Built from the passion of helping startups, Sidharth Jain is a visionary Founder of an award-winning web and mobile app development company – GraffersID. After working with World’s leading Unicorn Startups, the mission of Sidharth is to increase the success rate of Startups. GraffersID has been proudly working with Startups that have succeeded 9 out of 10 times.
Sidharth Jain has won awards like – Most Influential 50 Youth Marketing leader and GraffersID has been awarded multiple times for their UI/UX design and development.
Where did the idea for GraffersID come from?
I remember a conversation with my friend when I was working in the MNC. He recently founded a Startup and was going through a tough phase. Here is what he said to me –
“Sidharth, It’s been more than three months for us, and there is no traction even after launching the product at the right time. Our product is still not market fit even after six months of the development cycle.”
I was always supportive of Entrepreneurs and their hard work put behind an idea. After that conversation, I found a depressing fact about Startups and Failures that – the success rate for Startups was merely 10%.
The primary reason was the lack of proper tech consultation and technology support. There were no to pretty few companies who understood the dynamics of a Startup.
GraffersID was born at that moment. We decided to turn the tables for Startups and send them to the driving seat of growth.
Failing because of inferior technology is not what an Entrepreneur deserves. At GraffersID, we always worked to ensure that technology should be the power of startups.
Today, I am proud to say that 90% of Startups who worked with GraffersID are Successful!
Changing the 10% number to 90% for Startups, I feel that we are reducing the gap between success and startups. And, that’s the mission of GraffersID.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
For me, a productive day is when I bring smiles to at least one person in my life. It can be in any form or through any medium. I just love connecting founders with Investors or talent with demand. I feel very satisfied when someone has grown with me being a part of it.
Along with that, every day I visit a small nursery and bring a flower for one of our team members. To light up the day for them and surprise them just like life does, begins my day.
It can be anyone. A junior designer or a senior manager, I just want to bring more smiles and spread positivity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It’s simple. By instilling action to them. An Idea has no soul unless it is implemented.
At GraffersID, we have built a culture of not letting any Idea die. During the COVID times, when mobile gaming was on peak, one of our marketing interns came up with an Idea of promoting GraffersID in online games. It sounded a bit weird for everyone.
His idea was to – play with the same username of @GraffersID and make others curious about it” So, on weekdays, our team members were playing multiple games. Sounds like a crazy day at work? Indeed, it was.
People were literally curious and we ranked up in Google Search. Gamers, professionals, and everyone was searching “GraffersID” and we were receiving traffic, leads, and clients through it.
That’s how we bring ideas to life at GraffersID.
That intern is now the Marketing Manager and working with us full time. Every Friday, we have a brainstorming session for all the IDeas members. We discuss it, curate it and implement it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The New Age Entrepreneurs trends
Recently I received a message from a 17-year-old School Dropout on Linkedin, and he was saying –
“Hello Sidharth sir, I tried building a food ordering app for my mother’s bakery shop and it’s not working perfectly. This is my last hope for my family to survive amidst Lockdown”
I get tons of messages every day from Students asking for Job but this was different. I called him and discussed his problem. His family was hit hard by the lockdown. His father lost his job and the bakery shop was closed for more than 5 months.
That boy turned the crisis into an opportunity. Deciding to go digital on his own, he started building an app similar to food ordering but wasn’t able to successfully complete it. I calmly understood the whole situation.
Our development team checked his app and helped him complete it. We did not stop there.
Our HR Manager decided to give him an opportunity to Intern with GraffersID. After learning from our developers and practicing the skills, he can solve larger problems today.
His parents are super-proud of him and at GraffersID, we feel honored to support such entrepreneurs.
This increasing trend of young exciting students turning into entrepreneurs is very delightful.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I never defined productivity in terms of the number of tasks done. For me, it’s more about impacting the lives of people.
My one habit is connecting with new people every day. Irrespective of the medium, I focus more on connecting with a Founder, Investor, or tech enthusiast.
Relationships with humans are the most precious gift anyone can give themselves. My intentions are not to do business with them but just to ensure that I have a greater network every day and more valuable people are connected.
