Are you planning to launch your own startup?
Are you worried about legal and regulatory hassles?
Do you need finance and accounting help to kick-start your idea?
Two young entrepreneurs, Jitesh Agarwal and Garima Mitra have a solution for all your woes. They have founded Treelife Consulting, a one-stop shop for all accounting, taxation and regulatory requirements of your business. Let’s find out more about their journey!
Located at a stone’s throw from Gurukripa in Sion, the Treelife office is as warm and welcoming as its founders. We began with the introductions over a cuppa chai –
Jitesh: Till the end of 2014, I was working as a Chartered Accountant with one of the Big 4s and Garima was working as corporate lawyer with a boutique law firm. At the beginning of 2015, I had quit my job, dumped all my plans of doing an MBA and started out on my own. We met our first client on the very first day of 2015 and that’s how Treelife kicked off.
Garima: You know, once you find your first motivation, ten more tend to show up to keep you going.
NewsAurChai: What was the initial phase like?
Jitesh: A couple of good projects came our way, then the word spread and we got some good referrals; slowly we started building our client base and today we have more than 75 clients associated with us. And all of this, without spending a single penny on advertising!
Garima: Initially, we did wonder if we would be able to cater to all the requirements of businesses. But today, we’ve grown into a collaboration of multi-disciplinary services from Lawyers, CA, Finance professionals, etc., all under one roof.
NewsAurChai: Typically, Startups tend to begin on a high note but the interest or the motivation tends to fizzle out at times. Did you go through that too? How did you get past it?
Garima: Starting up is tough. But it’s also very rewarding. There are times when you want to go back to your comfortable, fixed-salaried life. But the tangible results of your hard work motivate you to hang in there and keep persevering. In fact, in times like these I feel a Co-founder is really important, so that on the days you want to give up he/she is there to put you back on the path you belong. Probably why even Venture Capitalists are hesitant to fund a single founder startup.
Jitesh: Yeah, so while your family and friends are always there to support you, a co-founder relates more closely to your struggles and helps you cope with them.
NewsAurChai: And what was your big break, which turned it around for you?
Jitesh: I’d say our big break getting Supari Studios (a leading production house for digital content) and Rentomojo (online marketplace for furniture rentals) on board. Both have featured in the Forbes-Asia’s 2016 list. We help them with their backend requirements.
Garima: Our work is to mould our client’s business around the regulatory regime of the country. Some of our services include, accounting, financial planning and advisory, regulatory advice, drafting of contracts, incorporation of a company, IPR filings, etc. It is a mix of services that a new business requires at an initial stage and others that are needed on an ongoing basis – like tax filings.
Jitesh: We’ve even done a couple of workshops on the basics of starting-up at CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), head-start, Mumbai, Start-up Saturday, etc.
NewsAurChai: What would you say is your USP?
Jitesh: Our USP is that we understand Start-ups really well. It’s our niche. Since we are ourselves a start-up, and because we have worked closely with a lot of other startups, we understand the problems budding entrepreneurs face and strive to provide customized and practical solutions.
A startup entrepreneur has to start from scratch. S/he has to separately consult various professionals like CA and lawyers and the process becomes expensive and complicated. We genuinely believe that the entrepreneur should fully concentrate on making his idea work and leave the rest of the hassles to us.
Garima: And we are determined to keep the commercial aspect of the business in perspective. From idea stage to funding stage to any operational efficiency – we constantly focus on what we can do that makes commercial sense and helps our clients become more successful.
NewsAurChai: Wow, that’s an incredible story! Before I jump to my last question, can you tell me how you came up with the name ‘Treelife’?
Jitesh: We struggled a lot with the name actually. A tree, to us, represents growth and strong roots, and that’s what you need your company to have too, right?
NewsAurChai: Agreed! Last Question: Any message for budding entrepreneurs?
Jitesh: Don’t keep waiting for the right time, because there is no “right” time. Just start now! Even if you fail, you won’t regret not trying.
Garima: Perseverance pays off. Go for it!