TheCconnects: Can you tell our readers a little about your professional journey & how did you come to your current role/position?
Sagar Jaiswal: From a young age, I have always been drawn to the idea of becoming a “jack of all trades” as it offers the potential for multiple rewarding career paths. Guided by my passion for robotics, I pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering. I also took the opportunity to learn software development on my own time in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of robotics.
With the goal of starting a business in robotics, I recognized the challenges of raising capital for hardware startups. As a result, I decided to begin with a software solution and developed an app called “Sup” during my undergraduate studies in the UK. This app allowed incoming and current university students to find matches based on their interests and majors/minors, limited to university students only.
After launching Sup in the UK and Canada, it had a successful first week with more than 100 installs. However, my desire to work on hardware development led me to shut down Sup and join my current partner and startup, Argentum Electronics Inc, as co-founder.
TheCconnects: Who has influenced you the most in life and why?
Sagar Jaiswal: It’s true that family, culture, and upbringing can have a significant impact on an individual’s success as an entrepreneur. These factors can shape our decisions, conflict resolution skills, resilience, and consistency. In my case, I believe that these factors have influenced my life on a daily basis, even if it is on a subconscious level.
I also want to give credit to Robert Downey Jr. for influencing my childhood decisions. In a way, his portrayal of Iron Man made engineering seem cool and sparked my interest in the field. It may
seem funny, but it’s true!
TheCconnects: What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your life & how did you overcome them?
Sagar Jaiswal: As I have mentioned several times, building a successful hardware+software startup is not easy. This has been the biggest challenge I have faced to date. Despite the many ups and downs and pivots, I have continued to devote 90% of my time to the startup, often at the expense of other important things and people in my life.
In many ways, the business has become like a child that I am constantly trying to nurture and support. It can be disappointing when things don’t go as planned, but I am encouraged by the fact that the probability of failure seems to be decreasing over time. I am committed to continuing the battle and making Argentum a success.
TheCconnects: What lessons have you learned from your professional career?
Sagar Jaiswal: The majority of my professional career has been focused on building and growing Argentum Electronics, my current startup. Like many startups, the early days were challenging and it felt like a roller coaster on a decline. Despite the struggles, I learned the importance of staying
positive. This is not only important for your own mood and well-being, but also for the morale of your team. As a leader, your team looks to you for guidance and support, and maintaining a positive attitude can help everyone stay motivated and productive.
Another skill that I think is often overlooked by entrepreneurs is the ability to listen. I have found that many times, the answers to technical or business challenges are right in front of us, we just need to listen. For example, when trying to achieve product-market fit, it’s
important to listen to customer feedback and adapt to their needs in order to find out what sells. Listening can provide valuable insights that can help your business succeed.
TheCconnects: What do you see as the biggest challenge for brands in the digital space?
Sagar Jaiswal: I believe that outperforming the competition is the biggest challenge that any brand owner can face in the digital or local space. This requires clever differentiation through intelligent marketing strategies, such as SEO, word of mouth, email marketing, and brand recognition. In order
to stand out, it is important to master as many of these strategies as possible.
However, this can be difficult for small enterprises, as established market leaders often have the resources to invest heavily in paid digital marketing. As a result, it can be hard for smaller businesses to compete. I believe that the area between small budget, high competition, and large budget, low competition is where marketing innovation really takes place. By finding creative ways to stand out and reach customers with limited resources, small businesses can compete with larger competitors and succeed in the marketplace.
TheCconnects: How your product/solution can help to resolve the pain points of your customers?
Sagar Jaiswal: At Argentum, we are focused on pushing the boundaries of building systems efficiency. Our innovative solutions, including intelligent building automation software, DC power distribution systems, and IoT sensors, are designed to help accelerate the transition to a net-zero/LEED zero future.
For instance, many devices today rely on DC power, but are supplied with AC power. This requires the devices to convert from AC to DC, which can be inefficient due to manufacturing economics. In order to cut costs, manufacturers often make these converters as cheaply as possible, resulting in efficiencies of less than 80%. At Argentum, we are addressing this issue by building a power distribution system that can power DC devices directly with DC power. While consumers may
not yet be ready for a world with DC sockets, we are starting with one of the most important elements in buildings: LED lights. By powering and automating these lights, we can save buildings up to 40% in energy, which translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings annually.
TheCconnects: What do you do in your free time?
Sagar Jaiswal: I have a strong passion for learning and I regularly invest time in researching topics that interest me, such as the crypto space, real estate, and investing/finance. As a tech manager/CTO, it is crucial for me to stay up to date with the latest tech trends. To that end, I often spend my free time exploring new software and hardware processes and staying informed about advancements in the field. I find this not only enjoyable, but also essential for my role as a tech leader.
TheCconnects: Do you have any advice for those who want to become a chief … officer?
Sagar Jaiswal: While it is important to work hard, be consistent, and follow your dreams, I believe that a more practical approach is to focus on what truly motivates and drives you. Rather than striving to become a “CxO” for the sake of the title, consider what it is that gets you out of bed in
the morning or keeps you up at night. At the end of the day, titles like “CxO” are meaningless if you are not making a meaningful impact, innovating, and changing the world. It is essential to focus on the things that truly inspire and drive you, rather than just chasing a title for the sake of it.
You can connect with Sagar Jaiswal on LinkedIn here