Cloud innovation and bootstrapping success: Centilytics’ Aditya Garg shares insights

Cloud innovation and bootstrapping success: Centilytics’ Aditya Garg shares insights

For startups, dreams often outsize resources, but the ability to innovate and thrive within constraints is a distinguishing trait of successful entrepreneurs. We often hear about companies backed by massive venture capital investments, skyrocketing valuations, and seemingly limitless resources. But what about companies that had to bootstrap their way to success, relying on sheer ingenuity and resourcefulness to thrive?

In a fireside chat during TechSparks 2023, Aditya Garg, Founder and CEO of Centilytics, shared his story and uncovered strategies and insights that led him to bootstrap his way to cloud innovation with determination and resourcefulness. Aditya’s insights on innovation, scaling with limited resources, and the launch of Centilytics’ new product, IndrEKa, left the audience inspired.

Aditya revealed that Centilytics was an accidental startup born out of his curiosity and passion for cloud technology. In 2016, during a summer visit to India after graduating from Georgia Tech, he noticed the growing buzz around cloud computing. He decided to explore this emerging field, eventually taking a special course at Georgia Tech. It was during this time that he saw both the excitement and misconceptions surrounding cloud technology, recognising an opportunity to make a difference. Aditya returned to India and began building the MVP of what would later become Centilytics. His first customer, a major GSI in Bangalore, marked the inception of the journey in 2017.

Scaling smart with limited resources

Aditya talked about the importance of being resourceful in the early stages of a startup. “While many well-funded startups tend to gravitate towards top-tier institutes for recruitment, I took a different approach. I sought out hidden talents in the Tier II and III colleges of India. They had great potential, just like those from top colleges. I went ahead and built an architecture for the platform that would be more resource-conservative. And that allowed us to actually scale more reasonably,” he said.

He stressed the importance of timing when it comes to raising funds, advocating for obtaining funding when you have a clear vision and direction for your business, rather than prematurely seeking capital.

“If you get a lot of funding in the seed round, it can lead to pressure to spend it all. And then at the end of it, you’re sort of starving for funds, right? So, you have to be conscious that your investors are not just the VCs, but the lending partners behind them who are expecting an ROI from that fund, maybe if not in five or seven years. But at some point, that money is due back,” Aditya shared.

The startup journey is a dynamic one, and Aditya highlighted the need for founders to adapt to various roles as their business evolves. He emphasised that the initial days of a startup are not about being a CEO but about being a versatile problem-solver. He described his role as somewhere between a CEO and a COO, reflecting the operational and strategic responsibilities he manages.

His advice to entrepreneurs is to be flexible and willing to change, as sticking to one approach may limit growth.

Centilytics’ new product IndrEKa

Aditya introduced Centilytics’ latest product, IndrEKa, which is designed to help mid-market enterprises scale on the cloud without the cost and resource constraints often associated with setting up a dedicated DevOps team.

Describing it as the ‘Swiggy and Zomato of cloud’ with a pay-as-you-go model, Aditya shared that its goal is to become a digital service provider for cloud needs, ensuring that businesses can access cloud expertise on-demand. He shared that IndrEKa has seen significant success in its first six months, with approximately 200 customers already benefiting from the service.

“It’s been six months in the market, we’ve acquired almost 200 customers already. It’s definitely solving a very big pain point for the mid-market businesses that did not want to invest in a concentrated dedicated IT services contract,” he shared.

The CEO in the making

When asked when he will start calling himself a CEO, Aditya expressed his desire to maintain the entrepreneurial hustle that drives innovation and growth. He appreciates being deeply involved in the operational aspects of the company while also focusing on strategic leadership. Aditya hinted that in about a year, he might officially recognise himself as a CEO as Centilytics continues to grow in size and revenue.