Hariharan Ganesh on how innovation in Factana simplifies IoT technology to SMBs of the Manufacturing sector and creates process automation of Industry 4.0.
First of all, how are you and your family doing during these COVID-19 times?
Hariharan Ganesh: while witnessing a pandemic, my personal, professional families and I have been doing well, thank goodness. Being an IT company has helped us adopt remote working in the pursuit of adhering to COVID-19 lockdown, protocols, and restrictions. It has its own challenges, but fortunately, we have been coordinating closely to overcome the same.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Factana.
Hariharan Ganesh: I have been in the IT sector for about 25 years now. For more than 10 years, I have been in the US, primarily serving enterprise customers to solve their Digital Transformation challenges. I have closely contributed to various IT corporates in different capacities to achieve global digitalization. Based on my extensive experience in the realm of System Integrations and AI, along with a passion for entrepreneurship, “Factana” was established in 2019. Factana offers Fogwing IoT Platform and Application Systems for Manufacturing Automation. As the Founder and Chief Architect of Factana, I focus on determining product and business strategy, leading the team of innovators, and helping customers achieve Digital Transformation.
How does Factana innovate?
Hariharan Ganesh: As an IoT company offering SaaS, we are aware of the newness it brings with regard to software-hardware components and communication technologies that can cause innovation daring with growing competitors. Nonetheless, creativity, focus, and perseverance keep our team on track with a passion for creating a globally connected world. Innovation in Factana simplifies IoT technology to SMBs of the Manufacturing sector and creates process automation of Industry 4.0.
How does the Coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Hariharan Ganesh: The pandemic has not just affected us but many large companies as well. As a startup company, we have witnessed our own crisis regarding business finances. We embarked on 2020, hoping to establish a strong customer base with a marketing go-to strategy and customer onboarding. Unfortunately, the pandemic shut our business opportunities and customer onboarding that downplayed our finances. However, as a startup company, we operate as a LEAN model with limited team members of commendable expertise and controlled expenses that has helped manage our finances throughout the pandemic. We managed to survive the pandemic, but the growth prospects were temporarily hindered. Since January 2021, we observe traction on IoT in the market to optimize production efficiency and hope to broaden our business prospects.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding Human Resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Hariharan Ganesh: Though we were advised to limit our human resources to manage our operational costs, we were determined to keep our team of experts contributing to our product innovations. We were able to retain our core team as we functioned on the Lean model. We did not invest in new hires through the start and mid of 2020, only the latter days of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. We decided to expand our team and accelerate product innovations with advanced operations. We learnt to retain our core team as the lean team helps manage our costs regardless of outside financial conditions or customer finances.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Hariharan Ganesh: Customer relationship management has been one of our foremost areas of focus since the beginning. We have built marketing tools to prioritize and channel customer onboarding; for the same, we have a chatbot tool adapted to our company, products, and application websites. Our customer engagement tools are omnichannel enabled, where tickets can be created, chats can be initiated, and toll-free calls can be directed. We offer customer promotions with our marketing tools and customer retention policies. As part of customer success management, we ensure customers are guided with the use of exclusive tools and software systems from enquiry to onboarding and throughout their journey with us.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Hariharan Ganesh: No, Factana is completely a bootstrap company. We are surviving on our own funding and are not expecting any external funding, either private or government. As mentioned earlier, we are operating as a LEAN model with limited budgets and controlled monthly expenses. This has helped us manage operating costs at a minimized rate while achieving optimum levels of work efficiency.
Hariharan Ganesh: The COVID 19 pandemic has caused a significant impact on businesses of all sectors across the globe, including us. The pandemic has been creating a ‘New Normal’ for all of us, especially businesses and industries worldwide. The pandemic has taught businesses to build remote management, and connected systems are essential to carry on uninterrupted engagements despite unexpected hurdles. The pandemic has introduced us to polar views, on one side causing health challenges while on the other adopting to newer technologies like IoT for optimized business and industrial production and efficiency.
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