Commendable Journey of ESDS Software Solution: From kindergarten space to a Rs160 Cr Turnover Company
Piyush Somani was born in a middle-class family in Maharashtra. He was an average student in academics. His family has to always move from state to state as his father was a bank official. They settled in Nashik in 1989. To pursue engineering, Piyush went to Pune in 1999.
"Most of my family members work in one bank or another. I completed my Engineering at 22. My father and uncle advise me not to get into banking like them. They told me not to become a Banker as I would work for 30 years for an organisation that they respect." He said.
His family advised him to start a business of his own. However, he didn't go with their judgement right away. He started working at a manufacturing company in Mumbai. Eventually, he had to come back to Nasik as the salary package in Mumbai wasn't enough for his accommodation and other expenses.
"I changed two jobs in a year and I realised my father and uncle were correct. Earlier the culture and working environment in Indian companies was really bad. I got the same feedback from my friends who were working in IT/ITES companies. That's when I realised that I need to start my own business where I would be respected and all the people working with me would get equal respect."He said
Piyush with his seven friends decided to start a small web hosting support business in November 2003. Since they did not have any source of income, they could not even afford to occupy space for rent.
Luckily, one of his seven friends' mother was running a kindergarten centre in the city. She noticed the hard work and perseverance of the boys and offered the space to Piyush and his friends to run the business after the kindergarten time was over.
They brought and set up computers from their home in the kindergarten room. Piyush's father also offered them ₹25,000 to get an internet connection. This little space became their dream office where everyone will be respected. From here, Piyush's web hosting support business hit the road. Presently, it is well known as ESDS Software Solution, founded in 2005.
Was the journey a Cake Walk?
In the starting phase, the company gave technical support to web hosting companies from the US and UK, however, the different time zones became taxing for the small team. "In those early days, we faced a lot of stress and constraints in managing a huge number of international projects. To combat the stress, we had to decline the number of projects as a result our revenue also took a negative slope. Adding further he said, " Many users made their own web hosting companies, which meant no payment for the support we offered."
The company was close to bankruptcy and to achieve success, they had to think out of the box. Piyush didn't lose hope, even after all his savings went in vain in a single year. The incident opened his eyes and he observed that he couldn't land his dreams by outsourcing technical support business. He dreamt to make an ESDS web hosting company itself.
There was light at the end of the tunnel
"It brought an extremely sensitive period as I was attached to my employees, but had to decline our number of employees from 60 people to just 25 in 8 months. While all this, we were to take some of the US and UK based web hosting companies. Then we poured our hearts and souls into transforming these companies into profit-making entities" He shared.
The success came with a high price of a financial and emotional sacrifice. ESDS started generating decent revenue from the newly procured entities. With ESDS' technical support service, the companies became famous.
Today the company is no longer a small group of web support workers juggling in a kindergarten space. The number of employees has increased to 850. It is asserted to be a ₹160 crore revenue managed data centre and cloud hosting service provider in this industry. "Being a first-generation entrepreneur, I have taken various roles in ESDS. I was able to build goodwill for the company and develop business through building long term relationships." Piyush, Founder, CEO and CMD, briefed.
"We launched the first data centre in India in 2010. Now our focal point was banking and government customers via cloud and data centre services. By 2016, we will develop one of the largest data centres in Mumbai. Presently, our company is only looking forward as we are continuously growing and developing the best data centres in India." He stated.
"In the past 15 years, we have developed our proficiency in providing cloud hosting platforms, data centre management systems, digital banking solutions and different cloud-based Saas offerings." He stated. The cloud offerings and software products of ESDS entitled the digital transformation of its clients that includes enterprises across sectors, banks and government institutions.
Piyush proudly said "Those who got on board with ESDS as cloud hosting users now enjoy dozens of services and offerings we give. Our company is no longer just an Indian Cloud Service Provider. The market appraises our company as a potent digital transformation company that is purely Made in India."
Their clientele comprises companies like Infosys, the Muthoot Group, LT (Larsen and Toubro Infotech), Bharat Petroleum, MUDRA, Essar, Ambuja Cement, State Bank of India and other government bodies.
It can be categorised into two parts: cloud and data centre services and product R&D. We offer managed cloud hosting and data service centre services with products like eNlight Cloud, eNlight 360 degrees, eMagic, VTMScan and others.
Under the R&D part, we control strategic product development. The portal such as Mudra and Stand Up India for the Prime Minister's office is built by this company. They are currently focusing on digital portals for the IFCI Maharashtra state government.
"Presently we are touching the lives of 600 million Indian via over 200 government organisations hosting their data on our cloud, and more than 380 banks hosting their CBS solutions with us." He stated.
Piyush said, "We gained experience and knowledge from our US and UK hosting business. We were able to build end to end digital solutions and innovative products as well as continuously modernize our cloud infrastructure. Some of our products were game-changers in India as they made manual work automatic. These factors have helped us stay ahead of the competition."
As per the latest forecast in a global centre market, from Gartner Inc., there is a possibility of an increase of 6% from 2020 to 2021. It can touch 200 billion in 2021. ESDS is thinking of investing in the global market.
They are also infusing their money in the Infrastructure in South India like Chennai and Bengaluru. It plans to splash out on building data centres in Hyderabad, Kolkata and other regions. It also aims to erect data centres in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the US.