India tech platform interests Hong Kong investors.
“ IndiaBizForSale.com was created with the idea of leveraging technology to democratize deal-making for small and medium-sized businesses in India,” advised Haripriya (Priya) Bhagat, one of the co-founders of the business, on the sidelines of a recent pitch event in Hong Kong.She and Bhavin Bhagat, her fellow co-founder, both came from corporate backgrounds in the UK. They witnessed,first-hand,the challenges and difficulties faced with selling a family business in India. There were few options to promote the sale proposition confidentially to target buyers and the channels available (print media and other directories) were costly,time consuming and inefficient. Priya and Bhavin realized that there was a huge gap in making deal discovery quick, easy and convenient for the small to mid-sized businesses (SMEs) in India, which led to the start of the venture in January 2013.
India has a burgeoning SME sector with over 48 million SME businesses, of which approximately half a million are looking to exit, raise funds, buy a business, invest in a business or enter into a partnership at any given time. After a year of research, product development and initial team building, the platform Indiabizforsale.com was officially launched in January 2014. The experience of the co-founders was also befitting and complementary to the business. Priya brings more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning and financial management with a Masters in International Finance from Middlesex University UK, and Bhavin has more than16 years of experience in strategic growth and business development with a post-graduate degree in management and a keen understanding of the SME market in India.
The platform is a one-stop-destination for SMEs in India. Indiabizforsale.com enables quick deal sourcing, matchmaking, and end-to-end deal management through its technology platform and advisory services. Their clientele includes businesses and professionals who are looking to buy and sell businesses, secure investment opportunities and strategic growth through joint ventures, distribution partnerships and franchising. They also provide India entry services for identifying right partners or finding joint venture opportunities. With the sheer size of India their business is a valuable new addition to the market.
“Most of the users are from India, though there are international buyers and investors from the U.S., UK, U.A.E., Europe, Australia, Singapore, and the rest of the world, Priya said. “Approximately, US$400 million worth of deals are in the pipeline to date across various sectors like Pharma, Manufacturing, Staffing, IT/ ITeS, FMCG, Healthcare, Financial Services, Education, and more,”she noted. “With over 35,000 members comprising of entrepreneurs and professionals there are over 12,500 business and buyer opportunities from more than 25+ sectors and 200+ locations. Membership includes boutique investment banks, funds, HNIs, NRIs ( non resident Indians), Family Businesses, Corporates, Business consultants and advisors. There are more than 3500 intermediaries including consultants, advisory services, boutique investment banks, funds, family offices, etc.” she added.
One of the many deals they are proud of involved the merger between Chennai-based staffing giant Value Insource India and Buzzworks Business Services,a leader in HRMS & Recruitment Solutions in India. Value Insource India, which has been operational in human resource outsourcing since 1999 with over 3000 resources and clients across 15+ industries. Some of their clients include Pepsi, Acer, WIPRO, Pantaloons, Talwalkars Better Value Business, HDFC Bank, and HSBC Shared Services. indiabizforsale worked with entrepreneur and mentor V C Karthic, from Buzzworks whose company is involved in services and software. The company serves over 100 clients and manages 100 million calls and 10,000+ staff across 500+ workstations annually, achieving an annual turnover of USD 15 million in recent years. Through further exploring and due diligence by indiabizforsale,the team realized that there was potential for a merger and after many negotiations successfully concluded the deal this year.
Apart from successful deals the company has also been recognized and awarded the Gujarat Startup Award from the Government of Gujarat, CIIE-IIM Ahmedabad and the winner of the Gujarat Accelerator program in their local market. In Hong Kong, indiabizforsale was one of the top 6 finalists -from a pool of 650 applicants- and the runner up for the main pitch at IndiaTech HK held in July 2018 at Metta. The event was organised by Co-Founders Syed Musheer Ahmed and Pristish Sanyal and supported by a number of private funds and, the Indian High Commission in Hong Kong.
Priya and Bhavin flew to Hong Kong with Santhosh Gopynadhan (Investor and Advisor-Product Development for the platform) for the event. Of the 6 teams who made it to the top, they were one of three businesses pitching directly to investors.The investor judging panel included Radiant Capital, Isola, Jeffrey Yam, Venture Catalyst, Indian Angel Network, NRI Startup India & Click Ventures.The other 3 teams presented virtually which was a novel concept for Hong Kong. It was a packed and informative event which Innovation Hong Kong attended. The exciting format which the IndiaTech HK group created kept everyone involved and attentive. indiabizforsale received a maximum number of votes from the investor panel ( 5 out of 6) and was the runner up for the event,receiving US$10,000 cloud credits and other sponsor prizes.
Innovation Hong Kong was keen to know and, asked what is coming next for this dynamic team. “With business opportunities for more than 200 cities in India under our belt, and the growing interest from the international market to invest in businesses in India, we have now engaged ourselves towards cross border transactions.”