Swetali Pattnaik of SAIntellect Solutions tells us about enterprise solutions.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Swetali Pattnaik: Thanks for asking. I am doing great along with my family. My father is a policeman (people greet him now as Covid-Warrior), and during that phase, we used to worry for him. However, that phase went on, and now we all are fine. We all learn to be grateful, humble, and stay united these times. We deeply understand the value of nature and how it is essential to nurture it.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded SAIntellect Solutions.
Swetali Pattnaik: I am a Btech Graduate with first-class academics and was working in a few companies as a Business Developer. Since childhood, I have been extremely extrovert, which helped me choose this profile as my career option. I used to be one of the best performers, but still, I felt some gap for not doing things on my own terms. I wanted to have respect for a girl/woman in our culture whose parents give their best to educate, and due to social compulsion that education gets into certain boundaries. I wanted to have an identity for myself beyond just an employee. I wanted to have my clients not being treated as just a buyer as I always feel connected with them. I wanted to do something for a culture that will do justice to education, skill, gender, honesty.
So, summing up everything, I decided to start with a little step towards a better world.
How does SAIntellect Solutions innovate?
Swetali Pattnaik: Our company innovates a better working environment for freshers, a healthy working space for learners and strengthens gender equality, too. It started with a team of 3 and now reaching 30 within these 3 years. We have collected great feedback from both clients and our own team, which encourage us to stand strong and committed to this venture. It has also developed a beautiful software program called “Pratibhabatee”, which enables domicile women to be self-dependent and empowers them towards the economic growth of the nation, and hence the world. It also creates huge employment for the nation sustaining gender equality.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Swetali Pattnaik: Yes, it was purely unexpected. The coronavirus pandemic affected our financial planning in a way that we felt initially like starting from 0 again. Many of our clients treated our offerings as the least needful without understanding their forthcoming importance due to the untouched scenario. Fortunately, we made our clientele convinced to estimate its significance, and we are now at a good pace of growth and stability.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Swetali Pattnaik: Absolutely. During the pandemic, we paid full salary to all our members even if there was negligible income. We ensured all members’ continuation with us at that time, and it was tough to maintain all with no income. Being a startup, we usually save a few earnings for the company’s future growth investment, which was used in HR during the pandemic.
Difficult situations always reflect lessons. We have learned to work harder and smarter, manage a team offline, ensure their safety, learn to focus on contiguous income like embracing same-field-partnerships and offering to coach and learn to always be prepared for worst situations. We all are still learning many things from our day to day life.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Swetali Pattnaik: We usually communicate with clients via emails understanding their priorities and their convenient time. We use all online mediums like Skype, Whatsapp, and Zoom etc. when it comes to having a meeting with mutual consent. But, after this pandemic, we both (Clients and Us) become comparatively more active towards closing the deal irrespective of the time zone difference.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Swetali Pattnaik: No. Now, we are managing everything by ourselves. We are looking for any grants or investments as this field has a greater scope in the next generations.
Your final thoughts?
Swetali Pattnaik: I believe in the “never give up” rule. So, I will cherish each and every small struggle and success towards achieving my vision. The introduction of my story may not be that fascinating, but the end of the story will be surely worth remembering. And as our name suggests, “Startup”, we have already STARTed, and we need to be UP in every way possible.
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