SAMPLE PREVIEW-VANDANA TEJI: THE UNICORN PEOPLE
Name – Vandana Teji
Business Name – The Unicorn People
Location – Mumbai, India
Establishment (Year) – 2018
Profession / Speciality – HR Consulting
The Unicorn People is a new-age HR consulting firm, founded in 2018 by Ms Vandana Teji with the vision to harness the potential of tier 2/3 cities and bridge the dearth of talent for micro, small & medium enterprises in India. They are committed to providing end-to-end HR services to their clients. They are passionate about delivering innovative and customized solutions to their stakeholders and contributing to their journey of growth. They also help build safe, harassment-free workplaces. We primarily cater to two (2) customer segments: 1. Indian MSMEs – these include Traditional, family-run businesses or innovative start-ups. We provide services to organizations with ten (10) to two hundred (200) employees who are setting up, scaling up, or maintaining their businesses. 2. International Businesses – International organizations looking to set up their operations in India To summarize, they provide services to any organization looking to become an employer of choice and develop a strong talent pipeline. They also cater to large Indian organizations to provide independent, project-based services in recruitment, training or engagement.
UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION / COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
The Unicorn People provides strategic & futuristic people solutions that enable business owners to build a sustainable business model. They enable MSMEs to not just set up their HR processes but also manage them end-to-end. Their experts recommend and implement practices that are in line with industry norms and are adapted to the organization’s requirements within the appropriate legal frameworks. They provide a convenient one-stop solution to business owners for all their HR requirements, namely policy and organization design, recruitment, training, employee engagement, talent management, payroll, and compliance management. Their team includes seasoned professionals with over 10 years of industry experience across various fields to provide affordable services to all clients. They believe in the value of small businesses and feel that they should have access to the same high-quality services that larger businesses can afford. As a result, they make sure that their expertise is priced in such a way that anyone can afford services as and when required. It is this desire to be accessible to businesses of all sizes that drive the strategies they use to keep prices affordable and economical.
CHALLENGES FACED DURING THE JOURNEY
At the onset of our operations, we faced 4 major challenges: 1. Investment of Personal Savings – It was a leap of faith for Ms. Vandana to leave her well-paying corporate job and invest her savings to start her own venture. Coupled with the risk of a new business model being tested in Indian markets implied an uncertain future. 2. Lack of awareness – As explained earlier, their customer segment needs to be made aware of the importance and need of their services. 3. Financial Instability – Small to Medium-sized organizations usually work with limited funds and hence, non-payment of invoices was a major concern as most payments are done after the completion of services. 4. Market Barrier – Organizations usually prefer larger, international consulting firms with well-established brand names to provide specialised services like HR. Till March 2020, they used to engage with most of the clients through frequent office visits, training programs, engagement activities, etc. However, with the first lockdown in April 2020, they had to re-strategize and innovate business operations and plans. They explored affordable technological solutions for their business sustenance. They started working on digital media presence through social media platforms and experimented with various virtual communication platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, MS-Teams, Slack, Cisco Webex, etc. Within the first month of lockdown, they adapted all training and engagement programs for the virtual model. It was challenging at the beginning for clients to adapt and accept this mode as fast internet connectivity is still a privilege limited to a handful of people. Keeping in mind the ease of user access, bandwidth requirements, and cost-effectiveness, they chose to use Zoom & Slack for day-to-day business operations. Additionally, they equipped their team to use any other platform according to client preferences. They reached out to a larger audience through Facebook Live, Instagram Live & YouTube live sessions to spread the word about their virtual services.
ADVICE FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
No one is born a seasoned entrepreneur. One piece of advice Vandana has for all the upcoming entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs is to believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. More often than not, people have reservations when it comes to women doing something for themselves. Due to the traditional roles and domestic obligations that society assigns women with, it can be challenging in the beginning. Please remember to not let that hold you back. You might hit a lot of roadblocks on your journey to success, but they should only push you harder towards your goal. Find your tribe, join women networking/entrepreneur platforms. Surround yourself with like-minded people who empower and encourage you.