Salman Sarwar Chaudhry is the founder and CEO of Torque. Salman has been in the SaaS business for about 4 years now. He is an angel investor and a partner at RepairDesk, another Pakistan-based SaaS company with a globally spread user-base catering to the niche market of independent mobile & computer repair shops.
Salman has served as the COO of RepairDesk since 2017. During his tenure at RepairDesk, he got the chance to work alongside all the departments involved in making a SaaS company successful. Salman is passionate about continued learning and has completed 18 certifications in fields like agile project management, SEO, finance for non-financial managers, sales, success, and support to name a few. He holds an MBA and has 10 years of experience in growth consulting for different kinds of multi-region organizations.
Salman’s favorite pastime is to reading about cars, staying up-to-date with the automobile industry, and attendind auto shows whenever he gets a chance.
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Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: I joined RepairDesk in its infancy when it had less than 400 customers. We formulated processes and procedures to optimize our efforts and within 4 years, we managed to increase our customer base and revenue by 6 times.
During this journey, we figured out the success playbook for the repair verticals. With Torque, we want to replicate this success in the largest repair industry: auto repair.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: Since we started Torque, something I figured out was that the auto repair industry is much more intricate than the computer and mobile repair industries. There are many competitors that have been working in the industry for over 10 years.
A market like that is hard to penetrate, and there were times we had a hard time convincing people to adopt new solutions, as they were content with existing software. These antique software got the job done. But we wanted to give the industry a much-needed push towards digital solutions.
Steve Jobs once said: “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
This quote is what provided me with the motivation to persevere through the hard times. I am confident this philosophy can take us to the stars and beyond.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: I feel most entrepreneurs get carried away with the dream of their possible success and this makes them disconnect from reality which kills their ability to make agile decisions.
One of the most important things I learned was that a founder’s responsibility is providing a vision for the team.
However, just having a vision is not enough. You and your team should also be aligned with that vision. It’s your job as a founder to ensure you and your team remain focused on the same goal throughout the journey, exercising the amazing ability to see past the fluff.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: The pandemic had a substantial impact on companies that are providing SaaS services.
For the auto repair industry, this has been one of the major reasons for switching towards digital solutions. Digital solutions have seen a booming growth throughout the pandemic. Auto repair software like Torque have seen increased demand and the trend is expected to continue for the coming years.
When you think of your company, 5 years from now, what do you see?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: Within five years, I see Torque being the go-to solution for auto repair shop owners globally.
We started out with the intent to make the stressful lives of car technicians easier. And we are confident we can achieve our goals by overcoming every challenge.
Success is the amalgamation of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
Delegating is part of being a great leader, but what have you found helpful to get your managers to become valiant leaders as well?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: At Torque, one of our core values is to nurture leaders and give them opportunities to prove themselves.
I’ve found that delegation is important not only for CEOs but for leaders of all levels in organizations. I delegate tasks to my managers and give them autonomy – both because I can’t manage everything by myself, and because it shows confidence in them.
This gives the people under your wing the ability to make decisions and think independently…but also sets expectations about what results are needed in order for me to be satisfied. I strongly believe giving people responsibilities is a great way to help them grow and become better professionals.
Being a CEO of the company, do you think that your personal brand reflects your company’s values?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: As the CEO of the company, I believe that it’s important for my personal brand to reflect the values of my company. My goal is to be authentic and transparent in everything that I do, and this trickles down into the organization.
I have learned from fellow entrepreneurs’ mistakes that establishing yourself as a brand is just as significant as your company’s name. I believe that my personal brand and the values of my company are very much aligned.
And this is what helps me and my team stay motivated and driven towards our shared goals.
How do you monitor if the people in your department are performing at their best?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: In the modern workplace, analytical tools are a great way to monitor performance. I judge performance based on results. However, appreciating efforts is just as important.
Every Friday, my team and I sit together for a Retrospective Meeting and see what we accomplished in the current week. This is followed by all the challenges faced by every individual and the possible room for improvement. This creates a great environment for healthy discussion and provides everyone an opportunity to contribute to making our workplace better.
Do you think entrepreneurship is something that you’re born with or something that you can learn along the way?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: Entrepreneurship is not exactly something you are born with. It is something you can learn along your journey. I think entrepreneurs are born with the drive to succeed. Those without that drive may be able to acquire it through tough experiences or by being mentored by someone who already has the drive to succeed.
I started my career in HR and continued it for 8 years. I was lucky enough to work in an organization where everyone was fuelled by entrepreneurial passion. And that is where I was inspired to create solutions that solve real-world problems faced by people.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Salman Sarwar Chaudhry: “You are worth more than your second thoughts and maybes.”
Entrepreneurship is a journey that is filled with challenges. There will be moments that make you second guess your decision to start. This quote resonates in my mind. Sometimes, I start to second guess my decisions, but then I remember perseverance is the key to accomplishing bigger goals.
I think we fail when we give in to these doubts and fail to realize how small steps take us towards success every single day. For me, my path has changed a few times, but the destination is the same.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Salman Sarwar Chaudhry for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Salman Sarwar Chaudhry or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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