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Bootstrapping a Marketplace: Sardor Umrdinov, CEO of Home Alliance (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 13th 2019

Sramana Mitra: What is the revenue level in 2016 at the point at which you introduced this homegrown CRM system?

Sardor Umrdinov: $10 million.

Sramana Mitra: What was the profitability?

Sardor Umrdinov: About 10%.

Sramana Mitra: When you introduced the CRM system, what did that do to the profitability?

Sardor Umrdinov: It increased to 15%.

Sramana Mitra: So you got a noticeable lift in profitability by making that change.

Sardor Umrdinov: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: What happens after 2016? How did the business evolve?

Sardor Umrdinov: By growing so fast, we couldn’t keep up. In 2017, the gross revenue growth slowed down. Now I know the reasons why it slowed down. We didn’t put the processes in place. We hadn’t done the projections much.

Sramana Mitra: Can you be more specific on what processes were not in place that have a direct impact on your business growth?

Sardor Umrdinov: We had to bring in an operation system. Since we didn’t have that, we were growing more intuitively instead of really planning our operations. We couldn’t see some of the obstacles. We had to grow through an upgrade and send out the team for training.

We started becoming the limits to the growth of organization. I’m sure a lot of organizations get those crises when they hit $10 million to $15 million. If you don’t adjust, the organization can die or get stuck.

Sramana Mitra: What are the concrete changes that you made to address this issue?

Sardor Umrdinov: At the beginning, it was me managing most of the things myself. Then I learned delegation. The team learned delegating to their own teams. There wasn’t enough coaching and accountability. It became more of abdication rather than just delegation.

Now we are adding accountability and structure. It’s more solid. Rather than building around the people, we are building the organization around roles and functions.

Sramana Mitra: How many people do you have?

Sardor Umrdinov: In LA, we have 25. Overseas, we have a team of 40 in Ukraine and four people in the Philippines.

Sramana Mitra: Philippines is customer support?

Sardor Umrdinov: Yes, Philippines is customer support. Ukraine is more of dispatching and technician support.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrapping a Marketplace: Sardor Umrdinov, CEO of Home Alliance
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