It is nice to be with Mr. Bala Murugan, Co-Founder of Cogzidel Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd. Bala has hands on experience on finance and has headed the finance department of Cricinfo.com and has done wonders during turbulent times. Also to talk about his qualifications we need to have a separate session, but let me make it simple he is a qualified Charted Accountant, Company Secretary and has got Master of Business Administration. Let us get back to him to know more about him and his Venture.
Q. Hello Bala. Can you tell us about yourself?
A. Well, I’m a Tamil-speaking Indian. Born and brought up in Chennai. Graduated from Vivekananda College. As listed by you, I possess CA, ACS, MBA plus certifications on business administration, management and advanced commercial / technical applications. Did my CA articleship with Brahmayya & Co (one of the leading CA firms in Chennai) and happened to be part of their audit team for about 45 clients.
My career started with http://www.cricinfo.com (now, it’s an ESPN company) as Asst. Manager – Finance. Was able to become the Director – Finance through my performance. Fortunate enough to head many departments like Finance, Accounts, Secretarial, HR and Office Administration. Apart from cricinfo.com, I held directorships in couple of ESPN subsidiaries in India and also, in Agriya Infoway Pvt Ltd.
Q. When & how did your entrepreneur desire blossom?
A. For anyone who passes his life as an employee, there would be a wish in his mind to become a boss for himself and I’m no exception. As an entrepreneur, I can take decisions on my own. I can try anything that flashes in my mind. I’m responsible for every single move. These are some factors that triggered my passion to be an entrepreneur.
Q. What are your hobbies other than your business?
A. Browsing the net, reading magazines, listening to melodious songs, watching movies, socialising with people, meeting friends (and not relatives).
Q. Tell us how CCS took shape?
A. There are many entrepreneurs and SMEs who are unable to find a suitable firm to take care of their support functions like accounting, payroll, taxation etc. Even if they have engaged someone, they feel that the services are either unprofessional or biased or expensive.
This study became an emerging factor for incorporating a company which will focus on helping people to have their support functions discharged in a smooth way. This helps them to concentrate on operating the business and we take care of the rest.
Q. Tell the challenges you faced (Pre formation & post formation)?
A. Undoubtedly, the 3Ms are the basic requirements of any business – Men, Material and Money. In other words, I could define it as Team building, Infrastructure and Working Capital. These were our challenges before formation and we were fortunate enough to overcome this problem.
Challenges during the post-formation are mainly in to client handling and delivery. The perspectives and requirements of each client differ from others. Hence, it becomes a challenge to face every query in different style. The job involves lots of clerical, tiresome and roaming work. ‘Time’ is an important factor that needs to be controlled properly.
Q. Tell us about CCS business model & Services?
A. CCS business model works like this:
Client Enquiry à Analysis à Designing the solution à Fee Negotiation à Delivery
We always intend to continue our relationship with clients even post-delivery. Hence, we render many value added services to our clients, as and when required.
Services rendered can be briefed as follows:
– Accounting Services (including Internal Audit)
– Payroll Processing
– Company Incorporation
– Regn of co-operative society / trust / partnership firm
– Employee-friendly Tax planning
– Filing IT returns
– Obtaining PAN / TAN / DIN / DSC
– Statutory compliances – PF / ESI / Profession Tax/ Sales Tax / Service Tax / STPI etc
– Trademark / Patent Registration
– Business Incubation Services
– Drafting Agreements
– Other related activities
Q. Will this recession have any impact in your plans? If yes how do you plan to overcome this recession?
A. I do not see this recession as an opposite factor for our business. In fact, we are in outsourcing services and hence, we expect more business orders to reach us. This recession has given us additional responsibility of advising our clients on how to save/control costs.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. Like an USP, I would like to establish a BSP – ‘Best Service Provider’ for our business. I would like to capture a unique place in the market for rendering back-end services. I want CCS to spread across all over India. Also, exploring the possibilities of go beyond the boundaries of our country, by attracting international clients.
Q. Any marketing pitch?
A. Yes, we do marketing by participating in social networking programs (both offline and online), writing interesting blogs, advertising on newspapers, sponsoring events etc. We would like to increase the level of participation. Our clients refer their friends and help us to market our services and reach the desired goals.
Q. What is your advice for new startups and wannabe entrepreneurs?
A. My first advice to entrepreneurs is ‘Don’t take any advice at first shot’. Listen what people say from their past experience. It’s not that every technique that a successful business man adopts will fetch the same value for others. You need to analyse whether the advice fits your requirement, your interest and your preference.
I could list down few necessities, but I think these are applicable for everyone in the business world. These are not exhaustive, but important qualities:
My extreme thanks to Anand for letting me share my thoughts and views. Would be great if readers can correct me if I’m wrong on anything.
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Thank you very much Bala for sparing your valuable time with us and it was really inspiring to be with you. We wish you all the very best.