Potenza doesn’t sell software, it sells solutions. Mithila Wegapitiya says that when they pitch business to potential clients across Asia, the first impression is surprise. “They are used to tech companies selling software. So, when we walk into a pitch, they ask us to present our products, and we say that we don’t have any because we listen to their problems and give solutions. That surprises them and they are often happy,” Wegapitiya says. Most tech firms sell software without considering how it would grow the return on investment of a client. This approach leads to a bloat in software that operates in vacuums. Employees are forced to take data from one system and input it into another; wasting resources on repetitive, mundane tasks.
When companies turn to consultants, they advise but aren’t able to provide a solution. Potenza sought to solve these problems by itself. For the most part, Potenza integrates existing software that its clients have purchased, helping them transform digitally and smoothening workflows. Missing pieces are filled in with a small suite of applications Potenza is expert at deploying. Robotics also plays a role in reducing the workloads of employees at client firms, providing them with more time to be creative and drive their businesses forward. Wegapitiya co-founded Potenza in December 2016 after working for several local and international tech companies.
Younger generation steps up to leading roles in companies, they will come to realise the need for quality digital services to unlock potential.
“We did get some seed funding from my father, but that wasn’t enough. In our first year, we had to face some tough times on our own.”In 2018, in the second full year of operations, Potenza reached $1 million in revenue, with most of the sales coming from the South and South East Asian region. Wegapitiya is now expecting $2-3 million in sales in 2019. The firm is planning to open an office in Singapore to expand its business further in the South East Asian region. The company, which started with four employees, is now 65 strong.
In Sri Lanka however, the older generation of business people and professionals look at Potenza with scepticism. Many ignore the firm as it is new, and others are unsatisfied by their still small size. “Here, the mentality is to ask us for McKinsey and Accenture level services without the corresponding price tag. We have Accenture quality resources in our office, but the bill is high to maintain that. They don’t understand that. As a result, 75% of our revenue is from overseas.” Wegapitiya is hopeful that as the younger generation steps up to leading roles in companies, they will come to realise the need for quality digital services to unlock potential.