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Saurabh Agarwal - Founder & CEO - Proeffico Solutions Pvt Ltd | Transforming MSMEs in India

Saurabh Agarwal

Saurabh Agarwal

Saurabh Agarwal

Crucial Success Skills Forged Through My Journey

In my career I have started up different accounts and scaled them up. 2 years back I started my own company Proeffico Solutions Pvt Ltd, we are now 35+ members ,successfully delivered multiple solutions to the clients, built our own product portfolio solving specific problems of our end customers.

Some of the key skills that always helped me are:

Understanding the Business Context: One should always ask “WHY” am I doing this project or building this requirement for the client. This provides insight into how your actions will impact end users and the overall business.

Effective Communication: This is one of the keys to ensure your leadership is accepted by everyone and you are able to deliver results. Communicate with the team as explicitly as possible to ensure there is no gap in terms of what to achieve, how to achieve and when to complete the work.

Lead by example:  As a leader one should walk the talk, be there with the team always, set an example of how things can be done. I still remember when we started up and hired people for specific roles, I would ensure I work with them, hand hold them, whenever required to do things together technically on the ground. That helped my team understand it better and are motivated to do wonders themselves.

Personal Connect with each individual: I always ensured that I am able to connect with each and every team member in my team to guide them personally and professionally. This helped in making sure I am able to understand their situation while at work and be empathetic enough when needed to help them manage the challenges.

Out of the Box Thinking: Looking at the problem from a user perspective is crucial so as to ensure the solution is acceptable. We have worked upon a mindset in the team to build a customer friendly solution so that they are able to use what we have built. This has helped us tread new paths in terms of technology understanding and building something unique like “ProAI - An advanced video analytics” framework which leverages the existing IP camera network in your premises and provide real time insights.

Crafting Creative Opportunities from Every Challenge

Challenges are part and parcel of an entrepreneurship journey. There is one saying that if you lose the battle in your mind, even though you are successful outside.. Eventually you will lose. If you haven't lost it in your mind, you will succeed one day, just keep on going.

Mindset can make or break a situation you are into at any point of time. Staying positive throughout is something I always practised.  Take one problem at a time, work on identifying the root cause and work on it. Don’t be all over the place, you need to learn to prioritise and pick your battles.Every challenge brings a new opportunity as well. We follow this mantra and everytime we are solving business problems, we build a product or a service out of that particular challenge OR get new learning / insights about why not to use a particular path.

Setting up of the Team: Identifying a team to work with is always the first challenge every entrepreneur has to go through. Finding the people with the right attitude matters the most. Work with your network , that's always very useful and your network helps you every time you are in need. If you don't have one, build one by joining some local groups/ forums.
Client Satisfaction: Building the right mindset of the team to ensure the acceptance of the solution is done by the customer is always a continuous learning process. We as a team of developers are now inclined towards doing “Value Add” in the client’s ecosystem.

My Impact

I have been able to successfully change the way software development companies used to work which are supporting MSME’s in India. We are building a positive mindset with the young team members who join our team to push themselves into learning new things, challenging themselves and thinking out of the box. With our digitization solutions, we have touched upon the lives of the people doing the most heavy lifting in the MSME sector when we provided them mobiles, tablets for do their day to day activities. The systems built are now giving a sense of trust among each other as now the systems are helping them achieve transparency. 

Solutions we have implemented have also helped in building the accountability among the staff in the organisations, the IP cameras were made intelligent and provided real time insights into the employee movement in office premises.I have also touched upon raising awareness around not to use single use plastic especially the guards of the societies to use the kettles instead of the plastic bag used to fetch tea from nearby stall. Educating children around segregation of dry waste by making this a movement at a school and the local authority level by involving all the parties together at one platform was also built and envisaged under the startup named “Swachh Bharat Captains”. This initiative helped sensitise kids around the reduced usage of plastic as well in our lives.

Scaling New Heights in Personal and Professional Triumphs

Since the time I have started the professional career, learning is a target I have always set for myself daily as well as asking a question to myself about “Did I add any value” in any work / project I was allocated. This mindset has helped me push my limits ever since the time I started my career in 2007. In 2010, starting Service Assurance practice alone at Aricent and taking the account to multi million dollar account in 3 years time was one such benchmark I had set for myself where in daily we were learning something new and building our team to reach new goals along with delivering value to our customer. This ever learning attitude comes with some drawbacks too, if you don't get challenging work it pushes you to do something new. 

That’s what made me take up the role in the US , work as a lead with clients and co-create. We worked with clients with such  passion that I wore various hats during my stint in US i.e. Technical Lead, Delivery Manager, Product Owner, Scrum Master etc. In my career, I have learnt various domains starting from HCI, UI/UX, ITSM, Service Assurance, OSS/ BSS, Wireline & Wireless Networks,  GIS, Process Automation etc. Starting up on your own was also after relocating from the US definitely was a difficult decision, however the passion to add value in what you do made me think of doing something for myself and help the MSME community in India by democratising the technology adoption in businesses. So, keep on learning and keep on striving to add value in what you do!

The Synergy Between My Path and Recognition Values

With the intent of Adding Value, I saw growth in the accounts I was allocated which was purely result driven.  When the goal is clear in your mind, you will be able to take outcome driven decisions and achieve results. In my journey as an individual working for a company, realising the  customer vision into reality helped me earn an Annual award at a company level long back. In the process of making things happen with “JUST DO IT” attitude also was one of the crucial aspects.  Appreciating Each and Every Member in your team is also a key value to achieve success in a project. We were able to deliver value to the client because each and every team member in my team felt valued and were motivated towards the same end goal. 

My interpersonal skills & People Friendly Leadership Style helped me forge a bond with every individual working in my team and has enabled me to achieve the true potential of every individual as per their skillset.With my own entrepreneurial journey, in the last 2 years building the products which actually solve customer problems on the ground by leveraging the best available technology has helped us add value to the customers.  We recently won a award in HR Bharat conference 2023 for innovating using AI and building a Zero Touch Payroll system.Till date we have transformed 30+ clients in terms of business operations or built new platforms as per their need. We have exposure in Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Distribution, Healthcare, FMCG, Fintech etc where our solutions are successfully running and customers are realising the true potential of their businesses with increased “Productive Efficiency”.