Be community-minded: Build a tribe — this is key for us and is the lifeblood of our growing community. We have been able to cultivate and sustain a community because of our obsessive and laser-focused care for engaging with the community, understanding their pain-points, and responding to their ideas and suggestions. Communities grow and evolve, and you have to listen to your tribe to ensure you have lasting loyalty and engagement.
As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SaaS”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gaurang Torvekar.
Gaurang Torvekar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Indorse, a Coding Assessment Platform. He has been working in the HR Tech space from the last 3+ years, and this is his second company in the area. He spends his time between Singapore and London.
In his current role, he focuses mainly on product development while leading a team of world-class software developers.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
We started Indorse because we believed that we could build a world where the only thing that mattered was your skills! One of the inspirations for the idea was the plight of the refugees during the Syria crisis and the fact that as highly educated refugees, they were forced into jobs that didn’t accurately reflect their skillsets.
The backbone of Indorse is the Ethereum blockchain technology. It enables us to make sure that the votes given by our experts cannot be tampered with, we can maintain transparency, and it also helps us incentivize our community of experts.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company?
My background is within software development, machine learning, blockchain, and HRTech. My first business was based on developing diplomas and certificates on the blockchain (Ethereum), and at the time, I thought, ‘how can I take this a step further’; ‘how can we democratize people’s professional profiles?’ — and blockchain was the best way to do this.
For Indorse, it has always been about skills — we started this adventure because we wanted to create a genuinely meritocratic-based system where everyone could shine based on their skills and qualifications. The platform is built on blockchain because of the ability to keep assessments anonymous and inherently fair.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you have faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
We initially raised a crowd-funding round through Bitcoin and Ethereum in 2017, and this worked exceptionally well for us for the first year. Given the skyrocketing value of Bitcoin, we quickly expanded the team. While it allowed for exceptional growth, it was short-lived. When the market crashed in 2018/2019, what is now called the ‘Crypto Winter,’ the value of our assets significantly diminished. We were forced to lay-off a number of members of our team, which I found genuinely heartbreaking.
Because of Bitcoin’s volatility, one day, we had a ten-year runway, and the next, it dropped to 2 years. It was a tough lesson to learn, but as I look back on the experience now, it helped shape me as a leader and has impacted how we run the business. It was a trying experience, but that’s the nature of running a startup — learning and growing from a series of challenges and triumphs.
So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
It’s incredibly important to keep on going and iterating on the product.
What started as a B2C journey, we have pivoted to B2B application and built a successful SaaS business. Making this pivot early on, after the first six months of starting Indorse, ended up being the most prudent decision for the company.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story
The thing that makes us stand out is our community of expert software developers and engineers spread across the world. We have developers everywhere — from the USA to Australia and across Africa. We’ve built a truly global platform — and I’m incredibly proud of this.
More importantly, we reward and support our community for their time and expertise. Each expert is paid for conducting code reviews on the platform, and they have the potential to receive up to $1500 each month, which is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for their time and help in making an impact.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Approximately how many users or subscribers does your app or software currently have? Can you share with our readers three of the main steps you’ve taken to build such a large community?
Across the Indorse platform, including our new product Metamorph, we have more than 45K developers and community members.
Having a decentralized community also gives us a global reach. Since we started the platform, it has comprised people from multiple continents (US, UK, Asia), and we were able to scale quickly and reach incredible candidates who may have been inaccessible if we were running on a different platform.
The community would not have been as strong as it is now if we had built the network on different technological foundations. Blockchain was the only way to achieve this level of success quickly and at scale. Ultimately, using cutting-edge technology has been critical to expanding the indorse community.
Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a very successful app or a SaaS? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Build a great team: You can’t build a company or product in a silo. Make sure to prioritize hiring and retention. This is critical for long-term success.
- Provide something valuable and exciting: This will take time and research, but ultimately all great products and services were simply ideas that were iterated and developed and finessed. Find the market niche and go after it full force!
- Understand your personas: One of the pillars of an exceptional business is understanding who and where your target segment congregates online and in real life. Refining, researching, and updating your buyer personas regularly is keen on building your product and your offering.
- Be community-minded: Build a tribe — this is key for us and is the lifeblood of our growing community. We have been able to cultivate and sustain a community because of our obsessive and laser-focused care for engaging with the community, understanding their pain-points, and responding to their ideas and suggestions. Communities grow and evolve, and you have to listen to your tribe to ensure you have lasting loyalty and engagement.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
We’re focusing on building and driving hackathons all over the world. We find that these are incredible tools to help bring senior leaders and decision-makers from across the business, technology, and public sectors. The hackathon will be a global, online initiative intended to create open-source solutions addressing the health, social and economic challenges posed by the post-COVID-19 era. The event will feature hundreds of teams internationally building in the distributed ledger technology (DLT) sector, with over 200 industry experts slated to support the participants. Gibraltar Finance has been announced as an official partner of the upcoming Post-COVID Hackathon, with additional partners including
Gaurang Torvekar of Indorse: 5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SaaS was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.