There are n-number of enterprise or consulting organizations in the world. To be an honourable and reliable organization one must exhibit a high degree of proficiency through a notable and sustainable contribution.
Moreover, consulting services is one such square-shooting industry. They often bridge the gap between the evolving needs of the industry to current practices in the industry.
One such reliable and the evergreen firm is achieving new heights year after year. Solutions India Systems PVT LTD is a multifunctional consultancy firm that provides unified AV solutions to numerous settings like corporate offices, educational institutes, retail industry, and many among them. It plays a major role in seamlessly incorporating technology and helps provide a smooth and efficient system for the constructive functioning of the business world.
In a talk with Insights Success, the Founder and Managing Director Punit Rastogi have helped explore the 25 years of their miraculous journey. Let’s see some of the ways they have implemented various strategies to become a pioneer and leading consultancy firm in the country.
Describe your professional journey.
Began my journey in 1993, right after my graduation with a Bachelor in Electronic Engineering from Pune VIT. That too became a matter of chance that I opted for Electronics when all my friends were all set for Mechanical Engineering!
My 1st stint was with Plus Business Machines in the year 1993-94 was there for 1 year. with HCL which lasted for another 1 year. I was selling high-end photocopiers and Office Automation to Corporate and SMB clients before the Entrepreneurial bug bit me. By June 1995, I was clear that I would want to do something on my own.
Technology has always fascinated me and the Audio-Visual Industry in the late 90s had just begun to grow or boom. It was a leap of faith that made me jump from being an employee to an entrepreneur to launch my own company in 1995-96. Having understood the nuances of the market and gaining knowledge from my previous experiences, we entered the market with the inception of “Solutions India” with a team of three people. With our product base to be projectors from Philips and security systems from Zicom.
In March 1997, Solutions India Systems was registered as a Pvt Ltd. company and incidentally, this year happens to be our 25th year of foundation!
Early in 1998 -2000, the Economy had started to liberalize and the effects of the reduction in customs duty were adding to the use of High-End Projectors and other display products in use. We started promoting Philips and Sony Projectors and during those days they were heavy and expensive.
In 2000, we introduced NEC Japan to India for their high-end projectors and were appointed as distributors for projectors in India.
In 2001 and 2002, our need to grow and expand operations across Pan India was the only way forward and so we set up branches in Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.
We had now specialized and moved from box sales of Projectors to Smaller AV Integrations Jobs by providing complete AV setup other than Projectors as well, giving our expertise in complete solutions to the AV needs.
In 2005, we partnered for Videoconferencing with Poly-com & Tandberg, as the future became more evident in the “Meeting on Video” though it had challenges on Bandwidth and several other issues.
By the year 2008, we had consolidated quite a bit and started working on larger AV projects saw our achievement, and crossed the Rupees 20 Crore turnover mark. The team size also grew to 100 members. We had decided to take a leadership position in the industry.
In the year 2010, we established State of Art Experience Centre at a new facility in Mumbai. We are even today one of the few players who have our own Experience Centre where the customer can come in touch, see the kind of work we do, and what they can expect from us. We are constantly updating and adding to our facility. It works as a tech Lab where we try out and evaluate new technology and solutions for the future.
In 2014 & 2015, we crossed the Rupees 40 Crore turnover mark, and the team is now 150 members strong.
The year of 2017, Solutions India Systems completed 20 years in the AV Industry. We are a name that instills trust and where customers have complete faith in our ability, proven time and again with repeat business.
In 2020, we have ventured into retail spaces and home automation as well. Broadening our base and extending our expertise in these sectors as well.
Who inspires you to wake up every day and keep making a difference in the respective industry you are catering to?
To do what we are doing requires a passion for Audio Visual Technologies. How do we work and how do we use them to solve the various problems that customers face in day-to-day operations? The approach to “Problem Solving”, and “Putting a Smile on the Customers Face” is what drives us on a day-to-day basis.
What differentiates us, is that we understand that all stakeholders need to be given attention and, if we don’t take care of them someone else will. We also differentiate by going that extra step in serving our clients to meet or exceed their expectations. This relationship-building is the reason why we have so many returning clients.
I strongly believe that I am responsible for the 150 families that are a part of the SISPL family and that is my biggest inspiration to strive to do better each day.
As a leader of your company, what challenges have you faced while establishing and running the business?
We had to compete with businesses that were ahead of us in the industry years before we entered. And that is true for anyone that starts afresh. So, our struggle was not a new one but unique in its own way because we had to handle the market differently with an approach that would be unique. Being a startup with just three people, to begin with, and trying to break into the big leagues from day one has been nothing short of a fascinating journey for us. Proving our capabilities and delivering the promises with sheer dedication, hard work, and commitment we could run the race with the established firms in the industry.
