How persistence and trust helped Supersourcing's co-founder secure seed funding from his mentor – Paytm founder VSS

Mayank and Aditi started the company in 2020 to attempt to solve the demand and supply problem in the IT outsourcing industry.

Mayank Pratap Singh is nothing if not persistent. When the co-founder and CEO of Supersourcing – which helps companies hire remote engineers – takes on a challenge, he puts all his focus and attention on it.

“Whatever you do, if you’re persistent enough, sooner or later you will achieve it,” Mayank said. This belief – and his persistent nature – are what helped him achieve his dream of having Vijay Shekhar Sharma as an investor in his company.

The Paytm founder, Mayank said, is the person he most admires and looks up to in the Indian startup ecosystem. Around 2013-14, when he first attempted to get in touch with him, Mayank and Aditi Chaurasia were running a platform called MotorBabu – an app for automobile servicing – in Indore. He wrote in his email to VSS: ‘Dear Vijay, I want to meet you.’ Upon not getting a response, the young entrepreneur tried again, this time with slightly formal wording, ‘Dear sir, I want to meet you.’

The second email also went unanswered, so Mayank changed strategies. This time, he wrote the full text in Hindi, hoping that it would elicit a response. Scores of emails and nearly three years later when he had still not heard back from the Paytm founder, Mayank was convinced that his account was marked as spam.

At the same time, he noticed that Vijay Shekhar Sharma was fairly active on Twitter. So, staying true to his persistent nature, Mayank took a whiteboard and wrote on it with a red marker:

“Dear Vijay sir (PayTm), please revert to my mail. It’s been more than 30 days and #12th reminder. – Team MotorBabu”

Dressed in black t-shirts with the company logo printed in yellow on them, Mayank along with Aditi and four other team members took a picture with the whiteboard – all looking into the camera solemn-faced. Mayank then tweeted the image with the text: “Dear @vijayshekhar. I want to meet you, waiting for your reply :(.”

And it worked!

Just hours later, Paytm’s founder tweeted back, and they were able to schedule a meeting.

It took him years, but building and nurturing this one contact with his mentor helped him and his IT outsourcing company secure seed funding of Rs 1.5 crore earlier this year. Investors in the one-year-old venture include Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Ritesh Malik and Nikhil Sharma.

The journey

Mayank and Aditi started the company in 2020 to attempt to solve the demand and supply problem in the IT outsourcing industry. Supersourcing is a next-generation platform built to help companies find the best companies in tech to work with.

“We aim to become Alibaba for IT agencies,” Mayank said.

There’s a two-sided problem in the industry, he explained. One, when someone posts a requirement for an outsourcing partner on LinkedIn, for example, 100s of people respond claiming large teams in foreign locations – when, in fact, they are all India based and not necessarily verified. “To solve for that, on the platform we are curating verified and relevant tech partners who are capable of doing work in a specific industry,” he added.

On the other side, the big problem Supersourcing is solving is getting quality engineers who may be struggling to get hired. “We’re a two-sided marketplace on a mission to digitise the outsourcing industry,” he said. On one side, they have an agency that provides engineers, and on the other, there are funded companies or entrepreneurs who are looking for product experts for their team. “We have helped a lot of companies fulfil their requirements and grow faster,” Mayank added.

This is not Mayank’s first startup. In fact, he said he’s had three failed ventures before. After multiple failures, Mayank knew the only way to learn the in’s and out’s of the business was by working with a startup – even if it meant compromising on pay. So he did just that while living in Bengaluru: learning how a startup goes from the idea stage to becoming a successful company.

Seven years ago, he and Aditi started an IT services company in Indore called EngineerBabu which now has over 200 employees. Supersourcing, owned by EngineerBabu, has a team size of about 12. The company is now in the process of raising another round.

Advice for young entrepreneurs

Two things are crucial for any entrepreneur, according to Mayank. The first is clear intent and the second, being a consistent learner.

“No matter where you’re learning from – books, YouTube, etc – it’s important to keep learning every day,” he said, adding: “Before reaching out to someone and asking for their time, it’s better to do your own homework: everything is available on the internet now.”

Mayank also advises being loyal to one’s customers and employees.

“If you have a good heart, they people might leave your company but never leave you – and even end up coming back. When there is trust, your company will grow rapidly,” Mayank said.

Digital-first ecosystem

Earlier, the problem for a lot of businesses was that tech wasn't something they were looking at as a solution. Everybody was content with local customers, but now, due to the pandemic, things are changing. Everything has become digital.

“If you don't have a website or app right now, I think doing business would be very, very tough,” Mayank said.

India, he said, is changing rapidly and he thus sees great opportunities for those who are looking to grow. If a non-tech entrepreneur, for example, wanted to build an app or website and don’t have much knowledge about it, then theirs is the right company to tap.

“We don’t take commission and have ended up helping a lot of people,” Mayank said. “We simply wanted to do our part.”

Amanat Khullar oversees content and editorial at ADIF.

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