‘A TRIP DOWN THE MEMORY LANE’ by CS R.Venkitachalam, Chairman, Bizsolindia Services Pvt.Ltd.


I still vividly recall twenty-five years back almost to this day when two young men knocked at the door of my house and walked in on a sultry afternoon.  They were not the door-to-door salesmen pitching a new brand of soap or detergent.  One was Ashok Nawal a former colleague of mine from VIP Industries and the other Hemant Sonar an alumnus of Bajaj Institute of Management.  Though I was happy to meet them I was not sure why they were there in the first place. Obviously, they had come on a mission.  During the ensuing discussions it became clear why they were there.  The apparent reason was to seek my “blessings” for a new business venture they were cooking up. They were planning to become service providers for Exim related activities.  Hemant had a Customs clearing house in Mumbai and Nawal had just quit a cushy job to start a business.    I had no hesitation whatsoever in extending my good wishes to them on their new venture. For extending blessings neither conditionalities need to be fulfilled nor any background verifications required. I was any way certain that they would do well with their new venture with Nawal’s business acumen and Hemant’s domain expertise.  In order to ensure that they did indeed commence their business I issued this threat to them – “if you don’t, I will”. We quickly put together a rough business plan. Nashik was to be the headquarters of the business.  I had made one point clear even then.  The face of the business was to be that of Nawal’s for I was only a namesake partner and for Hemant I thought this venture might become a ‘side business’.  Nashik being the place of business we thought that the most appropriate name would be “Panchavati”. Thus was born Panchavati Shipping Services in a spartan office with a borrowed 386 desktop and one parttime stenographer.  We were low on budget but high on enthusiasm.  This is the closest that you come to the fabled businesses getting launched from garages across the US!  The auspicious pooja for the new business was duly performed on 14th January 1997.

To say that initial days were tough would be a masterpiece of understatement.  Having left service and having burned his bridges behind Nawal had no choice but to toil.  That is what exactly he did.  With naked ambition laced with enthusiasm Nawal started knocking on every door in Nashik that had anything remotely to do with business and industry. I used to tell him that the pace at which he was knocking on the doors it wouldn’t take long for the skin from his knuckles to peel off.  To cut a long story short, within a matter of a few years we ceased to be strangers to the business world in Nashik.  The testimony to this statement is that even today people have not forgotten “Panchavati Shipping” either because of the quality of the services rendered by us or the word “shipping” as part of our name!

True to his nature Nawal decided to leave his comfort zone once again and venture into new territories.  That was when Manoj Behede, a Chartered Accountant by qualification and a Cost Accountant to boot, joined us.  A new partnership firm to extend commercial services to industry at Pune was set up by the name of Uniexim.  It was obvious even then that Pune was the upcoming happening place and opportunities were more there than elsewhere in Maharashtra.  Nawal took a call and shifted to Pune, bag and baggage.   It had been a roller coaster ride ever since.  It was no easy task to attend to the requirements of customers spread over a large area.

It was then that we decided that if we were to grow, we would not only have to scale up but also operate like a corporate set up.  That was the beginning of Bizsol, an acronym for Business Solutions.  The company we set up was called Bizsolindia Services Pvt Ltd. with the same musketeers who were the partners in both the above firms – Ashok Nawal, Manoj Behede, Hemant Sonar besides me as the founding Directors. On hindsight it was a momentous decision in our journey.  It is also a remarkable achievement that we could carve a niche for ourselves in this exclusive club of corporate service providers.  Like everything else it was never easy particularly in the initial days.  When I look back, I have every reason to be proud of the tenacity that we displayed during those years.  Our credo was and still is to make available all commercial services required by industry under one roof.  We recruited professionals either as associates or employees or set up verticals that helped us to service the clients better and more efficiently.  We set up Bizsol IT Services for providing the necessary technological support to our clients in order to make their statutory compliances less cumbersome. When we perceived the need for a vertical focusing on treasury management and forex services we set up Bizsolindia Financial Services.  It did not end with the addition of a few verticals to obtain better synergy.  We also expanded geographically either by setting up our own branches at places like Aurangabad, Ahmedabad, Satara, etc., or through well qualified associates at other places. Our efforts to support our clients did not end with opening of branches and setting up of new verticals. Keeping our clients’ convenience in mind, we offered our trained personnel to be stationed at client locations to maintain their statutory records and in the process, they took up the burden of ensuring the onerous statutory compliance requirements under our direct supervision.

Everything was not hunky-dory for us all the way.  Far from it.  When I look back, I feel a chill down my spine when I recall the day when Nawal met with a debilitating accident.  We were certain that this incident alone would set the clock back on our onward march.  We were extremely anxious as Nawal’s returning to work was of an existential issue for Bizsol.  The fact that our work continued with minimum disruptions was as much a testimony to the resilience of our organisation as for the entrenched professional talent available at Bizsol.  Looking back, I feel that we not just created a company but an institution even if this statement sounds a bit presumptuous.  The number of competent professionals that we have helped to develop is legion.  We are proud of even those who have left us. They are also making us proud wherever they are.  Bizsol has over the years transformed itself into a place where people go to work not only to earn a living but also as a place where they go for learning.  We employ today more than 300 associates in multiple locations.

Reliving and savouring the important moments from our history is a reminder to us at Bizsol as to how arduous the journey had been thus far. The intention here is not to blow one’s own trumpet; but to feel inspired by what we have achieved in the past as a team in order to look forward to doing even better with a lot more confidence.  I may be pardoned for talking so much about ourselves at such length.  But remember, it is not everyday that we take the liberty of talking about ourselves. I crave your indulgence when I take this liberty at a time when we celebrate our Silver Jubilee on the 14th of January 2022. This day comes only once in twenty-five years.

Thank you.

Venkat R Venkitachalam


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