Brief us about the operations of your company, its mission, vision, and core values.
Customers are at the center of everything we do.
Our Values: reflect who we are and what we stand for as a company.
Ownership: We take responsibility for our area of influence with a strong sense of ownership or involvement.
Trust and Integrity: We are committed to a consistent, honest & reliable way of action with empathy.
Diversity and Inclusion: We embrace differences and use a consultative approach with our clients and partners.
Team Spirit: We actively contribute to facing and overcoming challenges as a team.
Transparency: We provide the full information required and communicate openly and sincerely.
Customer Focus: We create state of art solutions for our customers by carefully listening to their needs and trying to exceed their expectations.
Our Mission: “We aim to create value and make the difference in the lives of people through innovative solutions and thus helping our clients improve their workspace efficiency and business productibility”
Our Vision: “To be the trusted partner of choice that inspires and fulfills every audio-visual need and in creating an amazing experience for their customer”
How has the current pandemic affected your business and what steps have you taken to safeguard your employees while catering to your clients?
This has been a very difficult time for everyone globally and we were surely not an exception. But having said the difficult part was that of physical and emotional challenges that everyone passed through in one form or another. The discipline that has been instilled in our culture luckily played out to be a huge boon and we were able to stay afloat through the finances even when there was no income generation due to lockdown.
We didn’t have any layoffs and managed with minimum pay cuts, jumped up right back to the pre COVID times as soon as the markets opened up.
To ensure the safety of our SISPL family we organized a vaccination drive. Also, we made sure that medical assistance was given to those who needed it. Sanitizing our premises and ensuring regular monitoring has been maintained.
Our client visits were only through video conferencing early on and since some time that the client visits have begun, COVID regulations are followed.
What creative ways have you employed to make the work environment of your company vibrant?
We spend so much time at work and to be able to be comfortable, work well, but giving in your best consistently requires a lot of commitment. This is possible only if the work environment is conducive. We have our own sprawling office of over 3500 square feet, where we have made creative workspaces. This also includes our branch offices which are adequately furnished and thus enhance productivity.
Talking about the work front, we have empowered teams that take complete ownership of what they do and they with their trust and merit provide for a superlative customer experience.
We also ensure to celebrate all the festivals together. Saturdays are birthday celebrations. We have sports activities and similar team-building activities to bond with each other. Annual picnic, movie evenings, a disco night post-sales meet are all a part of bringing in the good vibes and celebrating our hard work together.
According to you, what are the essentials of being an innovative business leader?
However, cliched it may sound but “thinking out of the box” or rather not confining to thinking there exists a box is a way to go. For a Business Leader to be out of the box, one of the attributes is that he or she must be innovative in everything that they do.
Innovation is not only about using the latest technology but also about ensuring that you create an experience for the customer, in a way that they come back to you repeatedly for all the good work that you do. All the while when we do a Consulting Role with the customer, we are always thinking out of the box for creating AV Solutions that simplify the customers’ user experience and help to Collaborate with the Best and “At Par with the World” Solutions.
In 2010, when experience centers were a thing of awe and caught eyeballs, we created one in our own office to let the customer come and experience the beauty of technology he can expect us to create for him. For him to touch, feel, and see before he would set up his own. This was something no one in the industry had done at that point in time.
What would you like to share with the young generation of entrepreneurs who are looking to step foot in a leadership role in their respective businesses?
It is a very different time to do business in today’s scenario where the concept of funding and investments is quite active and prevalent. With ample liquidity in the markets there are lots of opportunities, but eventually, what entrepreneurs require is a long-term vision and goals to deliver value to the customer in a manner that can meet their pain areas and solve problems. Proper handling and a committed approach to growing with the customer is what should be the Mantra towards building leadership.
In terms of future growth, where do you see yourself and your company?
We are what we Build.
If we construct a process-driven, disciplined company where “Ownership towards the Customer” is a Motto, then Sky is the Limit. We are working steadily to meet customers’ high expectations in a challenging business environment where technology changes rapidly and the costs of Electronic Products are becoming affordable. In such situations, there is a process of continuous learning and evolvement is inevitable.
Having said that, we have built an organization that is Solid and reliable with strong Fundamentals, for whom Quality is at the Core of Customer Excellence. Hence there is only one way for us to go. Higher, Faster, and Stronger. We have been one of the pioneers in the industry, and in the future, we will continue to work on our leadership position.