DataSoft’s Future and Lessons In Entrepreneurship: An Interview With M. Manjur Mahmud, COO, Datasoft

DataSoft’s Future and Lessons In Entrepreneurship: An Interview With M. Manjur Mahmud, COO, Datasoft

Datasoft Director and Chief Operating Officer M. Manjur Mahmud on how he approaches his work, how Datasoft has turned referral as the most effective sales channel, why finding right talents and managing growth are the two most critical challenges for Datasoft, Datasoft’s ambition to go public, why your friends and people you spend most time with determines your personal growth and the future and why in order to become a successful tech company, you must excel in technology first and much more.

This was a much longer interview, so we had to break it up into two parts. This is the second and final part of the interview. You can find the part-one of the interview here and subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get our stories directly in your inbox.

Future Startup

How do you approach your job as the Chief Operating Officer of Datasoft?

M. Manjur Mahmud

Over the years, we have successfully built systems and processes that ensure smooth operation in the company. The advantage of having a system is that you don’t need to handhold anything. Things can move without much close supervision from the leaders and you can spend your time doing more important works.

I have a set of routine tasks like conducting weekly meetings, following up with the teams, ensuring we are delivering on our goals and so on. I’m a big believer in delegation. I believe if you want to create leaders you have to delegate, allow people to make mistakes and learn by doing.

For myself, I love discipline. It is very simple for me. I come early to the office, I go through my day’s work and at the end of the day, I reflect and try to learn what I could have done better.

Over the years, we have successfully built systems and processes that ensure smooth operation in the company. The advantage of having a system is that you don’t need to handhold anything. Things can move without much close supervision from the leaders and you can spend your time doing more important works.

Future Startup

How do your marketing and sales work at Datasoft?

M. Manjur Mahmud

Our growth has largely been referral-driven. Existing and former customers of Datasoft recommend us to other customers. That’s how we get a good number of clients. Instead of deploying an army of salespeople in the field, we opt for delighting our customer who would, in turn, refer us to others. This has been proven as the right strategy.

We do have a small sales team, mostly engineers, who take care of the sales because they love it. But we pay a disproportionate amount of emphasis on making our customers delighted with our products and services.

Future Startup

What are the challenges for Datasoft now?

M. Manjur Mahmud

Managing growth is a challenge, right? You need to manage your existing growth and then you need to put activities in place so that your growth continues. At the same, while you are growing, keeping the organizational culture intact is a challenge.

The world of technology is changing fast. Technology is a different world. Here today’s most innovative technology goes obsolete tomorrow. Growing our adaptability to new technologies and keeping up with the changes in the market is something you need to be mindful of all the time.

In the coming days, I believe hiring new talents and retaining them would become another serious concern given the changes in the world of education.

Our growth has largely been referral-driven. Existing and former customers of Datasoft recommend us to other customers. That’s how we get a good number of clients. Instead of deploying an army of salespeople in the field, we opt for delighting our customer who would, in turn, refer us to others. This has been proven as the right strategy.

Future Startup

What are the plans going forward?

M. Manjur Mahmud

Our priority now is to become a listed company. The process has already begun.

Future Startup

What books have you been reading lately?

M. Manjur Mahmud

I’m currently reading How to Build a Billion Dollar App written by George Berkowski. Besides that, I regularly keep copies of The Economist which I read from the first page to the last. I read business articles and blogs on the Internet and listen to podcasts related to business and economics.

Future Startup

What are some lessons you’ve learned?

M. Manjur Mahmud

For self-development, it’s essential for everyone to keep good company. You are average of people you spend the most time with.

We shouldn’t spend all our time planning. We should also focus on execution as well. Planning is easy. Hence, most people tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time in planning instead of investing in doing. Get good at getting things done. Planning often feels like doing but it is not. Execution is about getting your hands dirty and getting things done.

Future Startup

What does it take to build a successful software company?

M. Manjur Mahmud

In order to be a successful software company, you first need to become a good engineering company. As a founder, you need to have sound technical expertise. It helps to have an MBA in the organization; but to have real control over the business, you need tech-savvy people.

If you look at all the successful tech startups around the world, you’ll see that most of the founders were once software developers.

We shouldn’t spend all our time planning. We should also focus on execution as well. Planning is easy. Hence, most people tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time in planning instead of investing in doing. Get good at getting things done. Planning often feels like doing but it is not. Execution is about getting your hands dirty and getting things done.

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