[quote style=”boxed”]”If you didn’t do it in the best way, someone else will and you will be forgotten.”[/quote]
Manish Bhalla is the founder and CEO of FATbit Technologies, a web services brand that helps businesses and professionals position themselves as competitively better choice over contemporaries.
Since childhood, he was fascinated about how system/economy/society works and has always been an observer, learning from things happening around him. By the time he finished college, DOT COM BOOM was about to fall apart. He was good at planning, logics and, being from commerce background, he believed he is the right match for this industry. The scarcity of talented web experts caught his fancy and he decided to build a brand that will address the need of people looking for CUSTOM design and development assistance. In a growing industry and eager to learn, he gradually added to his small team and went on to make a name for professionalism and web expertise.
FATbit presently operates from two offices in India and plans to build the third one in USA.
With clear understanding of how brands work on web, Manish aims to develop business solutions and introduce online services that will help small businesses and start-ups in becoming more competitive. BIZixx and FATshoppe are results of similar efforts.
Presently, FATbit is a team of 50 web experts who work on global design and development projects on daily basis. In the long run, Manish aims to make FATbit a web design development company of international recognition and stature.
What are you working on right now?
I am presently focusing on delivering more value and right solutions to our clients. We are working on optimizing our processes for leads, conversion, quality control and project closure. In the business solutions field, we are planning something big but things are still on the blueprint. So, it wouldn’t be right to delve on that.
Where did the idea for ‘custom web solutions’ come from?
Though our company materialized in the year Facebook came around, the idea of FATbit engrossed me before that. Internet & ecommerce were the buzzwords back then, and there was huge demand for custom web solutions. There was huge scarcity of skilled and experienced web solutions providers. FATbit was born out of this necessity.
There were tens of thousands who could work with open source scripts but very few had the expertise to do custom web design and development. The same is true presently as well. That is why we have made such a name despite fierce competition.
How do you make money?
We take clients’ plans, worries and objectives; process them and turn the inputs into a professionally planned, creatively designed and fluently functioning website/portal that sells.
What does your typical day look like?
I am not a morning person and begin my day around 10 AM. However, I make it up for it by hitting the bed around 3am. Most of my hours are spent reading & replying to team emails, client interaction, and discussing brand promotion. Lead generation and time/cost estimation also take a couple of hours.
My two year old daughter and her antics keep me from becoming a workaholic. However, when she and her mother are fast asleep, I catch up with the web and creative part of my work.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think there is only one way to bring ideas to life; that is, by working on them. My team of web experts play a crucial role in bringing my ideas to reality by handling the research and marketing aspects.
For instance, some years ago I came across the project management issues that IT businesses faced and decided to develop a web based solution that would not only help business owners manage better but also save work hours. BIZixx was born out of that idea and it is presently being used by businesses all over the world to plan, track, monitor, analyze and control projects & team.
Ideas, I believe, require commitment and efforts in equal measure.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Ecommerce and how it is changing really excites me.
More and more people are getting online, and even paying for digital products that were earlier consumed for free. This changing digital scene is full of opportunities, and being a web entrepreneur, I want to be part of it.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I did few small jobs before starting my own business. As I am always willing to learn, I never felt bad about them and took in as much as I could. However, I always felt dissatisfied because what I earned in Indian rupees was never going to make me rich.
Before getting into the software industry, I wanted to export handmade items out of India. But it turned out I was destined to deal in code-made stuff rather than handmade articles.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
SaaS (software as a service) has always fascinated me but project commitments never left enough time for it. I have been focusing on them lately to develop a stream of recurring income. If I could roll back the clock, SaaS would be the first thing on my priority list.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I personally have been investing a lot of time & money on human resource, and that’s what I believe gets you highest ROI on the long run. Surround yourself with people that can go beyond their work profile and you are certainly on the right track to make ideas work.
This is important because big plans cannot be brought alive alone.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I partnered with people who were not in harmony with my vision and long term business objectives. This led to a very staggered business growth in the initial years. I choose my vision and parted ways to remain true to my goals. My choices have brought me this far and I believe I have done well for myself and FATbit brand.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There is an idea that has been occupying my mind for quite some time but I never found the time to really work on it. India is a cricket crazy nation and the idea is about a website that rewards users for most number of correct real-time predictions. There is a lot of scope for advertising and revenue generation. You get points for each right prediction and you can make hundreds of predictions for a single match, you see an advertisement (small size 200px*200px) before you make a new prediction. For more details, you can get in touch with me.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would change the way people believe that India is a place where you get low quality products and cheap labour. At my level, I am already making the effort by offering my clients the best in web design, development and emarketing field.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
My values are very dear to me and I have worked hard to ingrain them in my small organization.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- Google Analyics – For analyzing website traffic, understanding visitor habits and patterns
- ClickTale – It allows you to record and view the activity of each website user in real time.
- Google.com – For its indispensable search capabilities, obviously.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
The book rightly says that a business owner’s foremost goal is ‘to find the right people to fill the vacant positions so that they can swiftly execute plans’. It also says something I personally follow with my team; that is, Stay Humble, Stay Hungry.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- @MattCutts – He tells you how to remain in good books of Google
- @Marketo – Frequently updates about its new online marketing guides.
- @Neilpatel – He tweets important resources and how-to-sell tactics.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I did a mailbox malfunction. I wanted to send an email to a team member but accidentally sent it to the prospective client whom I was criticizing for being a penny pincher.
Who is your hero?
My Father. He is not dollar successful but an honest man. I perhaps inherited it from him. He lived a very simple life and remained contented despite facing financial hardships till he retired. After retirement, he has sufficient money to live comfortably.
What is the success mantra for any online business?
I think it is to find a deeply felt gap and bridging it in the best possible manner. If you didn’t do it in the best way, someone else will and you will be forgotten. Online business is a demanding field with multiple learning curves. So, try to start with a venture that caters to an unattended audience.
Nine year into web services industry, how have you prevented burnout?
I love what I do and perhaps that’s why I have been able to dodge burnout till now. Yes, exhausting days are there in my calendar as well but most of the times, challenges accompanying my work leave me rejuvenated. BUSINESS has been my favourite game since childhood. My first gig was at the age of NINE. So, that too helps.
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