Ajay Prasad is a serial entrepreneur, talking today about his company RepuGen, an online reputation management system for businesses. This service helps filter out unsatisfied customers so the business can address their issues before the customer posts their review online.
Ajay transitioned from corporate America to being an entrepreneur after he was suddenly fired after launching a successful project. He felt shaken with so little control over his life. Within a week he did have another job offer to work as a CEO, but didn’t feel excited about it. He turned it down with the goal of starting his own business, and while in the process of thinking that through, he working as a marketing consultant.
He was asked to consult for a friend’s small business. Going in, he realized there was no agenda; they just wanted to grow the business. It was refreshing for Ajay, who saw he could build a company to do website development to help small businesses – still in the era when hardly anyone thought they needed a site – this became GMR Web Team.
About five years in, around 2011, he saw a new need – a way to have online reviews to help generate more business. This was still a growing area as well. Some companies were afraid to ask for evaluations; they didn’t want to deal with bad reviews. By 2014 he decided he needed to get rid of the human element and created the outline for a new system. In that system, the program would help sort ratings and then ask for reviews and testimonials for those who give high ratings. If a customer gave low ratings, the software would help the company get in touch to find out what was wrong. And so RepuGen was born.
The system required a high level of secrecy until a patent could be attained. When it was finally ready, he offered it to his customers, and there was 100% acceptance. By May 2016 they knew it was a success, although it was only the backend. The next step, which would be ready by September, would be to create a front-end service that would allow customers to set it up for themselves. The software continues to evolve, as clients make suggestions and requests.
Ajay’s experience during the dot-com bust has made him leery of seeking investors. With GMR Web Team, he did present to some venture capitalists but too often saw divergent goals. Especially since he became an entrepreneur expressly to control his own destiny, and he’d be giving that up if he accepted investment.
RepuGen was launched entirely on with Ajay’s existing client base. He says it’s important to turn to your bread and butter to be able to move ahead.
Some Thoughts on Why to Become an Entrepreneur
- Not to get rich
- Not because you hate your boss
- Because you see a need you can fill
- firstname.lastname@example.org – include in the subject that you heard him on Breaking the Borders
- By phone at 714-731-9000
- GMR Web Team
Ajay hates automated phone systems – so he has a real receptionist!