how this man built a data center company with an overseas presence
Lebanese-American writer and poet Kahlil Gibran said: “From suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are marked with scars.
An example of this saying is Pallav Agarwala 35-year-old entrepreneur who fought adversity and successfully built a data center company that not only has customers in India, but also in the US, UK, etc.
“I’m the first in my family to start a business and frankly it wasn’t even a planned step but a way to survival for me and my family. When I go 10 years in the past, I feel satisfied. But there is a lot more to do,” says Pallav SMBStory.
Founded in 2013 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, HTS Solutions started as a website development company and gradually moved into software development. Today, Pallav says the company is one of the few in India to have its own data center of this scale.
When asked how he made this possible in a tech industry with no money and no formal education, he replied, “Through a simple belief in my abilities.”
The light that follows the darkness
Coming from a modest family, Pallav grew up in Kanpur. After completing his studies, he even qualified in AIEEE with 5,800 ranks but without money, he could not continue his studies.
“This time, the registration form cost around Rs 2,000 but I didn’t have any cash on hand and my family couldn’t afford it. Tab samajh aya ki bina paise kamaye kuch nahi hoga (so I understood that without earnings, I can’t do anything). I gave up the idea of furthering my education and started a job in a call center where they offered me 5,000 rupees,” Pallav recalls.
After working for a short time in Kanpur, Pallav moved to Noida in his quest to get a good paying job in a good company. He soon received an offer from HCL Technologies.
HCL nominated Pallav for its technology appeals process and he says he was happy to work for a reputable company. However, after three years, he wanted to explore more and continued to apply for internal job openings. Despite cracking in all rounds, he would be dismissed in the final round.
“It happened for a long time after which I realized that to evolve in a company, you had to have your own references, which I did not have. During this time, I had started doing freelance web design. projects. I would do my research on the internet, I would develop small projects for small companies and I would deliver,” says Pallav. SMBStory.
One step led to another, and Pallav began working on setting up a side business.
In 2013, he quit his job and started HTS Solutions as a sole proprietorship, building on the money he saved from working and his skills.
Build a data center
The journey hasn’t been easy, Pallav says. “I tried to hire candidates, but none showed interest. When I told my CA about it, he guided me to turn the company into a “Pvt Ltd” entity, as it generates more trust among the employees. This called for investing more money, which I somehow arranged and saw positive results.
By 2015, the company had shown positive signs of growth, after which Pallav moved into the development of CRM (customer resource management), ERP (enterprise resource planning) and payroll software.
In 2017, HTS Solutions also expanded into rental and accommodation rental services.
“In the technology ecosystem of the business world, hosting space is like a basic requirement to go digital. We have seen that many hosting companies rent hosting space for their customers from other big players like Google or AWS and were not directly responsible during real-time errors or customer requests,” he says.
“We have tried to exploit this opportunity and created our own hosting space where we serve our customers directly, solving their problems in real time.”
Two years later, in 2019, HTS Solutions embarked on the creation of its own data center, which Pallav claims as one of the first entirely developed in-house.
Today, HTS Solutions caters to multiple clients from micro businesses to large enterprises across the globe including US, UK, Turkey and many more.
Pallav did not disclose the turnover, but claims to make multi-million in revenue and has seen 100% growth this year.
Challenges and way forward
Pallav says creating visibility is the main challenge.
“Lack of funds and marketing means we are unable to attract attention, despite offering extensive services at far more affordable rates than our peers.”
“The market is crowded now, especially after COVID-19,” Pallav says, adding that the pandemic has given Indian tech companies a big boost. However, customers in the country focus more on discounts than services, which leads to higher operating costs.
Going forward, Pallav looks forward to partnerships and investments to bring HTS Solutions to the world. “HTS Solutions is a fully Made in India company, which we want to take to a global level.”