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2014-09-04

'I never meant to be an entrepreneur'

In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Srinvasan H R, VC & MD, TAKE Solutions shares his entrepreneurial journey, industry insight and future roadmap for his company.

Founded in the year 2001, TAKE Solutions is a global technology solutions and service provider catering to more than 400 clients across eight countries with focus on niche business areas such as Life Sciences and Supply Chain Management:

 

What drove you to resign from a central government job and choose the path of entrepreneurship? 

From a central government job, I first moved into the private sector, heading operations at The Shriram Group, Sembcorp Logistics and Temasek Capital. I was never meant to be an entrepreneur. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, one that proved to be a game-changer. R. Thyagarajan, Founder Chairman of Shriram Group became my mentor and encouraged me to do something on my own. He saw the spark in me before I could see it myself.

 

How did the idea of the business come about? Can you give us a brief about the background of TAKE Solutions?

The Singaporean experience from Temasek (the company that owns and manages Singapore government’s direct investments, both locally and overseas) gave me an insight into how technology can be used to improve business efficiency and also how it should be used from the domain side. With this insight, my 20 colleagues from Sembcorp and I were ready to launch an enterprise to provide solutions in the logistics area in the year 2000. TAKE Solutions was launched in 2001 and has grown rapidly with over 1,300 employees, catering to more than 400 clients across eight countries.

 

What have been your failures and success throughout the entrepreneurial journey and what have you learned from them?

The term ‘journey’ symbolises a continuous process where we look at gaining knowledge and experience rather than success or failure. In our journey thus far, we have seen many instances or milestones that serve as learnings. Both positive and negative instances have been a source of enormous learning. We celebrate the positives and introspect on the negatives. TAKE Solutions has seen no significant failures and the success of today is simply the first step towards what we aim to achieve in our journey, in due course. 

 

What was your seed capital and from where did you raised funds? What were the difficulties you faced while attracting investors for your venture?

The seed capital for the company was put in by the promoters. We faced no difficulties in attracting investors as we had the backing of R. Thyagarajan, Founder Chairman, The Shriram Group.

 

Though there are many technology giants who provide solutions for Life Sciences and Supply Chain Management, what is the USP of your solutions?

What sets TAKE Solutions apart as a distinct player is its focus in the niche areas of Life Sciences and Supply Chain Management. Our business revolves around improving outcomes. Our prime focus is on providing comprehensive domain expertise using technology as an enabler.

 

What did it take to build the brand “TAKE Solutions”? How did you build a successful customer base?

We strived from the beginning to build a strong connect with customers and industry peers through several brand building initiatives. One such unique initiative is our customer interaction event ‘Converge’ which attracts a cross-section of customer base ranging from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs. This event was conceptualised to deliver value beyond what is expected by providing customers a link to industry experts and highly topical content. We are also part of several industry forums like CII, NASSCOM and FICCI through which we have had the chance to interact with customers and prospects. We also actively participate in conclaves and conferences organised by industry leaders and technology partners. One such example is the Oracle OpenWorld, the largest conference for Oracle technologists, business users and partners.

 

What kind of strategy do you follow to achieve long-term success?

TAKE Solutions has been persistent in building teams with long-term vision with an emphasis on creating an entrepreneurial environment internally for the management to flourish. TAKE Solutions’ sustainability can also be attributed to strong operations and the strategy of maintaining adequate cash reserves, generating cash from operations and having a low capital base.

 

What is your strategic business roadmap for this year?

TAKE Solutions’ focus will remain on the niche areas of Life Sciences and Supply Chain Management. A key element of our strategy envisioned this year is to further build our expertise and focus our energies on Life Sciences domain offering high-growth and reward. A surfeit of opportunities is presenting itself in this domain in the R&D space, especially in clinical trials after the patent expiry of several blockbuster drugs. This has put a lot of pressure on pharmaceutical companies to bring down their clinical trial cycles and expedite new drug discoveries. This makes us a niche and attractive player and we see great prospects in the areas of clinical, regulatory and safety.

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