Interview with Shahid Mansuri Co-Founder of Peerbits

It has been truly said that the passion for entrepreneurship is true when it is maneuvered by a desire for welfare of the people and society. Meet the Co-Founder of Peerbits Solution Pvt. Ltd.

  1. What is the name of your venture? Any specific reason for this name?

It’s called Peerbits. Peerbits, as the name suggests, portmanteau of the words Peer and bits. Peer refers to employees and equality and lack of hierarchy they witness at Peerbits and bits shows they fundamental to the company as a bit to a digital infrastructure.

  1. Where your venture is based (city, state, country) &what are your geographical target areas?

We are based in western India in the city called Ahmedabad which itself is in the state of Gujarat. While we target a global clientele and are not restricted to a particular region or country, we primarily target North America and Middle East n’ Africa (MENA) region.

  1. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?

Like any technology firm we are committed to solve the problems our clients and their customers face with the help of mobility solutions, leveraging on the latest technologies.

We are a mobile app development company and offers our services in three domains:

  1. Application development
  2. IoT and Cognitive Technologies
  3. Managed Services
  4. Who is your targeted audience/clients?

Our targeted clients are business owners/ representatives who want to build an app to optimize their business operations, enhance employees’ productivity, boost sales, improve customers satisfaction and augment brand loyalty.

They can be small business owners, representative of an SME, or an entrepreneur coming up with a new startup.

  1. Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?

Year 2011 was coming to an end and people had started to buy more smartphones than desktops and laptops. The glass-clad, super sleek, chic iPhone 4 was a device everyone was eager to get their hands on. The iPhone 4’s retina display simply made us wow.

We came across Android Gingerbread on a HTC device. It, although, was not as impressive as the iPhone 4’s glossy software, what we saw was the immense potential. And we were quite right, while Android Cupcake and Donut were an embarrassment to hold in front of an iPhone, starting with Android Ice-cream Sandwich, Android came shoulder to shoulder with iOS in terms of looks and features.

While the debate, which one is better Android or iOS, could never be resolved, we concluded one thing the future is mobile application development.

Fast forwarding 7 years, mobile applications development market is already showing its age. It is enteringa saturation phase, giving way for another technology revolution. Evolution is the key and the recipe to survival. In a cut-throat competition, it is easier to fade out and vanish. We must not only survive but also become relevant. Keeping up with the latest technology and industry trend is the least we can do.

  1. Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?

Every mobile app development company is our competitor. This is the internet age. Any company that is visible in search results is our competitor. The mobile development market is turning out into a commodity market and everybody is after reducing its rate to offer the best rate in the market.

To differentiate ourselves, we are moving from a mobility service provider to a mobility solution provider, working with clients to solve real-world problem with a mixture of technology and mobility.

  1. How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your co-founder.

There were three of us, who happen to be the cofounders.We went to the same college and apparently, graduated together, were close-friends for a long time.Each had his own individual but, coincidently, common dream to start their own technology firm. None of us wanted to pursue somebody else’s dream although we got many job opportunities.

So, we came together, one fine afternoon and the idea was born. For me, together, we three, works as a unit. While I am the CEO, one of the co-founder and an expert coder, Ubaid is the CTO and takes care of software development. The other co-founder Nasrullah takes care of the company’s operation is the motivation that drives the sales and marketing team.

  1. How did you hire your first team member? What skills do you want in your team?

We started to hire the first batch of employees, the pilot. Well, it was walk-in interview and to our surprise, we received more candidates then we anticipated. For the 5-vacant position, we received close to 40 candidates.

There was this guy project coordinator at a major technology firm in the city. He was trying to fill the position of Project Manager alongside, 12-something candidates, some many years more experienced than he was. We were throwing the same question to every of them: “Why you want to join a new company, aren’t you scared? How are you going to mitigate the risks?”

I really like his answer. He showed me a half empty glass and then an empty. The rest is history.

