Chintan Shah, Director of Czar technologies Pvt ltd tells us about eCommerce and innovation during Covid-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Chintan Shah: Thank you for asking. We are doing great, and we are among those fortunate people who have managed to survive in these times. It’s been a challenging one year but feels good to be on the survivor side.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Czar Technologies.
Chintan Shah: I am a software engineer from Gujarat university in 2009. As any other engineer, I started with job hunting, worked in a company that hired me as a web programmer for 7000 inr / month salary. I was happy I was able to start earning something. 2009 December I joined another company as a BDE for double the salary I was getting earlier, and therefore I resigned from the former company. Unfortunately, I had to go through kidney stone surgery, due to which I could not join the new company on time, and they chose another candidate. This is how I was left jobless for 2 months. A friend then approached me as he knew I learnt Magento and asked me to work on a project on a freelancing basis for 1 month. I earned approx 20k inr, and I was very happy. I then figured out to register a company and start working as a full-time freelancer.
In March 2010, I registered, and from a freelancing site, I was able to speak to a client who needed 3 developers contract for 3 months. I was thrilled. It was this time my brother, who was in London at that time, suggested starting a full-time company, and I should lead the company instead of doing freelancing. I figured he was right as I was kind of good in communication and thought it would work out better in the future.
This is how Czargroup was formed on 15th March 2010 with a 300 sqft small office and 3 developers working under me with one client on board.
How does Czar Technologies innovate?
Chintan Shah: We realized e-commerce was booming in the 2010 era, and Magento was a fairly new technology then, but we trusted how Magento could help eCommerce web stores online, and we concentrated on Magento. From 2010 till 2021, we only work on Magento. My brother, Pankil Shah, joined me full-time in 2014. Our focus has never shifted to any other technology. We wanted to be a master of one technology rather than exploring everything else.
At times this has not worked in our favour as its never a good idea to put all eggs in one basket, but our faith in eCommerce technology and the expertise we started to gain each year made us realize that we should work for technology that we both understand better and that will eventually help our clients. We currently cater to more than 20 clients across the globe and play an important role in their online presence, where few clients have already crossed million-dollar sales every year.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Chintan Shah: Coronavirus definitely affected our business up to 30% in 2020. The staff were cooperative to work from home. Initially, working from home was a challenge, but everything fell in place organically, and we are again back to work from March 2021. Being an eCommerce service provider, one thing that we have learnt in this pandemic is every penny our client spends is important to them; we cannot take any business or client for granted as if they shut down, we also shut down. We have learnt our lessons, and we have been constantly improving on our skillset, focus, and do everything we can to achieve our client’s goal. Initially, it was money that mattered to us more. Post Corona, its client above money for sure.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Chintan Shah: We are using teamwork, skype, google meet, TeamViewer, and other online available tools for client communication, team meeting with staff, and it has definitely helped during work from home.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Chintan Shah: Ecommerce is a big business in the world, and there is competition everywhere we see. Our strategy to survive is to improve our skillset, negotiate on our pricing and focus on what we are good at, which is what we have been trying to do for a decade.
Your final thoughts?
Chintan Shah: Thank you for this interview. The last 10 years have been a wonderful ride for me and my brother Pankil shah, and we hope to continue our work towards our clients and help to achieve their online goals.
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