8 Aug 2019, 13:15 — 6 min read
Established by Vijay Shah in 1996, Petals Professional Services provides individuals, corporates, SMEs and MNCs consultancy services on import and export related procedures. Petals specialises in providing all sorts of legal advice relating to starting an import or export business as well as gaining special benefits on impex businesses.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Vijay shares about his business journey spanning more than two decades.
GL: How did you foray into providing impex consultancy services?
Vijay: I initially worked in the processed food industry and seeing the hurdles faced by impex businesses decided to start an independent consultancy firm to share my knowledge and expertise, especially with SMEs. Way back in 1996 when there was a lot of bureaucratic red tape, I started this journey and decided to provide a one stop service for new entrants, existing manufacturers and exporters. We have had many milestones in our journey, including being recognised by Silicon India Magazine in 2018 as 'Consultant of the Year' for exim services.
GL: What has been the most effective way of getting clients onboard?
Vijay: Meeting with individuals, learning about business activities, listening to their problems and then preparing a tailor-made plan to meet their requirements has paid rich dividends. The business has developed through referrals, without spending a large amount on marketing. I arrange a series of meetings with entrepreneurs, SMEs, CFOs, export officers etc, understand their difficulties and needs, and then work with them as a partner in facilitating exports.
GL: Share with us your business growth journey and the challenges you have overcome?
Vijay: After initial struggles of starting a business, steadily things were set on course in the first decade of operation and we became official legal consultants to MNCs and corporate firms apart from continuing to cater to SMEs. We put together a team of enthusiastic and dedicated young members. With the expansion of our team, we increased our clientele beyond Gujarat and now with digitalisation, we have the potential to expand globally.
We have a complete planned blueprint for upscaling the firm’s activities and are ready to face any challenge that may arise in the future. Apart from the competition from related firms the main challenge is to learn the global rules and digitalisation which is taking place very fast. Particularly overseas this challenge is quite high. However, competition is not a challenge for us as we always view competition and hurdles as an opportunity for relooking work activity, and to learn more.
We are constantly working towards upgrading our knowledge and reading motivational books and attending lectures. Simultaneously, we are trying our best to educate and update our customer base on the current situations. We are also acquiring and gathering knowledge on improved digitalisation and implementation of AI suitably into the practice.
GL: You are a Linker. Which offerings of GlobalLinker have helped you?
Vijay: We have recently joined GlobalLinker. However, we find it to be a very proactive and professional platform. It is working towards benefitting SMEs and it will add to knowledge amongst members. We are happy to join this group and shall be happy to share our expertise and experience with members. We suggest other SMEs and MSMEs to join this forum for their own betterment and additional professional learning.
Also read: Ravi Vaka & Manoj Surya, Founders, TruePush
GL: With more than two decades of experience as an entrepreneur, what advice would you give to a new entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Vijay: To be an entrepreneur you must have dedicated approach with an attitude to learn and the capacity to sustain any setback.
GL: What is the next big thing on your business agenda?
Vijay: Towards our silver jubilee in 2021, our goal is to establish 3 new branch operations and to start a virtual advice centre for overseas clients who are engaged mainly in services exports.
GL: We would love to know the person behind the entrepreneur.
Also read: Yosha Gupta, Founder, Memeraki
Network with Vijay Shah by clicking on the 'Connect' button on his profile.
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