Anar Mammadov @ Senpex, On-Demand Last Mile Delivery & Logistics Platform

Learn about the inner workings of Senpex, an on-demand local delivery service operating in several states in the US, with insights from Anar on how he manages his company and personal life.

PEOPLE

TOPICS

  • 00:00 – Introduction.
  • 02:11 – Genesis of Senpex.
  • 03:52 – Validating the idea.
  • 06:19 – Funding Structure. 
  • 07:28 – Company Structure.
  • 09:06 – Revenue Model.
  • 10:22 – Target Market.
  • 12:03 – Acquisition Strategy. 
  • 14:17 – Metrics and Analytics
  • 15:42 – Software Development.
  • 17:59 – Product Development (Agile sprints).
  • 20:37 – Top Priorities and Challenges.
  • 23:45 – Figuring out solutions.
  • 26:55 – Biggest Fears.
  • 28:49 – Belonging to communities for support.
  • 29:30 – Staying current with trends (books, medium, conversations)
  • 30:03 – Work-life balance.
  • 31:38 – Parting shot for other entrepreneurs.
  • 35:26 – Future personal and company plans.

TRANSCRIPT

[0:00] Anil Hemrajani: Welcome to Inside the Startup, a show where we look at how startups operate. I’m Anil Hemrajani, the founder of Startup Sidekick. My guest today is Anar Mammadov. Anar is the technical co-founder and architect of Senpex, an on-demand delivery and logistics platform. Prior to Senpex, Anar was involved in the logistics and education software industries for approximately 12 years in Europe and implemented many enterprise software solutions for different organizations. Having great dreams and a heavy entrepreneurial spirit, Anar decided to move to San Francisco and started Senpex in March of 2017. 

Senpex is a Silicon Valley based company operating in four States, including California, Washington State, New York and Nevada, with a fleet of over 5,000 drivers. Large organizations, such as Stanford, Berkeley, Facebook, and Verily use Senpex’s services on a daily basis. By using their AI powered route algorithm, Senpex is a last mile on-demand delivery platform for businesses. Senpex also developed a Senpex API to integrate with different e-commerce and marketplaces, efficiently covering their logistics. The API is intended for healthcare providers, retail and wholesalers, food and catering, and e-commerce. It’s the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to add a delivery option to an organization’s website. With that, welcome Anar. How’s it going today?

[1:42] Anar Mammadov: Yeah. Great. Thanks. Thanks for asking. How’s yours?

[1:45] Anil Hemrajani: Doing well. Doing well. You know, you’re in my favorite area, the Bay Area. So I envy you, you know.

[1:52] Anar Mammadov: Thank you. 

[1:54] Anil Hemrajani: So well, let’s jump into the interview and so I’ll just run through some questions. So Senpex, you know, I was looking at the website, I mean it’s impressive what you guys are doing with the number of drivers, the customers that you have, like, how did the idea come about?

[2:11] Anar Mammadov: Well as you already mentioned, I lived in DC before, and then in 2017, you know, we came with our friends, established a company in the Bay Area. I moved to the Bay area, San Francisco and, you know, established a company. Yeah, just came with friends, hey, let’s just do specific for the logistics because before I’ve worked for big companies and somehow kind of making good money, but you know, still you’re working for someone else pocket and in my, you know, 37, 38, so I decided, you know, why not try the hard way to do things. And this is definitely the hardest part is just establish your own company. And probably you’re also understanding, you’re also in the same field. Like establishing from the scratch, the company and build everything, not easy task. So it takes really hard efforts, financial situation problems, you know, surviving, especially based in the San Francisco, the highest price here. So yeah, that’s how we came. I mean, we came with friends, establishing the company and simply start establishing, you know, doing all our best to, you know, again, automate the … Fix the problem of logistics and specifically last mile delivery concept. So that’s how we established, I mean, you know, just came and, but yeah.

[3:32] Anil Hemrajani: No, and yeah, I mean, I guess with your, you know, all the logistics work you did in Europe, so you had the background already and no, it’s tough doing startups. I mean, why do you think I don’t have any hair, you know, left. So but so how did you validate the idea? Did you talk to, you know, potential customers before, you know, developing the application?

