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Chase your dreams with feet on ground: FirstGen entrepreneur Satyam Sikarwar

Chase your dreams with feet on ground: FirstGen entrepreneur Satyam Sikarwar

By Rita Sachdeva

New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) Passion,dreams in sync with reality and the field suiting your capital expenditure are the pre-requisites to become a successful entrepreneur, says Satyam Sikarwar, Managing Director, SAP Infra Technologies, Pvt Ltd.

Quoting traveller Christopher McCandless, he says, 'If you want something in this life, reach out and grab it.'

Sikarwar, a First Generation entrepreneur, started his first venture in 2008 with a modest personal savings of Rs 20,000 with his wife Priya and at present, has a turnover of Rs 40 crore with footprints across the country.

In an interview with UNI, Sikarwar said,'From the very beginning, I was sure that I will have my own set-up.'

The two-member founding team -- Sikarwar and his wife-- started software business with a meagre Rs 20k in pocket. The B Tech-MBA entrepreneur worked out in the field while his wife managed the back end.

The passionate young man did not want to bother his father for money for his own dreams. 'The challenge was to choose the sector which required minimum capital,' Sikarwar said. So, he chose services sector, which requires minimum expenditure.

They initially started dealing with core tailor made applications for manufacturers and traders and clocked Rs 39 lakh, in year one itself.

No looking back:

Then, there was no looking back. Sikarwar realised that his belief in himself was not misplaced.

'The first satisfying moment was when I achieved a turnover of Rs 39 lakh. Initially, you have belief in yourself but the world does not. We went to the market and got a business of Rs 39 lakh. So 1,000 people were validating my belief, so many people had placed their trust on me. At that moment, I realised what I believed in myself, was actually correct.

'Then, the world is yours,' he beamed.

Sikarwar with his expertise and passion to grow, has quickly managed to acquire more than 100 plus clients, including Flipkart (Pan India), Country Inn, Jabong (Pan India), Myntra, to name a few.

SAP Infra Technologies has presence in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and has plans to expand to other states as well.

To budding entrepreneurs, he advises,'Choose your vertical carefully and read market sentiments. It should suit your financial restraints.

'If you are thinking of starting a start-up, you should have a plan to reach and sustain at some level, You should have something to show and you should be able to manage stage one.

'Money is not always essential. A few physical figures should be there, before proceeding ahead.

'I cannot expect others to pay for my dreams,' he pointed out. Business in all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises requires automation. Sikarwars started off with Tally, a leading business management software solution, which today enables more than a 11 lakh businesses worldwide and does not cost too high. They sold Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMCs) as well.

Sikarwar's company continued for three years in the same domain. He happened to meet Country Inn chief one day and asked what was his capex. Rs 40 crore,he got the reply and his was only Rs 25,000. Then he realised, something is missing somewhere. Then, he moved to another domain -- hardware integration.

He maintained both the verticals --(application)software and system integration -- managed by his wife and him respectively.

A success story:

Within seven years-- the entrepreneur couple had premium customers in their kitty. They were providing services to E commerce houses.

SAP Infra Technologies offered one window for six low voltage components -- IT infra, voice, fire address system, CCTV surveillance, public address and access control.

'We chose low-voltage (LV)contracting business because limitation of scalability and liability. Eventually, we can move to high voltage(HV) services,' he said.

With a mission to reach the target of Rs 100 crore by 2020, Sikarwar's goal is to become one of the premium sytem integrators of India and reach among the top five.

'System Integration is an unorganised sector. When I started my work, I had a clear thought that there should be a single-window system. All six components provided by us -- this is the beauty,' maintained the passionate entrepreneur.

'In an office you have laid-down procedures, but when you become an entrepreneur, your life is full of challenges which come with financial constraints among other things.Down the line, you are very content,' Sikarwar expressed his satisfaction.

With a staff of 70 people, Sikarwar says, 'The biggest fear till today is to lose an employee. Winning trust is very challenging in today's volatile job environment.

'It takes six months for an employee (when joined) to become an asset. An important aspect is that I should be able to win their trust,' he said.

'We need to be error free When we work for pan India. Everything is process driven. To sustain, we cannot commit errors. Professional competence is required,' he said.

Questioned on his source of motivation, Sikarwar said, 'A lot of things. When you succeed in your dreams, that becomes a very strong motivation for you.

'When you have something in your mind and reach that ground, then you keep on succeeding. You attain level one, two three...you grow and become a brand, you find family, friends -- all standing with you, that is big achievement.'

Sikarwar, hailing from a conservative Rajput family, works 18 hours a day to pursue his dreams.'People are trusting us, giving us opportunities, lot of business. I have to keep travelling, monitoring, technical, operations, managing finances.'

On being asked whether he would start the same way if he went back by 10 years, Sikarwar answered in negative. ' If I had capex, I would have started all the LV components and would have targetted (tech giant) Larsen and Toubro Limited from day one,' he said, adding smilingly that in the next 10 years, he dreams of a turnover of Rs 250 crore.

Sap Infra deals in various verticals, system integration being the major source of business. Sikarwar’s successful entrepreneurial journey has been recognised by prestigious IT mag SME channels which bestowed upon him 2018 Emerging Entrepreneur Award.

Extremely fond of reading books, Sikarwar also likes to spend his time with his son Amber and wife. Self-motivated and positive, Sikarwar affirms, 'Every sunrise brings with itself a new adventure.'

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