Being Acquired was a Smart Exit Strategy Choice that Tarrasmart Chose

Cristianto Rian Tarra Tarrasmart

Cristianto Rian Tarra, Founder of Tarrasmart, tells us about its AI solutions.

Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Tarrasmart.

Cristianto Rian Tarra: I am the man behind the founding of Tarrasmart, a B2B Artificial Intelligence Company that a subsidiary of an Asian conglomerate recently acquired, which was our previous loyal customer at the end of last year. It’s not easy for me to build a business that, incidentally, I don’t have a business background and don’t come from a business family. However, only computer science graduates have the ability to do software engineering. My team and I encountered failure after failure, but we never stopped creating something for which we had a passion until what we wanted happened.

Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?

Cristianto Rian Tarra: Break down my big goals into smaller goals. Learn from the experience I went through when making the company I founded successfully exit. We have to make small, easier to achieve strategies to achieve something big. Until it is from these small achievements that what we achieve without realizing it makes us closer to the goal of something big. We must make a roadmap in our lives or our company’s business carefully by making it easy to achieve and giving ourselves awards when achieving those little things.

How does Tarrasmart market its product/services online?

Cristianto Rian Tarra: Offering exclusive previews to loyal customers. Our loyal customers are an important part of how we promote our products, as they are more likely to not only buy them but also recommend them to their network. This could be a private, in-person, or virtual pre-launch party, online tour, preview, or demo. Or, it could even be a special invitation to test it out and provide feedback. This exclusive offer is not only a great customer engagement strategy. It reinforces how much we value it, and engagement and loyalty are critical to any successful growth marketing strategy.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?

Cristianto Rian Tarra: We do a creative way of doing our online marketing activities where we are very impressed with various tools such as ActiveCampaign, Acquire, Adobe Analytics, Autopilot, HubSpot, Oracle, Eloqua, Instapage, Salesforce, Semrush, and SurveyMonkey. Most importantly, we don’t really like spending too much money on expensive marketing costs. We are always looking for ways to make our marketing activities effective and inexpensive.

What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?

Cristianto Rian Tarra: Broadly speaking, our recruitment process is opening the requisition, screening the applicants, interviewing the candidates, selecting the best, and making the offer. And there are some simple ways to retain our best employees, which we will always do, such as paying above-average salaries, allowing employees to express their opinions, showing appreciation and respect, encouraging input and feedback, don’t micromanaging, identifying and investing in high performers, offer the ability to grow and provide flexibility.

How are you funding your growth?

Cristianto Rian Tarra: We are grateful that this year has been a blessed year for us. Even though the current global economic conditions are not so good due to the pandemic, our company was able to grow very rapidly. That’s because being acquired has made our company able to provide the best service for our loyal customers so that we continue to be entrusted with AI projects such as Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), Computer Vision (CV), Natural Language Processing (NLP) to Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) from our loyal customers. All of that is able to make us grow and be more trusted.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Cristianto Rian Tarra: The data and AI industry is growing with ever-increasing needs, making the market size of this industry bigger. Existing competitors or new companies, from small to large, are always emerging to want to seize a large market share in this industry. For us, maintaining the trust of our loyal customers, always maintaining the best quality of our work, and also continuing to innovate can enable us to continue to be able to exist in this industry.

Tell us a customer success story of yours.

Cristianto Rian Tarra: One of our customers in Singapore felt very happy and helped after we successfully automated their business processes and operations using AI and IoT. It can save man-days which they have to pay to workers and vendors. So as to save hundreds of thousands of dollars each month which was previously used to pay for labor, now these funds can be used for other investment costs to be able to grow their business.

Your final thoughts?

Cristianto Rian Tarra: When I was building a business, I sometimes doubted whether I would succeed or fail. This is very disturbing, especially when I see more and more startups starting in the same year, already successful out there, while we are still crawling forward, even sometimes like upside-down cockroaches. But I want to be a winner, not a loser. When I want to give up, I always encourage myself again and again and be responsible to shareholders. I maintain trust in loyal customers until they feel comfortable with us and decide to make an offer to acquire our company. After holding the general meeting of shareholders, we feel that this opportunity must be immediately taken because it is a smart choice to provide great benefits to shareholders and stakeholders. One thing I’ve learned from all of this is persistence and can be trusted, step by step at a time, it will always lead to something great.

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