[3:52] Well, yeah, so initially, so first of all, let me just give you a short brief, like what exactly we’re doing. So we have couple of the products at the Senpex, but initial, we have a mobile app and also API integrate with the e-commerce platforms, like the marketplaces, e-commerce websites, like those are, you know, health organizations, restaurants, et cetera, where they’re selling the products and they somehow facing specifically the problem of covering the logistic and delivery, specifically on-demand. So at that time, you know, how to say, we wanted to automate that process and think how to optimize our own proper way, just covered the last mile service. Like that’s the main point that we did. And we decided to go a bit kind of a nicer way. Like we created our API to be integrated with the other platforms.

So let’s say, you know, whatever ABC e-commerce websites. So if they’re selling the products, so for them to cover the logistic is pretty much hard problem. That’s actually, I have faced so far, like within my career as well. Like most of the, you know, specifically the clients were establishing online stores, shops, they’re struggling with that and we just decided to solve this type of problem. So the position, answering to your question, our position as a company is through automating the API and logistics through integrating our logistic with the different websites. So that how we started and then we created a new couple of more products, like multi route vendors. So for example, we have a big client in Oakland, like they called me once say, “Hey Anar, I need like 25 drivers.” And it is 120, let’s say 1,200 stops. So we came with a solution. We also have a product like automate that process, like what that means like 25 drivers, the route for 1,200 stops, they’re optimizing, you know, planning properly on the right way and the dispatching 25 drivers, they to location and just make those deliveries happen. There’s a couple of another product that we have, like multi route planning. And yeah, also like couple of new features as a company we have, to automate the logistics, specifically last mile aside of covering the deliveries. Yeah.

[6:16] Anil Hemrajani: Got it. And are you guys funded, are you bootstrap?

[6:19] Anar Mammadov: Oh yeah, we funded. So we pretty much we have like our initial investors who just put it, so to say. So we actually, how to say, pretty much we’re this year COVID hit us, but we a bit ramped up kind of starting from actually from August, September, we are in the, mostly we’re in the profits. Like it’s where, how to say, this year, actually we’re four year space. Seriously, we started doing this within three years. Like, because first year is kind of trial and error, understand how things goes, but within three years, you know, financially we, I will say like we’re making a half million last year file a tax. This year I’m planning to make, you know, twice this amount. Yeah, so we had some investment before. Yeah. We’re actually shortly, we’re planning to rise a new investment as well.

[7:17] Anil Hemrajani: That’s awesome. Yeah, no, that’s great. And so what’s your team makeup? I mean, you know, you’re obviously a co-founder like, who’s your other co-founder and what does the rest of your team look like right now?

[7:28] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, so we have, I have one co-founder his name is Sean, so, you know, he’s mainly during the business side. But in general we have like 10 employees. So we have an HR who just specifically handling the hiring, performance of the drivers, making sure the drivers, you know, happy. Second is we have a dispatch team. They’re actually they’re in the East Coast like specific time zone difference. We’re trying to make sure, like, one of them comes completely early morning covering the early mornings like dispatching, like making sure all the deliveries happening properly, et cetera. And the night shift. So like we have a dispatch team, we have software engineering team, including like designers, front-end, back-ends and me and yeah, and the sales team. So they’re just, you know, getting the leads you know, through the Google advertisements and whatever so, and then, you know, working with the corporates. 

So our main target are actual the corporate clients, like I will say like, e-commerces like Stanford, like Facebook actually. Actually a couple of big companies also signed the agreement with us, but because of NDA, I cannot officially announce their names, but we have big clients and we do operation right now in not only the Bay Area, but also in LA, San Diego, Sacramento. Also we’re having some Washington States in Seattle, Seattle, Bellevue, Kent and also we’re in the East Coast, like New York, New Jersey, we have a bunch of the deliveries there as well.

[9:00] Anil Hemrajani: Wow. And so what’s your revenue model? I mean, it’s obviously B2B, but like how do you make money?

[9:06] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, it’s a great question. So first of all, we are actually getting the cut. So let’s say the whatever client pays. So mainly part goes to the drivers. That’s our, how to say, it costs most of the drivers, right. And the second, so just taking the cuts. So that’s the part, the first model. The second is a software as a service. We have couple of the clients requesting simple use our logistic app and also our API to integrate and automate their logistics sides. But they still keep, they want to keep their own drivers in-house, but they want to automate the process of, you know, the drivers and also dispatching process automation. 

