OfBusiness has been heralded as the fifth fastest growing business in India. Its purpose is to finance small and medium enterprises (SME) in ways that encourage the success of that business. Established in 2015 OfBusiness immediately dug in its heels to create on of the most successful businesses in India, all the way to earning 'Unicorn' status. At the time of this writing, OfBusiness has amassed a total of $188.9 million, with its latest funding size $110 million. They have strong moral and ethical beliefs and according to the Craft website, score very well in the workplace culture section. With such business stats in their history, it becomes apparent that anyone just starting out could do worse than study their business practices. Below, we've looked up 20 bits of information that may be new to you, which is a great way to gain a valuable insight into such a successful enterprise.
1. OfBusiness Encourages SMEs to Place More Attention on Their Brand
Lets face it, a businesses brand is what connects it to its target demographic. A well-oiled brand, one where attention has been given to how it communicates to its audience will usually correlate to a higher level of customer engagement with the product. Sadly, many new SME's seem to neglect the health of their brand, and in doing so accidently risk stunting their own growth and prosperity. OfBusiness encourages SME's to pay attention to their brand and gives this advice to SME's:
- Branding must be seen as a tool to build trust between the SME and customer
- Seek out feedback in order to gauge how your strategy is working
- Make an effort to physically connect with the customer during campaigns
- Design and language should appeal to the target audience and their culture
- Pay attention to the customer experience
2. OfBusiness Recognized as One of India's Growth Champions of 2021
India's Growth Champions 2021 refers to Indian companies who've achieved great success despite the state of the economy, which includes the pandemic. Both the Economic Times and Statista have looked at the state of Indian businesses in order to determine the Growth Champions of 2021. OfBusiness made the list at the number 27 spot.
3. The Importance of Moral and Leadership at OfBusiness
The leaders at OfBusiness practice what they preach, and are true believers in the importance of leadership when it comes to success and employee moral. It's because of this, that OfBusiness has a section on their website titled, "CEO Speaks". Here, the CEO takes time to talk to the employees, offering words of wisdom that applies to all. For instance, in one essay, the CEO speaks of the importance of being yourself and honoring your individuality, and in another entry, a proper and healthy diet is discussed.
4. OfBusiness is a Unicorn
If you're not familiar with the term 'unicorn' as it's applied in business, let's straighten that out right now. In business, unicorn refers to a bushiness that has accomplished the rare feat of having achieved a value of over $1 billion dollars. The term rose in prominence via venture capitalist Aileen Lee.
5. OfBusiness Makes it a Point to Help SMEs Secure the Funding They Need
OfBusiness is a company which utilizes technology to help SME's obtain financing. In truth, OfBusiness is considered the first company of this type to be developed. OfBusiness is an SME financing platform with designs on product fulfillment. OfBusiness invokes the process of purchase financing for SMEs. OfBusiness blends financing and fulfillment together via technology. Since OfBusiness customers include those in manufacturing and infrastructure, they've found it useful to develop products which help SMEs financially.
6. OfBusiness Made the Soonicorn list of 2020
Soonicorns are those businesses which show great promise. In other words, they are on a clear path of becoming 'unicorns'. As stated, a unicorn in business refers to a company which tipped the scales at $1 billion dollars. According to Inc42 staff member, Vaishnavi Dayalani, "Since 2018, 15+ unicorns have come up in India thanks to the rapid rise of the consumer market as well as the increasing adoption of digital services and products by individuals and businesses. Overall, India has 34 unicorns today". When OfBusiness learned they were part of Inc42's Soonicorn Club of 2020, they felt humbled and developed an even deeper drive for success.
7. OfBusiness Made the top 30 FinTech Influencers in India, 2020
The Digital Fifth has its heart set on initiating a digital revolution in India with regards to the fintech industry. The word 'fintech' is a shortened version of financial technology. By providing their business clients with the digital solutions they need to stay ahead of the pack, this financial consulting firm has gained much respect over the years. As such, when OfBusiness learned that they made The Digital Fifth's top 30 fin tech influencers in India, 2020, they were encouraged to move ahead with greater fortitude.
