Meet the SHEROES - Sakshi Bhasin Tulsian
This power IT couple created a unique technology that helps restaurants better manage their daily operations. How did it start? Well, when they themselves experienced a lacuna while running their own restaurant, they decided to create a product that would help them overcome their problems.
Eventually, other restaurant owners caught on and wanted the similar technology.
What followed next was natural. They exited the restaurant business and incorporated POSist with the aim of providing the right technology for restaurant owners. Let’s hear Sakshi Bhasin Tulsian’s side of the story.
How did the idea of Posist come about?
POSist was born out of our own needs. It was never started as a business idea. My husband Ashish and I invested in a restaurant out of enthusiasm. We were running our tech companies separately that time. I was running a web development startup and Ashish was running his telecom VAS company.
Restaurant turned out to be rewarding financially but extremely demanding with respect to operations. It was tough to handle vendors, staff, payments, pilferages, on counter theft from staff remotely. We being tech people, thought to ourselves – ‘why not get some software to keep a watch on our restaurant numbers and permissions remotely’?
Just then started the search for our ideal POS application which to our surprise we couldn’t find.
So we ended up building this product for our own restaurant. We started solving our problems with this product. We built a comprehensive fronted billing, then extended it to store, then kitchen, built a strong CRM for customer retention and later a mobile analytics tool.
It eventually caught the eye of other restaurant owners and we started getting enquiries from them to have the same product at their restaurant. We said no to a lot of them initially as we thought this is not our business but something we have built only for our use but over the course of 4 months the enquiries kept increasing and then came the ‘aha! Moment’ when we said yes to our first customer.
We signed up our first 50 customers on word of mouth and recess and that’s when it hit us that we are solving a big problem not only for our restaurant but for the entire industry.
That’s when we exited the restaurant business and took this up full time, incorporating POSist in Jan 2012.
In the future, do you hope to offer this service to other sectors / industries too? If not, what other service would you get into or start off as an entrepreneur, in the future?
Well we encounter this question often and the honest answer is, not anytime soon. Our vision is to fix technology for the restaurant industry. We are venturing into multiple products which will help a restaurant owner make better decisions in saving costs and maximizing profits.
In foreseeable future you will see us do some exciting things in ‘Big data and Analytics’. We are really excited about possibilities of data helping SMBs make decisions instead of gut. Can we provide a small restaurant owner with tools and insights which brands like Dominos & Mcdonalds use to run their business? This is the question that keeps us awake at night.
B2B ecommerce is also an exciting area which we see has a tremendous potential in India and will grow massively in coming years.
What are the top 3 qualities every entrepreneur must imbibe, according to you ?
Passion - to solve problems
Patience - to keep trying while failing
Persistence - to live through the entire experience
What challenges do you face in this line of work?
We are selling a Cloud based software to Indian SMB based on SaaS model, challenges are steep and numerous:
1. Educating the market - biggest challenge as they inherently don’t understand how a software which is not installed on their computer function.
2. Data on Cloud - Insecurities with keeping their data online and that too on someone else’s server.
3. SaaS model - SMBs are not in the habit of paying for software even once and here you are asking them to pay you every month/year.
4. Local presence - SMBs are in the habit of buying everything from local vendors, a Bangalore restaurant does not want to buy from a Delhi company over the phone. You need to create local presence.
5. Language - The buyer of the application maybe the restaurant owner but actual user is a cashier, he may or may not know English or Hindi in some parts of India.
What words of advice would you share with SHEROES?
Set your goals high and put all your efforts in achieving them. Respect yourself, your work, your family and other women, only then you can win respect for yourself from people around you. We women underestimate ourselves too much at times. We are not only daughters/wives/mothers but humans with aspirations and ambitions just like our male counterparts and we should never forget this. We just need to be dedicated create a balance. Also, let’s be empowered women not by bashing men in the name of feminism but by delivering much better work that can be respected.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” ~Diane Mariechild