[9:49] Anil Hemrajani: Okay. 

[9:50] Anar Mammadov: So we have two, you know, the software as a service and the second is simply based on the delivers we’re covering, we’re taking the percentage, yeah.

[9:58] Anil Hemrajani: That makes sense. Yeah, I didn’t realize that, you know, there would be just the software, the services too where they have their own drivers, you know, where they just want to use your software. That makes sense now. And so who’s your like typical customer? I mean, you mentioned different industries, but you know, Stanford and Berkeley’s obviously universities and then you’ve got the Facebooks of the world, they’re more corporate type. So who’s like your perfect customer?

[10:22] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, so we have three main directions right now. So first is the health organizations like, oh government, non-governments and also, you know, institutions. They’re utilizing our service. So specifically delivering the samples, bloods, you know, we have a special team of the health, you know, related delivers that we’re covering. The second part is the food and catering. So we have a large, I will say like e-commerce similar like marketplace, similar like DoorDash. But we are integrating our API to became as a one team. Like they’re selling their food as a marketplace and we’re covering the logistics side, like food and perishable products, like one of our biggest clients, actual a Restaurant Depot. So I don’t know if you heard about Restaurant Depot? Is similar, like Costco, but the mainly the shoppers there are restaurant owners.

So it’s pretty much cheaper than, you know, the Costco. But because this, the mainly shoppers the restaurant owners, right. This is the second our, like directions, like the food and perishable products, you know, groceries and all that. And the third is the corporate clients. Like the package deliver, we have a special engineering device and the companies will just sending some special boxes devices, valuable hardwares from point A to point B. So we’re calling it as a package delivery thing, so, that’s our main directions, yeah we do.

[11:54] Anil Hemrajani: And like, what’s your, you know, acquisition sort of a strategy, like you mentioned Google ads and then sales and all that. So how do you acquire customers?

[12:03] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, well, that’s a really kind of very great, and it is very interesting, a hard question. At the beginning we tried many things because I also are, you know, did different other projects before. Couple of projects had their own styles of the acquiring the clients, right. We try social media, we try Google, we try, you know, direct sales team, but mainly right now, the best sources of getting the clients and leads are Google ads. So, and for Google ads, it took us really hard times to understand the process. There’s so many takes and tips and considerations you need to consider and do it and do so many analytical things not to lose the money on the Google. So there’s a huge chance of doing that as well if you’re not properly setting up your campaigns in the Google ads. But answering to your question, I will say 90%, even 95%, all acquisition come through the Google ads.

So the people search for, you know, delivery partner, because mainly again we’re B2B. We’re not B2C, saying that any person at home sitting and sending something, no. Our main clients are, you know, huge marketplaces like or the people who has their own website and they’re providing a service to their clients and they need some logistics. So we’re kind of white label for them to integrate our logistics and provide the service, you know, under their names. That’s kind of, you know, small things, but again, the Google is our main acquisition and also it takes some time. You know, we have a special sales team simply working with these leads. So they’re emailing them, talking with them, trying to do the live demos because daily we have, like, I will say five or 10 live demos. Like we’re showing the products, you know, that’s how we’re doing the sales and, you know, after one or two or three months, or maybe within a week. So we are acquiring the, you know, the leads to the clients, to the sales. Yeah.

[14:00] Anil Hemrajani: Okay. That makes sense. And what kind of key like metrics do you track? You know, I mean, is it on the acquisition side? Obviously you’ve got the leads coming in from Google and then you’ve got sales. So, I mean, I suspect you have sales, conversion rates and all that, but like, what are some of the metrics?

[14:17] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, that’s also great question. We’re still exploring but I will say this one thing. So first of all, if you attracted one lead to the client, this client will be the long-term client for you, if you’re providing right service. So we have this type of big client, like EasyCare, they’re in all US. I don’t know if you’ve heard about them. So we integrated our API. I will say we’re working with them almost for two and a half year. And they’re one of our biggest clients. So acquisition of our clients, because we’re getting so many repetitive orders, like the new clients. So that’s our main differentiation, that we’re spending a little bit more to the lead. It takes a bit more time to get those, you know, clients our system, but if you got it and you provide a great service, so that client is kind of regular basis, the client for you in the long-term. 

