In our last edition of Uptech Report, we spoke with Gaurav Bhattacharya, the CEO of InvolveSoft, who told us about the remarkable journey that brought him from humble origins to the CEO of a startup.
In Part Two of our conversation, Gaurav tells us more about overcoming the obstacles of starting a U.S. company as an immigrant, the goals he establishes for success, and his view that coders will be the next blue collar workforce.
More information here: https://www.involvesoft.com/
Gaurav Bhattacharya is the CEO of Involve. Before starting Involve he worked in product for ASML and PwC. His background is in software & product development. At the age of 17, he started his first company Iti which created a platform for radiologists and helped them prevent female foeticide in India. Currently, Involve employees 40 people and is growing rapidly building products for distributed teams.
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
Gaurav Bhattacharya 0:00
I think the two biggest things that we are constantly tracking are like what’s the time to value what’s the time to first value and then RVC natural tension.
Alexander Ferguson 0:16
In our last edition of UpTech Report, we spoke with Gaurav Bhattacharya, the CEO of Involvesoft, who told us about the remarkable journey that brought him from humble origins to the CEO of a startup. In part two of our conversation, Gaurav tells us more about overcoming the obstacles of starting a US company as an immigrant, the goals he establishes for success and his view that coders will be the next blue collar workforce. What’s one difficulty that you had to face and then overcome, that maybe another entrepreneur can learn from?
Gaurav Bhattacharya 0:49
Oh, that’s a great one, I think for just being open, like immigration was really hard for us, because like immigration is a big challenge. Like we had to learn a lot about what kind of visa when to apply for it, how to search for the lawyer. So I think that’s something that, you know, it’s possible, like, a lot of immigrants don’t know that they already see. Like, for example, like immigrants would see Indian entrepreneurs or Asian entrepreneurs, and then they feel like these people were actually born in the US. But there’s a lot of like, like immigrants who are like, for example, both Sachin Adela, who’s Indian, who’s the CEO of Microsoft, and Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and alphabet. Now, they’re both people who came later, so they were not US citizens. But a lot of ways of of working with it. Just I think the the big message I want to give us it’s possible as an immigrant, you can start a company, you can run a successful company, sell it as well, there’s a lot of options, you just have to find good lawyers and, and people who’ve done it before. But the biggest part is it’s possible and it can be done. So if anyone was an American watch his video and thinks can be done is legally it can be exactly.
Alexander Ferguson 1:57
I love it. I’m actually Canadian, by the way, so I’m not even American. It is it is possible. Now you you’ve you’ve already paved the way you’ve you’re living a dream, sort of say, and you’ve got a great vision. Describe to me where you see yourself in five years from now, where is the company?
Gaurav Bhattacharya 2:17
Yeah, it’s a great question. So hopefully, if I wish from now, you know, we were just doing doing a road mapping. You know, our goal is that we can build this a really big business, we have 1000s of customers, hopefully, five years from now, and you’re solving a lot of pain, we’re, you know, building a community where we’re hiring top talent, we’re empowering them also helping their families and their communities. You know, so I’m, I’m a big believer in making a company and almost treating it like 100 year old company. So hopefully we in the next five years have laid the foundation, whatever we do, you know, again, the product may change, division may change, or, you know, there’s a lot of new things we might be doing or different things, but just laying the foundation that can this be a generational company. And that’s what we’re focused on?
Alexander Ferguson 3:02
Well, it’s a different scope than a lot of other startups that I just want to grow as fast as I can then sell. And you know what it does? It doesn’t matter what happens after it, but the focus of building a company that can be generational, that’s, that’s awesome. Yeah, thank you. What, in order to accomplish this in order to be a company that can be passed down, and no matter how it continues to evolve? What hurdles Do you see you’re going to have to overcome to make that happen?
