What any startup needs in the initial phase of its journey is the proper guidance to incorporate itself. Without expert support, the chances of its success become minimal.
This is where a company like StartUp Movers Private Limited becomes of utmost importance because they offer a unique blend that combines advisory, consulting and business planning documentation.
They aim at providing high-quality business planning and startup consulting services with end-to-end support and handholding to avoid costly mistakes and save management time in dealing with business practices, market projections, financial considerations etc.
Honed with the experience of leaders like Sridhar Subramaniam – Co-founder & vCFO Head, and Ankit Bajaj – Co-founder & Business Head, StartUp Movers, is definitely ‘India’s Budding Consultancy Start-ups to Watch for 2022’.
Sridhar is a chartered accountant from India and a diploma holder in IFRS from ACCA UK. He is a finance veteran with over twenty-five years of experience in large corporates and startups.
At StartUp Movers, he is managing clientele based in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Goa by looking after the continuous interactions with existing and potential entrepreneurs while adding more to the list. He looks after the virtual CFO services and adds value to the clientele in acceleration mode, with the right insights from their business, while managing the complete finance function for them.
Besides this, Sridhar is also a start-up veteran, having worked as CFO at capillary technologies before and has hands-on experience with large corporates since he was part of the coke finance team during his career. He is also an avid angel investor and is well connected in the startup ecosystem in Bengaluru.
Ankit is a chartered accountant and a commerce graduate from Delhi. He has worked with big4 audit firms and multiple corporate in financial planning and analysis. He has been the co-founder of a couple of interactive platforms for financial professionals and students.
At StartUp Movers, Ankit looks after the internal financial planning and analysis. He also heads the business development function looking after sales, partnerships, brand building, internal process improvement, and the organisation’s digital footprint.
Synergizing Startup Mindset and Entrepreneurial Language
StartUp Movers is a business services platform dedicated to helping people easily, efficiently, and quickly start and grow their businesses at affordable prices. It helps young startups in various financial and legal consultancy, advisory and compliance services under a single umbrella. It is focused on synergising with individuals and entities that have startup mindset and speak and understand startup language.
With a vision to bridge the gap of accessibility and affordability of qualified and well-equipped resources, leveraging technology in various aspects to provide timely, effective, and compliance-oriented financial services – StartUp-Movers is your one-stop solution for all the financial and legal support you may need with your startup business.
Over the last eight years, acting as a valued partner for its portfolio startups, the firm has helped around 350+ startups manage their holistic compliance, finance and accounts functions, virtual CFO advisories and other consultancy needs. Its startup clientele is spread in various industry domains; it understands the startup mindset and speaks the startup language.
Being a preferred partner with various incubation, investors, and co-working hubs, it ensures that its offerings are able to handhold and guide startup businesses in their growth journey through its expert in-house team and star network of associates and channel partners.
Creating Compliance Control
Anything and everything a startup needs right from the beginning to set up the right legal entity formed to manage monthly, quarterly, annual compliance, fundraise compliance support, everything gets managed under a single roof, enabling founders to focus on their core business. At the same time, the firm ensures that its clients are always on the right side of the compliance framework.
StartUp Movers specialises in setting up entities, their basic compliance, reporting policies and structures, which helps them sail through easily during the financial due diligence by investors. And it is managing more than ten fundraising compliance rounds each quarter.
Sixty-to-seventy to cent of its clients has raised multiple funding rounds from investors like Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital, Lets Venture, various angel networks and more. It has been on both sides of the due diligence exercise in the startup ecosystem and understands the startup mindset and language like no other.
Sridhar and Ankit say that they have had the advantage of working with multiple Indian unicorns through their early fragile and high growth stage.
StartUp Movers is handling over 200 startups pan India providing holistic services with an in-house team of professionals and a star network of associates. The group includes lawyers, CA’s, and CS, covering services like accounting and bookkeeping, payroll management, business valuation, compliance and various filings under the Companies Act, FEMA, income tax, GST and more.
The New-Gen Tech-Enablers
According to Sridhar and Ankit, we are moving in times where human technical consultancy might become redundant and robotic automation will solve most queries. An example they give is a legal domain, where supercomputers are deployed to frame case law responses with highly accurate predictions on the success rate. Account’s function is also undergoing a steep transition, where there is the possibility of 100% automation in transactional level inputs, and data entry requires minimum human intervention.
However, such technology today comes at a cost, and Sridhar and Ankit say that they have seen across their domain that AI, big data or blockchain will become enablers rather than supplements. A hybrid structure will be the future to scale where without technology, scale is impossible in this highly open global environment.
They also see a lot of new startups popping up in all these technological stages, yet they are pervasively in need of a consultancy firm like Startup Movers to set it up. Since technology can solve redundancy, but will never be able to take away the human touch required in early-stage organisations. Sridhar and Ankit are also bullish on this sector to take over a lot of redundancies in the consultancy domain, thereby giving leverage to scale through multiple geographies and disciplines in a hybrid structure.
Building a Startup Ecosystem
Sridhar and Ankit say that when the pandemic struck, their service delivery and operations were already online, with complete online client support leveraging technology; therefore, that did not change much. Setting up long-term work from home was somewhat challenging initially, but everybody adapted swiftly and picked up best practices to ensure a subtle transition. They further realised the need for balance in WFH times and encouraged their team to keep themselves engaged in other engaging activities outside work.
They did face challenges in data security since most of their clientele was from the startup ecosystem, where process orientation takes time and ensuring data security, both internal and external, was something they also had to work on to align expectations at all ends, especially compliance.
They have managed to thrive without any retrenchments or salary reductions except for a few hits at the senior level. Work from home was prominent, and they had provided training to employees to work through remote desktops and servers.
The management team also tried to connect with all employees and families. Almost 50% of the staff was infected in wave-1 and 30% in wave-2, with some severe cases requiring critical hospitalisation. The team ensured each employee got back home safely, and by god’s grace, says Sridhar, things got stable at all ends.
Even after opening up offices, they ensured regular training sessions for protocols and ensured that their infrastructure was aligned with the requirements.
Advice to the Budding Entrepreneurs and Aspirants
According to Sridhar and Ankit, theirs is a difficult space to scale and might not have those fancy valuation numbers, but if you love what you do, this is the perfect sector for you.
If your imagination takes you to the consultancy domain, they say, then it opens up avenues to understand holistic frameworks. At times, an outside view gives a much better sector agnostics perspective, which can be leveraged for wealth creation through diversified investment options.
In their opinion, specifically in their domain, they know in-depth about startups they work with than even some of the investors that have risked their money. Hence risk aversion is in effect in Startup Movers portfolio investments.
Envisioning the Futuristic Startups
As per the dynamic duo of Sridhar and Ankit, the beginning of FY22 has been good for them. More customised services, more clients, more problems to solve. They are sure to touch a USD 300k ARR, which will be another milestone. And they also believe that FY23 has excellent things in store for them, as they are in the middle of multiple internal projects. They are further automating their internal operations and are improving service delivery using various tech integrations.
“This year should also see us expanding to more cities where we shall have further team additions to cater to more geographies with penetration,” Sridhar concludes, while Ankit nods in agreement with a smile.