Interview with Saket Singhi – Founder of JVS Group & Quick eSellingOctober 9, 2020
Entrepreneurship is challenging. That is why everyone is well-versed with the data – over 95% of startups fail. Maybe that is why we do not have many Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk.
The Most Popular Stories team got a chance to invite Saket Singhi, the founder of JVS Group and SoftClinic. We hope you find a journey of persistence and inspiration in his responses.
(Note: Some responses have been edited for readability.)
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur.
I was born in a Rajasthan. Later, my family shifted to the United States, where I got to finish my schooling. Eventually, the love for the country brought us back to India. And I finished my masters from Sukhadia University in Udaipur. In next to no time, I started working on JVS Group. Back then, the focus was on creating a product-based technology company that empowered healthcare businesses to do more with less.
Over the last 17 years of operations, we have achieved much more than that – we have created a sophisticated product-based operation that is solving real-world problems for healthcare companies, leading the market in innovation & customer service, and becoming the launchpad for high workplace standards. I have to admit, sometimes, this feels like a dream. However, as I look back over the years’ swath, all the hard work is evident in showcasing that my inner being is imbued with a sense of purpose.
2. Why did you choose entrepreneurship over an everyday job?
I can rattle a visionary reason around what I chose back then. I would be honest – I just looked at two unorganized and seemingly unrelated industries. I evaluated my skill sets and my passion for technology. And before I knew, I had a roadmap ahead of me.
The two industries I am talking about are healthcare and IT. Back then, unlike the USA, healthcare IT in India was an absolutely unregulated market. In the USA, IT was already an evolved market with a very visible structure. Moreover, the standalone IT industry in India was heavily focused on providing IT services. Most people wanted stability and predictability, which came in handy with the IT services industry.
I guess one can say, I found my vision within the problems I saw in these two industries. I looked at hospitals and healthcare operations, and I could see the paradox of technology. Instead of increasing productivity, it was drawing people to technology and distracting them from their work. For any other industry, this wouldn’t have been a pressing issue. But since the problem was with healthcare, every inefficiency meant loss or risk of life. So, my primary agenda was to fix this problem and make technology more accessible to healthcare facilities.
3. What was the vision behind JVS, and how has it helped you grow as a company?
The vision has become the foundation for our operations. Back then, we wanted healthcare IT to be a seamless experience. Every professional using our platform should achieve more in a day than she/he could’ve, had they chosen some other platform or no platform at all. So, the goal has been to empower our users. Our vision is and will always revolve around empowering our customers with seamless and effective technology platforms.
4. What are your products and services, and how do they produce value for your customers?
We offer a wide range of products and services. I will draw your attention to SoftClinic and Quick eSelling. SoftClinic was founded as a platform to efficiently and comprehensively manage Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical Records. It helps our customers aggregate, organize, store, and analyze data to get strategic and operational insights. Our portfolio also includes cloud-based data management offerings catering to specific healthcare practices like SoftCath, CardioHealth, JVS-DiComPlus, OncoSoft, and Advanced Clinical Modules on endocrinology, neurology, Ayurveda, and several other forms of medicine and medical concentration.
Leveraging the same principle of simplicity-in-use and feature-driven value, we created Quick eSelling. We are one of the very few players in the industry who have a vendor-level impact. Our platform helps vendors create a cloud-based online store with integrated mobile & web CRM systems and advanced features like inventory management, segment-based pricing, freight charges, and so on.
5. What have been the biggest challenges in running JVS?
When we launched JVS in 2002, most of India’s IT industry was focusing on IT Services. While that gave the businesses very predictable growth and healthy margins, it also meant that the industry had its modus operandi. We launched as a product-based IT outfit, which was a rare ambition in those days. We faced the challenge of its full height when we started hiring people. Most of the people we hired were trained for the IT Services industry. The key difference between our work and that done in a conventional IT Services company is that we are focused, designed, optimized, and dependent on innovation.
So, at a very early stage, we understood that we would hire people for who they are – their attitudes, aspirations, and work-ethics. For everything else, we chose to retrain everyone. That was a learning experience for us, and I firmly believe it has contributed to our growth.
6. How do you handle the pressure and the stress?
We started in the healthcare IT industry. So, no matter how distant you are from the floor at the hospital, you know for a fact that your work will have an impact on someone’s life. If your software makes the doctors more productive, some doctors will see some patients at the right time. And that can save a person’s life. Just that purpose is enthralling for me. But, I have to admit, it can get a little exhausting.
I push everyone around me to have a balanced life. But, I like being 100% committed to whatever I am doing – whether that is a holiday or the next big project. One of my favorite activities is to play with my ten-year-old son. He brings me to a place of comfort and happiness and keeps reminding me that I have a lot to learn and teach. That is the act of balance in my life.
I often take short vacations to either Udaipur or Mt Abu. Staying near the lakes or in the hills is my way to wind down and focus on things that rejuvenate me. I am also a big fan of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. I prefer being amidst nature. It connects me with my purpose and my being.
Whenever I get a chance, I also read. It helps me reconfigure my thinking. I learn and immerse myself in someone else’s ideology. When done right, I believe it can be a truly meditative experience.
7. How do you market your business?
Our customers are our biggest brand ambassadors. Over 30,000 physicians use our suite of products and services to cure over 5 million patients across 45 countries. So, as far as the Hospital Information Systems market is concerned, it is very tough to ignore us. That is one of the key reasons why we consider our customers as our brand ambassadors. Our excellence across products & services and an almost obsessive focus in delivering solutions that simplify our customers’ lives are our key marketing parameters. We also leverage our local marketing office to build sustained relationships.
Beyond that, our sales and marketing teams are persistent, consistent, and quite innovative in their on-ground approach. They are the driving force behind our marketing success.
8. What does your typical day look like?
I like waking up early. It gives me a sense of having the edge over my day. After a brief workout, I like going through my schedule for the day and prioritize everything that will require my absolute focus. Since our operations pan across 45 countries, different time-zones, and teams, not all my days look the same. I try to ensure that I am reading a little, working a lot, helping my colleagues, leading from the front, and spending time with my family every day.
9. In your opinion, what are the keys to success?
It depends on how do you define success. Some people are happy to make a sustained profit. Like most of my colleagues at JVS Group, others are interested in making a dent in the market and exponentially improve our customers’ lives. Now that I have a large family at the office, I can also see that leadership is a means to and a characteristic of success.
As far as the ways to succeed are concerned, persistence plays the central role. Post that, developing a support system around you becomes essential. You have to set yourself up for success. And, on top of these two, empathy for everyone who works for and with you, your customer, your investors, and the marketplace will take you a long way.
10. What advice would you give to someone starting as an aspiring entrepreneur?
Irrespective of whether you are starting with a team of co-founders or as a bootstrapped company run by a solopreneur, make sure you invest in a good team. I can understand the attraction of being the lone hero of one’s success story. But in my nearly two decades of entrepreneurship, I have concluded that people have the best returns on investments. Hire experts, let them take ownership of their roles, and focus on being a strategic contributor at your level. And – dream so big that it fuels your work ethics until you have attained that very dream.