Sramana Mitra: In terms of where you want to go from here, what are your thoughts?
Arijit Bhattacharyya: I want to grow. I want to go into tier-three [cities] and to other countries that have talent and build institutes there, open offices there and recruit people. I don’t have a set goal.
SM: Why not grow your presence just in Bengal to 500 or 1,000 people instead of trying to open offices all over the country and in other countries? You can grow much faster if you just scale your basic model.
AB: I love my country, especially Bengal. That’s why I’m staying here. The point of moving to other countries is to grow the training segment of the business. I don’t want to paint a negative picture of Bengal, but for many Bengalis, when you put them in a sector outside of Bengal, their productivity is higher than if you put them in a sector inside of Bengal. When I take people from Bengal, their productivity is really high. Whenever you’re shuffling people, your productivity is really high.
AB: It’s true that I can create 5,000 jobs in Bengal. I have that in mind.
SM: You have 24 crores (~$4.8M) of revenue. That is validation of a business model. At this point, you can work with more experienced people to grow your business. If you want to grow your business faster, you could bring in a sophisticated management team and scale your own operations. It doesn’t have to be franchises. I don’t think the franchise idea works very well.
AB: Point taken. To date, the franchises I have been working with [are like] a family. I don’t give a franchise to sell a franchisee. I first judge whether a person can be a part of the whole team. My Jodhpur franchisee has become like a brother. It’s true, I probably have to rethink the scaling-up process.
SM: You really have to rethink your scaling-up process. You have something extremely promising here. You could be at 100 crores (~$20 million) if you play your cards right.
SM: Arijit, thank you. I have enjoyed listening to your story. It was delightful and inspiring, and I wish you the very best.
AB: Thanks very much.