Running a startup or any other business is not an easy task. In addition to the daily challenges of building a good product, marketing and selling it, the founders have to take care of legal obligations as well. For someone who is ill equipped to juggle many challenges, it can become difficult to focus on the important things.
Though focussing on the product, sales and marketing is important, it isequally important to focus on the legal aspects. MindChipps Consulting has come up with a solution to help Founders, Chartered Accountants and Company Secretaries. Here is their story :
Sunil Bodke, Sachin Niravane, and Satish Bora are the co-founders of MindChipps. Sunil and Sachin are IITians with 18 plus years of work experience in IT consulting, IT delivery management, project management and program, project management and software development. Satish is an MBA with more than 18 years of IT consulting, marketing and sales solutions. His area of expertise includes differentiated delivery and IT alignment.
The three of them worked together in TCS and used to discuss business problems and how IT could help solve those problems. They subsequently moved to different companies – HP, Wipro and Infosys- but whenever they met they talked about starting on their own. Meanwhile, they travelled and worked for customers in the US, UK, Australia for a few years and finally in May 2010, they started MindChipps with the aim of providing IT solutions that would help solve business problems.
MindChipps has a team strength of 24 members, besides the three founders. There are 12 team members working on CADashboard, five in sales andmarketing and seven in product development and support.
Their flagship product, CADashboard is a communication, collaboration and compliance platform for CAs, CSs, legal professionals and SMEs in India. Their goal is to make CADashboard a more accessible platform for startups and CAs.
Pain points they are solving
While working with their Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary, they observed some challenges:
– Never ending regulatory compliance dates and CAs, CSs were always short of time to complete work.
– Increased government compliance with zero tolerance, penalties and late fees by government.
– CA/CS and their SME clients are seldom on the same page, regarding status.
– High employee leaves/turnover for CA, CS.
– Lack of financial discipline – key for business growth for SMEs.
– Single source of truth missing – impossible to get previous information, communication history.
Market size and opportunity
With more than 1.25 lakh CA, CS, CWA; more than 10 lakh legal professionals and more than 100 lakh SMEs in India; the total market size is more than INR 15,000 crores with an addressable market of INR 3,500 crores.
With the Indian government’s e-governance drive, plans to bring all tax services online and to have compliance with zero tolerance; it is important for all CA, CS professionals and SMEs to start using IT systems that will help them to be compliant on time.
Network with Indian Chartered Accountant Association (ICAI) - The team has developed strong relationships with the ICAI and other influential professionals and feels that this will help in getting good customer references and feedback about the product.
Sunil believes that the most important learning was to quickly unlearn a lot of things that one had used in large corporates. Having come from large corporates, the team members held an expertise in many areas which came in useful in their product journey. But at the same time, there were lots of areas where they had to make adjustments. Startups have to be agile and hence need to have lean processes and quick deliveries.With dynamic market scenarios, entrepreneurs have to come out with product releases quickly –often weekly and, in some cases, twice a week. Here are some takeaways that founders shared with YourStory :
– Your product is worth what your customer thinks. It is important to talk to your customers, understand what they really want and incorporate that in the product road-map.
– Many Indian customers do not give frank feedback directly. So you need to understand what they are really trying to say by reading between the lines. You also have to identify who the real customers are and spend time with them.
– You need to know the latest trends in your area of business.