StackNexus Inc CEO Suman Akula Shares His Views On No Code Solutions Concept In IT

 - Sakshi Post

StackNexus CEO Suman Akula shares his insights on entrepreneurship, his company, no code- no shore technology services, and much more in an interview with Devraj Bollareddy on Sakshi Post...

With your major office branches spread out over 4 cities that are very far from each other and with plans to expand into Europe, how do you balance your time between all your major offices? 

What we have done essentially right is, chosen the right leaders, between each of the offices. Be it India, US or UK we have the right people in place to run these offices. We have made sure not to go into expansion without having the right people, right processes, and the right tools in place. We firmly believe in - if you cannot measure it, you cannot ever grow it, given that, we make sure to plan exactly how to measure and track our successes before expansion, in terms of business fundamentals, profitability, and customer perspective.  

Essentially, we have the right people, the right processes, and the right tools that give us the ability to expand quite fast however far it might be, as in our case with offices in USA, India, UK, and eventually, it will be Australia.  
 
What implications does IT bring for business owners today? Give us a few reasons why they should consider investing heavily in IT technologies. 

IT is the bedrock of everything. We know that IT not only helps businesses scale and be efficient but also innovate and sustain, it is no longer a luxury but a necessity. A recent example is when COVID happened we have seen the adverse impact on businesses that had kept IT on the backburner. Without having IT, there is no way a business can survive in the given environment. 

One big example of why IT is important is that of Sears, which was one of the pillars of the US economy having 3500 stores at its peak, did not see the coming of e-commerce, which led to its decline and now has only 23 stores remaining.  

IT in today’s world is extremely critical to every business. IT helps you achieve everything from operational excellence to collecting data and making sense of it – IT acts as a true accelerator. Even if it’s a mom & pop shop or a small retail business, IT should be looked at on a smaller scale.   

Tell us about StackNexus, what exactly do you guys do, and help businesses grow? 

StackNexus essentially is a no code technology services company. We give power back to the businesses by making sure IT acts as a true accelerator for them. We help transform businesses through rapid deployment of no code IT solutions that help them realize returns faster.  

StackNexus helps organizations attain operational excellence through Digital Transformation, by helping them to do things declaratively, i.e., build enterprise-grade software at scale easily through drag and drop, helping the businesses be efficient, scale, and sustain.

What is a typical day like for you? 

A typical day for me is getting up at 6 a.m. and putting in a quick workout – 30 to 45 mins, this sets me up for the day ahead mentally as well. Spend the mornings with my family at breakfast without fail. Head down to the office and make sure all the important meetings and priority tasks in the docket for the day are paid attention to in the first half before 2 p.m. because that is when I am quite energized to take on high-critical tasks.  

After 2 p.m. I usually catch up with my emails and work on the lower priority tasks, and plan my next day ahead.  
 
What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? 
 
Essentially being an entrepreneur gives you the ability to solve problems which helps you leave an impact on multiple people. Adding value to the world gives you intrinsic satisfaction, this is the most exciting part of being an entrepreneur.  

The second thing is when as an entrepreneur I am scaling the company, it is exciting to see the employees enabling their own lives – may it be getting married, buying a house, or getting their first salary it gives me immense satisfaction.  
 
These two things for me – solving problems at scale and seeing our collective family grow through the company, is the most exciting part of being an entrepreneur.  
 
 In your opinion, what are some of the biggest mistakes first-time entrepreneurs make? 

Some of the biggest mistakes first-time entrepreneurs make is not having the right skillset. Having an audacious vision is alright, but jumping in without having the right skill set is what gets many entrepreneurs. We always need to solve a problem, when we say we need to solve the problem we also need to thoroughly understand the problem.  
 
Many times, when I look at entrepreneurs the reason that led them to jump into entrepreneurship is the jazziness of being an entrepreneur. Instead of solving a real problem, I have seen many first-time entrepreneurs get attracted to entrepreneurship because of the jazz around it. That’s one of the biggest things I felt is one of the mistakes that first-time entrepreneurs make.  
 
The other would be not understanding the importance of cash flow. Many first-time entrepreneurs think of raising money and inflated valuation as the true indicator of being successful. Raising $50 million means nothing unless there is real value being added to their market. Not only first-time entrepreneurs but many entrepreneurs forget that cash flow is king. Unless we do not have cash flow in check, we will not be able to run a business in the long run.  

Solve a real problem, add real value, and have positive cash flow. This will help you leave a huge sustainable impact.   

