The software didn’t interest him as he wanted to get into the computer hardware business, so he joined his first company, General Electronics, where he was one of the very first Indians to get trained on Epson printers which had a tie-up with Wipro.
As the company was more into the trading of lower-end computers and didn’t want to move ahead, he managed to join an Upcoming company called Minafax Computers, a computer system integrator with clients like VSNL, TIFR, HUDCO, Corn Products, Indian Organic Chemicals etc.
He was placed along with four other engineers and the best feeling he got when he was paid a princely sum of 1200, while BE engineers were paid 800, thanks to his ability to hit the ground running from day one and needed no training.
He was soon placed as the Customer Support Engineer for VSNL (Now Tata Communications) and used to handle support calls for the entire building. He developed a great rapport with people right from the security guards to the CMD and was also given the additional responsibility of looking after IOCL, Corn Products, HUDCO and a myriad of small businesses. He excelled in networking and Antivirus removal, and hence, was sent to troubleshoot across India to the branches of VSNL and HUDCO to Madras (Now Chennai) Calcutta (now Kolkata), Ahmedabad, Indore Etc.
But the Entrepreneur bug had bitten him and he decided to start off on his own, launching Systems & Services (Now Called as Sam 7 Computers & Networks).
Sam 7 was a Boutique IT Sales and Support company in a time where IT was a Sell and forget Business. With The Computer Revolution which was started by Our Late PM Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the market opened up and Sam 7 Soon Grew into a Small Business with a peak of 20 people right from Support, Sales, Logistics, Accounts etc. He always had a ratio of 1:5 in terms of Sales to Support, unlike other companies who focused on Sales. He was one of the first HP Retailer to Start a Retail Showroom in Bandra and then Andheri.
Business was great and hit a Peak in Y2k, but soon after that, the market opened up and the competition was vicious and Margins became wafer thin.
The turning point was when Hewlett Packard Merged with Compaq and in India, it was Compaq which had a major hand and Hp partners were marginalised and he soon had to shut both the showrooms which fortunately were rented. He managed to put together funds to buy an office in 4 Bungalows MHADHA and moved all operations there. The business moved along but was on a downward trend with Salaries going high and margins moving south.
The Final Nail in the coffin was the Multibrand retail which took over sales with massive volumes and special pricing from the distributors. This was followed by the E-Commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart which have also affected the brick and mortar stores.
Sam 7 now has diversified into IT support services which offer Small and Medium Businesses an outsourced IT model, starting as low as INR 6,000 a month. Sales form 20% of the Business and we help customers get better pricing online and look after the service and support of the products as part of our IT model.
Things are looking up from 2018 with GST kicking in and Sam 7 Looks forward to newer opportunities.