Harvinder Singh is the president and CEO of a successful and profitable IT consulting firm with clients that include Fortune 500 companies, as well as city, state, and government entities.
He has a Master’s degree in marketing and has been very successful in managing Bestica for the past fourteen years, experiencing rapid growth of over 800% in the last few years, with revenue approaching $15 million.
He is very involved in giving back to the community and is an active member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Toastmasters, Greater Chamber of Commerce, IT Cyber Committee, North San Antonio Chamber, FBI Citizens Academy, AFCEA, and the Jobs for Vets Committee.
How did the concept for Bestica come about?
I always had a very entrepreneurial mindset and the company I was working with didn’t have too much interest in growing the recruiting and staffing business I was managing. With my desire to grow the business, and realizing that there would be a huge growth market for usability and user experience design, I started a business specializing in user experience design staffing for Fortune 500 companies.
How was the first year in business?
The first year was mainly one client who was aware of my potential and gave me some tough staffing positions to fill. I also ventured out and sold to companies like Yahoo! and Bloomberg, as well as some other clients. It was a lot of growth for me personally the first year, as I was pretty much doing everything, including marketing, sales, recruiting, payroll, relationship management, and HR.
What was your marketing strategy?
My marketing strategy at that time was to find an article about a company in The Wall Street Journal and send to its managers, letting them know I specialize in usability and user experience design, and that I have Fortune 500 clients. At that time, most recruiters didn’t even know what usability and UX design was, so I got the ear of managers. I built a huge database of UX designers and provided them with a platform to discuss UX issues on our website. We would have UX blogs and webinars written and presented to UX designers (by UX designers) for free. We would collaborate with UX conferences to advertise their conferences to our target audience, and in return, get a free booth at the conferences. This allowed us to market our services both to clients and candidates to present there.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
Our first year, we did around $250,000 in business, our second year was $1 million, and our third year was around $2 million. Then, we got stable where our revenues ranged from $2 million to $3 million for a few years until we scaled up again after a few years and now we are at $15 million in revenue.
How do you define success?
Unlimited desire to achieve in both your personal and business life, and contributing your talent and wealth towards the benefit of the community that you desire to serve.
What is the key to success?
Immerse yourself in identifying what will make you successful, and then learning and executing those things.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
In order to grow a business and continue to be successful in managing it, you have to continue to grow yourself at the same pace as your company is growing, or even more.
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
When my main client, who was 80% of our business at that time, told me that they are moving their business to larger companies.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
Growing up, I was not very hardworking and not very good with my studies either. We were also not rich. This lead me to be very resourceful in making sure that I can get things done for cheap. My parents and grandparents both were full of optimism and service, which lead me to accept rejection, but to also keep trying.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Get some experience under your belt with some great entrepreneurial companies before starting out on your own. When you do start on your own, open your mind to ideas and suggestions from the market, coaches, and other entrepreneurs to help you be successful, even if it means drifting yourself from your original vision a little bit to adjust to market realities.
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This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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