Sreevathsa Prabhakar is a serial entrepreneur. Most recently he started Servify which is a self-learning platform that provides device management services and warranty solutions. The company has raised nealry $100 million from investors such as Blume Ventures, Singularity Ventures, or Syneergy Capital Partners to name a few.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Bootstrapping vs fundraising
- How to get your company acquired
- Building a strong culture
- How to think about scaling
This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/
Also Wingman is sponsoring this podcast. Visit https://www.trywingman.com/dealmakers for more details!
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Sreevathsa Prabhakar:
Sreevathsa Prabhakar, the Founder of Servify is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the field of Customer Experience, Technology and Management. He worked with companies like Nokia, Tata Teleservices, Samsung and BPL Limited before becoming an entrepreneur in 2009. He founded a fully bootstrapped venture The Service Solutions
in 2009 to deliver his brand of technology driven Customer Service which was later acquired by German major B2X in 2014. He then started his second ambitious venture Servify in 2015, which has already grown to be the largest after-sales service platform globally in the short span of less than 3 years.
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
- Fundraising Process : get guidance from A to Z.
- Materials : our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models
- Investor Access : connect with the right investors for your business and close them
Connect with Sreevathsa Prabhakar:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So today. We have a very exciting founder from India I mean incredible founders coming out of India and dam and we’re gonna be talking about building at scale I and he’s done it all. His build scaled sold companies I mean you name it everything in between. So I think that you’re all goingnna find this very inspiring so without farther ado let’s welcome our guests today Sirriatsa Pravakar welcome to the show. Thanks.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um, thank you a handra good to be here and looking forward for our conversation.
Alejandro: So give us a little of our walk through memory lane. You know how was life growing up there in India.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Oh ah, it’s been fantastic. I come from a very small village 3000 families. Of course it’s small for india not really for the world. The family where I grew up with ah we had a very small village. Ah so actually came from the kind of mountains I can say and. Studied and became an engineer. Obviously those days. Ah you either become an engineer or ah or a doctor at least back in India and that’s how your career is secured and I wanted to be a cricketer I think that was the initial choice obviously parents. Thought that’s not the right choice considering today’s world I think the cricketers are the most rich people in our country probably now even more than the the billiards and and Nba and soccer I think anyway past is past so I grew up in India did my engineering did my masters and started my career with a company called bpl. Which was the country’s largest domestic home applans as an electronics manufacturer almost think of them like a Samsung or an Lg of India unfortunately.
Alejandro: But but but in your case in your case I mean why? why engineering I mean obviously I think that they the the cricket aspect of it is great because that gives you the competitiveness the leadership you know, aspect and I’m sure that that has served you well look I mean look at you. You are a a pretty successful entrepreneur. But. I’m sure that that was that that was a good influence in you. But why engineering? And also why is there that pressure that cultural pressure against you know you needing to become a doctor or an engineer. Okay.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um I think ah obviously you know in a country of one point three billion people ah from an opportunity standpoint. Let’s take ah different opportunities right? Cricket at best 11 member team amongst 1 point, 3000000000 people. So obviously the chinese the chances of success. Are extremely limited. Of course today you have domestic in a cricket you have leagues and lot of opportunities. But that was not the case back in Ninety Ninety what ninety eighty ninety and sorry nine ninety when I was doing my schooling ninety four is when I joined my engineering so back then. It was not that big from an opportunity standpoint. Ah why engineering why? doctor? Obviously it’s it’s kind of you know your your success is guaranteed because you are in a professional you you are a professional you are going to join a good company with your professional background so compared to any normal graduation engineering. Obviously had much better opportunity and that was when you know India software boom just started right? You had the companies like the infos vip pros of the world which are today obviously large software service providers globally and they all started from India so obviously. If you’re an engineer your chances of success are pretty high and that’s what parents wanted you to do though like I said I wanted to be a cricketer but my father said hey you become an engineer or you don’t do anything and you be with me. My father was a lawyer. He was a judge so he said you do law. In fact, I actually ended up doing even law I studied law. But.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Ah, didn’t practice ever and I don’t even know any law any any ah anything about law today other than reading agreements.
