Spending INR 1.2 lacs on an iMac when you are trying to start a company with savings of INR 10 lacs may not be the smartest thing to do. Shanmugavel Sankaran learnt this the hard way. But that learning has held him in good stead for the past one and a half years while he bootstraps his information security product startup.
FixNix was born as a solution to the problem that Shanmugavel faced while working with another startup as their Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). He was looking to buy a solution at an affordable budget for this startup. But he was taken aback when he realized that there was nothing available sub-$10,000.
With a vision to democratize Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) solutions at affordable rates, he started FixNix. The startup aims to provide GRC solutions to growth markets like India and Africa.
Almost a decade back, Michael Rasmussen, a Forrester analyst who brought different verticals together in the information security and compliance industry, coined the term GRC. He is called the father of GRC. The industry though is reaching its maturity in terms of innovating delivery models, price points, cloudification, etc only recently.
Shanmugavel could foresee that there was going to be an increased need in a high growth, but price sensitive country like India for a solution which takes care of compliance, security, and governance through consolidated CxO dashboards. He spent the next three months in a closed room in his house devouring all information he could on GRC.
Later, when the idea got solidified he wanted to sell before building to make sure that the market actually needed the product. But how do you sell an enterprise security product when you’ve only INR 8.8 lacs of personal savings left after an expensive iMac purchase and three months of sleepless research? Was it feasible to assemble a team or outsource the development?
“No small product solutions company even wanted to get into a partnership model. Senior talent from the industry didn’t want to quit for a startup,” Shanmugavel recalls.
Getting the team in place
A few of his friends from the US were already helping Shanmugavel shape the idea and committed to come on board full-time if the company was willing to move to Chennai. He identified an office space of a friend in Chennai and it was sublet to FixNix.
Then he assembled a strong first batch of 15+ interns who joined the company in the first two months, December 2012 and January 2013. The first hires were made to sit in a relative’s home office as part of the induction.
Meanwhile, the friend who had committed to quit and join FixNix to steer the technology development of the product couldn’t join because of family and personal commitments. But this didn’t deter Chief Nixer Shanmugavel. He was able to steer the team single handedly.
Where to find FixNix Incorporation online
26 JUMPSTRAPS : Twenty-Six Thumb rules of Entrepreneurial Bootstrapping
by FixNix Incorporation
Ever wondered if you had 'the spark' in you? Ever wondered if the people who make it big had some special 'elixir of success'? Ever tried to dream beyond the conventions? Ever wondered if the smallest incidents in your life could transform you into something inexplicably big? Ever sought meaning behind the stupid stuff your siblings say? If yes, you've hit the right place.
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