Figure out a sustainable, long-term path to delight customers.
Sunil Jagani has always had a passion for the information technology field. This passion led him to obtaining his Masters degree in Software Engineering at Pennsylvania State University in 2004. Following graduation, he worked at various companies, gaining experience as a web developing consultant and computer programmer. In 1999, he landed a senior web developer/lead software architect position and he worked in this role until 2005.
In 2004, Sunil Jagani started his own company, AllianceTek; a software development and information technology consulting company.
Two passions of Sunil Jagani are learning the anatomy of a business and golf. He considers himself a social scientist, where he tries to understand the workings and structure of life. He finds balance in life through a combination of work, family, intellectual stimulation, creativity and physical activity.
Born in Rajkot, Gujarat, this Indian-American is dedicated to living the Kaizen way of life. Sunil Jagani has been married for 22 years and has a 14-year-old son.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
In the early 2000s, the need for software engineering and development began growing at a rapid pace. I noticed that most companies did not take on this challenge as it required a lot of different rules and to stay on top in a fast-moving industry. I acted quickly on this need and created AllianceTek. I knew that by putting a whole team together to create excellent software for companies and by making it cost effective for them, it would be a success for all. Luckily, I was right.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
To be honest, I don’t have a typical day. Some days I start as early as seven in the morning and go as late as eight or nine at night. I have eight branches across the United States and India, so I’m either traveling or I’m up solving problems and sorting issues with them at all hours. Every day is different.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by designing a particular action plan using the art of Kaizen. Kaizen is a creative approach to generating ongoing improvement that involves all levels of a business.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am very excited by Artificial intelligence and the impact it could have on an individual organization and at a global level. The problems that we see at a personal level, an organization level, and even at a global level, suddenly they’re all alike. Up until now, we didn’t have the tools and capability to address them. Now, with our advancements in artificial intelligence, we can align these problems and solutions to work together.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I design systems and processes so that I can rely on those systems and processes to keep me and my team on top of what we need to do. I am constantly developing these habits to ensure they are productive and effective.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could give advice to my younger self, I’d tell my younger Sunil Jagani to balance his patience, passion, and persistence. Don’t just lead with any one of them. Balance them every day.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Sometimes people think that I plan more than I do. I am a good handyman and I can cook much better than most people realize or believe. However, some people think my explanations for being a good handyman or a decent cook are more talk than action.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
In terms of business, every business truly comes down to empowering your people by developing smart business processes and learning your systems. Every business should do this over and over.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Figuring out a sustainable, long-term path to delight customers.
To delight your customers in a consistent manner, you need to produce consistent results. To have consistent results, just working with your employees is not enough. You need to build a structure that will provide consistent results and give this structure to passionate people. This is one strategy that I have used to grow my business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Not thinking long-term in strategy and due diligence in hiring people. I hire fast and fire slowly and I need to do it the other way around. I am continuing to work on this.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Technology is never going to go out of business. If I could give a business idea to any reader I would recommend the technology field. I have found great success in this industry and I believe with hard work, anyone else would be able to. Technology is such a broad industry that anyone could find their niche and turn it into a business.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
One of our employees went on a vacation recently when a new prospect came along in an email. The employee took the time out of the goodness of his own heart to work with the prospect and it turned out to be a good prospect for us. So I sent him $100 gift card so he could take his wife out to dinner to thank him because he didn’t have to work with the prospect. I really appreciated the time he took out of his vacation.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Google Keep. I use it for all of my collaborating with my coworkers and employees. It’s a place where I am able to dump and store all of the information so it’s off my mind. I am able to access it at any time from anywhere when I need it and I can share it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Spirit of Kaizen and One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way” by Robert Maurer. The art of continuous small improvement in life, it’s a principle that works very well. After I bought these two self-help books, I haven’t bought any others. The kaizen way can help you achieve anything you want. It’s a great framework to achieve your goals. The Spirit of Kaizen is a must-read for the 21 century.
What is your favorite quote?
“To compete against people is primitive, competing against yourself is dedication, and competing against time is passion.” – Sunil Jagani
When you’re consumed too much by what your competition does, you are missing the big picture. Who you are competing with is where your focus is and your focus should be on yourself and your passion. You only start competing against time once you discover your vision and passion. I’ve always believed that I will run out of time before I run out of opportunities.
- Constantly develop new processes to achieve ongoing improvement
- The spirit of Kaizen is a must read for the 21 century
- Focus on yourself and your passion