How We Built A $2M/Year Software Agency From India
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
I am a tech-savvy person and since childhood, I have always remained fascinated with innovations and technologies. With the vision & interest to go much deeper into the world of technology. I, together with my 2 mates, founded SemiDot Infotech. I am one of the co-founders and CEO of the company. SemiDot has earned massive recognition across the world with its highly scalable, unique, and responsive web apps and mobile apps.
Established in the year 2011, with a handful of people and a great vision in mind, the company was started. Since then, we are providing proficient, scalable, and cost-effective mobile and web app development services across different industries. Whether it is software development, mobile app development, cryptocurrency development, Blockchain development, NFT marketplace development, Metaverse development, or anything else, SemiDot Infotech stands second to none. From healthcare to education to eCommerce, our development team has the expertise and experience to deliver robust solutions to every kind of venture including SMEs & large-scale organizations.
With our fierce will and never-ending efforts, year-on-year, we have seen huge growth and success both in terms of market share and customers. Today, we deal with global clients to serve their business needs in the best possible manner and by using the most-talented resources. Currently, we have crossed the benchmark of making 2 million dollars annually and we aim to reach new heights, make new customers, and double our revenues in the next few years.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
At the time of my schooling, I was into computer programming and later I completed my master’s in computer science. While working in London, I came to know about the issues faced by global clients in IT outsourcing work.
From there, I realized the gap and the opportunity to overcome that with IT solutions. I analyzed how outsourcing is evolving with time and the way it can turn into a big global business. Thereafter, returning to India, I joined hands with some like-minded people and focused on building solutions that can meet the needs of hundreds of businesses worldwide.
To establish SemiDot, we set up an R&D team to bring on innovative technologies, hired web and mobile developers to build scalable solutions, recruited analysts and testers for app-building purposes, and fulfilled other requirements so that SemiDot can win an edge over the existing players of the market. This is how my idea of serving communities with efficient solutions turned into reality with the establishment of SemiDot Infotech in the year 2011.
If you trust your business, then only people will trust and consider the business genuine and of high potential.
Take us through the process of getting your first clients and taking on your first projects.
Be it any business or project, we all know it is never easy to start anything new as we have to put a lot of effort into establishing it in the market among all the existing and popular industry players. When we started SemiDot in 2011, it was hard but not impossible to make it a well-known name in the market. Our team started by conducting effective and well-planned social media and marketing campaigns to aware business enthusiasts all over the world about the arrival of this amazing mobile and web development firm.
During the promotional period, we got our first client who was willing to develop a content translator service app ‘ViTolker’ that can easily connect translators and users. With the hard work and dedication of our development team, we were able to complete the overall project in around 6 to 8 months. The process started with understanding the business requirements of the client. After discussions, we finalized to have React JS and Laravel framework of PHP as the frontend and backend languages respectively for designing the system. Later, we created a wireframe and prototype and sent it for the client’s approval. Once it was approved, we began with the development process and later tested it to check how it is working. Finally, it was released, and we received positive feedback from the client.
After completing the project, we realized that with the help of an appropriate and skilled development team, it is possible to deliver a robust and cost-efficient solution even before the estimated time. We used fewer resources and consumed fewer development hours because we were following a step-by-step procedure that helped us to achieve the goal timely.
Describe the process of launching your agency and hiring your first employees.
To precisely describe the launching strategy, we first direct our research towards understanding audience interest and how people can be aware of the services we are about to offer. This was the first stage, or I can say it was our pre-launch strategy where we segmented our audience, created systems for lead generation, and worked on our content strategy. In the second stage or the mid-launch strategy, we fixed dates for the final launch and started promoting our services on social media channels. In the final stage of the post-launch strategy, we collected feedback from the customers and had a proper follow-up of all the leads that were not converted, to know where the actual problem was. It almost took us 4 to 6 months in converting our first big lead. It almost took 2 years before we started seeing a lot of customers.
At the earlier stage, we borrowed money from our parents to start the business but as soon as we found everything was falling in place, we took money from the market and in a few years, returned it all and started making good profits. The biggest lesson we learned while this entire launch was to always focus on the right marketing as it plays a vital role in targeting the correct set of customers. Marketing is the key to business success and thus one should keep a strict eye on all the marketing tools, techniques, and strategies.
When it comes to hiring, we always had a clear mindset about choosing a skilled and dedicated team. We wanted a team comprised of both experiences of the existing professionals in the market and the creativity of the newbies who have a zeal to experiment with new-edge technologies. This thought led us to create the amazing team we have right now. With time, we have increased the level of the hiring process which has helped us to select the most deserving ones who are ready to support the firm whenever needed.
Manoj Lalwani and Abhishek Singh were some of the key hire we have since the start of our firm. These people have assisted the company dedicatedly in all its ups and downs. Thus, the firm started with a few people and now, we are a family of 52 specialists. Ours followed a slowly but steady hiring process and has paid a great contribution to form this competent team as we always try to hire employees with the same vision and goals as ours.
The complete growth Semidot has achieved is the reflection of the continuous hard work of our experts, that’s why we consider having a suitable hiring process and finding talent wherever it is possible.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Attracting and retaining customers is one of the most crucial tasks for businesses to perform for attaining long-term growth and success. It helps to build a loyal customer base for the business. At SemiDot, we work too hard to create a smooth & strong onboarding experience for our clients.
