There has been a great increase in the number of startups built around the SaaS model in the last couple of years, targeting the small and medium enterprises sector. The VCs have also shown their trust in the model by putting their money which is as much as $5 billion in the year 2014 alone. As the model has grown in popularity and has led to a surge in the players within the industry, it has also created a situation where an enterprise has multiple options to choose from for a particular service. And it is not as easy as it seems to just select one when you have a long list. This was the motivation that led to the creation of SoftwareSuggest – a business software recommendation and discovery platform.
SoftwareSuggest.com is India’s first and largest marketplace for business software discovery. The portal provides information and reviews on various software options available for any particular use case. The company which was founded by Ankit Dudhwewala and Piyush Patel aims at simplifying the process of software selection and help SMEs find the right business software in a single attempt. The startup operates under the name AppItSimple Infotek Pvt. Ltd. and is based out of Ahmedabad. They have two aspects to business, the vendors who sell their products on the portal and the businesses who buy these products.
Let’s see what the co-founder of the company Piyush Patel has to say about this startup.
Give us a snapshot of your professional journey till now?
I started my professional journey the day I entered my engineering. I was passionate about Computer & Technology since childhood, but the real work started after my graduation. It was the day when I joined Sabse Technologies, a start-up that works on Mobile Application Development for Jextr Line of products.
I believe in constant learning and that the “SHODH” (research) should never stop.
My vision to achieve something in digital arena propelled me to introduce SoftwareSuggest.com
I, along with Ankit Dudhwewala founded SoftwareSuggest.com. I manage the “Product & Development” of SoftwareSuggest.
When & how did the entrepreneurial bug bite you?
Born in the family of entrepreneurs, the bug was there inside me. While gaining experience at Sabse, I thought to myself that I can achieve better if i embrace entrepreneurship. Then I met Ankit & we started to put more efforts for ourselves rather than spending long hours working for any other organization.
What were the early days at SoftwareSuggest like?
Early days at softwaresuggest were like nurturing a small child. We did everything from tip to toe which included building a team of enthusiastic people. The most vital was to include those who are willing to be all-rounders and eager to bear multiple responsibilities.
Can you please describe what a typical day at office is like?
My day comprises of decision making process and assigning various tasks to my co-workers. It also consists of management of various projects and discussions with my colleagues. During decision making process, I always share my thoughts and review the viewpoints of my colleagues.
Can you tell us about the technology stack used at SoftwareSuggest?
It is PHP with Yii framework. We rely on cloud platform and services like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web. We believe in making work simpler and user friendly.
Is there any technology that you’re personally betting on to help you scale up?
I am personally improvising my skills in cloud technology to use it more efficiently. My team is looking forward to upgrade the framework from Yii 1 to Yii 2 and server to NGINX.
How are you using Business Intelligence and analytics at your company?
We are using Google analytics to understand the software categories customer search the most and which are the pages mostly visited by users – this insight helps us find important pages/content .
Based on the software analysis we set different priority levels to work on the software enhancements. We also look into the authentic database for our vendors so that the synchronization doesn’t get disrupted any time.
What has been the biggest technical challenge you’ve faced while running SoftwareSuggest?
In the initial days of SoftwareSuggest, we were using shared hosting and faced many issues as our traffic started increasing, so we moved to Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform. No technical challenge is too small or too big in today’s technology world.
What are some of the attributes you look out for in prospective technology employees?
Quest for knowledge, providing the best solutions and going the extra mile every day are the most important attributes to be looked forward in a technology expert. Fundamental knowledge and logical execution score more in comparison to programming languages.
How do you keep up to date with the latest happenings in the technology world?
I listen to interviews, read reviews about software, and we have a great bench which keeps us updated through latest blogs and articles. I also keep reading Hacker News, ProductHunt, Reddit, GrowthHacker, ProductNation, etc.
What gets you excited about coming to work every day?
The thought of achieving perfection boosts me each day. It urges me to push my limits a little further day by day. “I want to take SoftwareSuggest at soaring heights”, this is enough to sustain the excitement.
What sets SoftwareSuggest engineering culture apart?
We follow open work culture at office. My team is self-motivated. They come up with new ideas each day. We, at SoftwareSuggest follow our aim of becoming better day by day. “All work & no play makes Jack a dull boy”, following this we also have some playful brainstorming sessions for self-motivation.
Which SoftwareSuggest value resonates best with you?
Teamwork is the soul for success of any organization. Punctuality and discipline add an extra flavor to the recipe. Building long term relations with customers and prioritization of work are the seasonings. Well, these are the value attractions at SoftwareSuggest.com
Any piece of advice for the techies out there?
Never give up. Hard work always pays off.!! Many times while working, you will feel like giving up. But try & try until you succeed.
70% research and 30% execution is all you need to focus upon. Research, to sharpen your technical skills and remain up-to-date with the latest trends. Don’t stop by initial hurdles. Trust yourself & work hard to achieve your goals.