Torqus’s business philosophy is to architect adaptive systems that grow and change with needs of clients. Torqus Systems Pvt Ltd leverages its core strengths in managing web technologies, building mobile phone applications and processes to build collaborative applications for F&B industry.

In this Interview, the Co-Founder of TorqusSuneet Kulkarni talks about distinct highs and lows along the journey reaching these successful heights with Torqus.

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Q1) What according to you are the four pillars on which Torqus stands upon?

The product, Commitment, Trust, and Service are the 4 pillars/values that Torqus stresses on.

Q2) How did you hit upon the idea for your Company?

The idea for the company initially was quite different. We wanted to take the F&B software to the next level by completely transforming it into cloud and tablet based. But that was 4 years ago and I guess it was a little before it’s time, and it did not really take off due to a variety of constraints such as high tab prices at the time and lower quality/penetration of internet. After a couple of early pivots, we zoomed in on the exact requirement of the market. We provide Business Enhancement and Customer Retention tools to our customers, which comprise a part of our products suite.

Q3) Who do you consider your biggest Competitor and how do you differentiate yourself from them?

When we started off we were more focused on providing better solutions for conventional tools such as the POS. In India there are a lot of local and a few national companies, which cater to the same market, these became our competitors as we gained momentum across cities. From then we have moved to focus more on enhancing profitability and revenues for our clients, while at the same time streamlining their backend processes – all using our products, this sets us apart – as a one-stop solution. Our products assist F&B businesses to identify profit making strategies and plug in the leaks in their internal processes.

Q4) How have sales evolved since you first got into the business? What hasn’t changed?

In fact; it matters when you are a known brand, it really matters. From doing on-field B2B sales we have moved to an online model and an in-house sales team. The marketing has also taken a quantum leap over the past few years with increased Internet reach in India. A lot of our customers make their way to us from Google / Facebook / LinkedIn / Website etc. But in the end, word-of-mouth publicity is the best, which we are lucky to have a great amount of.

Q5) How do you balance the emphasis on Activity vs. End Goals?

Activity (strategy) is a means of getting to the end goal. We can thoroughly plan the activity/strategy to get to the end goal – but inevitably you need to be agile and be able to change the strategy at the run time to be able to achieve the end goal. What I have realized over and over – what matters are getting to the end goal. It’s all about the end goal, not each activity which helps you get there – it is like Mathematics, you can solve a problem with different approaches – what matters is whether you were able to solve it or not. While, of course, being ethical.

Q6) Think of something you’ve done in the past; what would you have done differently?

In retrospect, everyone can think of things, which could have been done differently. But at that point of time it could have probably been the best decision given the circumstances, time or the data at hand. I guess it is important to learn from previous experiences, as the only thing that you can ensure is to do it better in the future.

Q7) How do you approach a decision where people disagree with you?

If a person disagrees with something, I would assume that they have a better solution to support their stand. If they are key persons who would be critical to the output of the decision it is important to sit down and understand if they have other alternative options, which may garner better results.

Q8) What do you expect to see over the next 5 to 10 years in the Industry?

The F&B industry has gone through a large change in the past 5 years, and evolving software has played a major role in enabling this. Each aspect of a business today is driven by software and with each passing day businesses are more dependent on it – be it to acquire more sales or managing processes. Data availability plays a major role in making better decisions to drive the business. I believe, with better data / prescriptive analytics and forecasting technologies becoming available, it will enable businesses to make better choices. We would probably see software (AI) taking crucial decisions independently, which is affordable even by small businesses.

Q9) What according to you are Do’s and don’t of B2B Prospecting?

In B2B, targeted marketing is very important. Social media (avenues such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) greatly help to zoom in on your target. Inbound content is another effective way to be able to filter in the target audience and have a shot at converting them into prospects.

The don’ts would be exactly the opposite of the above. It is not worthwhile having a wide target audience in B2B. It may generate more prospective leads, but the conversion ratio would be much lower, ending in effectively spending more time per closure. It is also prudent not to ignore SEO / SEM strategies.

Q10) What are your experiences with highs and lows at Torqus?

Entrepreneurship will have its ups and downs. After falling down it’s about how quickly you pick yourself up and try to achieve the next high. We’ve had some great launches and some failed products. Even with the lows, in the end, it’s important that on the x and y-axis you are much higher than you were the last year.

Q11) Lately, more and more Professionals are leaving their cushy and well-paid jobs to follow their passion. What’s your take on this?

Everyone has, at some point, thought of pursuing what they really want to do. The startup culture, in India and abroad, is giving people the confidence to do it. Starting a business also requires capital, over the past decade with more people willing to invest in startups; it has opened up more avenues of raising funds rather than the traditional bank loans.

Lastly, We would be glad to have your valuable suggestion for the new age Entrepreneurs thriving in the industry today.

If it doesn’t take off at first, don’t give up – keep tweaking your idea. If you see a bunch of people willing to pay for it then you’re on track.