Giridhar Akkineni is both a staffing industry entrepreneur and veteran. Before founding AkkenCloud in 2002, Akkineni owned interWorldnet, an IT staffing firm based in Connecticut. Prior to interWorldnet, Akkineni owned businesses in the information technology, transport, manufacturing, and retail industries.
As the Chief Architect of the AkkenCloud platform, he has been relentless in his pursuit of innovation, building the staffing and recruiting industry’s only true all-in-one enterprise SaaS system.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, CT. He lives in Nashua, NH, with his wife and two children and is an avid fan of Formula 1 Racing.
I caught up with Giridhar recently to ask him some questions about his journey toward becoming a staffing and recruiting industry leader and serial entrepreneur.
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Please tell us a little about yourself and what got you started as an entrepreneur.
I am a serial entrepreneur, and I started my first business when I was in college. Whenever I experience a pain point, I look for a solution. All companies that I started to date are because I could not find a solution.
And when I research further why a solution does not exist, I get excited knowing the possibilities but why no one took up the challenge that may seem impossible. I enjoy doing the impossible.
Where did the idea for AkkenCloud come from?
I used to own an IT staffing company during the DOT COM era that lost lots of money because our customers went out of business. I could have avoided the losses if we had an All-In-One system connected to sales and accounting.
When I went out to find such a solution, I was surprised that there was no such platform. I then closed out my IT Staffing company and built AkkenCloud, the first and the only All-In-One platform for the Staffing and Recruiting Industry.
What have been the most significant challenges your business faced during Covid-19, and how did you overcome them?
The core revenue for Staffing companies is when they place people as their customers. But when their customers have to close their businesses because of the Covid-19 lockdown, they have to maintain their internal staff and the hundreds and thousands of temps they used to place on jobs.
We worked with our customers supporting them and helping them with what they needed to reopen.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your entrepreneurial journey?
I wish someone would have told me when to pivot. We launched our platform in 2006, but then the 2008 downturn dramatically changed how staffing and recruiting companies operate their business.
We then have ACA in 2010 which keeps changing through 2014, creating the most complications for staffing companies to comply.
We then were going through a digital transformation. And now have to survive this pandemic. Time always presents new challenges. You don’t stay the same. Find ways to do things differently, not just to survive but to grow.
What excites you the most about the staffing and recruiting industry right now?
Talking to our customers and prospects and how quickly we can respond to their changing business processes during this Covid-19 times.
It is exciting to see how our vision of building an All-In-One platform has paid off, delivering great value to our customers during this pandemic.
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