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Fri, 24 Nov 2017

Northeast Today

Dot Com Entrepreneur

Dot Com Entrepreneur
June 29
14:38 2017

May Edition, In Conversation, NET Bureau, Sayantani Deb

It is said that when there is a will, there is a way and the proverb fits in perfectly with Sanjeev Sarma- a young and dynamic entrepreneur from Assam who stepped out of a cushy MNC job to come up with his own venture. Over the years he has not only made a mark in the IT sector of the state but is also pondering to take IT to the rural corners of Assam.

Entrepreneurship is one ofthe trending topics among the youngsters- be in colleges, or in offices or during any other social gatherings; discussions on various aspects of entrepreneurship often hogs the limelight. Nowadays almost every teenager or the ones in their mid-twenties want to set up their own business and be their own boss. There are a few who dare to leave their well secured jobs and take the plunge into the world of unknown. Deviating from norms, Sanjeev deserted his cushy job in MNCs like Zap InfoTech and IBM Global Services and started his own venture- WebX.

A post graduate in computer application, Sanjeev Sarma established WebX in 2001. However, in 2009 it became a private limited venture when his brothers Jayant Sharma and Simant Sharma also joined him.

Speaking about his brainchild ‘WebX’, Sanjeev says, “WebX is a professional IT consulting company and provider of complete enterprise IT solutions. It involves planning, design, developing and maintaining IT infrastructure, both onsite and remote. Our solutions translate the strategic objectives and vision of an enterprise into a realizable blueprint for business and IT change. We work collaboratively with key stakeholders to understand their businesses and technological challenges from which the enterprise architecture can be derived.”

Sanjeev has over 14 years of IT experience in architecting and delivering enterprise solutions on latest web platforms.

“At WebX, I work at consulting, architecture and development of enterprise solutions on the latest web technologies,” he adds on further.

Till date Sanjeev has developed solutions for various government and corporate houses such as Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR), Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC), and Rural Works Department etc. In 2004, Sanjeev developed the online ticketing system for ASTC, which provided employment to 150 unemployed youths.

Regarding the idea, he laughs and shares, “Job at MNC was monotonous and not at all interesting. So I decided to start something of my own. The idea of leaving a comfortable job and starting a software business in Northeast was not very much appreciated by many but I was determined.”

Sanjeev’s endeavors not just remained confined to WebX as he is also the brain behind rupaliparda.com- Northeast’s first internet TV.

“Rupaliparda went on wire in 2001. It was the first bi-lingual entertainment portal of Assam and it was inaugurated by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. Surprisingly, within a short period of time the portal topped results in Google rankings. Besides, it was the first portal to offer online cinema tickets for Anuradha Cineplex,” shares the techie.

Sanjeev believes that owing to poor internet bandwidth and emergence of fresh concepts with time, rupaliparda.com witnessed a gradual downfall. Sharing about the initial hiccups, Sanjeev informs, “Initially, there were many challenges. Northeast region had a limited resource, in terms of infrastructure, connectivity, industry ready manpower and market. Again, in 2001 it was hard to convince businesses to have a software or website for their better productivity.”

Current Status

Over the years, WebX has expanded its services into the field of IT infrastructure management, enterprise networking and MNC service partners. Besides, for supporting, mentoring and nurturing the ideas of budding entrepreneurs, the company also initiated the StartUp Powerhouse in September 2015.

Through this initiative, WebX is mulling to foster entrepreneurship, create jobs and catalyze local and regional economic growth. “Presently, WebX Startup Powerhouse is mentoring six startups of Assam while another seven startups are in the pipeline,” adds Sanjeev.

“The start-ups that we are currently supporting are mostly from the web and mobile sectors. However our focus is to encourage startups from sectors like food-tech, fin-tech, edu-tech and t-commerce (travel-tech),” he says further.

WebX has also started operation from STPI, Bengaluru to promote promising startups through the accelerator platform – StartUp Powerhouse.

Success Mantra

On the growth-rates of startups Sanjeev, informs, “Usually, a startup is desired to grow fast, however, we believe in the basics of business and thus try to inculcate the same in the startups.”

He further assess that in the first year of execution, one can expect to stay lean and grow at the rate of 3-5% per week and show a decent growth rate of 7-8% from the 2nd year onwards.

Future Plans

Webx is planning to expand into the rural areas of Northeast. “We are setting up an IT services grid by partnering with young and dynamic entrepreneurs of Northeastern states,” reveals Sanjeev.

Achievement

For his tremendous contribution in the IT sector, in 2008, Microsoft honored Sanjeev Sarma as “Microsoft Technology Hero”.

Sanjeev’s Profile

With innovative ideas, dedication and hard work, Sanjeev Sarma has been able to authenticate a mark in the IT sector. Presently he is serving as the Chairman of North East Information Technology Association (NEITA), member of Leadership Excellence, Harvard Square, member of Intel Atom Developer, Intel India Technology Pvt. Ltd, member of IT Pro Marketing Panel, Microsoft, Chief Technology Advisor at South Asian Regional Development Gateway, consultant at Assam State Transport Corporation and consultant at NF Railways (Cons.) for Management Information System.

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