Information technology in India is an industry consisting of two major components: IT services and business process outsourcing (BPO). The sector has increased its contribution to India’s GDP from 1.2% in 1998 to 7.5% in 2012. According to NASSCOM, the sector aggregated revenues of US$147 billion in 2015, with export revenue standing at US$99 billion and domestic revenue at US$48 billion, growing by over 13%. India’s current prime minister Narendra Modi has started a project called ‘Digital India’ to help secure IT a position both inside and outside of India.
In the contemporary world economy India is the second-largest exporter of IT. Exports dominate the Indian IT industry and constitute about 77% of the industry’s total revenue. However, the domestic market is also significant, with robust revenue growth. The industry’s share of total Indian exports (merchandise plus services) increased from less than 4% in FY1998 to about 25% in FY2012. The technologically-inclined services sector in India accounts for 40% of the country’s GDP and 30% of export earnings as of 2006, while employing only 25% of its workforce, according to Sharma (2006). According to Gartner, the “Top Five Indian IT Services Providers” are Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, and HCL Technologies.
Kamdar (2006) summarizes as follows:
Information technology is playing an important role in India today and has transformed India’s image from a slow moving bureaucratic economy to a land of innovative
The IT sector in India is generating 2.5 million direct employments. India is now one of the biggest IT capitals of the modern world and all the major players in the world IT sector are present in the country. Even after all this, there is still a gap between technology, trends and users in India. 1.21 GWs is here to fill this gap, the founder of 1.21 GWs Archana Akhaury with a total overall experience of more than 14+ years in IT sectors brings this platform to enhance the insights, news, trends in IT sector and help Indian community to give them latest news, updates, trends and info about the technology, IT in the real world.
Lets meet Archana and see how her baby is doing and how is she planning to take her venture to the next level.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Name of my venture is 1.21 GWs. The name is inspired by the all time hit and one of my favourites, time-travelling movie “Back To The Future”. As in the movie, the protagonists required 1.21 GWs of power to move in time, this company has the same amount of power to provide exposure to the futuristic technologies.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
All working professionals who are interested in networking, keeping up with the latest trends and emerging technologies.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
It is based in Bangalore,Karnataka,India. Geographical target areas are US & APAC.
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Our vision is transforming thoughts to accelerate success. With the constant struggle of finding balance between work and family life, it becomes difficult to stay updated with whats the latest happening in the IT industry. We provide a go to platform where anyone can just visit and can quickly get acquainted with the latest news. In addition to this we arrange meetups and conferences across a number of countries where we bring together industry experts to speak and engage discussions on the emerging technologies. This way we are helping transform the ideas which we get while reading something online to getting to know the “how to implement” them by attending these workshops and conferences.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Having worked in the IT Industry for more than 14 years, I constantly felt the need for an easy way to keep myself updated with the latest technology trends in the industry. Although there were quite a few good technical websites,I found that there was no ONE place where I could visit to fulfil this purpose. So this is why I felt the need to come up with such a platform. Also meeting like minded tech savy people through the conferences and discussing ideas and learning how they were implementing ideas in their daily work seemed like the right approach to stay ahead.
After working for such a long time for someone else, you tend to stop questioning why you are doing what you do. I felt that my creative juices had stopped flowing and not using my brains in the best way that I could. It was not that I was not exposed to latest technology. However did not feel the freedom to explore and make decisions which I could if it were my own venture. Also the thought that I would be in a position to provide employment to others was a satisfying thought.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Not to sound cliché but I feel we are our own biggest competitors. We are always striving to do better and provide more value .We work on a feedback model. We take constant feedback from our clients and employees and incorporate their feedback in the most feasible manner.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
My co-founder is actually my husband “Nitesh Naveen”. Once I started this venture, he was also convinced about the need of such a platform in today’s industry. Initially he was helping out by giving advice and guidance. However now he has quit his job and is working full time with this venture. His inputs and managerial qualities have definitely helped in scaling this up .