So that’s how we’re doing it. But if you’re coming, asking about a specific numbers, it’s a bit hard for me to answer to that. Like, what’s the approximate acquisition numbers, we’re still exploring that. I’m honest with you. I mean but we’re spending pretty much a lot of money for the Google ads. That’s what I know. 

[15:26] Anil Hemrajani: No, that’s no problem. And like, as far as the product development and stuff, I mean, you know, you mentioned that you’ve got some developers. Is it more in-house do you outsource? Is it like, you know, in the US, offshore, how do you guys develop software?

[15:42] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, that’s a great question. So as I already mentioned, I’m doing that for 15 years, specifically the software development. And within the 15 years experience, even more probably it’s more than 20, I faced so many problems, so not pretty much easy task to develop or build something, right. And the second one of the important things is if you will even build a great product, but 60% of your success is proper implementation. You don’t need to stop. So I already mentioned, you know, I took me really strugglings, like why the one company you’re establishing or the startup you’re establishing, usually it takes two years. If you survive within the two years, then you’re growing. If you didn’t survive then you having a huge problem. One of those problems are when even you finish the product is proper implementation. Just make sure to use the system. Make sure like it’s implemented properly, it’s on the client’s needs, et cetera. 

The second, my always, you know, policy and kind of approach just only do one thing and doing it till the end. So you don’t need to just kind of do multiple jobs, like working somewhere. Like, I don’t know, like in a huge big companies, which I have a chance for doing that. And then due to my startup, it’s actually, didn’t worked out. So I have seen so many of these types of used cases here as well in the Silicon Valley that the people is working somewhere in the evenings, they are doing the projects. I will say like 90% is not successful, right. So coming back to that it’s very important, you need to fully be concentrated to specifically to the project. And that’s the main point in my opinion, that one of the biggest success to, you know, just grow your business, especially scalable product, just fully concentrate on that job and just do it. That’s it. Yeah. I don’t know, did I answer to your question or?

[17:37] Anil Hemrajani: Yeah, no, I totally agree with the whole focus. It’s like sink or swim, you know, you can’t be like, you know, half here, half there kind of stuff. And like the part-time stuff doesn’t last for long either, you know, ‘cause you get kind of burnt out. So I totally agree with you, but just as far as like the product development, I mean, do you guys follow like agile methodologies, you sprint all of that?

[17:59] Anar Mammadov: Yeah. So about the product, so yeah, coming back to that, my last always consideration is having the team, especially software development as a in-house and as a one company team. So for example, I’m kind of not preferring to have an outsource and specifically for outside of the country. And the second is, you know, because you need to be part of the team and in the future you will have so many dependents on that employees as well. So answering to your question, I have the team like all of them is here. Just a couple of designers, like you know, I outsourced but like how to say, outsource or still he’s not my employee, but he’s in out of the country. But that’s how I’m doing. So I have my team who just specifically working as a full-time for the development of my product. That’s number one priority number one suggestions to do it. So that’s very important in my opinion.

[18:57] Anil Hemrajani: Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, in-house, you know, because then you have a solid team that stays with the product and you guys are, I mean, I just assume you’re following agile methodology, right, for, to do like sprints and whatnot?

[19:10] Anar Mammadov: Yeah. So I know how to do that. And we did a couple of times and we’re doing this, but it depends on the situation that we have, you know. Initially when we started, it was very hard to implement the agile technology. Like it was, you know, even couple of my friends asking, hey, why are you not updating like within like each, you know, two weeks or each month, et cetera. It’s very hard because there is some, how to say, mutual development of the team needs to be done properly. So within a one, you know, like six months, it’s very hard to implement, you know, this methodology. So at the beginning of the project, the startup, I have this type of problem. I will not say that I implemented a hundred percent agility, but after one or two years, I try to properly implement that. Yes, we are implementing the agility and agile and trying to release our products, like updates at least, you know, twice a week or at least once a month. That’s our approach of doing business. Yeah.

[20:12] Anil Hemrajani: That makes sense. So just switching, you know, to how you personally work, like, I mean, what are your like current top priorities and challenges?