Alejandro: So so in your case. Basically you you wanted to corporate and you did travel quite a bit So what? what did you learn during those corporate years. So.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Oh yeah I think I was lucky that I got a good company but believe me, especially if you’re an engineer and you don’t code ah those days ninety eight and then you had the dot com boom and then obviously two thousand y T y two k ah before that if you’re not a software engineer but you’re an engineer you’re again amongst sps you’re not successful. So I mean I was thinking I was unlucky to join a company where I was not coding but actually fixing televisions and so I was almost like. And mechanic right? Ah compared to others who are actually building those products. So I think that was you know, really disappointing for a while and at least I was thinking that way with a very little image. You know it was image or thinking if I have to look back today. But. Happened y two k and a lot of jobs unfortunately went away and nothing happened to us our our industry because obviously I was not coding so that was a good firsthand information saying hey you have to be with an industry which is kind of you know a recession proof. And if you keep delivering value. Obviously there is always an option for you and of course ah that helped me also because I was working for 1 of the largest companies back then in India I had good opportunity to spend about 5 years with them and then joined Samsung then joined a carrier and last with Nokia.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: So obviously ah, you know it was how I started my career but then moved into management and ah part of executive leadership. So obviously I had a good growth. Ah again, the space that I was in. Ah you know there were only few people. Ah who would take up an operationally intense. Not so sexy. A thankless job of customer service. So obviously I think that helped me ah climb the ladder but also ah you know that’s what I do today. So if you ask me? ah 2024 years of experience doing what I love to do and I think the only thing that I know to do to be honest. Ah, is what I run as a company so it was a good carrier move I traveled across the world. Luckily I worked for some of the best companies out there I mean companies like Anokia Samson or ah or a carrier like tatas. So I had the opportunity to travel across the world and in my first company. Obviously when I started my entrepreneurship. Ah, my first company. Ah I was actually working with a lot of the global companies helping them consult because they all thought you know when it comes to customer experience. Ah maybe they could take my help and I also had the opportunity to you know work with them across 100 plus geographies and that gave me a. Very very good understanding of how global markets operate and I I just cannot ah you know acknowledge that how lucky I was and the space that I’m in so that’s.
Alejandro: And that was that was that was a pretty risky move on your end because I mean after all those years working with a large companies like you said like Nokia and data and so forth I mean jumping ship now and and starting your own thing I mean it’s is quite the leap of faith and I’m sure that. Your family was like hey what what are you doing? what what’s going on. So so I guess how did the idea of hey you know what I’m going to give my notice and I’m going to go at it on my own I mean how did that happen. What was that process of going from incubation to. All of my silent hey you know now I got the idea and I make sense screw. It. Let’s do it kind of thing.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Yeah, so I think you know, ah while ah in between ah my career very early almost after 3 years of working for the first company actually wanted to start something on my own but never had the courage and obviously ah it was a good job. Paying well and I was you know, climbing up the ladder. So I continued to ah work in the corporate sector but 2009 when Noka had actually 40% market share globally and about 72% in India so it was one of the largest markets of Noka in India which to sell about 5000000 phones and I quit. And I still remember my Ceo telling me you are the biggest fool that I know in this world who lives the world’s best company and you have the best job where you know you’re you’re like the leader here in the company and you have only opportunity to grow in this company and of course I quit ah for a very personal reason I think. I speak more I’ll be more emotional so I don’t know whether this is the right audience here. Ah actually I lost my father so my father was unwell and he was my hero obviously right? So ah back at home. He was unwell he was hospitalized for a couple of months and I was actually sitting next to him and operating.
Alejandro: Ah, hundred percent go for it.
Working with my laptop dongils connected with my headset on I was working all through while I was next to him and unfortunately I lost him so when I came back ah from all the funeral and everything back to work because it was back in my village. Ah, to to my office which is in gurga headquarters. Ah unfortunately my immediate supervisor ah met me the first day and he said hey you know, ah you took a lot of vacation I hope you’re back in action now and that hit me hard. Obviously I wanted to be an entrepreneur all the time I did everything in terms of even working for corporates that you know you would do as if it’s your own company right? You would do the right thing you would take the chances you would risk you would do everything that you would do as if it’s your own company and here when you’re back immediately after the funeral. Somebody tells you I took vacation. So I said I’m done. Ah this that was my trigger. Ah I would say to start something on my own. Do you know anything about the risks I said let’s face it open my laptop the first very first email was the resignation letter right? So obviously. I had a three months notice and my ah you know big supervisors from Finland and everywhere else didn’t really want me to leave and they said hey this is ah I mean I mean it was. It was not intentional that somebody wanted to hurt you. But I said hey you know probably this is my trigger. My dad wanted me to be successful and I I think I’m going to be successful.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: I’m going to leave this at least I’m not answerable ah to certain things that I don’t want to while I respect. Everybody’s views and you know it’s it’s a cohesive word. But if somebody tells me that you shouldn’t have taken a break to be with your dad on his last day I’m sorry that’s not the culture I fit. So that’s all started. Ah, luckily in those three months you know? Ah I did speak to few people that I’d worked with before and I had already almost 4 consulting arrangements that could take care of my salaries right? or or my expenses. So I said hey this is wonderful. You know why do I do this job and that’s how I started.