  1. What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?

In the next 2 years, we will be looking to move from a service based company to a solution based company and by 5 next years we want a majority of revenue from selling software based products.

  1. Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?

I want to grow the company from an overzealous small business to a multinational firm with development centers in all major software development markets in the world. A research facility in Japan and South Korea and marketing team in the Middle East, North America and Africa region.

  1. What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
  • 1 month: Launch a fleet tracking software solution and successfully market it.
  • 2 months: Revamping website so we can create an identity as solution provider, not service provider
  • 6 months: Start selling our diverse range of software solutions to a global clientele by creating demand with a mission-critical content strategy.
  • 1 year: Start a dedicated support desk to help existing customers of our new products and old services, in addition, to sell software support as a service to technology companies and startups.
  1. Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?

No we never raised funding. As of now, we don’t have a plan to raise funding. That may or may not change in the future. However, I can’t say right now. Depends! But, we prefer not to.

  1. What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?

I guess for a new firm in a hyper-competitive market where companies come and go and those that survive have to continually innovate or risk fading away, survival is the key. When you are new and small, the competition tries to crush you. Persistence is the key. You keep doing what you’re doing with utmost dedication and nobody can come close to you, let alone crush you.

Of course, you have to hire dedicated, determined individuals, which is going to be tough initially because of trust issues that every newcomer experiences. Once you have hired the pilot batch and you establish yourself as a reputed technology provider, a lot of things come in straight line.

  1. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Golfing is something I can’t live without. Telling me I won’t be golfing this month is a depressing call for me. I subside the sadness by playing Table Tennis. I have a table right at the office leisure room and it’s a great way to interact with my employees without discussing work, kind of casual conversation you look for on a Friday evening.

  1. What is your favorite food & holiday destination?

Dubai is a destination I don’t mind going any number of times be it business or pleasure. It’s a destination I have been to a number of times and every time I am there no matter how demanding the schedule is I don’t miss having Shawarma. That’s a dish I can’t leave Emirates without grabbing a bite of.

  1. Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?

Steve Jobs. If there was one 21st century news that excited me more than anything it was Jobs’ eureka moment, when he launched the first iPhone. Literally, I developed goosebumps when I saw him operating the touchscreen with his fingers and panning and pinching to zoom at will. The design, the looks, the sleekness, beauty. The futuristic design changed my view on technology and marketing. Then, I used the device myself and I realized Jobs is (he was alive backthen) the showman, expert marketer, and a true visionary.

  1. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Entrepreneurs have a different take on the world. The way the perceive the world is quite different from the general view, which at times make them look naïve even lunatic. But then there are the so called common people, living a conventional life in a 10-7 job, fulfilling somebody else’ dream.

But again, if you have what it takes, and if you deliver perfection, and know your job, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur or working for someone, you will add value be it your own business or somebody else’s. Commitment and dedication is a key whether Entrepreneurship or job.

  1. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?

Work-life balance was tough to achieve in the initial stage. However, when you have backing of your family and two of your best friends are working with you, everything looks very easy. They were a bit hesitant, actually apprehensive, when I told them I am gonna live a life of an entrepreneur. But, they see my dedication and passion towards what I was doing, although, with a little success, they embraced my idea. Of course, I wouldn’t have achieved what I am today without their support. So ya, it was difficult but they understood and I am glad their sacrifice didn’t go in vain.

  1. Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?

Dream like there is no tomorrow. Learn from your own mistakes and, of course, somebody else’s. Books and seminars will help you but when you’re gonna do that real this is an only going to be uphill ride with no coming back. Don’t quit and look back. It is neither a wasteland nor La-La land.

  1. Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person.

Respondent: Shahid Mansuri

Designation: Co- Founder of Peerbits

Email Id: sales@peerbits.com

Skype: enquiry.peerbits

Company: Peerbits Solution Pvt Ltd

Website: https//www.peerbits.com

Location: Ahmedabad

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