[20:23] Anar Mammadov: My challenges, priorities you mean regarding the working?

[20:29] Anil Hemrajani: Yeah. Just like in the company or your personal priorities right now in the company. Like what are your biggest priorities and challenges right now?

[20:37] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, so the biggest priority right now as a company we still want to explore so many things inside of the delivery field. So there’s so many gaps and so there’s so many kinds of niches that we can catch it out, right. So even before the COVID and after the COVID actually it create huge chances for us specifically for the health. Like I will say before the COVID, our consideration was mainly like package and food, but after the COVID, the health like, you know, it grow up, seriously it grow up. And that’s why, because of that, we got a Stanford medicine, the Berkeley medicine, and a couple of other big organization that utilizing our service like Color is a wonderful partner. They’re actually based in the [inaudible 00:21:21]. 

Yeah, that’s our proposition, one is stay in the deliver field. We want to improve our API integration in more advanced level. That’s our second consideration and yeah, just keep working. So that’s our, you know, just grow the company because I’m really kind of excited. It’s not pretty much easy to be honest because, you know, sometimes even including my wife, so she keeps saying, “Hey, you know, why not to just go and work for big companies? Why you’re struggling that and why are you doing this?” Because it really takes kind of time too much time, like concentration and concentration is not because even you and your time, and also because of your team. Because I wake up at 6:00 or 7:00 AM and just working till, I will say like 11:00 PM. You know, that’s the timing that I have, and it’s not easy because you don’t spend time with the family, with your son, et cetera.

It’s a huge problems in my opinion, somehow, like you cannot see your son in this age, you know, after a couple of years, but still it’s something I really excited. So I don’t want to go and just work with the big companies. I had so many chance like that, but, you know, at least I’m enjoying my life because I’ve worked for the big companies before. I’ve seen that you’re still like, you’re getting good money, but how to say, you know, but still you’re working for someone else. So that’s my feeling it’d be different.

[22:49] Anil Hemrajani: No, no, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Your wife should talk to my wife because my wife used to say the same thing. It’s like, why don’t you just get a job? You know, why are you like, you know, stressing? And also like the whole thing, you know, not one of my biggest regrets is not having spent enough time with my kids because, you know, a startup will take as much as you can give it and more, you know. And I’m actually working on a book on how to build and you know, scale startups. And I was just writing about that earlier today about like, hey, you know, like just having that work-life balance and also before you jump into a startup, make sure you’re totally committed because it’ll take everything you can give it, but still how do you know, like, you know, with your challenges, how do you figure out your solutions currently? Like, how do you know you’re on the right path? Do you have mentors, advisors, do you research online? How do you, you know, figure things out? 

[23:45] Anar Mammadov: Well, that’s a great question. Initial, we started this with mentoring, with talks, with different discussions, suggestions. Definitely we’re listening to feedback. So actually my development strategy and the building the company is like six months is the development of the product and six months just concentrate on the sales and improving the product. That’s the first. Like it needs to grow like on the same parallel level, like sales and product at the same level. So I just missed my mind. So your question is, I want to say something interesting.

[24:21] Anil Hemrajani: Like how do you figure things out, mentors, advisors, online research, yeah.

[24:27] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, so I will say answering to your questions, I listen to my heart. This is the one and the second is it’s very important in my opinion that any startup you can listen to mentors, you know, great suggestion, advisers. It’s very important, but still you’re the part of this, of the execution, right? Just listen to your heart and have a proper vision. That’s very important. Like, what do you mean by vision, whatever you’re doing, just take your value of the existing time you have and you’re thinking about something, how is too much valuable in the long-term. So that’s a very important your vision to grow that. You know, because I’d seminar also other previous like co-founders, previous team members, you know I, prefer for example, at least to change the team, like existing team, like each year, like, because, or just get a new person to the team because new person that means a new breathe, new ideas, new things. If the person gets used to something like for two years, it’s needs to be changed. But still answering to your question, I’m listening to suggestions, but simply I’m listening to my heart and I’m listening to kind of my vision.

