Behind the Screen: Amar Trivedi
Three in five Americans dreamt of starting their own businesses last year. In 2009, AmDee founder and business owner Amar Trivedi was way ahead of the curve. If you have ever dreamed of owning your own company or taking that first step into entrepreneurship, Amar has unearthed the key to evolving a successful, well-respected company.
And it might not be what you think.
How “Doing the Right Thing” Is the Key to Running a Successful Company
“Doing the right thing,” Amar says. “That is what we built our business on. Of course, everybody says that, but we put our money where our mouth is.”
It may seem easy to say that, but that “do the right thing” creed is one of the main differentiators between the company Amar built and other businesses in the website-building industry.
“We have always worked with small businesses or nonprofit organizations, which we know we do a good job in the communities that they serve” Amar explains. “We even do pro-bono work, rather than ask for a budget and that is very unique in our industry. We make sure to deliver our projects on time. This is very important.”
Working with smaller companies that are doing good in their communities and with nonprofit organizations is a mission AmDee has not deviated from since its inception a decade ago. Amar’s first-ever project after launching AmDee full-time focused on accessibility. Making the web accessible for people with all and varying abilities has been a crucial part of AmDee’s mission ever since.
“I started the company in 2009. I always felt that one of the easiest ways to keep up with technology was to actually do side work or work after hours. I was working as software architect at Department of Commerce, and there was a small side project somebody wanted me to do and I would do it after hours,” Amar says. “They specifically said that they needed somebody who had experience in accessibility and they wanted me to do the work and so around the same time I was in the process of rethinking whether I wanted to work or just jump into doing my own thing full-time, then this opportunity came about so I took the plunge. As it turned out, our first client was a nonprofit organization that provided information to people with disabilities.”
Ten years later, accessibility and integrity are still a huge part of AmDee.
“The business has not evolved in the sense of mission,” Amar says. “The mission still remains the same in that we provide digital communication education for nonprofits or people who do good in the world.”
Offering a discount is one such way AmDee is able to stand by this mission and continue to support nonprofits and other businesses that aim to do good for people of all abilities.
“One of the things I decided early on was that I wanted to do something to give back to the community,” Amar explains. “So, I decided to give a 30% discount on all work for nonprofit organizations. The idea was to provide digital tools to other people who do good but might not have the resources necessary to have the latest and best technology in order to accomplish their mission.”
Coupled with Amar’s first-ever client being a nonprofit focused on accessibility is his personal background.
“I come from a family of educators,” he says. “My father was a professor and my mother a teacher. Almost everyone in my family is in education to some degree, from elementary to university professors. I recognized how much people respected my father. This stuck with me. Yes, it is important to make money, but at the same time, when you give back, it enriches you and it enriches your community as well.”
It’s that very mission, that very humility, and integrity that keeps AmDee successful. Clients recognize what AmDee does and by referrals and word-of-mouth, AmDee continues to be recommended over and over again by previous clients.
“The success of AmDee is doing a good job and when you stick to your word and make sure to fulfill your part of the bargain, you won’t really need to do a lot of sales and marketing,” Amar says. “The main source of referrals for work was basically word of mouth and someone who would be included to recommend us to someone who needed a job done.”
Sometimes, of course, it can be difficult to do the right thing, especially as an entrepreneur who has a strong understanding of what’s going to work and what’s not. But even in those tricky situations, Amar maintains it is most crucial to give the client what they want. Even if it’s something that wasn’t worked out prior or solidified as part of the contract.
“Something that has always been important to me and I stress to my employees when working, that even if the client wants something that has not been promised, you should still do it for them because it is the right thing to do,” Amar says.
Of course, there is no magical formula for creating and maintaining a successful company. But if Amar and the success of AmDee are any indication, perhaps the key to launching a successful company is the ways in which the business owner measures that success.
“I think the most important thing is, as a company, we continue to do the right thing,” Amar concludes. “The three things most important to my company are integrity in everything we do, respect for our clients and employees, and doing the right thing.”