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Tyto Founder Narayan Raman Belives In Never-Say-Die Winner Attitude Like Narendra Modi And M.S.Dhoni

CrazyEngineers exclusive interview with Narayan Raman of Tyto Software as a part of Founders Circuit initiative
CrazyEngineers
CrazyEngineers Staff · 26 Jan 2015
Founders Circuit Team
"What ever you do, don't forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life on a daily basis."
- Narayan Raman, Tyto Software

Tyto Software Pvt. Ltd. is a privately held software product company founded by Narayan Raman in the year 2009. Tyto Software provides business-ready software automation products. 'Sahi' is their flagship product for automation of web application testing. Hundreds of customers across various domains have chosen Sahi for its rapid and reliable web testing automation.

Narayan Raman completed B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology in the year 2000. He then worked with various companies like eGain Communications, Adswala.com, Talentica Software, ThoughtWorks, etc. before founding Tyto Software. Sahi is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for testers. It handles most complexities presented by modern web applications and browsers with ease.

In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers.com, we got Narayan to talk about his entrepreneurial journey, how studying at IIT help him start-up with Tyto Software, the importance of work experience for any entrepreneur, how he motivates his employees and a lot more. Read on!

NarayanRaman-Sahi-CrazyEngineersNarayan Raman


CE:  Hi Narayan. Could you tell our readers about Sahi Software?

Narayan: Sahi is a software product which helps automate the process of testing web applications. Like all software, web applications also need to be tested before release. Previously a manual tester would navigate to pages, enter information, click on buttons etc. to validate a functional flow on a web browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome. This could be time consuming and prone to human error. Sahi allows recording or scripting this sequence and can play it back fast and capture success/failure information. This allows enterprises to rapidly shorten their development cycles.

Sahi was written as an open source product and released first in 2005. It is still being updated and maintained and has thousands of users around the world. Sahi Pro is a commercial version of that product focused more on enterprise usage.

CE:  You completed your graduation in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay in the year 2000. How did your learnings at IIT help you start with Sahi?

Narayan: Not sure if it can be called a learning, but being with fellow IITians, made me aspire and reach out for more, and have the confidence to take on any kind and level of competition. Of course, being in IIT gives you a very analytical bent of mind and the ability to go in depth into technologies.

CE: You have worked for various companies like eGain Communications, Adswala.com, Talentica Software, ThoughtWorks, etc. How has your experience helped you become a successful entrepreneur?

Narayan: eGain was a dream job for a fresher like me. It was intellectually challenging to work on advanced javascript which at that time was hardly popular. Adswala.com was my first startup, which focused on delivering local ads via internet cafes. It was good technically but quite bad as a business. I learnt a lot on what I should not do in the next venture, though I did not realize it at that time! Talentica was again a fantastic company doing cool technology. Since I joined Talentica quite early, I could observe how the company was run, but which again I could only appreciate when I started on my own. ThoughtWorks was where Sahi started. ThoughtWorks exposed me to international programmers, to open source and agile. It also taught me how to have a happy motivated work environment. While Talentica and eGain taught me technology, ThoughtWorks taught me a lot on management, consulting, leadership and psychology. Adswala.com taught me that technology alone is not everything, and solving a problem in the simplest way is more important.

Sahi-Team-CrazyEngineers Sahi-Team-CrazyEngineers1The Team

CE:  What did you learn from your worst boss? How do you motivate your employees?

Narayan: Not sure about others, but I know I have been that bad boss I would not like to work with. But I think every good sole contributor is a bad boss till he learns teamwork and delegation. At Tyto, we are a fairly happy bunch of guys, doing a honest day's job and trying to solve problems in a structured, even paced way. We like technology and we stick to the basics and make sure everyone is learning and adding value to our customers. We are quite truthful about what works and what doesn't and constantly evolve to address issues. Our attrition is quite low and our team has been intact for the past year or more.

CE:  From Sahi Software to Tyto Software Pvt. Ltd. - How has the journey been?

Narayan: Interesting, with lots of learning. I quit Talentica and started Sahi Software as a proprietorship where I was undertaking maintenance contracts for open source Sahi. But I soon realized that the model would not work. As a conscientious programmer who was proud of what he has built, it was tough to leave around bugs in the code for long. Soon my customers realized that I would fix bugs whether they took up the contract or not. I spoke to some of my customers and asked them if they would be willing to buy a Pro version with more features for a cost. They quite readily agreed and thus started Sahi Pro the product and Tyto Software the company. We did some consulting initially to support development but after a year we totally stopped consulting and focused only on the product. Today we are a 14 member team and we have over 300 customers world wide, 80% of which are outside India. The journey has been very rewarding personally because running your own company forces you to face the truth all the time and there can be no excuses or blame shifting. The result of every action is very visible and the consequences are your own to face. I mostly enjoy what I do, be it engineering or meeting customers or working with our team.

CE:  What is your greatest regret?

Narayan: I think, it was letting my competition get ahead of me when we were quite head to head. But there is no point thinking about these. We just learn and move on.

CE:  If you could become any famous personality's friend, who would you choose? Why?

Narayan: Vishwanathan Anand, to learn from him his quest for excellence, hardwork, resilience, equanimity in the face of odds and his simple living. Narendra Modi and M.S.Dhoni would be others for their never-say-die winner attitude and ability to get things done.

CE:  What is one quality you admire most in others?

Narayan: Two. Hard work with humility.

CE: Thank you for your time. Any message for our readers?

Narayan: 
Thanks for reading. What ever you do, don't forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life on a daily basis.