Alejandro: Ah, how to pretend.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Started with consulting built ah then service ecosystem for almost all the top companies. We started with Apple as my first Apple care location which was a nonexistent in India ah, and then rest is history. So that’s how I became an entrepreneur I would say I was an accidental entrepreneur. Ah I didn’t really plan the day. But it just happened and I think that was a trigger.
Alejandro: I don’t I don’t I don’t being pissed off and that’s incredible I mean I see I totally see that you know I mean I remember ah during my days to corporate America where you got your employee id right? you’re like employee id number boom boom boom is like come on. so so I get that so now going now to your story.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um.
Alejandro: So you end up you know saying okay you know I’m going to go at it I’m going to I’m going to I’m going to really build my own destiny my own future and you go at it and you start this service solutions that was your business and you did scale that up to 20000000 in revenue now really really impressive right? So first business twenty million in revenue.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Kind of.
Alejandro: You do a Jv and then the business ends up being acquired. So can you walk us through what happened on that acquisition. You didn’t raise any money for this correct. Okay, so so so tell us about that Jv how did that J B happen and how did that transition into an acquisition.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um, you know it was completely bootstapped Completely Bootsta. Ah.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Sure sure so I think you know we were simply building and I also want to you know, probably helpful for your audience you know until I started my first venture I was obviously well qualified at least in in in my own eyes. Ah, but. Running a company was very different right? I mean that’s when you realize cash flow. That’s when you realize funding. That’s why you realize you know actually optimization because when you work for large companies. You are allocated certain budgets or you are the one who are creating budgets but you never worry about cash flow as long as you’re delivering on budget. So. But when I started I had the first month and obviously 4 customers or at least started with one. Ah very good contract and did the billing but didn’t realize that there were forty five days of payment cycle so you complete the first month and then you invoice. Within seven days and then you have a forty five day cycle so for three months hey this is cash flow from from there to learning a lot and do know anything about startups and in fact, you know since I like I said I come from a very small village. We were always taught certain values. Ah, that you shouldn’t take money from anyone right? So I wasn’t sure. Ah, how do I really run the company if I have to take money from somebody and they they dictate the terms right? So do you know anything about so when people even start up ah ingel funds or some family offices. They came looking.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Hey, you seem to be doing something good. So do you want money I said no no no no I have enough money and I know internally that hey this is a month I don’t think we’ll be able to pay salary on time. What do I do should I mortgate my home should I mortgate my wife’s jewelry and we do end up. Doing all of that just to ensure we pay taxes on time salaries on time I didn’t take salary probably for like 3 years when we started first except for my you know basic expenses and luckily my wife was working so lot of these things were first time and obviously.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Never thought we will sell I was so passionate and I’m still but you know when it comes to exit. There was nobody was pushing me for an exit right? I’m like building a great company from ah $100000 a year to a couple of million dollars to a $20000000 in 5 years was a great journey and with. Absolutely no external funding hundred person ownership and everything was going well and then I meet somebody who’s just like me at least you know in my own ah kind of scale of people that I want to work with and that is Mr. Bakavi. Fantastic human being. He’s my partner even today in the new company in. Not not new any longer servify. So I met him and he says hey you know we’ are doing exactly the same I’m in germany you’re in india and middle east but you’re doing exactly the same so we should come together and everything goes well he’s he’s he’s a serial entrepreneur again himself 7 companies I want to write companies.