During the previous lockdown, many small companies in local areas faced a downfall of revenue and had to lay off employees. Thousands of talented developers were looking for jobs and still, there were many IT companies growing in the covid era including GraffersID.
We hired a lot of them and then sharing them through my network ensured that most of the deserving candidates get the place they belong to.
Also, my experience of working with YCombinator Startups, Sequoia funded Startups helped our clients succeed during funding rounds more often.
I have always believed that any relationship can be a game-changer. Nobody knows. After all, humans are the most powerful species in the universe.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To my younger self, I would say to fail more, experiment more, and never fear doing mistakes. Failure, Experimentation & Mistakes have taught me more than any college, degree, or professor.
While working at the top MNC in my first job, I was learning pretty little. My seniors never tried something different. Even the technologies we used to operate were older and outdated. Nobody wanted to try something new because of the fear of mistakes.
But, I went another way. For a project assigned entirely to me, I tested a new technology which completed the work in half time.
I was rewarded with a promotion and an invitation to become a part of the editorial committee.
For Startups to grow, experimentation is very crucial. At GraffersID, we keep disrupting the traditional technology, hiring process, and marketing approach with our innovative tactics.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I won’t say Nobody agrees with me but most people don’t agree with me when I say – Experience is not about the Number. Recently on our last hiring round, we required only one developer while there were around 10 applications.
For final selection, I checked the rejected applications once again. There was one with No Degree but few projects as Freelancing. After I gave it a shot, It turned out that freelancers have worked on many more complex projects than the experienced profile.
We quickly hired him and his experience has helped us and our clients multiple times. These are some instances where people don’t agree, but such incidents turn them down. I highly believe that numbers or papers are not the correct criteria to judge or hire someone.\
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Chase the purpose, not the money. Money is always a by-product of what you are chasing.
For one of our USA-based clients, we went the extra mile just to accomplish the purpose. They had an upcoming opportunity to pitch in front of the world’s best investors. Just one pitch that can turn fortunes for them.
The timeline was very short. Just 2 months. But, we believed that deadline is our deadline. The senior development team planned the process. It included hiring more developers so that quality is not compromised for faster delivery.
After two months, it was the time for final showdown. We helped the founder develop an impeccable pitch and consult with some investors before actually pitching them. It was all possible because of my network with VCs, Successful Founders, and Investors.
Talking in terms of Duration, it was not feasible to project for us. But it’s the mission of GraffersID to not let any Startup Down due to Technology. Today, he is one of our biggest clients in all terms. He received the funding and scaled up to become a leader in Industry.
We also got connected with investors from that opportunity and have received multiple chances to collaborate. This is the result of our efforts to achieve the mission.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Sticking to No single strategy. Yes, that’s the strategy. We still don’t have a sales team. But, we have experimented a lot with marketing campaigns.
In 2018, we targeted companies that could become our potential clients. Members of our team reached out to them as a client of theirs and asked for a demo of the product. After the demo call, our members gave them technical reviews and told them the shortcomings of the product.
As a prospect, our team members shared genuine feedbacks with them. As planned, many of those companies asked our members to find a good technical partner for the solution to that problem.
All of them referred to GraffersID. The trick worked. It might have been impossible to get those clients with an ad.
I already mentioned our Gaming Trick that worked. This is what has motivated our team to grow. Creativity and Innovation at the core.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I think failures are the most crucial part of your entrepreneurial journey. They are the true mentors and catalysts to your growth. How often you make new mistakes and How frequently you repeat them is a matrix of success for me.
One of the very first problems for us was winning client trust. As a new startup, not very many were ready to trust us. A possible solution was to have a big portfolio which was again not possible for a Startup. We were finding it difficult to engage high-value clients. So, here’s one trick that helped us overcome the shortcomings.
So we made a value proposition to our clients.
“FREE LANDING PAGE”
We created 1 free design for our clients to prove to them our skills, which would also win their trust.
This strategy allowed us to flaunt our confidence and get more exposure. Most of the time we won the client, but even if we didn’t win some clients then we definitely won their referrals.
