Naina KhedekarApr 04, 2016 14:32:00 IST
While acquisition and funding are commonly used terms in the startup world, here’s a company that has decided to follow an unconventional yet what it calls a simple path. In fact, the Bengaluru-based startup is named Sahaj and provides solutions to IT problems.
Sahaj, as the name goes, aims at solving complex IT services problems with simple solutions, co-founder and Director Akash Agrawal, who has over 17 years of experience in leading software teams tells us. What is even more intriguing is the company culture, which ensures there are no grade or roles, open salaries, transparent salary revision and eventually a complete ownership model. This means, a person who believes is right for the task can take it up, and own up for it. If you are wondering, this is possible only in extremely small teams, then Sahaj is moderately sized with offices across Bangalore and Chennai with 45-member team. In fact, Agrawal says that Sahaj is self funded and will not look for funding and won't even consider a sale. And, all of this has helped it evolve as a team and offer simple and straight forward solutions.
It was founded in 2014 by three colleagues who decided to quit their high-paying senior management jobs at a global IT firm. Rohit Bansal who comes over 20 years of experience in leading engineering teams and Sunder Malyandi with more than 19 years of experience in leading engineering teams, delivery practices, risk management and operations joined Agrawal. The founding team also includes Nitin Dhall and Balachander Swaminathan who come with over 12 years and 17 years of experience respectively in fields of delivery, training, talent acquisition and more. In fact, Agrawal tells us the average experience of the entire Sahaj team is 12 years.
Agrawal shares that leaving their existing jobs in the bid to do something new that simplifies lives was a huge leap and the team did face many initial challenge, like any other startup. “While lot of people said they will either join us or work with us as clients, when the rubber hit the road all of them vanished. It was only 2 of the people who held our hands and were the first 2 real offers we made as a company. Same with the client our first engagement started as a trail engagement for a week. But after that we have never looked back,” he explained.
However, there has been no looking ever since they bagged the first two projects. In the past 2 years, the company has successfully completed about 20 projects including clients like Pratham books, Spectra Global solutions and more. It was worked across domains like banking, publishing, utilities and so on, and across geographies like India, North America, UK, and Australia. The company now plans to expand its offices within Bangalore and Chennai, and the 2016 roadmap also includes setting up new offices in the UK and the US.
“100% of our business today comes through client referrals. Our existing clients connect us with new clients who have complex problems and who need the best people to come and solve it,” Agrawal tells us.
Sahaj provides custom software development services to clients and bills them for the hours spent by their people. However, they have been experimenting with different models depending on the clients. “For some of the nascent startups apart from the above model we have done equity based model, or deferred payment model to ease out their cash flow as well as to be a partner in our client's growth," he said.
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