Gaurav Bhattacharya 3:30
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think the biggest one is always like, can we build a product that’s differentiated enough? And that’s valuable enough that people can buy quickly? Or, you know, it can actually, in theory, solve a problem, right? Because a lot of times you try to pitch something to these executives, and they have so much going on that, you know, it’s not important or valuable enough for them. But at the same time, once you’ve sold them, can they actually see the value? Can we fulfill that promise so that they, you know, become customers, they buy more they stay on for longer? They refer more people? So I think the two biggest things that we are constantly tracking are like, what’s the time to value? What’s the time to first value? And then are we seeing that retention go up in SAS? Net retention basically means that if you start with $100, what’s the the end dollar bond at the end of the year? So if I, if we bring on a customer, we start with $100? Can we take them to one $40 At the end of the year or so that’s really important for us. And that’s an extra tension. Our net retention is one 40%, which makes us really happy. But it’s also really hard to maintain. And hopefully we can do that year over year so that we have more customers or we have more seats, or more use cases than we started with at the end of the first year. So that’s kind of our goal. I think these are the two big things you’re trying to focus on is is the first time the value and then can we increase value over time so people stay with us. I
Alexander Ferguson 4:59
appreciate that. The realization of both how quickly can somebody get on and see value? And then how well can you retain them and keep them and themselves actually growing and spending more? That hurdle but that affects you’re focused on it, you realize it that that’s probably the first step with knowing your five year journey that the technology or the application and division might change. What are you doing personally, to continually innovate? Where are you going for new ideas and new thoughts?
Gaurav Bhattacharya 5:26
Yeah, so and maybe this is like a shameless plug here. But I was watching your podcasts and digitally valuable because I think learning from other entrepreneurs is their biggest value. And all of us are busy, that you’re busy, other entrepreneurs are busy. So if you can, you know, in your free time, listen to someone, you know, how they’re scaling how they see how, what challenges are they facing, how the solving goes, I think it’s really valuable. So you’re exactly Thank you. So your your channel is like, is definitely a good good place to be. And also listen to another podcast, or they have their series but it’s on it’s very SAS specific. It’s called Sastre. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. But they’re pretty good, too. They do a lot of content with entrepreneurs. So so these two places are pretty pretty good sources to learn.
Alexander Ferguson 6:21
I love the focus on on. If you aren’t learning from from other ideas and other people, that’s the best way to innovate as you’re getting new insights. Yeah, that’s a great point to check out Sastre any particular other sites, or blogs, or podcasts or books or audio books that you’re reading right now?
Gaurav Bhattacharya 6:41
Yeah. So So I’ve read a lot. And I am a big audiobook fan, too. There is a book I recently just started reading, and I can’t remember the author’s that’s, that’s really bad. But it’s called the CEO within the great CEO within but it’s just like, it’s a very tactical book, it talks about what a CEO of a startup can do, to have good alignment in the company to set goals, to, you know, a lot of tips on hiring and firing a lot of tips on fundraising. That’s a good book, one of my favorite books is never split the difference. I don’t know if you’ve read it, but it’s a really it’s by an FBI agent. But it talks about the art of negotiation. But you know, some of the things that you’re doing to in this interview, which is amazing things like reflective listening, just summarizing and repeating. But But it’s so important, because every time we say it, and I’m like, Yeah, you got my point you like I feel heard, which is great. So there’s a lot of tips like that in there. It’s really good book for sales and fundraising.
Alexander Ferguson 7:43
I think I need to read book that book myself, maybe help them in interviewing as well. That’s awesome. For you personally, what upcoming technology are you most excited about?
Gaurav Bhattacharya 7:55
Oh, that’s a great question. I’m a believer in artificial intelligence. Right. So I’m really excited about it. I think it’s like, you know, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, I feel like the next generation of blue collar workers are going to be software engineers or coders. So that’s like one of the big theories I have so so I feel that AI is going to become really powerful that this is going to be a lot a lot of creative jobs, but a lot of the blue collar jobs you’re going to shift out eventually. So I’m pretty excited seeing that seeing that trend.
Alexander Ferguson 8:25
I like that that blue collar workers will become coders that is a fascinating perspective. I dig it Yeah, without a doubt I mean it’s it’s everything’s becoming technology and software and if anything you just someone’s gonna need to manage the the different algorithms and code and hey, go work on that. Wow. Hmm. I can do that. So where can folks go to learn more about you? What’s a good first step for them to take?
Gaurav Bhattacharya 8:53
Yeah, absolutely. I think the website is is is probably the best way it’s www dot involve soft calm just like Microsoft but it’s involved soft calm and and that’s that’s it has a lot of information about me but my founder’s pack my team also about the company, but my email is for Sir t u r AV at involve soft calm so people can try. drop me an email.
Alexander Ferguson 9:21
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