8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
My initial approach for hiring was to approach those women who were unable to go to office because of family responsibilities. I am a mother of two and was blessed with the option of work from home in my previous company. However not everyone is so lucky. I knew there were so many women who would like to work, but working from home was not an option for them in their companies. So my first few team members primarily consist of women working from home juggling between their family and professional lives.
My belief is that anyone can do anything if they are provided with the right guidance and training. So the only skills I look for in my employees is a constant urge for learning something new and to be a sporting team player.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
We are planning to open branches of our company in the US and Australia in the next 2-5 years including hiring people local to those countries.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
10 years is a pretty long time and I do not really believe in planning so ahead. However I would like to see my company make a significant place in the market with an employee strength of more than 10000 with a more global presence.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Hiring is our topmost goal over the next months where we build a strong team of motivated people working together.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
No. Currently it is bootstrap funding.Currently we do not have any plans of external funding.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
I had been working in a technical position for all my career till now. However now, I had to be and know everything. All of a sudden I was the decision maker. Having not much experience in management was a major problem during the starting days. I sought out advice and help from my other entrepreneur friends which helped me resolve a lot of these issues.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Having the habit of always being told what to do, was a bit of a challenge to start something where I was making all the decisions. There were days I would wake up and have no clue on what to do next and question my decision whether I was actually cut out for this challenge. So I would say the most challenging part was to stay self motivated.
The only way to get out of this was I just had to pull my act together since I knew if I wasn’t going to do anything, nothing would get done and I didn’t want to have failed before I actually tried.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I love reading,writing,playing games on my xbox and listening to music. I have started writing short stories for children. I am halfway through and am hoping to get it published by end of this year.
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
I have a huge weakness for chilli chicken ???? My favourite holiday destination is Universal Studios. I went last year in Florida and it was an amazing experience. Especially being a part of the Harry Potter world, visiting Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.I am a fan of the Harry Potter books and visiting those places , made the whole experience more magical.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
I don’t really have one idol in mind. However I do look upto Sadhguru and his idealogies. My biggest motivator are my friends and family. They have always believed in me even when I haven’t in myself.
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
The major difference is freedom.The freedom to explore, freedom to form your team and the way your work.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken this decision to start my own venture earlier in life, maybe around 5 years earlier. Also would have explored working in different divisions in my previous companies to understand better how the company worked as a whole as opposed to just my role in the organisation.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Contrary to what I had expected that I would have lesser time for family, I have more time to spend with them. Since I am working from home at the moment with all my employees also working from home, I am able to get more involved in the day to day activities of my children. Also I have the freedom to work when I want to. Also now I can attend all my family functions like weddings which I couldn’t do earlier because of leave issues in my previous companies.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
I would say “just do it”. If you have thought about opening your own company, restaurant, gym, making a movie, writing a book etc NOW is the time. There is never going to be the right time. The right time is NOW. You never know what the future holds so its time to start living your dream asap.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
Even though I come from a family of doctors, I chose to do my Engineering as Maths and Computers were my favourite subjects in school.I have done my engineering in Electronics and Communication from S.I.T Tumkur and my Masters in Telecommunication Engineering from Melbourne University.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
My USP is that our main focus is on our employees more than our clients. My belief is happy employees make a motivated company which in turn leads to good customer satisfaction.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
I feel the biggest threat is the existing well established names in the market which is overwhelming at times. When you start something new, you realise there is actually nothing which has not been done before;its only the treatment which differs. You feel like one of the smallest fish in the vast ocean struggling to make your existence known to everyone.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Yes. I have always considered myself successful. Success to me is measured by how happy and content you are with your choices. I have always made my own choices and decisions. I may have made mistakes in the past but knowing that they are my own mistakes and each mistake comes along with a lesson is what makes the difference.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
501,Block 10,Suncity Apartments,
Sarjapura Outer Ring Road
Phone number -9739049970
Website – http://www.1point21gws.com
Contatc Person –Archana Akhaury
Founder & CTO of 1.21GWS
Email id –[email protected],[email protected]