Here’s an interview with Mr.Kushang who is CEO of SupplyNote a multi national food tech company.
- What personality traits make a good leader?
- Goal Oriented
- What is the best and the worst part of being a CEO?
I was always intrigued about how country is lead,how organizations are lead, how problems are solved holistically. Being a CEO allows me to be in centre of all the actions.
- Name two strengths and two weaknesses you have and how they can impact your responsibilities as a CEO.
Strength: I am Data driven and analytical. It helps me make more rational decisions and decide which way the company is headed to.
I am overly passionate about what I do I see the potential in things and can’t wait to get it all done. The process is so engrossing that sometimes it throws my personal life a bit off balance and this is one area where I am actively working to maintain a healthy balance.
- What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from it?
Biggest Challenge I faced would be pandemic. The industry collapsed many restaurants were shut. The situation escalated from bad to worst pretty quickly. The whole scenario taught me that it’s very important to be proactive and plan things ahead of its time. One should always be prepared for the worst and as soon as situations look uncertain we should be ready with our safety net.
- How do you prefer to communicate with your team to assign responsibilities to them?
Our day starts with a daily catch ups. We are very well connected via calls and texts throughout the day but to help all of us plan our day better and keep us on our toes Also, for more efficient working we have task management software for internal purposes.
- What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to people management?
One of the challenge is definitely setting up correct people’s expectations in terms of deliverables and compensations, no management wants to undervalue the workforce but overvaluing is equally harmful
- How would others define your communication style? Do you prefer to be close to your employees or maintain a healthy distance, and why?
I am a people’s person. I love to talk and be as involved with all the teams as possible. I try to get into every room be it Tech Team, sales or operations, love to catch their mind on what’s going on
- Describe a time when two team leaders or executives had a conflict. How did you handle the situation?
I personally believe that if conflicts are handled properly they prove to be an excellent catalyst for better solutions, innovation and growth. Whenever a conflict arise we try to refer to our organizational goals and alignment of it with the topic of conflict. I tend to hear both side of story and put it into points, then analyze those pointers before taking any sort of decision.
- Describe a time you had to make a tough decision (e.g. budget cuts, organizational restructuring, market withdrawal, etc.). What did you do and what was the result?
It was need of the hour decision when we shifted our focus from Adurcup to SupplyNote. We changed our focus from advertising to technology and backend operations. It was definitely challenging but in the best way possible.
- Who do you believe are our biggest competitors? How do we differ from them?
I believe what we are our biggest competition. No matter how cliché it sounds we are constantly trying to outdo ourselves and take our endeavour to new heights.
- What do you think are the biggest challenges our industry will face in the next 5 years?
Increasing inventory management complexities: F&B landscape is changing so rapidly with each new regulation or food trends it will be getting difficult to keep inventory ready and up to date.
13.What are the most helpful technological platforms and tools you have used? Would you implement them in our organization?
Since pandemic meetings in person have moved to digital meetings I have been actively using Google calendar as it helps me manage the data and engagements. I use Zoom for virtual meetings as its interface is very easy and the quality of video call is much better.We have been using task management software which I believe helps in team stay updated and de – clutter task which otherwise may seem a bit overwhelming for the team.
- What is the most innovative product or service you’ve worked on at a previous company?
I have spent last 6 years of my life building my own company but in college I have worked on various projects like piano playing robot, Eco Refrigerator: A refrigerator that runs without electricity
- Describe your rationale before you make a big financial decision. What criteria do you use to decide which products or services to invest in?
My rationale before making any big Financial Decision is obviously the ROI.I am someone who loves data and numbers so I tend to analyse well see the trends(if any) before making any big decision.
Criteria for investment in product and services: First and foremost demand and supply , what future for that product or service looks like and what is the market saturation for the same. I also ensure that the investment is aligned to our company goals.
- In 5 minutes, prepare a small pitch to present our company to a potential investor.
The startup is operating in a unique mix of SaaS and B2B marketplace model. It provides a cloud-based procurement management suite with integrated e-commerce for restaurants which helps them to increase their profit margin, saves man-hours and makes their procurement process digital.
It provides a first of its kind, 2-way SAAS platform with both sellers and buyers transacting on it. This type of integrated marketplace enables a smooth commerce experience for users further increasing stickiness with the business. They have successfully built a customer community of 1500+ outlets and is operating in 33 cities of India.
With a huge scope of growth, a total addressable market size of $781 Bn+ and potential of $60 Bn worth of orders in India alone.
The Start-up is backed by SOSV, SUCeed, Venture Capitalist,GVH and CIO Angels.
- Imagine that a product or service we launched recently failed our expectations. What are your next steps?
My first step would be to take a deep breath and accept the failure rather than fighting it. Then,I would reverse analyse the things to see where exactly did we go wrong and then plan and quickly execute the corrective measures.
- Describe your entrepreneurial story.
I come from a very humble background from a small town in Bihar,I have always seen my family members competition. I started my journey in 2015,just out of college and planning to disrupt the advertising industry. So the first product we launched was Adurcup which was basically a Ecommerce platform we were selling packing material to F&B industry. The idea was that restaurants can purchase from us on a discounted price in exchange for advertising on collateral, they can give us 30%space on the cup for advertising of other brands.We were lucky to have an early investment from the founders of Dine Out. So, we got a good mentorship with them,but as we moved along we learned the most important message of entrepreneurship i,e. Lot of time you don’t get it right in your first go and this was the case with us at one point we realised we were handling a lot of things together: the supplier,the customers and the advertisers and the revenue was not great enough so we had to pivot. Initially,the offering sold as flying cakes but then our customers gave the feedback as to “why don’t you just focus on technology aspect and forget about supplying” and that was our Eureka moment. We started to focus on just technology and we became a full stack solution for restaurant’s backend operations. Finally in 2019,we evolved to be SaaS+Marketplace model that’s how Supplynote’s inception was done.We have evolved this business from 1 city to 33 cities and a customer community of 1500+ outlets. The Journey has just begin…….