The story of Innerwave and their 100% organic growth
You have the funds, the product and the demand is looking up. It is all planned and set yet there is something you can’t quite figure out – How do you get the best out of your money? Sure your idea maybe the next big thing but its careful implementation is crucial to channelize all your resources profitably. The market can be an unforgiving predator when it comes to Startups and SMEs (Know whats giving Startups & SMEs a tough time,
Amidst increasing competition, an array of new ideas and miscellaneous financial challenges you need someone to keep your business in safe waters financially. Most companies have a dedicated finance personnel or department to handle budgeting & fund raising, but it can be impractical for a small company to invest into full time resources. Keeping the needs of SMEs in mind founders, Varun Dhingra and Jatin Tehri founded InnerWave -A consulting firm which offers implementable solutions that plans and revamps your business for you.
The founders came up with the idea of a boutique financial advisory service when they identified a vacuum in consulting and advisory space for small companies. They realized that there are only a few good options for SMEs and Startups that come at an affordable price. The 2 year old company is already making some serious impact in the financial services industry by making multi-crore transactions and has roped in clients including Multi-National Companies, Listed Companies, SMEs, Startups, and Non-Government Organizations and have successfully transformed many businesses. They have offices at 5 different locations globally – Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, London and Canberra.
During a recent interview at their InstaOffice space, Varun told us how they are growing faster than expected. The realization came to him when they kept getting clients and fell short of time to take calls and meet prospective clients.
So what sets you apart?
Varun responds, “We started out by keeping pace with big consulting firms in the country. This experience changed our thought process and ultimately defined how we deal with our clients and the way we deliver value. Our attempt is to always give our clients more than what is expected. This is true for all our offerings. The value addition we give is in the form of IEG i.e. InnerWave Expert Group, which is a panel of 20-25 people. This helps a company to build a sound board and understand the impact of various policy changes. This way the client saves time otherwise wasted in search for right mentors and efforts to supplement their knowledge.
Being an entrepreneur is like taking an exam every year. We have to have a lot of motivation everyday that can be passed on to our team. Greed for the lack of a better word is a good thing and it helps you expand your business if channelized well. “
Finance is omnipresent
Varun talks about how their services generate revenues for their clients. Their clients include new companies as well as existing companies that are looking to expand into new geographies and / or product lines, or wish to raise some funding.
He says, “Finance is omnipresent”, further explaining that finance is what binds together the various functions of an organisation. A healthy cash flow, careful budgeting, and virtuous fund raising are what can revive a business or make a new one profitable. Existing companies usually contact InnerWave when they wish to expand to new geographies or extend their product line. Some companies also want to restructure their organisation for better returns. For new entrants, an expert drawn business plan is usually the requirement.
“While formulating an expansion plan for our clients we go through their existing business plan, business environment, and go-to market strategy. We do a few diagnostic tests to identify where the problem is and then prescribe strategies accordingly. We help clients change their journey by implementing the recommended strategies. This also included risk assessment, risk mitigation, internal controls, laying down policies and procedures and restructuring the entire organisation”
Mr. Fix It / The problem solver
Is it okay to say you are a problem solver?” Varun gives a small smile that suggests familiarity with the phrase, before answering, “We solve business problems and 90% of the problems revolve around business plans and usage of finance. It’s interesting to know what we have solved so far and what we can solve.” He continues, “To increase the profitability of a client within the existing setup, we have increased revenues by strategic alliances and acquiring businesses for clients. That is kind of our favorite area. We love M&A more than fund raising. We have restructured at least 5-6 businesses so far, where we have completely redesigned business processes, increased efficiency and saved money. We have saved more than a few crores just by designing new business plans for our customers, while saving on costing. This is what at InnerWave we call organic growth, i.e., how you can grow internally. For external growth we do: fund raising, M&A, Debt & Equity, and JVs. We do a lot of JVs, we are recently building a JV for a defence company. So yes, maybe some of our clients would call us their Mr. Fix It / problem solver.”
Tell us about your product The Virtual CFO
Virtual CFO is a single packaged solution for SMEs and Small Businesses. Before getting to Virtual CFO, let’s understand what a CFO does:
CFO is the person who runs at the least 8-11 functions within an organisation. All plans and procedures are initiated by CFOs. Unfortunately for smaller companies their limited resources restrict them from hiring a full time expert. The Virtual CFO is a package solution designed by InnerWave for such scenarios.
Who is Virtual CFO for?
“Any organisation that cannot afford a CFO as it is a very high paying job, or any organisation that is at a new stage and does not yet need a full time CFO can avail the services of Virtual CFO. It is not a one person role it is like a Full Time Equivalent that provides a bouquet of services. For example- if you have 50 hours for a CFO in a month, so we give you that with an expert panel rather than a solitary resource. Every single mandate is signed by many experts.”
Tell us more about the people that make InnerWave
“We have a 30 member team with 6 core members from firms like KPMG, Deloitte, PWC, Moody’s, GSK, Franchise India. Though, the team is full of CAs but we also have people from AIM and IIT. We have a very strong employee engagement policy. We invest a lot in our employees by way of team lunches, off-sights, dinner parties, and engagement programs. We also invest a lot of time in training our employees. For us every day is a new day, the last day is only a fuel for the present day. Each day requires a new set of learning and new set of knowledge in which one has to invest constantly.
We are also very flexible with our employees and place a lot of faith in them. Our employees are free to work from any location and at any time. At InnerWave we believe in maintaining a healthy work-life balance for everyone. Simultaneously we also insist on not being too picky about either work or personal life – this makes a person hate one of the two.”
So far InnerWave has worked with over 60 clients in the last two years. The founders claim that they have grown just through word of mouth and not by digital presence. All their clients are referral based and they are at a point where they can choose their clients. That is 100% organic growth. They identified a gap in the financial advisory market and filled it with a unique single packaging proposition, backed with value added services and a happy workforce. That makes for a most delicious recipe for a successful startup.
Some further readings from their blog:
Innerwave is an InstaOffice member sitting out of our Business Centre at Iris Tech park.