We are publishing an interview of Mr. Amit Sharma – Founder & CEO of Dishah Strategic Solutions – A startup which equips startups with business growth strategies, resources and tools for business growth and to avoid a failure. He is an author, speaker & CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the IT/ITES & management consulting industry. Skilled in Sales, Partner Management, Storage, Go-to-market Strategy, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Strong business development professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) focused in Business Administration, Management and Operations from TN University.
Prior to Dishah, Amit Sharma was heading Sales and Business Development initiative at Vembu Technologies – a backup and storage solution provider. His primary responsibilities included – Building and Executing Customer Acquisition and Customer Retention strategies for established Storage Products and New Cloud Based Storage products.
Please list all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time?
Core team of Dishah include myself (Amit Sharma as CEO), Lakshmi as Marketing Head, Sumit as Principal Consultant. Lakshmi and Sumit are MBA graduates who joined the company as Marketing and Operations Managers.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
90% Of Startups Fail. This is a harsh and bleak truth that cannot be ignored. Dishah’s goal is to equip Startups with business growth strategies, resources and tools that lead to business growth and eventually a failure can be avoided.
In my last stint, during a customer engagement, I came across this startup that had a very competitive product but the business couldn’t find a customer and was on the verge of shutting down. This captured my imagination that why a competitive product is about to die. Further research led to the fact that 9 out of 10 startups fails within 2 years. I was desperate to find out what is wrong with those 9 Startups and what is that 1 Startup is doing differently than others.
Incidentally, I got engaged with multiple Startups in early stages to understand their roadblocks to growth. This engagement revealed it is not the product or lack of its demand that is killing startups since the products are well researched for its demand and development. The real killer is the GAP between Products to Consumer. Startups needed hand-holding in designing and implementing business model, Marketing Model, Pricing and Sales model that results in early growth. Lack of resources, tools and time is what making is difficult to register growth early on.
This event lead to the outset of Dishah Strategic Solution to help Startups with much needed quality resources, winning strategies, tools and operation early on to infuse growth in the system and achieve sustainability.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
Business Strategy Consulting is a specific domain and needs classified expertise and extensive industry knowledge to deliver promising results to customers.
Hence, our primary challenges included finding consultants with required knowledge and skills. Other market challenges included differentiating ourselves from the market since business consulting is a crowded marketplace.
However, our unique strategy of offering practical advice and implementation services through quality resources helped company wade through it to establish ourselves as the “Most Promising Business Strategy & Management Consulting firms in India” as awarded by Consultant Review Magazine http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/release-603748.htm
How did you get the initial capital?
The company has been bootstrapped from the beginning and registering 100% Growth Y-O-Y.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Dishah has built a roaster of services which includes Marketing, Sales & Customer Relation, Market Penetration, Market Development and Diversification.
From the outset, Dishah was offering Market Research and Penetration Service to mainly Startups since majority of the startups struggles to get the initial foothold in the market.
During our engagements, we had repeated customers’ demanding Customer Acquisition, Market Development and Diversification as well as Customer Relationship services. This led to Dishah advancing its services portfolio to include wide variety of services needed for initial business growth.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
Being into a crowded market with no brand presence, we knew there was long way ahead and was unsure of the time it would take for us to establish ourselves.
However, to our surprise, we quickly got foothold in the market. Every Startup and SMBs is looking for consultants to bring in Innovative and out of the box growth strategies, new perspective, new outlook that will open up new growth dimensions for the business.
Hence, every business we approached had problems to deal with and an opportunity to contribute towards its growth. Problems related to Lead Generation, Customer Engagement, Customer Acquisition, Go-To-Market Strategy, Market Research, Brand Positioning, Market Penetration and Development.
Results were great and we were quickly involved in multiple engagements and a healthy pipeline to deal with. Great enthusiasm from customers led to Dishah being recognized among the “25 Top Promising Business Strategy & Management Consulting Firms in India” by Consultant Review Magazine.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has?
Being involved in SMB market for over a decade and being a startup ourselves, we understand the unique and pestering challenges of Startups. Startups needed to hit the growth curve early on and with multiple challenges such as limited resources and crowded market place, Startups needs a solid Branding Building and Marketing Strategies that can give them a unique positioning to –
1. Attract customers and
2. Build a brand that its prospects can trust and associate with.
This is a big challenge in itself and needed an end-to-end solution for startup to infuses growth in their business operation early on. We found it to be a very lucrative opportunity and organized ourselves to deliver quality resources and tools to Startups for acquiring early growth and build operational capabilities for continuous momentum. This makes our offering unique in the market place.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations?
At the outset, Dishah started catering to Chennai local market due to the close proximity. However, in no time, we were being approached by customers from PAN India as well as internationally.
Dishah’s strength lies in its internal operation. We do not just supply resources to build business capabilities; we are all set to build operational capabilities for a business within Dishah as plug and play solution for startups. This was possible because of our extensive capabilities in market research and implementation. Businesses have found our plug-and-play solutions unique and complete.
Considering the uniqueness of our solutions, at present, we do not see ourselves competing with anyone in the market. However, we do aim to be Mckinsey & co. in the SMB market.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
Being a Service Company, focused on Startups and SMB segment, our revenue model is service & scale based. Businesses have found our revenue model highly lucrative and apt to the requirements.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Dishah caters to Startups and Small and Medium Business across all verticals and industries. Our expertise in market research, business strategies, and brand building and implementation services can help startups quickly gain much needed initial growth/market share that can put them on the path of growth/profitability.
How did you get your first customer?
For Dishah, co-incidentally, early market research discussions with Startups resulted into its first customer. While engaging with Startups to understand their specific challenges, one of the startup Innovac extended the offer to Amit to find out solution to their customer acquisition problems.
I took over the project and helped startup implement Lead Generation Strategies through digital marketing, implemented Marketing and Sales Funnel that resulted in business successfully generating customer inquiries.
What is the big picture of your startup?
In the coming years, Dishah is looking to increase its presence in the Enterprise market, offering business consulting and advisory services to Big and Small enterprises within India and Internationally.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in details:
Being into the Service industry, Dishah is proud to have over 40+ customers each with multiple projects. Our first customer was earned within the first month of the inception.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
In next six months, we are looking to expand our presence to rest of the Tier 1 Indian cities through local presence.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Business Growth is not a choice; it is your business oxygen. To stand out from the crowd and quickly gain ground in this crowded marketplace, you need someone who can help you execute your business ideas, strategies and tactics.
Dishah offer partnership, where we do the heavy lifting for you in designing and executing business & marketing strategies, offering resources and tools that will help you quickly build and operate to stand out and make your way to your goals.
Any other information you would like to share:
Visit our website www.dishahconsultants.com to find your early growth strategies.