The SmartWare / Market Places / India

Never give up. Always bounce back. - Story of The SmartWare

Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on? 

Founder & CEO, working on developing a digital eco-system consisting of connected automated self-serve platforms to provide various online marketing services under one roof.

What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?

I have been very passionate about technology and electronics from childhood. I can't sit ideal and always wanted to do something or create something innovative. When I was in school, I came across the concept of the content websites and monetization. I found it very interesting and ideal for me because it requires almost no investment to start a blog and generating revenue was quite simple if you have the quality content. It can be done sitting at home with a laptop and internet connection.

I started with a blog for Mobile Apps, I was very much motivated when I realized the power of internet after I got some of my articles ranked well and generated handsome amount of revenue. Further, I learnt about the Mobile App Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing ...etc, going forward I felt there is need to develop curated marketplace or dedicated platforms for different kind of online marketing services and this is how I came up with the idea of CPIDroid and then gradually, I came up with the idea of other platforms such as SEOeShop, ASOeShop, ElanceMarket ...etc.

Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?

In my childhood, I was crazy about technology, gadgets and electronics or similar. When I was in 9th or maybe 10th class, I came across the concept of Display Advertising. I just read the concept of monetization that was really interesting to me and I realized how the online business on the internet ecosystem actually works. otherwise I used to think that website owners make money when we visit websites, maybe they get paid or do revenue sharing with the internet/broadband providers but that’s NOT correct.

I started my journey with a blog on Mobile Apps named as AndroidAppania [It no more a blog now and I no more pay attention on it], I got my one article really ranked well in Search Engine and I got very good traffic from Search Engine, I really made good bucks (think of, I was school going at that time), even small earning was big for me but with time the ranked page lost it visibility because other webmaster started copying my article and since I was newbie I was NOT aware how to handle that or do SEO and hence gradually the page lost its ranking and traffic almost vanished. That sounds like the end but that was the beginning for me, what I learnt here is THE INTERNET has really got a huge potential to do big and innovative business. I immediately decided that I would do something big with the help of the internet. I started learning web development, digital marketing, SEO ...etc from the internet with the help of Search Engine.

I have NOT taken any formal education but have learnt everything from the Internet only. I soon realized that active income is NOT my cup of tea but I found passive income very attractive, so I started getting into affiliate marketing and created a fully automated affiliate store for digital marketing services. I made a lot of bucks from it which supercharged me and highly motivated me, afterwards I have tried to run many online websites some of them did not work out well due to lack of manpower (I was almost alone at that time) or I decided to turn around them, then I finally created CPIDroid and other websites that’s the point The SmartWare came into picture.

In short, I started my online business (blog) with ZERO rupees and was doing hit and trial when in school times. In college, I became serious about whatever I had created so far and when I completed my B-Tech, I became fully dedicated to my business. In Jan 2017, I was also preparing for the GATE & IAS exam but due to very good growth in my business (CPIDroid), I decided to leave exams and focus on my business only because I had a strong gut feeling that that's my passion and ultimate goal of life.

What has been your biggest failure or struggle?

In this long journey, the biggest struggle I faced was to build a high performance team at early stage, I have almost no experience of finding and hiring talented man power which really become a big challenge for me but gradually I learnt about how to nourish a great team and now we have a good team and will keep hunting for new passionate teammates.

And what has been your biggest achievement or success?

The biggest success was to successfully merge and connect all our platforms to single user base resulting in an innovative feature which can be terms as "Universal The SmartWare Account" i.e any user registers on any of our website, can use the same account to login into other network websites and hence no need to create separate account for each platform. This has become a minimum standard now by many big corporate such as Microsoft, Envato, Atlassian ...etc

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Offering quality at affordable price has worked to attract the customers and ensuring great customer support has worked to retain customers.

Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?

Yes, we have used such platforms to list our websites but not for launching, we did for keeping brand awareness in mind.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

Our mission is "To organize the world's demand and make its supply universally accessible, well connected across our self-serve (SaaS) IT Platforms via innovations in processing and delivery" and I think, our mission it self explains the business model.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?

When I decided to start a business at that time I was using WordPress but soon I realized I should custom develop a website of my own, here I got clarity that this will require me to learn programming and during school time I was used to avoid programming and found it not interesting. So, programming was something not of my interest, still I pushed my self towards it and forced my brain to get deeper into it because I was clear that I can't do great business without programming. Today, I am a well experienced PHP Web Developer.

Our future goals are to add more platforms into our network websites and introduce many new interesting features into our existing platforms.

Let’s talk about your marketing strategy -- how do you market The SmartWare and grow the service?

We started with usual marketing strategy but with time we had curated it a lot, we have experienced that SEO, Content Marketing, Quora Marketing, Search Advertising are the most effective

Do you have a model to get product feedback? What’s your favorite way to get product feedback? Did product feedback help you get the results you hoped for ?

Yes, we have implemented a Feedback widget on our website which is powered by HotJar, with the help of this widget our users are able to take snapshot and highlight the feedback easily which directly comes into our inbox.

Our favorite way to get feedback is to directly get in touch with the unhappy user and request them to share feedback regarding what makes them unhappy.

Yes, product feedback really help a lot in deciding what we should improve or add into our website in order to enhance it and make it best place for our customers.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

We should always make use of latest technologies and agile tools to simplify team work flow and work process.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We use the industry level best tools such as Slack, Intercom, SEMrush, BitBucket ...etc

Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?

My most inspirational CEO is our Prime Minister "Mr. Narendra Modi" it self, in my eyes he is no less than a CEO of my lovely country "India" (if I assume my country as an Organization).

My most inspirational Founder is "Dr. Vivek Bindra" ( learn more at )

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources? *

Although, I learn from almost everything but my most influential resources are the videos of Motivational Speaker "Dr. Vivek Bindra"

However, I believe our mistakes and failures are the greatest source of learning because I have really learnt a lot from my mistakes and failures.

What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?

Never give up.

Always bounce back.

Handle failures positively.

Always learn from failures.

Focus on quality and results.

Don't work just for your self or family, work for the nation.

About The Author : Binu Mathew

Binu Mathew is the CEO of itmarkerz technologies. It has been catering to the custom software needs of SMEs in India and abroad since March 2011. Binu started his programming and freelance carrier at the age of 17. over around 13 years of experience in startups, startup visas around the globe, and Blogging. You can reach him on Twitter or LinkedIn