Yahya Mohamed Mao

@yahyaibnmohamed

Q&A with Indian entrepreneur Swagata Chowdhury

India is known for a large pool of talented women entrepreneurs who have made a mark for themselves in India as well as Overseas.

Today’s women in India and around the world have proven to be successful entrepreneurs. “From making a social impact to being hands-on with technology to opening up new vistas and inspiring their own, these women are the leaders of today.” (YourStory.com)

Source: 25 women entrepreneurs to draw inspiration from

The likes of Indra Nooyi, who is probaboly one of the most popular Indian women entrepreneurs and President of PepsiCo. and who “helped company garner as much as 30 billion dollars worth of crucial deals within the last couple of years” (Knowstatup.com), inspire many young women India to run successfully their own business. Huda Kattan with her beauty empire Huda Beauty, Olga Feldmeier with Smart Valor as the world’s first security token exchange for alternative investments or Tijen Onaran who founded GDW Global Digital Women to promote female empowerment in the digital industry show the variety of businesses wherein women are achieving outstanding success.

Swagata Chowdhury

A young Indian entrepreneur with whom I have the pleasure to work closely with on different projects is Swagata Chowdhury who founded at the age of 24 in 2016 Pofco Solution Consultancy Services, a Kolkata based software development company. After graduating from the West Bengal University of Technology in Software Engineering and gaining experience as Web Developer in the early days of her career, Swagata’s entrepreneurial mindset made her found Pofco Solution Consultancy Services. With her team, she aims to combines the power of creativity and experience to employ a highly skilled team of IT professionals. With the ambition to become one of the most valued and trusted IT solution partners in the industry in the near future, Swagata wants her company’s brand to be recognized as a global leader in making simplified business processes by offering innovative, cost-effective, customized solutions to customers. Recent growth and expansion into international markets are a clear indication that Swagata and her tram have been successful in reaching their goal to deliver cutting edge IT services. As a result, they joined Switzerland based n’cloud.swiss AG as an authorized reseller to push ahead with the rollout of n’cloud.swiss as a serious “Swiss made” alternative to the leading cloud providers in the Indian market.

How did you get involved with startups? What was the idea behind your first company?

This has been a dream for me since my childhood. However it has been quite challenging enough taking the decision finally and just venturing out with my very own startup. It has not been a very easy path to take but thinking back it was just the right time to start. I had already gathered experience in the IT industry and my partner and present CTO of Pofco, Satanik Dutta, has had his part of the experience.

We started out with a vision of being different. We both had already worked in the IT industry and we were very well aware about the reputation that Indian companies were getting. We planned to break the taboo and bring the best services to client globally.

It has been like bringing up a baby for both me and my partner. We have pulled all-nighters. We have been through situations when it seemed like there is no coming back but we have been able to fight through. Till now it has been a journey of a lifetime. We have learned a lot, we have fallen down and then again got up. It was not perfect from the beginning but we have worked on it and tried our best to achieve perfection in every aspect. Still there is a long way to go and we are ready to take the journey.

Image: Stanford eCorner — Stanford University

What has been your biggest challenge along the way?

I come from a very normal family. So having a startup or even dreaming about having one is actually not so financially easy. When I started out with the company, I had already left my jobs and did not get much financial support from anyone. So it is like starting out from zero. We had started out from just a small room as our first office from where we have been able to come up to a better office space within a year and a half. But fortunately, for us whoever we have been working with has been very passionate about what we are trying to achieve. We have worked hard to achieve what we have today and the road to this was not challenging, rather a road worth taking.

How important do you think is the process of innovation? Which is the strongest capability of Pofco, what differentiates it from the others?

Prof. Clayton M. Christensen once said “Motivation is the catalysing ingredient for every successful innovation”. This applies perfectly to how we work at Pofco and what motivates us to stay innovative. I believe that innovation is vital in the workplace because it gives companies an edge in penetrating markets faster and provides a better connection to developing markets, which can lead to bigger opportunities.

Innovation can also help develop original concepts while giving the innovator a proactive, confident attitude to take risks and get things done. When a company has an innovation culture, it will grow more easily, despite the fact that the creative process is not always simple. Tried-and-tested-methods may be reliable, but trying out new things is a worthwhile experiment.

Being innovative has been our main mantra to deal with different aspects of our business. We have had to deal with everything ourselves. Being a startup, we were unable to hire much support in most of the cases. This has motivated us to be innovative and bring out original ideas. In consequence, our strongest capability as a company is our passion, our indomitable spirit and the fact that we thrive to be different.

You have recently announced through Business Standards that you will be pushing ahead with the roll-out of n’cloud.swiss in the Indian market. How do you evaluate the potential of n’cloud.swiss as “Swiss made” alternative to the likes of Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform?

As a company we have been using cloud services for different projects like mobile app development or software application development. However, we have come across issues like lack of instant support or support to set-up projects on cloud and also pricing which was quite high. In addition, often transperency is lacking in the pricing models of the leading cloud providers. The prices for Amazon AWS services are believed to grow exponentially if one is not careful.

As an alternative to the major names in cloud services, I feel that n’cloud.swiss as a “Swiss made” alternative has several advantages compare to the major cloud providers. These are Swiss high security standards, cost-effectiveness and transparent pricing models.

Support for customers is much better compared to other providers where you are forwarded from one customer services to another. n’cloud.swiss also offers initial support to set-up projects or systems and technical support is given whenever required. The response is also very quick.

How do you describe your role as Representative India for n’cloud.swiss AG? What are your goals?

Me and my company are pushing ahead with the roll-out of n’cloud.swiss products and services in India. As a representative in India, I plan to get through every company and person in India with the goal to make people in India know n’cloud.swiss as well as they know Amazon, Google or Microsoft. I believe in the potential of n’cloud.swiss and see a huge opportunity for us as Pofco Solution Consultancy Services to grow with them in the coming years. We will put in all our efforts to do so.

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