shivaami: At Shivaami, women lead the digital transformation process

When Punit Thakkar became an entrepreneur in 1997, it was clear he wanted to do something around the internet. However, the late 1990s was not really the era of internet in India and few wanted to start an internet business.

“In 1997 few people talked about the internet, but I’ve been an internet enthusiast since the 1990s and wanted to improve lives by harnessing the power of digital. I created a digital agency that mainly did web design. I started with multimedia CD-ROMs and then moved on to web design because that was the need of the hour at that time,” says Thakkar.

The business flourished, but Thakkar realized the need to evolve every 5-6 years, keeping in mind how far the IT industry has come. “Every half decade we try to figure out if we are still relevant or if we are outdated. ‘there would be a demand for cloud services and solutions and I entered the space. Initially, people thought we were wasting our energy, but now we are reaping the benefits of investing in the right direction. We probably have was one of the first companies to be listed as a cloud services company on the MCA portal,” says Thakkar.

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Today, the company is primarily a Google Cloud solutions provider, accounting for 90% of its business. “We specialize in Google Workspace, and because we’ve been in the business for so long, we’ve served over 15,000-16,000 customers. About 10% of our business includes AWS, Azure, and other cloud services,” says Thakkar.

Digital Transformation Push
Although not a buzzword in 2012, Thakkar slowly realized that his company was helping his clients on their digital transformation journey. Many companies wanted to have an online presence and use the power of digital in their field of work, and it was Thakkar who made it possible.

Thakkar says post-Covid it has become easier for him to make a business case for digital transformation. “Before the pandemic, we were asking our customers to adopt cloud solutions and undertake digital transformation. The post-pandemic situation is the opposite, where I don’t have the bandwidth to meet the demand still growing,” says Thakkar.

He adds that people have now understood the power of cloud computing. Thakkar says the pandemic has forced people out of the office for a while and they have realized the importance of doing work from home or any other location. “At the same time, they didn’t want to incur significant costs, and that’s where we play a very important role. There are many cases where we have helped companies optimize by saving almost 30% of their costs by moving from a capex (capital expenditure) model to an opex (operational expenditure) model while continuing to deliver their services better. around the world,” he adds.

With technology undergoing rapid change after Covid-19, Thakkar says customer needs have also changed. For example, says Thakkar, while email in different solutions remains largely the same, the difference in collaboration tools, mobile device management, and document sharing aspects is palpable post-pandemic.

“Before the pandemic, there was no problem coming into the office and checking your documents and having what you need on your desk. However, in the post-pandemic world, you need to be able to access your data everywhere. We help our customers upgrade their email solutions to start with, and then progress to moving everything from files, documents, and CRM solutions to the cloud. If, for example, a customer has a SAP system and want to integrate it with the messaging solution, we would be able to provide an end-to-end service for that,” says Thakkar.

Transformation is an ongoing process and as businesses mature in digital adoption, their need for different solutions increases. Thakkar says companies need help with this process.

A leading provider of integrated financial solutions dealing with startups, large enterprises and retailers decided to try Shivaami to help store data. “We help our clients solve their growth capital and working capital problems. As we regularly process data, we were looking for a solution that would store our data. We were looking for an all-in-one solution for which we contacted Shivaami. Certified Google Cloud Partner, they helped us by moving to Google Workspace which solved our storage issues. Plus, we have apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Chat for collaboration and content management,” the organization’s spokesperson explains.

Chetana Chaudhari, CTO of Shivaami, says that with a hybrid work culture, the trend now is to provide employees with flexibility. “This, in the true sense of the word, is transformation, where work can happen from anywhere. A company’s digital cloud journey can be outsourced to a service provider, while the business she herself can focus on her core business. While customers in Western countries are more familiar with collaborative tools, Indian customers need more support. In India, change management takes a lot of time,” says Chaudhari .

Needs can vary and an electromechanical equipment company was looking for a solution that would allow its employees to access the required data without compromising security. “We were also looking for a collaboration and communication solution. We live in the digital age and everything has been digitized to save resources and increase work efficiency. Our company could improve its productivity through digital transformation and also provide better services to our customers. As a result, we have undergone a digital transformation to improve our business,” says the spokesperson for the machinery manufacturing company.

Powered by Women
Thakkar’s company also stands out for the composition of its team. In technology, where the gender ratio is generally skewed, around 80% of its workforce is female.

“It was a conscious decision and in large part because of Chetana, the company’s technical director, who started her career after her maternity break. We have always thought it was important to provide opportunities for women who want to jump-start their careers and to women who want to pursue careers in the IT industry,” says Priyanka Khanna, Chief Revenue Officer, Shivaami.

According to Chaudhari, bringing women into technology can do wonders in an otherwise male-dominated field. She adds that the company employs around 250 women in more than five locations. “I would like to add that we have no gender bias and this is just a way to give women a chance. At the end of the day, everyone is equal in the organization,” says Chaudhari.

Khanna says even the company’s leadership positions are dominated by women. “Clients we work with are impressed with our employee mix and many want to emulate it within their organization. Women are better at multitasking,” says Khanna.

Thakkar says the focus is on employees with the right skills and for that, on-the-job training is extremely important. “For the first 30 days, all employees undergo training and certification. We have an in-house training team that runs daily sessions. We ensure that employees who join us obtain the necessary certifications offered by companies like Google and AWS,” says Thakkar.

According to Khanna, as a Google Cloud Partner, the company can help customers with everything from messaging solutions to high-performance infrastructure for cloud computing. “With the GCP platform, we also become part of the hardware, which is Google Chromebooks, and also help optimize SaaS solutions and ensure security within the company. Today, we provide cloud solutions from end to end,” says Khanna.

This financial year, Shivaami expects revenue of Rs 600 crore, which Thakkar said would be in line with industry growth rates. “Looking at the market scenario after the war between Ukraine and Russia, many countries are looking at a recession. In India, we have seen little drop in demand, but the challenge is that customers are now more concerned about costs. Additionally, the winter of startup funding has forced small businesses to tighten their belts. Cloud adoption is happening, but the pace has slowed,” Thakkar says.