After growing up in the desert heat of Dubai, and then moving to the tropical climate of Aamchi Mumbai, Sampath K Iyengar has come a long way!
He began his life as a toddler in Dubai, an oasis that gave him a rare exposure to various cultures from across the world, along with making lifetime friends from countries like Iran and Israel. This helped him a lot when he moved to Mumbai for good, in 1981. School life in Mumbai was a blast with the various extracurricular actives he participated in, like debates and acting, though he also had to shoulder the responsibility of being the man of the house as his father was still in Dubai. This further helped to groom him as an entrepreneur very early on in his life.
Sampath moved on to Bhavan’s college for his 11th and 12th, where he completed his B.sc in Physics and electronic instrumentation. He got his first whiff of politics when he was the CR for the period of 1986 to 1989 while doing his B.sc. He was part of the NSUI and had the good fortune of meeting the Late PM Shri Rajiv Gandhi at a special meeting of the Youth Congress. Fortunately or Unfortunately he didn’t continue this and went on to do a diploma in software engineering from Mumbai University.
“ One Very Important learning from his Late father was that never waste your summer vacation which was pretty long during school and college.
So in after 9th he learnt Typing and after 10th he learns computer programming which used to cost 1,000 in 1984. During the college Vacation, he learnt Transistor assembly and in the following vacation TV assembly and troubleshooting from Radio Bhuvan “
He joined Rotary Club of Mumbai Goregaon west as a charter member in 1995 and was the President 2001-02 under DG Suresh Rathod.
Due to the increasing time and distance constraints he moved to Rotary Club of Bombay Seacoast in July 2011 and was the secretary in 14-15 and was the president 15-16 where the club managed to do almost one Crore of Projects from Funds raised by CSR and Donations.
He was the First Avenue chair for social media during PDG Bal Inamdar and PDG Lata Subraidu.
He is currently in the Social media Team for the Current Year 2017-18 for the new district 3141
He is now part of the prestigious core team of 18-19 for DGN Shashi Sharma
Early Career & Entrepreneurship
The software didn’t interest him as he wanted to get into the computer hardware business, so he joined his first company, General Electronics, where he was one of the very first Indians to get trained on Epson printers which had a tie up with Wipro. As the company was more into the trading of lower-end computers and didn’t want to move ahead, he managed to join an Upcoming company called Minafax Computers, a computer system integrator with clients like VSNL, TIFR, HUDCO, Corn Products, Indian Organic Chemicals etc.
He was placed along with four other engineers and the best feeling he got when he was paid a princely sum of 1200, while BE engineers were paid 800, thanks to his ability to hit the ground running from day one and needed no training.
He was soon placed as the Customer Support Engineer for VSNL (Now Tata Communications) and used to handle support calls for the entire building. He developed a great rapport with people right from the security guards to the CMD and was also given the additional responsibility of looking after IOCL, Corn Products, HUDCO and a myriad of small businesses. He excelled in networking and Antivirus removal, and hence, was sent to troubleshoot across India to the branches of VSNL and HUDCO to Madras (Now Chennai) Calcutta (now Kolkata), Ahmedabad, Indore Etc.
But the Entrepreneur bug had bitten him and he decided to start off on his own, launching Systems & Services (Now Called as Sam 7 Computers & Networks).
Sam 7 was a Boutique IT Sales and Support company in a time where IT was a Sell and forget Business. With The Computer Revolution which was started by Our Late PM Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the market opened up and Sam 7 Soon Grew into a Small Business with a peak of 20 people right from Support, Sales, Logistics, Accounts etc. He always had a ratio of 1:5 in terms of Sales to Support, unlike other companies who focused on Sales. He was one of the first HP Retailer to Start a Retail Showroom in Bandra and then Andheri.
Business was great and hit a Peak in Y2k, but soon after that, the market opened up and the competition was vicious and Margins became wafer thin.
The turning point was when Hewlett Packard Merged with Compaq and in India, it was Compaq which had a major hand and Hp partners were marginalised and he soon had to shut both the showrooms which fortunately were rented. He managed to put together funds to buy an office in 4 Bungalows MHADHA and moved all operations there. The business moved along but was on a downward trend with Salaries going high and margins moving south.
The final Nail in the coffin was the Multibrand retail which took over sales with massive volumes and special pricing from the distributors. This was followed by the E Commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart which have also affected the brick and mortar stores.
Sam 7 now has diversified into IT support services which offer Small and Medium Businesses an outsourced IT model, starting as low as 5000 a month. Sales are very less and we help customers get better pricing online and look after the service and support of the products as part of our IT model.
Things are looking up in 2017 with GST kicking in and Sam 7 Looks forward to newer opportunities.
The next Chapter in his business was the talk Show, Jam with Sam (on YouTube). He has completed 5 years and has had 60 plus episodes and has interviewed close to 120 plus Business Owners, Professionals , Media , Actors ,Actresses , Social Cause activists , Start ups etc , Prominent personalities include Master Chef Ranvir Brar, Author Rashmi Bansal, Vishal Gondal, Usha Jadhav, Sharon Prabhakar, Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, Afroz Shah, Luke Coutino, Ashwin Musharan, Sachin Kalbag, Prashant Mali, Hanuman Tripathi and many more!
He also has a Curated Business Professional group which attends this talk show and gets to learn first hand from the Celebrities and Professionals. This group is known as The Indian Networker, with an invitation-only membership policy. The philosophy is Friends First, Business will follow. This group is 3 years old has 25 members from diverse professions.
Sampath Married the love of his Life Nomita who is a Maths Teacher in an IB School and they have two Sons, Kunal who is now looking for a career in Music and sound production and Aniket who is in Second-year Mechanical engineering.
He has a kid brother Carlon who is based in Pune and is also in the IT Field. He spent his first couple of years in Sam’s Business and later moved out and Joined Wipro Technologies Limited.
He is a Social media junkie and loves to connect and network with friends and cultivate relation ships both personal and business. He loves to read and enjoys watching Sci fi and Hollywood movies, He only watches Bollywood unless its highly rated or is forced to watch it!