizz’ with a colleague of mine. Since we both were already working in a software development company and our venture was demanding a lot of time, it gradually dissolved and never took a shape of a legal entity as a company.
Going ahead, as I told earlier, I never wanted to quit and always wanted to start and grow a company from scratch and hence I founded Acropolis. I started working on Acropolis from early 2015 as soon as I realized that Amwhizz is going to be dissolved. Acropolis came into existence as a registered company in May, 2016.
6.How did you identify your co-founder?
I do not have any co-founder, though Acropolis has two directors (out of which one is passive) because it was a legal requirement to incorporate a Private Limited company.
7.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
If I look at next 2 years, we are working hard to polish and launch some products. As already said, we are building some cool and useful products in software & app space, one of them is AdFarm. We can talk in much more detail about it once the product will be launched.
If I talk about next 5 years, our motive is to build trust and be the pioneer in software development outsourcing. We already have extensive experience in creating robust software and applications, we are now looking to expand our reach out in terms of sales. Further, in upcoming 5 years we will be working on the launched products to increate the traction.
8.Where do you want to see yourself in next 5 years?
This question sounds similar to your previous question. Nevertheless, to be honest, I do not want to define it right away. Wonders do happen in seconds, how can I answer about 5 years down the line. You know, there is no limit to grow and achieve.
9.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We neither raise any funding for Acropolis yet nor we have any plans to raise in near future. Although, we may incline towards funding when we will having a few products launched under the name Acropolis.
10.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
‘Problem’ is a state of mind, I would prefer calling it ‘challenges’. I faced several challenges till date and I am expecting a lot more as we proceed in the business.
Before answering this question, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my revered parents who always stood up beside me and backed me up with their support, emotionally and otherwise through all ups and down so far despite of the fact that they wanted me to continue with my job.
Now that I have my parents support, the first challenge was to maintain an equilibrium in terms of time management with my regular office and with my passion during the initial phase. Another one was to pass through the legal formalities to form a private limited company. Apart from these regular challenges, throughout the time I faced significant financial crisis. I am going to explain why I used the word ‘significant’ here. As I told you that I have tried starting up a couple of times but the idea or the venture turned down because of lack of time and money. By this time, I was certain enough that I need to get started all over again keeping buffer of time and money.
Initially, I took financial help from my friends when I decided to set up my office and leave my regular job. Thankfully, most of my friends are supportive and helped me with the maximum possible extent. However, the raised amount wasn’t standing anywhere in front of what exactly was required even to start with basics. In the process, I asked my Dad for the financial help. He helped me with a major portion of his savings and a lot more as talked before. Note that the last company where I was working before taking the decision to leave the job didn’t pay me my salary for over 6 consecutive months. It was a small company headed by Husband Wife and I was working there as process head. I continued working there on trust and faith that I built over time with the management (the couple) but later I realized that it all went in vein and their intentions were malafide. Anyways, the reason I told you this is because I wanted to tell that my credit cards were already maxed out and my savings were already consumed before even starting up this venture. I was down in the dumps because of not getting paid. One thing was certain that I had nothing to lose.
With all the money that I collected, I set up Acropolis’s office and started operations full time. One month down the line, I burnt all the money that I collected from different sources. I was not even left with the money to commute to office, so now you can easily guess what I was left with. I already took financial help from all possible sources earlier, hence I wasn’t even in the position to look up for any more help from those sources. This is why I used the term ‘significant’ earlier.
Other challenges that I face includes
– Hiring affluent people in the team
– Had hard time in managing people within the office (from cleaning maid to teammates, everyone)
– And the list goes on…
Now I shall talk about how I resolved the challenges faced by me. For every challenge from managing time to having hard time in managing people, I would simply say that practice makes a man perfect. I have understood the fact that things fall down at the right place if you keep patience. I had been patient and calm most of the times, and gone wild the other times. *winks*
When it came to resolve financial crisis, I cut down all my expenses including my phone 4G and uber to commute to office. Instead, I started walking to and fro between office and my home. Now I generally use metro to commute.
11.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
I am single and do not have any plans to get married at least for 3 years from now.
12.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Well, I recently started developing the habit of reading books. I have read everywhere and even saw in all the CEOs/Businessmen interviews to read as much as one can. This is what I usually do now in my free time. Apart from this, I love driving and cooking though I do not own a car and I am a pure vegetarian.
13.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
I never have been able to answer this question straight. Food– I love to try new cuisines (veg. of course). I like north Indian street food in general. Regarding holiday destination, I have never been out of India so I can say that I haven’t explored much yet. Within India, Goa is all time favourite.
14.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
CEO of Keyideas, Mr. Shreyes Kejariwal has a big hand in motivating me passively. I have worked in Keyideas at the very initial phase of my career and working with him was absolute delight. He taught real professionalism and work ethics to me. Kindly do not misunderstand Keyideas as my last company, Keyideas was my first company where I started my career as Business Developer.
Besides this, my parents, brother and books are my biggest motivators.
15.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
I cannot judge anyone on the said basis. Everyone has their own set of preferences and I value that. Just be true and responsible to yourself in whatever you are doing and the major difference will be created by you instead of being spotted by you.
16.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I will do it all over again in exact same manner as I am doing it at the moment. The only thing that can be changed is to get more control over the expenditures so that I won’t get through the phase of ‘significant’ financial crisis.
17.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Being an entrepreneur has hugely affected my family and social life.
When I was in job, I used to visit my parents in my hometown once in every two months or so. However, since last July from the time I have switched from job to being entrepreneur, I have visited my hometown only once, that’s too on the occasion of Diwali.
Socially, previously I used to hang out with friends more often. Now I hardly hang out with friends and if I do, I always make sure that I am well connected with my team and clients. That sense of responsibility follows you automatically.
18.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Be true to yourself and keep going forward. On the way you will be hit ‘n’ number of times by the thought that you should quit but you must tackle that. Do not allow it to overrule your vision.
19.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I have done my schooling from my hometown, Kotdwara, Uttarakhand. Post schooling, I did B.Tech (I.T.).
In my family, my Dad is into higher education (Class 1 Gazetted Officer) and my Mom is a Lawyer. My younger brother is pursuing his LLB from Pune, India.
20.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
We love to meet at intersection of technology and user experience (Design). Further, we assign dedicated SPOC (Single Point of Contact) to each of our client.
21.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
Complete Name: Saksham Agarwal
Address: 32, Lane 2, Westend Marg
Saidullajab (Near Saket Metro Station Gate No. 2)
New Delhi – 110030, INDIA
Phone: +91 11 6565 8486 (IND), +1 716 393 8486 (US)
Email: [email protected]
Contact Person’s Name and Email: Aniket Singh Rajput | [email protected]