Contus Support – A Model How To Work Through Challenges
Power problems in the new offices, budgets and reality out-of-sync. Sound like familiar startup woes? Add to these common setbacks a mother battling cervical cancer and the death of an employee, and you’ll begin to appreciate the immense pressures Sriram Manoharan faced while building his company Contus Support Interactive.
Of course, after hardship, successes become even more meaningful and appreciated. There are happy stories for this startup from India that Mr. Manoharan can proudly share. The latest product from Contus, Mob eCommerce, was recognized for its excellence at the 2011 ESparks Conference held last December in Bangalore. Manoharan sat graciously with KillerStartups to tell us more about the ups and downs in the early life of his mobile application and web development company.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
We wanted the name of our company to stand out unique from others. It was about a month we tried, but we couldn’t come up with a single name. We decided to go for one that has not yet been used by any other company in this world. One day, a word in Wiki grabbed our interest: “Contus,” which meant “spear” in ancient Greece. Since then, our company has been known as Contus.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
When Contus started, we had just 2 people on board. Now, we have a 130+ strong work force. Our products and services are used in more than 40 countries.
Maybe you can share one anecdote that describes the struggles you went through in the early days of starting up?
The early days were really hectic. From products to sales, everything witnessed failure. Though the founders had more than 10 years of experience in this field, we realized how far we were from the reality of a start up. Uncertainty is the apt word to describe those days. We knew we were going to make it. But when and how? We didn’t know. All we did was keep moving without ever turning back.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
We barely get frustrated. But missing deadlines drive us crazy. We do a detailed root cause analysis and make sure to come up with an action plan to fix the same.
What’s your office environment like?
Ours is a mixture of both traditional and casual environments. However, we majorly encourage creating an environment that is entirely result oriented.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
Either in products or services, we are expecting business revenue of at least 50 million in the next five years.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Snack food?
Well, movies and books are my utter inspirations. The Godfather & Rocky are my favorites. Above all, thinking about the future gets me energetic and keeps me moving forward.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded?
Contus is self-funded and has now made 50 times what it was funded with at the start. The venture has been profitable the last two years.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Think big and start small. Get the team that will support you during hard times. Hope this itself works out to build your success.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your current startup / projects)?
Travel, Travel, travel around as much as I can.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
Definitely No! Our success depends on the success of our products and services. Until our products and services touch a billion lives on earth, we are not going to find ourselves successful.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
Of course Google. I guess it is not needed to explain why.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
Youtube and Google Reader are my favorites. YouTube for entertainment and Google Reader for information.
iOS or Android?
Android. For me it means “freedom.”
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website/idea?
There are many words to describe our company, but none could be more accurate than the word “Excellence.” We have the right blend of experience and expertise to create fully integrated Mobile & Web Solutions seamlessly, combining excellent design, dynamic and agile programming.
About us in a glance:
- 4+ years in Outsourced Software and Web Development
- 140+ Highly Efficient and experienced Professionals
- 55+ Web & Mobile Products
- US $4 Million since inception
- A client base in more than 40 Countries
- Time Tested Product Development Process
- Highly experienced and motivated management team
- Excellent proficiency is sales, project management and support
Where can our readers get a hold of you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+?
Personal blog? Any other projects you’re working on that we should check out?
Srimano is my personal blog.
Check out our product sites:
What is the reason for this initial success?