Alejandro: Um, yeah, um.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: He built everything from scratch obviously brought his own management to run because that became large you know half a billion dollar ah portfolio for him at that time I mean half a billion dollars of revenue portfolio and in terms of value could be much bigger and he said hey one of my companies called b two x is exactly in the space that you are and we should come together. And he said hey I want to buy you out I said hey there is nothing called buying out right? I want I can be partner but this is my company. How can you say that you want to buy this. So of course I would call it today. Maturity do you know anything right? So ah then we end up coming together and it said hey but at the same time if we as a global company want to operate. Ah, we need to acquire 51% of your company and 49 is with you and we will run the company but you will in in all operational metals you will run. But in terms of the operational control in paper. It will be us obviously he was not actively involved. He had his management team and I think you know once a founder is always a founder right? I think you know it better than anybody else.
Alejandro: Oh yeah.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Ah, after about six eight months I think we didn’t really get aligned ah to be honest in terms of how we should run the business and the idea of certify was actually pitched to the global board saying hey this is what is the next phase of growth for this company if you are coming together. And that idea was shut down and I said hey Karim look your board and your operating team really do not align with my thoughts and I think I I still want to be a ah founder and there’s choice one I take back everything that I gave a choice to ah. You take everything I have and I start something new and you come and join me. Ah, that’s the only choice we have so while we tried being together. Ah, but I think we both agreed that hey it’s always good to start something new and he said I’ll back you up whenever you want to be. And that’s how we kind of separated I sold my 100% because that company wanted to have full control and it was that subsid to here then and all of that and you know you had brands like Apple Samsung shoomi 1 plus all the large companies and they didn’t want to let that go because they had already made global announcements that we are now partnered with Apple and all of.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: All of that while they didn’t have those customers before acquisition. So I think it it was a wind win. Ah I made a like ton of money for my own greed. So to say right? I mean it was few million dollars right so
Alejandro: Ah, well hey you know like you you go from like a trying to put as collateral the jewelry of your wife and you know everything that you guys have to now all of a sudden like this millions in the bank. You know I’m sure that that was quite a good feeling.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um, yeah, absolutely and and you know the core team that came with me when I started and obviously we were extremely ah, kind of tight in terms of the way we ran the business and we were actively involvedll in everything we do and the team was very clear look. Guys the day we make profits will share profits but you’ll not get probably a massive salary. You’re coming from a big company but you’ll have to work for me at 30% of your current salary I okay, but I’ll give you part of the company right? And actually I think you know everybody made money in the exit while I had 100% of the shares in paper. Before the acquisition. We made sure we did all those share transfers to ensure everybody gets their share and I think everybody became millionaires right? So it was good feeling. Good outcome for all of us. Ah and it was it was it gave a lot of experience right? so.
Alejandro: That’s how amazing.
Alejandro: So then in that case So so so then obviously here you are you have the idea of certify it was shut down obviously that that allows you to get to this transaction and get a nice exit for everyone and what happened next what happened.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Then started.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um, correct then I started. So if I obviously I had 1 year of noncompete. So obviously that’s why I ended up doing some random stuff but also was planning certify and startedertify.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Ah, with the promise to also have currim who was the first acquirer as an angel investor so he came in with a small check. Ah obviously that shows the commitment and friendship and of course I had enough money. Ah not really take any external money to build until we have market fit and all of that so we tried some experiments. We wanted to build the uber for everything electronics and I think everybody was building ubers then but I was still not really saying uber is the right way to do for our business because why will you as a consumer have our app when you don’t need and we are. We are not an engagement business. We are a. Ah, need business whenever you need probably that’s when you want to interact with us and that also may happen without an app. Why should you therefore so the whole world was like building this uber for the space I think we quietly ended up building the enterprise model we said hey if I’m an Apple customer I want apple to fix it just that make the process simple. So can we build a whole gateway of integrating everybody together build a platform that connects the whole ecosystem and also therefore ah look at after to sell service customer experience as a profit center rather than um in a typical cost center mindset that I have 1 year of obligation to hey that customer uses my product for 5 years I need to be there for him and therefore I can make money when he needs me and especially as products are becoming personal and smart and delicate that opportunity just goes up and that was how we build this business and yeah, so we did our first round after about five months of starting the company. 1 of the I mean one of the.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: You know seed investors who had also looked at investing in us in my previous hour I met him in a coffee shop and he said hey. Ah, now you can’t say no to me, you should take money and fabulous guy. Ah I mean because I was also in a single founder I told him I’ll take money on one condition. You’re like my virtual co-founder right? so. Whenever I need you, you’ll support me and obviously he’s very well-respected bloom ventures carthhi ah, great guy so he put in his first check and obviously thereafter until the last round. Ah wherever I could invest I also came in along with the investors in all the rounds because I had some liquidity.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: And I think that’s how we built the business which I’m very proud to be where where we are So that’s our journey.
