The events sector has been significantly altered by Covid-19 – Paras Lohani, B2B Sales Arrow
Paras Lohani, Founder & CEO of B2B Sales Arrow, a research-based digital technology organization was in conversation with team IT-Voice recently. Below is a transcript from the interaction:
Prateek: What is your company’s revenue generation strategy?
Paras Lohani: I launched the company in 2012, and it was entirely self-funded with only Rs 1.5 lakh in savings. We used a fairly straightforward strategy: we sought smaller clients, served them, and they returned the favor. We gradually began to target mid-level clients (businesses) and subsequently large clients. There are already multibillion-dollar organizations that we serve.
We began with minor initiatives within these organizations, and then one unit (business) recommended us to the other units. However, at Covid, our growth has shifted from linear to somewhat exponential. We put a lot of money into technology and began doing numerous minor trials. We were given lucrative tasks to work on.
Prateek: Is there any intention to start seed investment rounds right away?
Paras Lohani: The organization currently believes that we are making sufficient income with healthy margins. We reinvest the same amount of earnings we make back into the company. We fund all of our endeavors, including technological development, with earnings. There is no rationale or requirement for any support, in our opinion. However, we are considering extending some of our offerings. Seed funding may be an option in the future, but not right now.
Prateek: What is the current value of your company, given that it has grown 40% since the start of the pandemic?
Paras Lohani: So, in the last one and half years, we’ve grown by more than 60%. We have not yet done any kind of evaluation of the organization’s value as of yet. The reason for this is that none of our stakes were ever put on the market or used for finance. However, I’ve been invited to apply for partnerships and venture capital. We have membership in 20 different states, and we are constantly adding new ones. In the last 18 months, the size of the team has increased by over 30% to 40%.
Prateek: What was your company’s business trend before the pandemic compared to now?
Paras Lohani: As you might understand, there is no work available for global physical events as a result of Covid. That aspect of the business is no longer operational. The lead generation services, on the other hand, remained. Because everyone was attempting to figure out what was going on (Covid-19 shut down), there were significant budget cuts at first. In March and April of last year, we were in a tight spot. During that time, we were in far too much debt. There was no silver lining for us. We were receiving less work and money.
We began by conducting minor tests within the company. With fresh ideas and offers, we continued to innovate and evolve. Virtual events were one that stood out. The businesses we served had shifted from offline to online locations. It was not a minor adjustment in terms of delivery since you need to understand the technology and be very familiar with it.
One and a half years ago, I could not have imagined such a thing, but we have now conducted 40-50 virtual events around the world. And now we’re in a whole different environment. With the return of Covid, businesses are now allocating different budgets for virtual and digital activities. Human Powered Marketing Intelligence (HPMI), is all about extensive market research, is another item we’ve started. We gather data from web analysis, account-based marketing (ABM) platforms, and social media platforms, to assist our clients in creating a simplified, account-based report that aids in the company’s deeper targeting.
Live broadcasting and media production was another important experiment we conducted. This was something that could be used for both virtual and digital connections. Companies have begun to place a greater emphasis on virtual instead of physical infrastructure. We could use the transition from the real world to the virtual world to our advantage.
Prateek: How are you increasing your present workforce when more projects come in?
Paras Lohani: We’re looking for people in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. I’m from Rajasthan’s Tier 2 city of Kota. I lived in Manhattan, New York, and then moved to Bangalore alone when the pandemic struck. However, as Covid progressed, I relocated to Kota to be closer to my family. What we’ve seen is that we’re receiving a high-quality, world-class perfect team at a significantly lower cost. We are attracting business from US and European multinational corporations, which are injecting dollars and euros into the Indian market and creating jobs in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
We currently have a team of 48 individuals, with plans to add five more. Our clients come from all around the world, but our crew is all from the United States.
Prateek: How many online or virtual events did you conduct before Covid? And how many online or virtual events has your organization hosted recently?
Paras Lohani: Honestly, pre – Covid, the answer was a resounding no. It was a complete waste because none of my clients were interested in virtual events. Physical meetings and face-to-face connections were far more significant. That is why I was stationed in New York at the time since it was much easier to go to Europe and other regions of the United States from there. This (virtual event) notion was not being taken seriously by any of the organizations. It’s now a complete 180-degree turn. This is the type of transformation we’ve seen. It was between one to two events per month at the start of the pandemic. Currently, we handle five to seven events every month. As a result, numerous projects are active at the same time. As the months’ pass, we can see the increase at an exponential rate.
Which industry provides the majority of your clients?
Our primary client is in the IT goods and services industry. Every industry and company in the world has begun to invest extensively in its digital infrastructure. In addition, we must also target additional B2B segments. So now we’re concentrating on telecommunications, consulting, and accounting, and we’re seeing some success in those areas as well.
You currently serve large multinational corporations and multibillion-dollar corporations. Is there any opportunity to collaborate with MSME enterprises with a turnover of approximately less than Rs 5 crore?
Our current strategy is to partner with businesses with 500-600 people. However, we are not currently targeting anything below that. Few feel that we must first establish our own infrastructure in a reliable manner, and then only it will be possible for us to develop new business models for MSME. As a result, for the present, we are concentrating on larger corporations.