How A Smart Customer Stole Our Business

14 December 2016 by Jinesh Parekh 1 comment

We had a customer in Canada, let’s call him Smart Alex. They had off-shored their Ruby on Rails Spree development work to us in India. They had a pressing need and we took up the project. We delivered the project on time and the customer was very happy. The testimonial he gave us after the project speaks for itself. So the next thing we felt is that we’ll get more business from the customer. I am happy to say, we got none. The reason I am happy is that it’s in the best interests of our customer’s business.

How did it happen?

Our customer realized that they could build their own team here in India and took the plunge. This is not something new that I have seen. A lot of our customers have attempted this without much success. However, this particular customer did it well and more importantly, they did it better than us when it comes to costs, I must admit.

So what did this customer do differently, and how did they succeed?

It’s the mindset, not courage

A successful business always has the money to try out a few things and see if it works. However, Smart Alex set out to make things work instead of dipping his toes in the water. This mindset has made all the difference, I strongly believe.

Do not outsource when you can DIY

Most of the previous failed attempts started by hiring the big man first. The guy who will set the team, understand the culture and get it going. But find the wrong guy and it all goes downhill. Smart Alex flew down with some secondary research and picked Bangalore as the place to be. He hired an HR person of his choice first, got this person to Canada and showed how the Company works and then with his help set up 12 interviews with developers. He flew down himself and hired 4 out of them and kept coming back every few months for fresh hiring.

Set a budget

The most astonishing fact of this whole deal is the team he hired is half as expensive as the team we have. I had the opportunity to see the standup and I can tell you that he has built a superb team. The team seemed grounded in humbleness and was talking smart. Most of our previous customers have failed because you compare the Indian Rupee to the US Dollar and feel that everything is cheap. He studied the market and set the budget right where it should be.

A diligent process and ample humility

You would think that it is hard to manage an offshore team and there won’t be enough visibility. However, the watertight discipline of standups and humility in dealings is all that was required for the developers to take ownership of the product. More so, he did not consider it as a secondary team but fostered innovation and suggestions coming from the developers.

Within a year he built a solid team of 12 developers in a humble office space which is operating in a self sufficient fashion. Now, the time is ripe for hiring a product development director for scaling the team and the product itself.

I want to personally congratulate you Smart Alex for this smart move. There are tons of things that could have gone wrong, but it is your due diligence that has gotten you this far. Kudos!

Jinesh Parekh

Founder CEO, Idyllic.

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