Alejandro: And and also for the people that are that are listening to really get it. Why’t that up being the business model of cervify. How do you guys make money.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Sure so I think I’ll give a little background on the opportunity right? So think of it I’ll just take 1 category that smartphone four and a half billion smartphones in the world about a billion smartphones sold every year that’s the opportunity now. People don’t just use the phone for one ear they use it for long up number one data point number 2 if you break your screen. It’s not covered in the manufacturer’s obligation and close to 80% of the people break their screen today. That’s the data available at least once. In their usage of average two and a half years so why don’t you get into that space of charging a small subscription fee and if it ever breaks either replace it or repair it with no hassles and life goes on. So you enable continuity and the way we wanted to do this It’s a risk business because a lot of the insurers had participated in this. So. It’s actually a phone insurance people are selling I’m just talking about 1 category. Ah now think of it for all other products that you have whether it is your laptop Tv ah for ipads and watches and everything. Ah, including today electric vehicleels and all of them right? So anything that’s personal for us is a focus area any product category and that opportunity was completely left out by the oems except for an Apple Apple built an Apple care business but no other oem built a sizable care business.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: And they were all hardware manufacturers. So we said hey why don’t you give us that opportunity. We’ll build it. We’ll white label it for you so we run today Apple care in India ah samsson care one plus care shomi care multiple brands over 70 oems and we run this over 40 countries for all these brands and. So. That’s how we started so in terms of ah in simple terms if you ask me what we do. Ah Wea the engine behind some of these protection programs that brands offer in their name. So we underwrite the risk through our risk underwriting partners. We aggregate insurers. It’s our platform where the product is sold or the services are sold through all the point of sale where the device is sold. So it’s an attached product and if you ever have a claim. It’s our third -party administration platform that actually manages the whole approval education connecting to nearest service centers getting it picked up using integrated logistick services. Collecting deductibles making decisions giving you that seamless digital experience or enabling a neance exchange so you are never off a product when when it is under service. So all of that is what we manage and that’s the company headquatered in mumbai now present in about 40 odd countries. So that’s what we do as may.
Alejandro: And and how much capital have you guys raised today. How much capital. Yeah.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: How much capital. So yeah, so including the last round which is just announced about I think six weeks ago or eight weeks ago we’ve raised about $100000000 and of course in the business so far. Ah, you know. Less than half of it is gone so which means so I think we are we are running a very tight ship again. We’ll turn ah profitable in but another month or so hopefully number that’s the next month or next next to next month ah in terms of our scale today we are at one hundred and fifty million dollars ah annual revenue. So this year we should do about one hundred and fifty million dollars and will be profitable in another couple of months like I said and it’s a business that because we took the enterprise route so long contracts with the large brands of course the sales cycle is longer but the moment you’re in then you have a long sustaining period and you have visibility of your revenue. So I think that’s where we are so. Hope to be a billion dollar company in another three and a half to 4 years
Alejandro: I mean you you went from doing a bootstrak company now to raising over $100000000 I mean what? what’s the difference between one or the other and why did you choose a different route this time about.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar:Um, yeah.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um, now I think you know you learn from your mistakes. You’ll learn so I would I would say not mistakes actually ah the bootstrapped venture was good but I couldn’t scale it right? I mean the ambition was to scale it in 5 years from India we just moved to the. Middle East and obviously it was ah it was right back then and if you’re really building a global company and I think I had experience I had ah money to take a risk ah because it was my money too. So I I thought if I’m putting in my money. Obviously I’ll be more responsible for those who put money along with me. And I think the principle that I used always when I coin-inested with the venture capital is I’m saying hey you know your a um is a billion dollar and let’s say you’re putting $100000000 and that’s 10% of your au m I’m putting in $1000000 and I have $10000000 so I’m almost equal in terms of the allocation. So that’s 10% of my portfolios I’m betting big so it’s it’s big money for me for you. It might not be as big but for me, it’s big money. So I’m I’m investing and it’s it’s you know I’m super responsible for making you successful. So I think so second is for growth. Obviously you need capital and since the the venture that we do currently especially the enterprise approach that we took if I have to just you know sustain a long sale cycle. In our case, it also is because of new markets when we enter we need to get all the licenses like the brokeing license the insurance.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Intermediary license or the administration license takes about 6 to eight months and also have to integrate the whole ecosystem means have to be my first dollar of revenue when I start a new subsidy is after 12 to fourteen months so I need capital to be available. Ah in terms of making money. So obviously. Ah, we had to raise ah growth capital and I think that was the only way to build this business so ah learned a lot in the first venture not raising capital but also ah how to raise capital now because I’m putting my own money. So I think it worked or at least is working in our in our favor and I think it’s a. Ah, learning every day right? So I think what we’re doing is really building a company ah that will make money or is already making money sizable global and very very clearly at a unit economics level. You can never make classes I mean strong fundamentals. In terms of if I buy something for 100 I can’t sell it for 90 and say that hey that’s marketing expense. So sorry it is not me right? So I think that’s the learning that I come from with my first venture hey we don’t have you know money to throw every penny needs to count. But also. Ah, make a ah very large global business and be frugal in the way you build but build it right? So we have about 700 people now.
