Cloud(ing) IT in restaurant business

Sakshi Bhasin Tulsian – Co-Founder, POSist

Having been brought up by an entrepreneur father and married to a serial entrepreneur, setting up her own venture was inevitable for Sakshi. Sakshi Bhasin Tulsian – cofounder of POSist – a SaaS-based eatery management platform. It enables restaurants to manage their customer relationship management, table orders, inventory, delivery, take-away, expense, branches etc.

Born and brought up in Delhi, Sakshi comes from a nuclear family where she enjoyed her parents support at all times. My brother and I were given a lot of space to grow and were involved in all important decisions made on behalf of the family, says Sakshi adding that it perhaps nurtured the decision-making ability in her, a trait which stood her in good faith when she turned entrepreneur. Her father was a self-made man who started working at the age of 16 and pursued his post-graduation simultaneously. He started his own company at the age of 25 and he is the inspiration behind her wanting to setup a startup someday. She met her husband, Ashish in college and Sakshi says she has always found her mentor in him.

After her graduation she got a job at Sapient, as she wanted real-world experience and did not want to pursue her education further. It was after completing a two-year stint at Sapient that the desire to start-up grew even stronger. Even while being there, she made sure that she had a know how of different things so she got down to studying various things  planning of resources, meeting targets, billing clients and handling deliveries too.

Her stint in Sapient was followed by starting up Websanchaar. It was one crazy experience, a roller-coaster ride for sure. I did everything from tech to ops, support to sales and the experience helped me to open my horizons and enabled me to grow as a person, says this enthusiastic entrepreneur. A two-year stint there as well and she along with her husband founded POSist in 2012.

Sakshi says POSist was born out of our own needs. It was never started as a business idea. We were running our separate tech companies then. While I was running a web development startup, he was running his telecom VAS company. That was when we invested in a restaurant out of enthusiasm. The restaurant turned out to be rewarding financially but was extremely demanding with respect to operations. That is when we decided to turn our attention to this platform.

Sakshi is committed to take POSist to higher levels and establish it as a brand in the restaurant space. She is also busy mentoring some startups in her free time and has invested in a few too. Sharing our success and failure with them gives me the pleasure of having shared my journey with them, she says adding that she sees herself doing it more in the times to come.

High point in career

Have had different high points at different times of my career – when I started my job, I was one of the top 100 employees at Sapient. That gave me an amazing feeling and boost in my confidence. While working at my first startup Websanchaar, my high point was when I had a team of 80 people & 1000 clients spread across 4 offices. That was a time which gave me a happy high & goose bumps at the same time.

But at POSist my highest point was and still is whenever our product is accepted by the market and we are recognized for the hard work we do. It feels amazing when I think that we were able to build something which is solving a real world problem and directly impacting so many businesses.

Most challenging assignment so far

We are selling a Cloud based software to Indian SMB based on SaaS model, challenges are steep and numerous:

Educating the market – biggest challenge as they inherently don’t understand how a software which is not installed on their computer function.

Data on Cloud – Insecurities with keeping their data online and that too on someone else’s server.

SaaS model – SMBs are not in the habit of paying for software even once and here you are asking them to pay you every month/year.

Local presence – SMBs are in the habit of buying everything from local vendors, a Bangalore restaurant does not want to buy from a Delhi company over the phone. You need to create local presence.

Language – The buyer of the application maybe the restaurant owner but actual user is a cashier, he may or may not know English or Hindi in some parts of India.

Greatest inspiration

I drive my inspiration from Marisaa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg because I see both of them as women who are breaking a lot of stereotypes about what roles women can take up in organisations while still being in a family. Marissa not only spent a decade with Google and accelerated to a power center there, she took up Yahoo when no one else was willing to dirty their hands with a drowning tech giant. To top it all, after joining Yahoo and turning it around, she is expecting a child second time with no loss of work. I think it’s inspirational for me both as an entrepreneur as well as a woman.

Apart from that, people I work with on the team and I meet every day inspire me in their own way. I learn all small and big things from everyone and try implementing it in my personal & professional life.

Most important milestone in life
On a personal level one milestone in my life that makes me happy is getting the right life partner who in real terms is my better half. Ashish is my everyday motivation machine. Professionally, building my second company successfully to a certain level tells me that it’s not a fluke but we must be doing something right!

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?
Toughest part being a women executive in a top role is the fact that you need to be an all-rounder in all the dimensions of life and not only in business. I will not say that men live in one dimension only and don’t really bother about personal life but they can always wash their hands off certain responsibilities at home and catch a break as it is socially acceptable. A woman on the other hand can’t do that no matter how liberal people around you are. I consider myself lucky though, for having found an able support system in my parents and in-laws.

You have to create a balance between your personal and professional life. This always helps in the longer run. There are highs and lows both in business and at home but the approach should be that neither one should be affected because of the other. So women have to be better halves 🙂