Suuchi Ramesh spent the first ten years of her career in technology and predictive data analytics with hyper-growth unicorns. After identifying the supply chain as one of the few legacy industries to embrace digitization, she started Suuchi Inc. in 2016. Suuchi Inc. is a next-generation supply chain technology platform that digitizes the end-to-end value chain for companies of all sizes. In just four years, the company has partnered with over 200 businesses to spearhead a digital revolution, eliminating the manual processes that stunt scalability and profitability through its proprietary software, the Suuchi GRID. The GRID provides customers access to a transparent supply chain and real-time analytics to make smarter, data-backed decisions.
Where did the idea for the Suuchi GRID come from?
I spent the first ten years of my career as a software engineer working for predictive analytics companies. I was looking at the supply chain in those roles, but through the data lens, which gave me a very different perspective on the supply chain’s state. In those roles, I saw that supply chains across industries held massive opportunities for positive change powered by next-generation technology, and that’s how Suuchi Inc. and the GRID were born. The GRID is a lightweight, intuitive supply chain management product suite that digitizes and streamlines the entire supply chain to provide real-time analytics from product conception through distribution. I started the company in 2016, and we have been able to drive positive impacts with hundreds of companies.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
One of the exciting things about being an entrepreneur is that your days rarely look the same. Especially at critical points for growth, you may have to change the hats you wear to support the business’ needs. On a daily basis, I try to split my time across sales and engineering/product initiatives as needed to take the company to the next level of growth. To stay productive, I try to remain as hyper-focused on time management as possible and block out periods where I need to focus on specific tasks requiring my attention.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m lucky that I have an incredible, well-rounded team that helps us balance fast-execution and research to ensure we are not spinning our wheels on a new idea that will not bring repeatable wins. As a fast-paced and fast-growth company, we have deliberately built our team to ensure the proper checks and balances.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that excites me most is that the supply chain is becoming such a hot space for innovation and investment. For years, sales and marketing were the areas where technology innovators, and thus, technology investors, primarily focused. While the outbound supply chain (i.e., logistics, warehousing, etc.) did gain some more traction over the past few years, we are now seeing a higher focus on the upstream supply chain. I’m excited to see the new solutions that come out of this increased interest and future innovations this trend will inspire.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Not to beat a dead horse, but being hyper-focused on time management and not being afraid to be selfish with my time has been a big reason I can be productive. Of course, you want to be there to support your team day and night, but as an entrepreneur, you need to make sure you allow yourself the ability to work on all of the other tasks that pop up. This might even be as simple as blocking off a half-hour on your calendar to just focus on emails or reaching out to current or potential investors and stakeholders.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Start the company sooner! I think we all can get caught up in the doubts that hold us back from trusting our gut, so I would tell my younger self to just go for it.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The GRID is my biggest truth, and our software product suite has been able to disrupt and create value. When I started the company, no one believed the concept could amount to anything because of how we started developing the software – by investing in a factory and sewers that would allow us to inform the software’s features. The early team stuck to our vision and long-term plan, but it was impossible to get outsiders to see our vision for the software when walking into a manufacturing facility.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing and ready to learn not only from traditional sources (i.e., books, research, etc.) but from your team as well. If you do not have an open feedback loop with employees at every level, you are likely missing out on hundreds of potential new ideas. I would recommend having regular feedback sessions with employees across the organization to get their input and feedback, which you can then leverage into new initiatives for growth.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One of our company values is adaptability, and that has been instrumental to our growth. If we were very rigid or refused to diverge from our initial plans, we would not be anywhere near the stage we are at today.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wouldn’t call it a failure as much as a challenge we faced in the early days. We often struggled to let people go fast enough when they were no longer a cultural fit, which hurt some of our growth initiatives. While hiring good people fast is essential, quickly parting ways with non-cultural fits is equally, if not more, important. As an entrepreneur, you want to make sure that the people around you are a cultural and professional fit and not dragging down the rest of the team.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are thousands of business ideas to be untapped across the value chain. The massive, legacy ERPs and PLMs of the past are rapidly approaching their dominance expiration date due to a lack of innovation. Any supply chain platform that considers the entire value chain and unifies individual players and existing software is where we will see the massive growth and ROI for new companies.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Books, books, and more books. I recently bought the books Working Backwards by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr, Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, and Ask Your Developer by Jeff Lawson. A book is worth a thousand teachers.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The one software I cannot live without is the GRID, of course. But jumping outside our zone, I would say the other web service I use a lot is the WSJ news app. It keeps me abreast of news pieces I care about.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Outside of the ones I recently purchased, I’ll recommend two other reads. The first is Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman. Many of Hoffman’s philosophies have influenced our culture here at Suuchi and guide our growth path. The second book I would recommend is Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio. Our leadership team read this book together, and it continues to guide how my executive team leads their departments. Both books have excellent tips that entrepreneurs can take away no matter where they are in their journey. I’ll also recommend the Masters of Scale podcast, which Reid Hoffman hosts for those who prefer podcasts.
What is your favorite quote?
Everyone who knows me knows that I love quotes, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I think the one that I come back to is, “Home is less about a piece of soil and more about a piece of soul.” I immigrated to the United States as an adult, and my sense of home now comes from Suuchi Inc. I spend nearly my entire day working with my team, which drives me and gives me my sense of purpose.
- Always be learning. Whether it’s through books or your team, there is still more to know.
- Focusing on the trendiest business segments isn’t always the key to the highest ROI. Look for segments that have been mainly untouched and can benefit from a modern, simple solution.
- The person with the best resume might not be the best long-term cultural fit for the company’s growth path.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.