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Cofounding PreSkale: The road taken & journey ahead
My story of leaving a high-paying job to start my own venture with Ajay Jay. Here is my journey, learnings, and values that guided me to build a product for PreSales.
Hi, I’m Prashanth Ganesh, Cofounder & COO at PreSkale. I joined Ajay to help completely revolutionize PreSales for teams and leaders, and leave a positive impact in doing so. Yeah, that's a lot. And that's exactly how I felt when I heard it for the first time.
Ajay was so full of energy and enthusiasm while telling me his grand plan for the future. I brought my friends and creators who understood the problem statement and wanted to create an impact in their own way.
This is me writing my first blog, on my story of how I left one of the cushiest job titles to bring a group of people together to build a precision software for PreSales. You can read it as a guide on pulling in the right people and talent to build exactly the right kind of product that solves the real-world challenges. Here it goes.
How I met Ajay, and the long journey that led to us co-founding PreSkale
Somewhere in 2015, I was in the gym one morning — working out — and I saw this guy coming towards me, we started talking and he asked me if I should join Freshworks or Mercedes Benz. I asked him to join Freshworks, as it was a budding company making a name for itself. That's how I met Ajay.
He worked at Freshworks (then called Freshdesk) as a PreSales + Sales person. He was always so determined and hard working. I could see it in his eyes that he would do something great one day, never knew he'd chain me up along too, ha ha ha...
Our common discussion topics included entrepreneurship and sports, amongst others. One of our ideas was building a glass crockery business and reducing plastics in the city. Later, this initiative was taken over and run by my wife, lucky me!
Ajay told me about his career journey, and his challenges faced at work. He really wanted to solve the challenges that he was facing everyday as a PreSales + Sales hybrid. We iterated on this idea for hours together, and we saw a massive need for a platform for sales engineers, solutions consultants, technical sales advisors, and similar roles.
But then again, it's easier said than done. We were in the midst of a tsunami, where we knew we were going up against industry giants. But we wanted to make an impact in our own way, believing in our new approach of optimizing PreSales operations to attain GTM success.
We started working towards an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with one developer. We started building the product. In over one year, we increased the team count to 14-full-time employees with supporting contractors and advisors. We believe in people's potential and look at all of them as creators contributing to the PreSales cause.
Our first customer
We were building our core product, building our pipeline, and spreading our word through organic social engagement. Once we built the MVP and started getting traction in stealth mode, we connected with BoldCap to accelerate things to the next level.
We raised a pre-seed round of $500,000 to support our hiring efforts, and get ready to support the PreSales around the world. Post which, we increased from a 2-member team to 7-member team and eventually to 14 people today.
We built our MVP, the all-in-one PreSales dashboard, along with reports in less than 4-months. I am super happy to have found a team of creators working along with me who see and create a positive impact at our workplace everyday.
One of the major highlights for me personally was when I had a chat with our first customer - Mark from Nauto and his candid thoughts gave us the fuel to deliver more value to our customers. "Other vendors that we saw were either fit into a box, where they only focused on pilots, or proof of concepts, or trying to define a playbook for new hires or SEs. But PreSkale was the one solution that we thought was truly holistic across the entire PreSales life cycle."
Ajay and I always had discussions on how companies are run, startups, entrepreneurship, and we also had the chance to be guest speakers in different colleges. We always had discussions on new ideas which we can develop into a startup – a glass crockery business managed by my wife was one of those ideas that blossomed fruitfully.
Values that drive my work at PreSkale
My past learnings – working at global companies – helped me forge core values that have guided and will guide my work at PreSkale. Here are those:
Innovation is key at PreSkale
According to Beckley, “In the vast sea of innovation, companies that take the largest risk, close the biggest gaps, and identify the newest opportunities are rewarded with the title[s] of true innovators and leaders by their consumers and peers, these true innovators are setting themselves apart from any and all competition.”
Yes, "taking risk, closing wider gaps, identifying market opportunities” – sounds like us. We believe that we have to give amazing experiences to our customers, the ones that we expect our vendor companies to deliver. Special mention for DSK, Director of Engineering at PreSkale, we focus on finding new and innovative ways to deal with tech challenges.
There are easy ways, and there are smarter ways — we prefer the latter. Creativity is regularly exercised at PreSkale and all of our employees are creators who work on honing their craft to perfection.
We encourage teams to speak up their mind on ideas and solutions that can help us deliver better outcomes. We have designed a collaborative work environment where anyone can share insights with any other team.
One of PreSkale's features allows PreSales teams to work in-sync with product, sales, marketing, customer success, and other cross-functional teams. We replicate the same workflow inside our teams as well. So everyone is aware of everything happening in the company, and in the product.
Customer support comes first
Ajay comes from a sales background. So, giving excellent customer experience and support has always been our priority and we implemented systems to improve on our turnaround time.
We're building each piece on a secure infrastructure
We understand the value of data and the importance of security. We have set-up robust data security and privacy practices that form an integral part of our product engineering and service delivery principles. We're in the process of being SOC compliant.
As a cofounder and COO, I have the responsibility to build transparency and clarity within the company and, keep everyone informed about our business goals, so that our team can visualize our grander vision and work together to achieve that.
Our team is made up of creators who are proud of their craft and work. I am working on creating the workplace to be fun, as it is for me and for everyone.
I love my team, and I will always say this about PreSkale — "It's a group of people coming together to do good, spreading value, and achieving great feats." This is the story I'd like to tell my son.
We're just getting started, and if you have something to share, please feel free to contact me on LinkedIn.
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