Our today's guests for 'eChai with Entrepreneurs' are husband-wife duo - Bhavin Bhagat & Priya Bhagat, Co-Founders, IndiaBizForSale.com which offers a simple and effective way to manage the process of Buying, Selling and Leasing of business in India.
Here is the insightful and candid conversation with Bhavin & Priya. Join the conversation to ask any specific questions to Bhavin & Priya. You can also explore IndiaBizForSale.com to checkout the interesting list of business opportunities in India.
Early Years: When did it first strike you to begin this venture and why? Your Eureka Moment (the moment you decided to be an entrepreneur).
In 2010 one of our family businesses had some management issues and we were looking to EXIT from the business, we used traditional method of using print advertisement in newspaper and spent good money there and also we appointed some business brokers to work on that but after few months, we realised that all the efforts were in vein and we lost time/money doing it. In the meantime using global online platform for business buy and sell, we generated more than 60 inquiries for our family business from all over the world and at that point we decided to do something for the market in India. That time no platform was focusing with any serious resources to provide this kind of services in India. In our case there was no Eureka moment (where one had to jump out of the bath :)) but series of events made us thinking to do something about it. We took time out to work on this whilst doing our full-time job, which also meant leaving our comfortable lifestyle in UK and starting again, however we took the plunge in 2013-14.
Business Venture: What is your business model and what problems does it solve? What are market opportunities? How is it different from your competitors? How do you generate revenues?
IndiaBizForSale.com is a premium discovery platform designed for SMEs Business Exit and Acquisition in India. We generate revenue from the fees for premium services (listings).
Sales: How did you make your first sale and how much time it took you from starting up to closing the first sale? How long is your sales cycle?
The first sale happened over the phone, it took approx. 15 days to close. The sales cycle in past has been 2-4 months but now we are closing in 4-6 weeks period.
Company Culture: What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
The culture is something only team can say, but our efforts have been to create open, empowered (where team takes responsibilities and ownership of the tasks) and rewarding culture. Being a start-up, it is important to build a solid core team and our efforts are geared towards building that from within.
Partnerships: What are your views about finding the right Co-Founder? How did you find your business partner? According to you who is the ideal business partner?
Being a Husband-Wife team has been bliss in our case. We took nearly two years to decide on working together and it is going excellent. We are very fortunate to have complementing set of skills and experiences, so we focus on the areas of the business accordingly.
Hiring - How did you hire your first employee? And in general what's your hiring policy? How important have good employees been to your success?
We hired our first employee from LinkedIn jobs (out of 118 applicants). First stage is CV screening, second stage is set of questions we send to those screened applicants, third stage is Skype/phone interview and if everything is good we invite (fourth stage) for personal interview (when applicant is not from the same city) and fifth and final stage we generally ask for a business plan (for the role we are interviewing) for first 6 months. Our processes are long and stringent but to make sure that the person is right for the role so that its not a waste of time and opportunity for the candidate and also for the company.
Learning: How did you handle your disappointments and failures?
It is hard to be motivated at times when nothing seems to work; we all have those moments, only patience/time helps resolve…
Vision: What's your vision for your venture. What do you want to accomplish in your life? What are your future aspirations?
IndiaBizForSale.com will become number one platform helping thousands of SMEs in business Exit/Acquisition/Invest in India. Currently, we have more than 300 businesses available for sale, in 2015 we want to go past 1000+ real businesses available on the platform.
Work-Life Balance: How do you find a balance between work family and social life?
We start early so we can have evening time for family, it is especially important when you have a little one(s) to take care of at home.
Risks: Which was the boldest decision you ever made to have this venture work?
Boldest decision or crazy decision - we decided to leave a well-settled and comfortable lifestyle in UK to come back, leaving behind our well paying corporate jobs. Only time will tell :-)
Here are some amazing photos from Bhavin & Priya's entrepreneurial journey.