Sometimes I’m also doing mistakes because all of us is human, right. And it’s but just keep working and trying to get straight on the results. So you need to be results oriented and simply have some your own personal vision to do things. And just I’m doing that. And sometimes I’m doing something it’s also, I don’t know if you have it Anil or not, but even sometimes I’m not thinking I’m doing it. And then after things is done, oh my God, I’m realizing how much, how was that kind of amazing that it was done, you know? Or sometimes you’re also making not proper decisions. You’re doing something is wrong and it’s not done, but still keep doing, keep doing, it’s not giving any results, but just do it. You know, that’s my kind of approach on the way how to do things. And need to be result oriented. Yeah.

[26:26] Anil Hemrajani: No, it’s a valid approach because first, like you said, you’ve got to have the vision, which is the, you know, that’s the main thing, but then you have to do a lot of trial and error and at the end you just have to trust your instincts, you know? So I think you’re doing all of those. And what like, you know, like, just like a couple of more wrap up questions here, but like, what are your biggest worries right now? I mean, where are the areas that you feel like you need the most help?

[26:55] Anar Mammadov: Well, personally, as a company still, I’m a bit kind of not happy with my sales process because I’m thinking that I have a great product. This is I’m saying not because I’m the technical person or whatever, I’m saying that is because of how to say, I’m maybe kind of struggling in proper, again, big clients is, you know, trust us, they use our service. But still sales and marketing is one of the kind of weaknesses that we have as a company, because we can scale with existing client products. So even to more locations, to more, you know, states. So that’s what I have to improve. This is the very important side of my pains I have. 

Second is the team because to make the team better, so you need to put really huge time investment to the team. So you need to train them, explain them and keep them in long-term. For example, if someone is quitting, so actually it’s kind of hard for us a company right now. You know, get a new one because if you’re getting someone, at least it takes like six months to fully explain and learn the person. But answering to your question, yeah, so far, mainly my concern is simply the sales and marketing approach needs to be improved and properly position our, you know, the company as a product to my clients. But in generally we’re doing great in my opinion. So we’re growing, my feeling is good, like specifically in the industry that we are and after the COVID, I think it’s growing, it’s booming. You know, we have so many things to do so far, so yeah.

[28:39] Anil Hemrajani: Yeah, no, for sure. And then like, do you belong to any like founder groups or online communities or anything like that for knowledge or advice or emotional support?

[28:49] Anar Mammadov: Well, I tried that before, like I went to the couple of like, before the COVID, to the meetings and some kind of events but I’m not doing that too much to be honest because of, not that I don’t want it because I’m a bit kind of limited time, just concentrating on the product specifically on the sales I have right now. But yeah, I would love to get some kind of suggestion from you if you can. So that will be perfect, you know.

[29:19] Anil Hemrajani: Yeah, and I’ll follow up with you on that, you know. But and then like, how do you, like, you know, stay current with trends and learning or anything, like do you read blogs or follow podcasts or anything like that?

[29:30] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, so mainly I’m just watching some video, educational online courses, like for my educational, my goals perspective. Yeah, just reading the blogs, getting some suggestion and if I have some questions, simply I’m Googling it, like getting the answer from the Google, right. 

[29:49] Anil Hemrajani: Yeah. That’s what a lot of entrepreneurs are doing. And then like, and how are you finding like work-life balance? I mean, because if you’re working from like 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, like how do you manage to do other stuff like with family or hobbies or anything like that?

[30:03] Anar Mammadov: Well, I’m looking to that as, to be honest as a business as well. And the reason is for example, if you’re not spending the time with your son and for your son’s education, so you have to pay for someone else to do that, right. This is the one thing that I’m doing that initially, because that’s also very important. My son’s education because family and specifically the child is separate project. I’m looking to that as a project. Whatever you’re building, the results is, you know, what you’re getting. So yeah, so that’s how I’m balancing. I’m just simply on Sundays I’m doing my best, like spend less time, just only once a week spending the time with the family, you know, just hiking, trying to spend the time. 

But mainly again, if you cannot spend your own time, you have to pay to someone else to do that. It’s the view, right, like education or entertainment or something, just, you know, someone needs to cover that. Otherwise, you know, you’ll have a problem and I specifically explain to my wife saying that dear wife, you understand. Right now, you know, my time is valuable. Just I have to make the money. I’m not in the position of working for someone else, I’m working for myself. And in that case, you have to understand my position and she’s pretty much good. So she get used to that, so.