We make sure that SemiDot offers excellent customer service to all its clients. For this, our primary focus is on the communication part as it leads to either deal conversion or proposal rejection. We remain transparent with our clients and thus make sure that accurate information is conveyed to them without any later-on surprises related to the delivery date, costs, or other aspects of app development.
We always focus on providing a cohesive experience at all the touchpoints so that there doesn’t take place any sort of miscommunication. We build trust through relationships and for that, we prepare a frequent communication calendar so that at proper intervals customers can be in touch for any updates or changes. Also, one of our key strategies is to implement a customer feedback loop where there is a structured system for gathering, analyzing, and checking customer reviews. This helps us in improving at every stage of work. We try to learn & improve so much from our client’s feedback.
Currently, the effective SEO strategies we are following to get more business and clients include-
- Planning and executing the latest SEO tactics as per the new guidelines to improve the organic search ranking of the website.
- Checking the current stats after goal completion, result tracking, and analyzing keywords’ ranking while identifying the growth are some of the things we do regularly.
- For branding purposes, we run different google display campaigns along with doing press releases mentioning the brand’s name. Then, we publish them on popular websites with high DA (domain authority).
- Mostly, we go for organic results but in case, if we have to go for an aggressive approach for fast business growth, we prefer to do paid listing on B2B platforms like Clutch.co, GoodFirms, DesignRush, G2, etc. along with conducting paid campaigns on Google ads, Meta, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, and others.
- At present, we are focusing on blog outreach, influencer marketing, link mentions, skyscraper, Haro, Resource link building, Reverse image link building, PR Mentions, Interviews, and Content Marketing.
When it is to blog content, we are focusing on mobile and web app development including its costs and features. Alongside this, we are also publishing step-by-step guides to provide a detailed understanding of different topics to business enthusiasts. We have 7 to 8 experts including SEOs and content developers who focus on publishing quality content on famous article sites like HubPages, HackerNoon, ThriveGlobal, VocalMedia, Medium, etc. and guest sites including Small Biz Trends, Investopedia, Business Insider, etc. to promote the brand.
Here are some examples of our published content;
How To Start An Electric Scooter Business
eelearning App Development Guide
A Comprehensive Guide To iOs App Development
Vet On-demand App Development Cost
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
In the working of more than a decade, we have built hundreds of solutions and presently we have so many good projects that we are likely to deliver successfully as per the timeline. Currently, we are more into developing cross-platform applications as the demand for these apps is higher seeking the market scenarios.
Also, we have so many plans for expansions in the pipeline and working our best to accomplish them. Our future aim is to develop the best-in-class industry solutions for clients including start-ups to big businesses. Also, we keep a strict eye on every new technology and innovation in our niche that can help us build the most promising solutions for our customers.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Since the time I started this business, I have kept a thing on my mind and that is ‘KEEP GOING’. No matter what difficulties you face, what results in you get, or whether people are being supportive of you or not, you should keep working and never stop till the time you have achieved your goal. With this learning, I never stop myself from experiencing new things and keep on challenging myself now and then.
Sometimes you might fail and sometimes you get good results, but if you do not stop then only you can succeed in life and inspire others to move ahead. Every phase gives you some or other learning and that matters the most.
This learning has been so advantageous to me in the business itself as at SemiDot, we never limit ourselves and keep adding different projects in the kitty to expand our portfolio and to learn something new.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
In the web and mobile app development business, many tools and platforms are used. Some of them include:
Android App Development
Java, Kotlin, C#, Dart, Phonegap, C, and m-tech-c-lang
iOS App Development
Swift, Java, React Native, C#, Objective-C, Flutter, and HTML5
Cross-platform App Development
Progressive Web App Development
Wearable App Development
Java, Swift, Python, HTML5, and Blockchain
Enterprise Mobility Solutions
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
One of the most influential books I enjoy reading often is The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO by Bob Iger. This book talks about the leadership principles that are significant while managing a company. These principles comprise courage, optimism, fairness, and decisiveness. I have learned and value the decency-over-dollars approach and now it is the core pillar of every project I undertake. Also, I am a great fan of Bob Iger and his leadership style and work.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
If you have just started your business, then my advice would be to take your business as seriously as possible. If you trust your business, then only people will trust and consider the business genuine and of high potential. To run the business smoothly, another piece of advice is to keep your expenses low and efforts high. Every additional expense can affect your profits negatively. Also, it is advisable to consider every opportunity meaningful and give a shot to every single one as you never know when one can turn into a milestone. When you believe in yourself, take a risk, and have a strong vision, then surely it will make your business successful.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We have many plans for business model expansion and for that we are about to open hirings for numerous positions. These are some of the current openings:
· HP Developers - Laravel framework / CI
· Technical Content Writers
· Business Analysts - Pre & Post Sales
· IT Project Manager/ Team Leader
· React Native Developers
· iOS Developers
· Android Developers
Also, we have a career page on our website where there is an updated list of all the fresh openings. People seeking career opportunities can check and apply.
Where can we go to learn more?
To know more about the company, our business, and our products, you can check our company’s website and social media handles.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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