8. OfBusiness Began as a Supplier of Raw Materials
According to Co-Founder and CEO At OfBusiness, "At OfBusiness, we started in 2016 with the vision to create a technology-led small and medium enterprise (SME) network. A network where small and medium enterprises transact regularly for their single largest need i.e. availing working capital for buying raw materials, which are the single largest items on their balance sheet and profit and loss statements."
9. CEO Insights Lists OfBusiness as One of the 50 Best Entrepreneurs of 2019
CEO Insights is a publication that carries information to assist businesses in achieving success. Published quarterly, this publication takes pride in its ability to motivate and encourage business leaders in all aspects of business. Topics of interest have included logistics, risk management, foreign direct investment, taxation, health care and much more. In 2019, Nitin Jain, Co-Founder of OfBusiness made CEO Insights list of the 50 Best Entrepreneurs of 2019. Of Jain, CEO Insights stated, Nitin Jain, is a "Passionate entrepreneur who reminds us that business success is not just about sustaining, but about creating value by constantly innovating and scaling up".
10. OfBusiness Placed 8th in Workplace Experience Ranking, 2017
In 2017, OfBusiness made the Workplace Experience Ranking list, landing at number 8 in the large company category. Being placed on this list means that the company has achieved a solid workplace environment for its employees. Such companies work to ensure that their employees workplace is one that centers on growth and excellence. Basically, the culture of the organization has a massive impact on the quality and performance of the company.
11. OfBusiness Participates in Purchase Financing
Purchase financing is perfect for the business that's just getting its feet wet in the world. It's perfect for those that really need a leg up, but might not have the capital to fulfill the large orders they need to gain capital. Such businesses are in manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, import/export. For example, say you just received a good sized purchasing order from a customer. The company who will be the supplier needs to have the money upfront. However, here's the problem: You won't receive full payment from the customer for a month yet. The answer is a company such as OfBusiness who fills in the gap, so the supplier gets the money upfront.
12. Co-Founder, Nitin Jane States that Becoming the Unicorn was Not a Goal
In an interview with Entrepreneur India, Jain explained that becoming the next big thing, the unicorn, wasn't the goal. According to Jain, “As a matter of principle, we decided not to chase valuation, but we decided to concentrate on real value creation and profitability. We always believed that when you are creating real value for the ecosystem, and your stakeholders or investors, valuation is something that is bound to follow.” For Jain and his fellow co-founders, what truly mattered was "innovation, and made sure that the SMEs really benefited from our overall offerings we kept innovating on their behalf".
13. Using Chatbots to Engage Customers.
Chatbots are being used in businesses to improve customer engagement. While it may not seem warm and inviting, there are advantages to using chatbots. For instance, a chatbot won't get impatient, a chatbot won't be offended, be moody or have a bad day. OfBusiness added an article encouraging chatbots in business, stating the benefits which include everything from delivering valuable information to improving business/customer engagement.
14. OfBusiness Utilizes a Cluster-Based Way of Doing Business
OfBusiness uses what's called a cluster-based way of doing business. Here, OfBusiness will both lend and fulfill but only in clusters. Clusters are defined as a congregation of mutually dependent companies, distributors, suppliers in a certain trade. Some of the SME's OfBusiness has helped using the cluster method are Bhiwadi Cluster, Ghaziabad Cluster, and Trichy Cluster. In short, OfBusiness utilizes clusters when building up a business. According to iyush Upadhyay, Head of Marketing and Growth,, "OfBusiness follows a cluster-based approach to its business building. The Company lends and fulfills requirements only in clusters with deep understanding and physical presence...OfBusiness is currently in 22 clusters and on the path to 33 clusters by end of the financial year and then 75 clusters by next financial year."