[31:25] Anil Hemrajani: No, that’s good. And last two quick questions and we’ll be done here. And so what parting advice would you give to other entrepreneurs or even like your younger self from a couple of years ago?

[31:38] Anar Mammadov: Yeah, so let me give you my couple of lessons learned. So I think that’s a great point. When I also started, again, I’ve worked as I’ve already mentioned with the big companies, but I never had something from the scratch, like building everything, et cetera. Initially, beside the product development at the same time, try to talk with the clients. So even you have a great ideas and whatever, but if you’re just not sharing that with a client or sharing with someone else, seems like you’re afraid to, you know, spread the idea. Don’t afraid at first, because just simply get feedback and just get, because I started when my experience before like six months, like building the product and the end of the six months I understood like I did it wrong. Like I need to at the same time grows the sales and promotional things.

That’s the first like do it at the same time. Like, don’t too much spend the time to the product. I had so many couple of friends, they’re still working for two years for the product and they have none of the clients, right. So you have to be kind of agile on that way, like implement new product and get a feedback and make sure like they’re using it, et cetera. This is the first. Second my suggestion, if you’re doing anything, just do one job, like only one startup. Don’t go and I know like it’s pretty much hard times, like working for somewhere, doing also the startup. It’s 90% is failure because you have to, concentrate just only one thing. Just, nothing else, that’s very important. My suggestions are, if you have some kind of savings, like for one year, like keep those savings. Like let’s say you’ve worked for a big company, make good savings and one year, and one and a half year specifically, keep using those savings, but establish your own company and do only one job, your company job.

Get an office or work from home, probably get a small office, just small room and just concentrate on the one thing. That’s my second suggestion. And the third suggestion is if you’re doing something is, keep doing that till the end. So don’t stop like somewhere in the middle. Even I had so many kinds of friends there, you know, my previous like even the people would just start working, et cetera. They keep saying, it’s this, you know, it’s not good idea that will not work out. Or there’s a new Bitcoin came, actually, I had some situation with my previous team members as well that during the Bitcoin, they assume that this is the small company. Let’s just put the money on the Bitcoin, whatever, right. So any new chances comes. So keep doing your things till the end. Even the idea is pretty much wrong, but you believe to that. Just keep doing it. But you need to do it like it makes sense, right? If something’s completely not proper idea, you don’t need to do it, but if you’re doing the business and you just decided don’t change too much your mind.

That’s actually before, like 10 years ago, I had the same problem. Like I’m working somewhere one month, it’s not worked out, I’m going to someone else and doing on something else. So I’m doing multiple things at the same time and all of them is just failing. So, but if you believe to one thing, just keep doing it till the end. So in my opinion, like the, at least your efforts will bring some fruits, will bring some results to you regarding like the success that you will get it

[35:01] Anil Hemrajani: That’s great advice. I mean, it’s like, I agree with all three of those, you know, for sure. I mean, I’ve kind of been through that myself and so I agree. And then like last question, I mean, like, what are your plans, you know, for the company and for yourself personally, for the near future?

[35:19] Anar Mammadov: What’s my what? Sorry.

[35:20] Anil Hemrajani: What are your like plan, near term plans for the company and yourself?

[35:26] Anar Mammadov: Well, for myself definitely that experience gave me a really great like success in my opinion, and simply I need to grow that, what I have. So probably as a company, we wanted to be part of some other big companies, like either that has been acquired or, you know, just grow the business. This is the one thing. But in generally my own personal view probably I need to, like after one or two years you know, grow the business and then after the acquiring or just rise or just go to IPO, whatever, probably my plan just go to mainly scientific direction or just or profess, because I’m also doing some, you know, the lectures in a couple of universities. So, you know, probably mainly like educational fields, like data analytics fields, I need to find out and do some kind of research, you know, and then probably come back again to the startups. So as a long-term again, I need to grow myself. So that’s the point and, you know, grow my business as well.

[36:35] Anil Hemrajani: Got it. Well, Anar thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate it. You know, it was a great interview, so I appreciate it.

[36:42] Anar Mammadov: Yeah. Thank you very much. And likewise, it’s same. 

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