Failures keep coming to you, they will never stop. Change your attitude and keep learning from them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Well, we get umpteen of Ideas at GraffersID every Friday during our brainstorming session. Here is one of them.
Create a platform that starts giving money to creators from their first impression. Having no threshold number for creators to achieve first. Let them earn from their first video or content. I am talking about the platform which allows Text, Images, Videos, and Audio too. Merge them all and start giving them something. Obviously, a new account won’t get you Ads but think of it like Investment.
There is no better motivation than money itself. Give them money and they will attract an audience, attention, and advertisements for you.
Code has ruled the globe for the last 3 decades. Content is going to rule the next decade. Nothing can be bigger without content in the modern world.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I come from a village and was always curious to know how the world of business works. There was a seminar which happens annually in our college from India’s top business leaders. The cost of the seminar was $90.
During my college days, $90 was a very big deal. That was my monthly budget for paying rent, food, and all other expenses. Every month, I tried saving as much as I can. Through bits and pieces of work, I also earned some bucks from freelancing. After 5 months, I had saved around $99.
I attended that seminar in the next session. For me, that was just life-changing. I was a focused guy over academics and always stayed away from risks. But, that seminar taught me that if I have to make a difference in this world, I have to think BIG, I have to Imagine BIG.
I followed the business leader on social channels and got a chance to meet him in the next seminar too.
Each penny has its value. I don’t call that an expenditure. It’s an investment over myself. I am the biggest asset for myself and regularly investing in the best asset gives you the best returns.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There are many task management or project management tools available online. My ideology is to use those tools which are easy to understand for everyone. Working on a big project with a big team needs collaboration and therefore don’t chase the complex tool. Try different ones and then finalize.
For me, It would be Trello. It allows us to integrate APIs from all our software and automate many redundant tasks on a daily basis. All our reporting and monitoring is done over Trello or on some of our custom layers on top of it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My favorite book is 1 Page Marketing. The most important thing for any company is sales, it helps you stay afloat. However, good sales are when you don’t have to do sales. So you rather do marketing.
It is long-lasting, has far better returns, high conversion rate, and has big referrals. I don’t think we would be where we are without our clients referring us to their network. We could have never met the founders of these unicorn startups and Fortune 500 Clients without our happy clients putting in a name for us.
So, this book teaches you a lot of marketing mindset to win the game in long run.
What is your favorite quote?
“If life doesn’t give an opportunity, create one” – I have always believed in it. In 2017, we appointed an office boy for regular work like cleaning, hygiene, and other stuff. We were just growing and had a small team so there was never a lot of work for him.
I was keeping an eye on him for almost a week and realized that 80% of his time is just getting wasted. He is free and just uses his phone for passing the time. After discussing with our development team, we started giving him lessons on Coding, Communication, and English.
It was definitely challenging for everyone but when I discussed the possible outcome with him, he was motivated. With his willingness to achieve more, accomplish more, and become a life changer for his family, he started putting in extra hours.
After 3 months of consistent hard work, he was able to perform basic coding operations and talk easily in English. In 6 months, he started working on client projects and with complete monitoring, we acknowledged him as a junior developer after 7 months.
Today, he is in an Associate Developer role and earning a handsome salary. He said to me – “Sidharth sir, I am living the life that I never thought is possible. My family lives in its own house, I can dream of getting my first car and much more. Turning an office boy into a developer is none less than magic for me.”
I just remember the same quote many times where we have helped individuals create the opportunity themselves.
- After failing in the first semester and having no funds to building a profitable business with 100+ Employees, Sidharth Jain left the MNC to form GraffersID.
- Sidharth has never believed in degrees and numbers, his team is built up of School Dropouts, College Dropouts, and Failed Students.
- GraffersID is the only company in the IT Landscape to have the success rate of Startups to go beyond 90%. It has been possible through the sole purpose of driving startups to glory.
- Sidharth Jain has won awards like – Most Influential 50 Youth Marketing leader and GraffersID has been awarded multiple times for their UI/UX design and development.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.