Alejandro: And how many employees do you guys have now I mean that’s a lot of people. So how do you guys go about culture so that everyone is aligned. So.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Yeah I think that’s something that I take personally I’m actually involved with everybody. Ah I think I can probably name 650 people in the company and know them personally in terms of my approach I think that’s where I spent a lot of time. So I think also covid helped.
Alejandro: 5 Wow.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: So while our revenues from three million to nine million to eighty six million to today 150000000 we couldn’t have done ah due to 2 things during covid a lot of digital transformation happened. But also we made sure that we took ah care of our people. Ah as we were growing ah by also not just not. You know, throwing them out because they were no business. We took care of all of them. They supported us also in that journey we were running out of cash and they said hey you know even if we don’t have cash. We are okay to work. But what really helped is the constant engagement almost every 15 days I used to talk to the whole company. We used to run our even today we do. At least once in six weeks we have a town hall where I address the whole company and then we have events like the offsites and ah even during covid we’ve made sure that we are constantly in touch. They’re reassured and I think personally for me too Today money is no more a motive to run the business. As long as we build a global company. Ah, even you know we I mean I shouldn’t be saying this in a public forum but 10 percent of you know media. Price is okay for me I need meritocracy. But if 10 percent of our company is not smart. Um, still okay because we’re still fulfilling one objective. That’s employment. So I think for me, that’s the big picture as long as we’re able to add value either in the form of to shareholder benefit but also to the stakeholder benefit which is the larger ecosystem at play I think we are okay so generally we are a company I mean.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: People have even made jokes saying why the hell is your attition less than 10 percent. Why everybody is moving in tech world. We are saying we have both good and not so great people. But I think they’re great individuals if they’re not good at what they do, but you know as long as they meet the objective. That’s okay, we don’t need always outstanding people. Ah, because that’s also a responsibility you have and in terms of bottom line bottom line I don’t know you know I’m a strong believer whenever there is crisis. The first thing people do is you know sending people home. Believe me, that’s not going to add up. Move the needle. That’s not going to move the needle for sure. In our case, our operating cost is going to be less than 10 percent of our business. So even if I you know ask 50% of my people to go home I’m going to say only 5%. Let me stop doing all the nonsense otherwise rather than telling people go home right? So I think we are we are.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Okay, in that I think it’s again, you know we come from a background where ah we give highest regard to people and everything else afterwards and I think that’s also helped in terms of our relationships with large clients I think today. Ah, we’ve not lost a single customer in the last six years and I think that’s also because of our approach to people in general. As a philosophy in the company now.
