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Bootstrapping with Services in India: Srishtisoft CEO Ajay Sharma (Part 5)

Posted on Sunday, Jan 19th 2014

Sramana: What was the size of the healthcare team when the companies split?

Ajay Sharma: The healthcare side had grown to 50 personnel. Today, we have around 145 people on the team. We were generating around $500,000 in revenue during our beta phase.

Sramana: Was that revenue earned from Indian customers or global customers?

Ajay Sharma: That revenue was primarily from Indian customers. We went to very good hospitals in Delhi and Bangalore. We offered them very good pricing plans to entice them to use us during our beta phase. International customers had no interest in trying it out. We ended up with 8 large Indian hospitals using our product in the beta phase.

Sramana: You split the company in 2011. How much revenue did you do in the fiscal year ending March 2012?

Ajay Sharma: We did 9.5 crore rupees (~$1.5 million).

Sramana: What were the next major milestones?

Ajay Sharma: We started to get orders from all over the world. We expanded throughout Asia and into the Middle East, and now, we are starting to get orders from the US. We are now at a 15 million dollar run rate. We have orders now that will take us three to four years to implement. We are a complete end-to-end platform.

Sramana: You are in various geographies. How do you sell? Do you maintain offices in all of these places?

Ajay Sharma: We could not build that sales structure on our own. We decided that we had to work closely with IBM, HP, and the other larger partners of the world. It was easier to impress them than it would be to impress potential customers. We spent an entire year investing time with IBM and HP. We started working with them while we were still in our beta phase.

Sramana: What system integrators do you work with in India?

Ajay Sharma: Other than Infosys, we have not had anyone in India sign. Most of our business comes from HP and IBM.

Sramana: Did African and Middle East business come from IBM and HP as well?

Ajay Sharma: Africa has been primarily through IBM. HP has helped us a lot in India.

Sramana: How do you price the product?

Ajay Sharma: In the beginning, we were just opportunistic. Today, we are trying to create a method out of all of that madness. Despite that, we are still nowhere close to having published rates. We work in emerging markets as well as some more sophisticated markets. We have a standard enterprise version and a very basic version. Each of our versions have different pricing levels to accommodate the geographies where they will be used.

Sramana: Are you profitable at this point?

Ajay Sharma: Yes, we are. I bootstrapped the business, and we are now generating cash. I used a lot of cash to get the business going, but now we have something to hold onto. That is what I was missing when I was running the services company. It is interesting that I am now getting offers from venture capitalists to invest in the company.

Sramana: Venture capitalists like to come to the rescue of victory. You have created a successful company and now VCs want to contribute. It is really growth capital, not venture capital. All capital in India is growth capital, not venture capital.

Ajay Sharma: That is very correct!

Sramana: Congratulations. I am thrilled to see how successful you have been.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping with Services in India: Srishtisoft CEO Ajay Sharma
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