Webkul Software Pvt. Ltd. found place in the 2015 Technology Fast 500 APAC Ranking. The co-founders, Vipin Sahu and Vinay Yadav started Webkul in 2010. Vipin Sahu comes from the small town of Fatehpur. He and his then roommate Vinay Yadav actively built software tools since their early days in college. Even thought they had no exposure to computers before college, open source excited their creativity to develop APIs for the then prevalent platforms like Zoomla, WordPress, and plugins for Orkut. After college they decided to ditch their jobs and make software tools which would be commercially viable.
“It is easy for companies with VC funds to invest in growing their web shops. So we decided to power merchants how don’t have a lot of money and technical expertise, so that they can just plug and play tools to create their websites and add advanced functionalities to it. Today we have a team of over 140 people, of which over 110 are developers”, shares Vipin.
Here are some excerpts from a conversation with the co-founder, Vipin Sahu:
What does it take to run a team this big?
VS: “We are a bootstrapped company. We work in small independent teams. As founders, our task is to motivate the teams and provide them with the funds they need. So it’s like 11-12 small startup teams working to create profits. The emphasis is on creating small tools that have huge demand and make each of them work individually.”
What are your aspirations for the company?
VS: “We are building tools for post-commerce and target small and medium scale companies. We want to provide the tools so that the owners can run their web shop like ebay, while we take care of the technology. When their commerce grows, their needs increase. We are thinking on how to empower those requirements.”
What are your 3 suggestions for budding entrepreneurs?
VS: “First, if you have an exit plan in your mindset, then don’t startup. If you think you want to create a company that you want to run for over 50 years, only then it makes sense.
Second, I think the people need to be bottleneck breakers. As an entrepreneur you will face new issues every day. If you can crack them and have fun doing them, then you will go a long way.
Third, with time you will have to hire specialists. Initially we ourselves worked like all-rounder, but when you grow you need to hire more entrepreneurs. When you hire, the vision of the people and the founders need to be aligned.
Also, every company needs to start keeping in mind that they are bootstrapped. It is important to think how you will generate money to get the resources you need, from the first day. The bootstrapping way of thinking will eventually ensure that you become sustainable.”
What were the 3 mistakes you wish you did not make?
VS: “If you are heading a company you need to be a good listener. You need to inspire people, otherwise they will not stay. You need to ensure that you listen to what they think, what their aspirations are, and align them with your own vision. We took time to understand this.
Hire people who are at least as good as you. When you are just starting off, you may not have the resources to train and hope that people will turn out good. So it is important to hire right.
Also, never outsource the core business. If you are building tools, then you should be involved in building them. You cannot expect to be a marketing or sales person and outsource the development.”
Vinay and his team are a determined lot. We wish them the best for their journey ahead.