Alejandro: Now Imagine if you go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world where the vision of certify is fully realized what does that world look like.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: That’s a world probably 23 20 years from now I think I think believe me 2 2 3 ah pointers. Ah one I think you know I spent all my life in the after sales service in the customer experience side I think.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: There is huge opportunity opportunity tremmin this opportunity I mean I’ll give you probably next one day 24 hours and I’ll give you 5 companies find the chief service officer of that company that position doesn’t exist. It’s only few companies that really do good for consumers. Otherwise it’s a presentation topic. Hey. Great customer experience. We are doing this for consumers. Believe me, it’s only till the product is sold so there was in fact, ah I mean until about three four years ago we used to have this tagline in our office that said, ah, who’s the I mean definition of a consumer right? The customer. Who’s a customer the one who buys your product. We used to say the customer is also the one who bought your product because most companies tend to forget that customer wants a product it sold and I think in our belief like Apple does like an Amazon does. They’re obsessed with consumer experience. And it’s not just when you sell the product but also after you sell the product and that’s where we believe our business is recession proof lot of companies are yet to you know, go through that journey and I think we have a number of companies to partner yet with and go through that transformation. So I think realizing my ah dream is. Probably 80% of the large influencing brands that really genuinely do good for the consumers post say um.
Alejandro: Now Imagine I was to put you into a time machine and I bring you back in time perhaps to that moment where you were leaving corporate you are now you know you had now received that the nonsense notification. Once say you opened your computer. And you were pissed off and you were like hey you know what I think I’m going to start something on my own and then at that point you know you realized hey you know I think it’s time.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um, can I can I just take a break I think there’s an accident. My son is just crying. Give me give me 1 note is a great sorry my apologize.
Alejandro: Yeah, go go for it. Go for a yeah, don’t worry, go for it. We’ll we’ll edit this piece. Don’t worry.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Um, on my whole economy.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Okay, so I think you know emotional decisions obviously ah are are are not going to guarantee you success all the time. But I think in my case, it did work in my favor so I would actually say that you know.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Why you take those decisions ah be true to yourself I think you need to be very clear what you want to achieve a lot of the startups. Unfortunately ah, all around of all around us. Ah their their objectives are very very different right? I mean. Few people want to build companies to get big valuation. Get famous I think the objectives are absolutely ah I would say misaligned. So if you’re genuine if you believe you have the confidence I think you should be successful. So ah. If you put me back in the box and say hey this is where you are now how will you do it differently I would just do it again the same way because I was honest to ah to the tea I I knew exactly what I wanted to do in terms of I said I’m willing to sacrifice my ah. You know every every single ah happiness ah to be successful. 24 hours today I will work I will do everything honest. In fact, I’ll I’ll just give you 1 instance when this german company did the acquisition I think ah, you know obviously germans being germans. Ah, they were too scared ah thinking of an indian startup small company Bootstrapped I’m sure they’ll relax. Ah you know, ah dos open There are a lot of process gaps. They couldn’t find a single major or critical observation and they had the big 4.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Doing all audit financial dueligence the tax duereligence the legal duerelience the tech du duereligence I think that’s because that’s how I am and I mean if I am running my company. Why will I do anything. That’s not right? So I think certain fundamentals I Think that’s how you are, youre brought up. So if you’re. True to yourself. Ah you have a clear vision and an objective. You may not be successful the way you expect it to be but you’ll still be successful I Think that’s my belief and there is a lot of opportunity out there right? I mean.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: There are hundreds of opportunities. You don’t probably scale to the level that you dream of but you can still be successful. So if you ask me I’ll do it all over I will probably do it little differently looking at probably you know a global scale in mind and therefore. Build it right? The first time. So I think without knowing anything the passion. We ended up building a platform. We ended up rewriting the platform probably 3 times because we wanted to go outside India and I think some of those ineffficiencies but now experience with experience I think all of that is sorted but definitely I would I would. You know, really focus on clarity vision. Honesty and do it with all your heart. Don’t do for the wrong objectives.
Alejandro: I Love it for the people that are listening. What is the best way for them to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to reach out and say hi.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Ah, what is the story. Yeah, they can email me on my email id it’s Sp at soify.tech I will send it to you. Ah, you have it already ero. But it’s Sps for sugar be for parro at. Certify.tech would love to talk to people.
Alejandro: Amazing! Well hey, thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been an honor to have you with us much.
Sreevathsa Prabhakar: Thank you so much Alejandra and it’s been great to know you. It’s great to talk to you and I look forward to our continued engagement. Thank you so much.
* * *
If you like the show, make sure that you hit that subscribe button. If you can leave a review as well, that would be fantastic. And if you got any value either from this episode or from the show itself, share it with a friend. Perhaps they will also appreciate it. Also, remember, if you need any help, whether it is with your fundraising efforts or with selling your business, you can reach me at [email protected]