We talked to Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande, founder of Wakidok, about the mechanical design process and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: We are doing good during these COVID-19 times. Taking all the precautions like not traveling when not required, wearing a mask always in public places, maintaining social distance, using sanitizers, etc has helped us a lot in staying safe from this pandemic.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Wakidok.
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: I have more than 40 years of professional experience in structural design and engineering. I have been associated with very good companies like FLSmidth and Aker Powergas during my career and have executed numerous reputed projects for clients in petrochemicals and manmade fibers. In terms of education, I completed my M. Tech and B. Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) which is a very reputed technology institute across the world.
Detailing and accuracy in design and deliverables are my strengths. Wakidok® Innovative Solutions also focuses on accurate and cost-effective innovative solutions for the clients. That is what made me join this innovative firm as a Chief Technical Advisor 3 years back. In my role, I guide the technology team to come up with cost-effective and practical solutions which lead to very high customer satisfaction. Presently our emphasis is on providing Engineering Design, Simulation, Consulting, and Training services to clients in India. However, in the coming 3 to 5 years we wish to spread across the world.
How does Wakidok innovate?
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: We think uniquely to solve each problem differently. That is our tagline. We understand that every project is unique and needs careful attention to details to come up with a solution. We spend a lot of time understanding client expectations and planning. For us, innovation is something that delights our clients through our services. Through regular brainstorming, our team comes up with ideas thereby solving critical and complex problems in the simplest possible manner and provide clients with unique, cost-effective, and faster solutions.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: There has been an interruption in projects due to the pandemic when clients decided to cut on their budgets. It affected the revenue for few months, but we focussed on educating clients about solutions during that time.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: Yes, we had to do difficult choices regarding human resources, but we ensured that our employees stay safe and can support their families. The lesson we learned during this time is, our employees are our biggest assets and in business also, we need to keep contingency funds like in our personal life. We have been working on this regularly.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: Our customer relationship management has evolved over the last year wherein we are giving more emphasis on educating the clients about solutions so that they can make informed decisions to close the deal. We do not use any specialized CRM tools except spreadsheet trackers.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: No, we did not approach Government for any grants.
Your final thoughts?
Mr. Chandrashekhar Deshpande: The year 2020 has been a year of test for every business and great learning about business finances and managing customer relationship. We have learned a lot over the last year and using those lessons learned in upcoming projects.
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