By Marc Kramer
Amit Bhaiya is co-founder and CEO of DotcomWeavers, one of the country’s top web development and ecommerce companies. He also owns two Indian restaurants in New Jersey, Tandoori Chef and Tandoori Chef 2. In the following interview, Bhaiya talks about the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the tech space and offers some advice for your ecommerce strategy.
Why did you start Dotcom Weavers?
Bhaiya: My partner and I started DotcomWeavers seven years ago, when the online space had just begun to take off. Both of us are extremely passionate about technology and absolutely love this dynamic industry. Starting DotcomWeavers just made sense. Between the two of us, it was the perfect blend of sales/marketing and technical know-how.
What was your first professional job?
Bhaiya: Our first professional client was ASA Institute in New York City. We were their technology partners for four years. ASA was also the place where I initially worked as a teacher and started their online department. By the time I started my own venture, I was completely in charge of their online marketing as well as online education, with more than 22 teachers reporting to me.
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
Bhaiya: I discovered entrepreneurship long before I knew what it meant, since I grew up in a business family. In the early years of undergraduate college, as I was learning computer-science concepts during the day, at night I’d often find myself intrigued with the idea of buying and selling. Sure enough, I started off by selling books on eBay from the dorm room.
Needless to say, I have tried my hand at a few different things ever since I founded DotcomWeavers. I also own two restaurants in New Jersey, and I’m hoping to venture into various other partnerships in the near future. Over the years, I have come to realize that starting and running a business is less about choosing what to do for a living, and more about making a life.
How would you describe your management style?
Bhaiya: Having started this company, I have been involved in all aspects of the business. I am a very hands-on CEO and believe that with the right intent and spirit, [people] can conquer anything they want. I believe we all live, learn and adapt. I personally set high standards of achievement for my employees, but at the same time I provide opportunities for independent learning and working.
What is the hardest part of running a web development company?
Bhaiya: One of the main challenges is to understand the client requirements and transform them into a solution. In my opinion, businesses today have a good idea about their ecommerce vision, but are unsure about their strategy. This idea engagement and transformation is what we try to excel with in each project. As a company, we want to see our clients be successful, as that is where we see our success and that’s where are second roadblock lies. It is about getting clients to continue enhancing their website post launch.
What are the keys to a successful ecommerce site?
Bhaiya: Know your product and pain points, know your industry and competition, have a vision, and most importantly, have a dedicated engine that works towards driving the success of this platform.
What are the keys to developing a successful app?
Bhaiya: Identify the need and market for your app, select the right company to help you develop this app, in Android, iPhone and Mobile. Success of the app greatly relies on the marketing strategy.
What is the biggest mistake ecommerce sites make?
Bhaiya: Ecommerce is an ongoing process with bite-sized improvements on a regular basis, and many companies loose sight of this. Most companies don’t realize that launch is just the beginning, and to build a successful ecommerce site, [they] would have to build it from ground up just as they would have done for a new business.
For someone building a multi-product ecommerce site, what should be the first-time offering budget?
Bhaiya: Budget varies from company to company and their objectives. But you should be looking to spend at least $10,000 to $15,000 to get your feet wet.
Are there any books or websites you recommend other CEOs should read?
Bhaiya: In my opinion, Winning by Jack Welch is a must-read for all business aspirants. Another great book that I am presently reading is The Fourth Turning by William Strauss [and Neil Howe].
Marc Kramer, a serial entrepreneur and president of Kramer Communications, is the author of five books. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.