Founded in 1987, Embee Software has evolved from being a value added partner for software products to a trusted systems integrator with annual revenues of over Rs 200 crore. This journey of over 26 years started with Sudhir Kothari, the company's MD and CEO, selling a commodity which was pretty much unknown to most—software licenses. Most people at the time failed to understand the logic behind investing money in software. According to this lot, software is something that ought to come free with hardware.
"In those days we had to go to each and every customer's desk and explain the merits of the software while also emphasizing the need to buy proper licenses," says Kothari. If the customers it dealt with when it started off were less aware, the present day consumer is just too smart. While the adoption trends might have changed, the challenges associated with selling technology solutions don't seem to abate.
Earlier it concentrated its efforts on explaining the transactional outcomes from a particular technology. Whereas now, as an end-to-end IT consulting and solution provider, Embee helps customers identify areas in which a technology will help achieve business outcomes. "In the career spaning over 25 years, the seven year period from 2002 to 2008 were the best years."
It was the time when technology products enjoyed a pull market with customers coming up to partners and asking for solutions. They had the time and money to experiment as the Indian economy was doing well. They were fine with just transactional gains," says Kothari. But like all good things, this lasted only for a limited time. Today, with cloud and similar technologies creating disruptions, the situation demands that solution providers convince customers about the value proposition of newer technologies and operating models.
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Kothari was also never ready to compromise on quality. "I always wanted to work only with the best companies, be it customers or principals," he says. But he is also quick to admit that not everything is about wisdom and foresight. "You also need some luck to work for you to succeed," he says.Luck did favor the SI as it tied up with principals like Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, and HP-Compaq — companies that have not just survived but thrived in these past 25 years.
A strategy that also worked well within Embee was to emulate the best practices and strategies of its OEMs. "We picked out all that we felt was relevant to us and incorporated that within our organization," says Kothari. This has greatly helped it stay relevant and stand tall in front of their customers as an example of practicing what they preach. With six branches across the country and over 250 employees, Embee has invested in technology that helps add professionalism in the system and visibility to employees. The HR, sales, CRM, and financial management tools are all a part of their internal IT ecosystem.
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