15. OfBusiness Developed and Launched Bidassist.com
In business, a tender is an IFB or Invitation to Bid on a specific offer. BidAssist gives a hand to SME's to find the most recent tenders, of invitations to bid. BidAssist allows you to do this via their website as well as mobile app. At the time of this writing, BidAssist handles 15,000 plus tenders every day in 100 categories. BidAssist was born of a need, as SME's always had a tough time securing tenders. As such, their growth is stymied. Because of OfBusiness's BidAssist, these SME's have a better chance to obtain tenders. OfBusiness co-founder, Bhuvan Gupta stated, "We wanted to enable growth through a smart platform that helps them discover the right business opportunities."
16. CEO and Co-founder Asish Mohapatra Believes in Balance for a Strong Company
One day, while considering the OfBusiness culture and how it relates to their workforce, CEO and co-founder Asish Mohapatra realized just what they were and were not. According to Mohapatra, "We are definitely not the most work-life balance focused, and most of us bust it off. But we will likely like it when we do it." He went on to name a total of 10 things which they were not. In the end, according to Mohapatra, "Like in physical health, organizational health also needs a balanced diet for a good life."
17. OfBusiness Believes in the Spirit of Diwali
One of the most beautiful celebrations known to the world is the festival of lights, Diwali. Here, people welcome the blessings and presence of Goddess Lakshmi into their lives. Those part of the OfBusiness world refer themselves as Ofbians, and have a special saying, "Once an Ofbian, Forever One". Ofbians take Diwali seriously, stating that, "Diwali in a way, symbolizes resilience of our endeavors... It has resulted in not only a sustainable growth path but also a shared prosperity and happiness for all our stakeholders including clients and employees. On this auspicious day, we reaffirm our faith in the victory of light over darkness, ultimate triumph of goodness and our aim of shared prosperity."
18. OfBusiness is a Strong Believer in the Need for Women in Sales
OfBusiness sites the recent research which shows that in many cases, women are more skilled players in the world of sales and marketing. After all, it does make sense. In order to be good in sales and marketing, the sales person needs to be able to read people, to have a strong sense of empathy. As we all know from our experiences with our own mothers, women seem to have a certain sense when it comes to feeling people out. Even in retail establishments, the sales force seems to be heavier in women than men. OfBusiness sees this, and is leading the charge to encourage more women in their sales and marketing force.
19. OfBusiness had a Difficult Time Getting Investors in The Beginning.
For founder of OfBusiness, Asish Mohapatra, establishing OfBusiness as a profitable and viable competitor, was a journey in and of itself. The mere act of getting this business funding was extremely difficult. Asish worked for around 5 years with Matrix Partners as a venture capitalist. As far as that experience goes, Asish found that "Being a VC is no advantage at all" In fact, his investor pitch was refused 73 times in 6 months. No matter how Asish explained OfBusiness to potential investors, they just didn't understand the concept, “My business was something that nobody understood”. Of course, as we all know Asish's determination paid off, and OfBusiness became a unicorn in 2021, as well as India's 5th fastest growing business.
20. "Altruism, Brotherhood and Camaraderie: The ABC at OFB"
OfBusiness recently posted a blog entry on their website stating that "Altruism, Brotherhood and Camaraderie: The ABC at OFB". The piece, composed by OfBusiness employee Shubham Shah, states the importance of investing in people if one wishes to have a prosperous business. There is a great importance in the act of bonding when it comes to SME's. In the case of OfBusiness, great effort is taken to make the OFBians happy, content and motivated. Remember the motto of OfBusiness, "Once an OFBian, forever one".
Just a quick look into the world of OfBusiness, and it's very clear why they are such a such a success. Their core values, dedication to their goals, attention given to clients and so on, is evidence enough that developing a well-rounded company culture is the cornerstone to establishing and maintaining a 'A' list company.. No matter if the company is in the states, the European Union, India and beyond, being true to yourself, establishing boundaries, and ensuring that your company culture takes not one employee for granted is the best food for consistent success.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee