What stays in your mind will be actualized (3)
Together with a Japanese Project Manager, we developed CACHATTO in Bangalore, India from autumn of 2002, and released it to the market six months later in the following spring. "CACHATTO" is a phonetic expression in Japanese, of plugging an ether cable into a server, such as "click!" The expression implies "quick and easy" set up of a remote access system within a company. To accomplish this, we had created a proprietary data transmission method.
Since the technology and the concept were quite unique, we had a hard time getting people to understand the benefits of CACHATTO. We enthusiastically introduced the service to potential customers and resale partners. One day, while we were describing the service, at a life-insurance company, an IT person pointed out that our data transmission method offered high security. Later on, this became our key sales point insisting security within remote access systems.
On the other hand, at the time, CACHATTO was still poor in quality. Ironically, instead of a "quick and easy" installment like "CACHATTO", it actually took months to set up. It was because we spent a lot of time fixing bugs for each potential customer. Informing issues back to Bangalore was difficult and time consuming, so we had Indian engineers stationed in Japan fixing problems onsite. Gradually we managed to sell CACHATTO to some customers, but the business was never profitable. Due to a lack of fund, we needed to down size, let the Project Manager go, and cut off all of my income.
In early 2005, I took over the Project Manager role and had Mr. Kumar join us from India. Kumar had worked on the project back in 2003, so I knew how good he was at his job. The new formation worked well and we were able to actualize many of the requests from customers. Due to our limited resources both in development and technical support, I abandoned the policy to customize CACHATTO based on each customer's requests. Instead, we actualized the requested features and integrated them into the main service, free of charge, and offered them as standard features. With newly added features, CACHATTO started to gain customers' interests.
By the end of 2005, we overcame the handicaps of being a small company and selling a non-established service, and enterprises such as Citizen and Kansai Electric Power became our customers. In spring of 2006, our business turned profitable for the first time since e-Jan was founded in the year 2000. Our accumulated deficits amounted to several millions of US dollars, compared to our first profit of only several thousands. No one was optimistic enough to think we could turn the business around, other than Kumar and myself, and Takino who later joined us in June 2006.