A seamlessly working workstation is the basic need of every startup. And as number of IT companies is increasing constantly throughout the globe, the need of organizations that set up office space and required infrastructure has also grown. This notion caught Saahil Wadhwa’s attention, thus, EasyDafter was born.
EasyDrafter is a Kolkata based office infrastructure setup company, ideal for the office setup of up to 10 people. Saahil, a post graduate from the University of Bath, England, is passionate about technology and takes immense pleasure in his work that is helping the IT sector in India to grow more rapidly. In near future, Saahil has firm plans to take his startup to new heights.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
We provide serviced office and co-working spaces as per distinct business’s needs. EasyDaftar can provide customized working spaces for teams up to 10 without difficulty. Our product range includes Open desks, Dedicated desks, Private 4/5/6/7/10 seater cabins and conference/meeting rooms.
We also provide value-added services to our clients through our partner services in the fields of legal, tax, social media, investor connect, at-your-workstation meals etc. We have an active community of co-workers wherein we organize various types of events to facilitate interaction between co-workers, leading to better, closer and wider networks for all. Our overall experience is aimed at providing value transcending tangibility.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
We routinely hear inspirational success stories and company growth but very few give a thought to the majority of businesses who struggle to remain operational or are trying to build their business. We have tried to cater to this majority market of boot-strapped businesses who find it extremely inconvenient to decide on a suitable space for their team.
The uninvited financial and time-wastage burdens further worsen the search for entrepreneurs. This is where EasyDaftar steps in, so that everybody can focus on their core business activities by taking a suitable startup space from us. We provide fully serviced co-working spaces to suit various business needs. We can accommodate single person companies to team sizes of up to 10 with equal ease.
What is your life mantra?
Since childhood, my parents have instilled in us a belief which I follow to date. It constantly reminds me that it is extremely difficult to fail in life. If one has the drive to attain success, one will eventually get there, even though the path may be difficult and lengthy. This enables me to work freely and securely. On this note, it brings back the song “I will survive” to my mind!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Providing seamless, swift, and secure internet. Prior to starting up, we had drawn up all measure drawings and finalized for the facility to be able to seat 80 persons. Little did we know that providing Internet to all 80 is a never-ending effort that we have to undertake. Initially, we installed extremely high-speed Broadband, but, with growing numbers, we struggled with connectivity. Monsoons led to frequent disruption in service- leading to several client complaints. We immediately understood the difference between ‘fast’ and ‘secure’ internet. By now, we have a variety of routers, access points, switches and other adaptors along with a network server area in order to manage the network at the facility. For me, that has been the biggest takeaway as being a startup ourselves, we could not afford a network engineer and it has all been figured out through trial & error. I would like to point out my appreciation to the initial clients who patiently supported us through this period.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Coming from a non-tech background, it made a considerable difference that I am an avid follower of technology and have acquired a more than basic knowledge of netwroks, routers, Wi-Fi, Access points etc. We acted swiftly to invest in technology which helped us restrict usage per device as well as control access to the network and filter unwanted users. It took a few days’ trial & error to resolve the issues, but, after having to refresh the Internet provisioning strategy, we were able to overcome the initial Internet issues. I would like to point out that it is an exhaustive task to manage connectivity for 100 plus devices together. Yet, at end of the day, it is every bit satisfactory to see a positively infectious energy engulfing the facility.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are a boot-strapped startup and first of our kind in Kolkata. Kolkata is the IT hub of Eastern India and surprisingly, we are still the only co-working startup in the city. Our focus is on creating awareness about the concept. We take pride in being self-funded and having the courage to try and stand on our own feet. That said, we are now inviting franchisees and JVs to fund further expansion into other markets.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We operate on an asset light model and the same formula follows our team size per facility as well. Thus, we have not yet had a Brain Drain issue.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Patience, patience and patience. It encompasses all activities- whether you have to acquire new clients, or create partnerships, or hire team members, or sell a product/service, or know whether your company’s performance is on the correct path, or deciding to scale etc. Patience complimented with hard work will bring you success.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We use SEO and Adwords extensively, complimented by Facebook marketing. We are trying to have visibility on few suitable platforms but practicing aggressive marketing for the chosen ones. I feel Google is something one cannot overlook or underestimate in today’s age.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I have prior experience of conventional (wholesale trading) as well as contemporary (handling B2B supply chain of ActivInstinct in U.K.) business, and I look at everything from the standpoint of both the worlds. I try to blend the two in order to take the best benefits of both and create a solution. That helps in staying calculated yet bold.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
As much as I encourage patience as a virtue, I am still struggling to become patient myself! At times, I get ahead of myself and forget that we have just begun our journey. Although, I do wish we could fast-forward the first year and begin from there- it leads to lesser grey hairs!
Answer in less than 50 words
Nobody gets success without losing few hairs or greying!
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Not networking enough. It proves to be the biggest source of business if handled correctly.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
That learning never stops, and to cost carefully prior to starting up. I grossly under-estimated the costs for IT equipment from my limited experience and had to re-work my strategy later.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We are looking to fine-tune our business model in terms of operation, team per facility, network, brand value generation, value-addition services and management. Thereafter we will look to expand to other cities and countries. We are inviting franchisees also.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Maybe not leave a job so soon. The experiences to be gained from a new place of work are quite valuable.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Seychelles, Gili Trawangan, and Goa. I love travelling and want to cover new places all the time.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.”