Business service providers betting big on startups with great deals
“Deepak Dhamija talking about recently launched Startup booster plan designed for Startups – published in newspaper The Economic Times – Business service providers betting big on Startups with great deals. Complete article given below”
After investors and incubators, now business service providers too are betting big on the ongoing startup boom, offering new entrepreneurs all kinds of back-end support from patent protection to e-commerce infrastructure either free or at minimal charges. The idea is to build a strong client base for the future, say officials at consultancies and professional service providers in areas such as legal support, patent or trademark, management or HR, accounting or finance, e-commerce infrastructure and other ancillary services.
“Many of them are chasing startups to ‘catch them young’ as it’s an established fact (norms) in business world that entrepreneurs do not usually change their old associations when it comes to accountants, lawyers, consultants or any other business associates,” said Preet Deep Singh, founding partner at Ahmedabad-based Aperio Management LLP, which provides management advisory to several startups including babysteps, Wockito, CVpoint.in, Konnectz and LawToons.
Many startup entrepreneurs while possessing a high potential idea have no clue on how to implement it or the nitty-gritties of starting a business. Take the case of Arthi Ramalingam, who recently passed out of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. She opted out of campus placement to start her own fashion startup – Neons Fashion LLP. Now, she didn’t have enough funds to start her own e-commerce and bring it to potential customers’ notice. So she approached Ahmedabad-based e-8commerce player Infibeam.com, which provides its Buildabazaar marketplace free for a year for select startups under its entrepreneurial programme.
Under this initiative, Infibeam provides end-to-end e-commerce infrastructure and other support services for successful operation for select 10 business ideas. And what does it get in return? “The proposed program will help Infibeam to acquire merchants at early stage and build sustainable competitive advantage by driving deep user engagement, personalisation and loyalty,” said Vishal Mehta, chairman and managing director at Infibeam.com. In other words, a successful entrepreneur on its platform would bring more business to Infibeam and will retain with it for long run.
Similarly, a leading chartered accountancy firm in Delhi NCR started a separate entity, Startup Buddy, to provide an entire gamut of back-end support functions like accounting, taxation, secretarial compliance, reporting, legal knowhow, project advisory and other services to startups only. In just one year of its existence, Startup Buddy has about 80 startup clients including Scoopwhoop Mockbank, Innerchef, Burger Singh, Zo Rooms and Localoye.
“At initial stage, our support helps them in channelising their energies in their business and to grow at rapid pace,” said Manu Somani, chartered accountant and associate at Startup Buddy. He said many of its clients are already well-known companies and growing at a rapid pace.
Startup Buddy has customised its product to suit the startup culture. For example, it provides startups a facility to check their accounting on real time basis on mobile application anytime and anywhere, Somani said ..
Manasvi Thapar, who runs law firm Candour Legal in Ahmedabad, provides intellectual property right (IPR) services to around 28 startups and some incubators as well. He said his firm has provided a dedicated 24X7 hotline number for startups.
Delhi-based intellectual property right (IPR) firm Sagacious IP has an ‘Idea to Market’ initiative to help startup innovators take their ideas to consumers.
“We start working with entrepreneurs’ right when they get the idea. On the age front, we work with innovators of all age but majority of our current portfolio is between 20-26 years olds,” said Tarun Bansal, co-founder and director at Sagacious, which currently has 65 projects under ‘Idea to Market’.
“We believe that the business grows only when the clients’ business grow. Therefore, Aristotle delivery and billing model is very flexible for startups,” said Deepak Dhamija, co-founder of the consultancy that recently launched a startup booster plan especially for non-funded startups.
Under this, it offers complete payroll, legal, regulatory, taxation, accounting and reporting services at a nominal charge.
In the long run, as the client’s business grows the corresponding team structure and billing change. Today, Aristotle has a clientele of around 40 startups including Jabong, FabFurnish, FoodPanda, Tolexo (IndiaMart), Zimply, GoJavas and Printvenue.