Sourav Baul of Ascii System tells us about the full-stack IT consultancy company offering SEO & online marketing services.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sourav Baul: At the beginning of 2020, we took the initiative to run our regular office work from home. Surely, I was scared for my mom and dad. But, unfortunately, my family was badly affected by COVID-19. By the way, I also got COVID last year but in a very light form. However, at this moment, everything is just fine, including our entire team of Ascii System and me.
Even though the time is still tough here in Bangladesh, we are trying to accept the new normal term and overcome all barriers. If you are talking about my overall lifestyle, yeah, it has dramatically changed, of course, in a positive way.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Ascii System.
Sourav Baul: I completed my B.Tech in ECE (Electronics & Communication Engineering) from Netaji Subhash Engineering College, India. From student life, I dreamt about opening a business platform.
We had gone through an “Industrial Revolution” and passed many significant eras when people invented something new that helped us live an easy life. It is the 21st century. The term “Information Revolution” has started already.
Oh, I forgot to mention one thing; I had been working for almost two years under different companies before opening Ascii System. Also, I trained myself as an SEO specialist, which is my personal interest. These helped me get real-life experience on how to deal with people and how to run a business smoothly.
Finally, my elder brother and I set up the Ascii System, which is a Full-Stack IT Consultancy Company. Yeah, it’s easy to present the founding story now, but then the path was challenging. As a Co-Founder, I supervise the SEO & Online Marketing Sector, and my Elder Brother is supervising the Technical Part.
So, people will get Technology solutions from Ascii System, including SEO & Online Marketing services.
How does Ascii System innovate?
Sourav Baul: Well, though the journey was stimulating, we enjoyed it because both of our primary goals were to become an entrepreneur. However, my elder brother, another founder of Ascii System, had long professional careers in technological innovation projects.
The company took its first step with only 6 people. Day by day, the team got bigger and then recruited people from around the globe. Though we are not the first mover, we left no choice to deliver the strongest service.
We design and develop websites and applications, which is our field of expertise, including other services like Cloud Computing, SEO, DevOps Practices, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet Of Things, etc.
Mostly, people want an IT solution to craft an effective business. We are constantly putting our ears on the ground to understand our customers’ needs and wants. We usually take time to polish each step before finalizing it with our clients. Our team wants to deliver powerful automation that helps them to find out a proper resolution. After completing the development phase, we test run each project to find unwanted errors.
Besides, we run very active R&D activities to improve our skills as our serving industry is dynamic. So, to reduce the chance of getting backdated, we always keep ourselves updated.
Also, we are continuously analyzing to build in-house applications which will add extra value to the market. However, we have the vision to open another startup that will deliver a 360-degree digital solution.
Video Link – https://youtu.be/2lsk-m2xPmM
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business operations?
Sourav Baul: Truly speaking, we have the experience to deal with freelancers who are remotely working from different countries. Currently, over 20 freelancers are collaborating with our in-house team. But this pandemic gave us some minor drawbacks. However, the lockdown restrictions didn’t affect our innovation and business processes that much.
We used video-conferencing technology to educate our clients regarding the projects. But sometimes, we missed the joy, which is our office culture. On the other hand, we spent a very lazy time at home and had nothing to do except work. So, it somehow made our life boring.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Sourav Baul: I have always believed in this phrase, “If you believe in yourself, anything is possible.” We made hard choices to give our business a crown. As we hold our primary operation in Chittagong (a city of Bangladesh), it’s hard to find skilled people who lead their portion.
At the same time, we had to say goodbye to a few persons because of their unethical behaviours or other issues. The same things go for our clients, vendors, and other resources. Frankly, I have learnt to make tough choices for my company to excel and grow.
For this reason, before expanding our team, we are now more focused on communicating with candidates. Also, we follow at least four recruitment stages before hiring and onboarding the final candidate.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? And How do you measure success?
Sourav Baul: To remove stress and anxiety, I would usually do three things: meditation, exercise, and tour. I love to help homeless or needy people who are suffering. I think it will purify your soul more than anything. I believe, “The greatness is not what you have; it’s what you give.”
And the term of success varies from person to person. Success is completely mental satisfaction. For me, every achievement is a success, no matter how small it is. Take a clear step, and you will see your desire for success in front of you.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Sourav Baul: As I mentioned above, we are not the first mover in this industry. So, competing with other startups or giants is not a wise move for us. Each company has some unique pins. So, we don’t count anyone as a competitor because we are trying to develop the industry and provide solutions.
Finding the right solution is an important goal for us rather than wasting time to find ways to stay in the game.
Your Final Thoughts?
Sourav Baul: Truly, the pandemic has shown us a different world and culture that we never imagined. Sometimes it is hard to accept that we are still going through a crucial line. But the most important thing during the crisis has been to make sure our team is safe and everyone feels comfortable doing their job.
However, we have successfully crossed the hard line as a team and back to the work junction. Right now, we are working on some national and international projects, including our sole product line.
As we have two corporate offices of Ascii System in Bangladesh and Singapore, we are running behind a vision to open at least three more offices anywhere in the globe by 2022. Undoubtedly, the team is working hard to achieve this.
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