Did you always know that your company was going to become this big and successful? How did you cope with the success? 

The company is not big at all, we have not scratched the surface yet on where we are and where we want to be, and I am not being modest. Did we get a little bit of success? Yes, we have been lucky enough to have been able to create a really amazing team which has led us to a little bit “success” if you may. 
 
We are not a big company and we are not looking to become a big company only in terms of valuation. Our idea of success is to create a billion-dollar value for our customers, that is what success looks for us and not the other way round. If anyone asks what the KPI is for our company – it is creating a billion-dollar value for our customers.  

Are there any tips or words of encouragement you can give to young entrepreneurs that might be reading this? 

I do not know if I can give any tips but I can certainly share my experiences with young entrepreneurs who are reading this.   
What I really want to tell any young entrepreneurs who are just starting is to embrace entrepreneurship. What I mean by embracing entrepreneurship is to embrace change, always know what are you doing this for, if you always remember your why, the reason you started, keeping that to heart and working with passion will make things work for you.  

The second thing I want young entrepreneurs to know is that chaos is your oxygen. It is always going to be chaotic in your life. Unless you take chaos and uncertainty as your oxygen, unless you don’t enjoy the chaos, you won’t be happy.  

Patience is the key. Solving a problem on a large scale is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, it is one day at a time. Be impatient in the micro but always be patient in the macro, that is something you always need to remember. And it is something like Steve Jobs said you cannot ever connect dots forward, but you can always connect the dots backward, what it means is always be optimistic and keep your vision going.   

For Sakshi Post readers here is a free version of my book H.I.T (Hustle, Impact, Tenacity), if it can help young entrepreneurs in any way, it will be awesome, you can download it here - BOOK SUMAN.pdf 

What were some of the challenges you faced while building StackNexus and how did you overcome them? 
 
When we started StackNexus, the biggest challenge we faced was to sell our vision, create the right team and get really talented people in our startup. I believe the first 20 people are really important to any company, they shape the business and its culture and getting that right is extremely critical and challenging. The other challenge was making sure that the cash flow was positive from the start, as we started with a niche market in the public sector, it was challenging for us to sell our vision to officials who are used to legacy systems.  
 
We solved this by understanding the problem thoroughly and by communicating with the key stakeholders and aligning them with the value that our solutions will provide. We at that stage knew the problems we are solving are quite huge and will have a huge impact. Having this huge vision and impact helped us overcome these challenges earlier when we started.  

What do you think IT companies can expect from cloud managed services like yours? 

IT companies can expect essentially an extended IT team for themselves. Companies might be doing XYZ to either innovate, scale or sustain but do not have the scale or resources to do it. This is where StackNexus comes in – we are your extended team; we thoroughly understand the problems you are trying to solve and strive to solve them through our solutions. Always think of StackNexus as your extended arms and feet, your extended brain power is what you will get.  
 
We are not order takers if you may – we are here to work as partners and solve your problems thoroughly. Thought leaders are who we are and fit into what you really want to solve.   

You are an author, Philanthropist, technologist, and entrepreneur. How do you balance your time between all your hobbies? 

Hobbies for me are something like spending time with the family. I do not have hobbies such as playing golf or other stuff which may sound weird, but that is just not my hobby. My hobby is spending time with the family, it is non-negotiable for me to spend at least 2 hours with my family every day. It might be spending time with my children or going out with my wife.   
 
For me, it’s not about work-life balance but work-life harmony and everything that I do is an extended part of myself, If I am helping someone or If I am writing something It is for myself, it gives me happiness, that is what I love to do. It is who I am. Everything I do is just my extended self and I do not look at it as work at all and that is why I do not find the need to have hobbies that are separate from what I do. Balancing time, spending time with my family, and doing the things I love makes me happy.  
  
 You are an entrepreneur that has started and successfully established 6 companies, which one was the most challenging for you? 

Every company you build has its own challenges. For me I think the first one [s]Cube Inc founded in 2015 was quite challenging – challenging not in a bad way, it was challenging because we were able to accomplish something amazing. First of all, we have been able to build a team that is still around after so many years even after I am no longer attached to the company and the vision that we started with is still alive. This for me is the most exciting part but also challenging because we really had to make sure to engrave that vision in our team. That for me has been really exciting, the company that I am proud of, and also has been the most challenging.  

Also Read: Telangana CM KCR Inaugurates T-Hub 2.0


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