Maulik Sailor MBA 2011
Profile of Maulik Sailor, Full-time MBA 2011
Since graduating from the Business School in 2011, Maulik Sailor (MBA) has achieved real business success with this company Innovify, single-handily growing the business, which now boasts a team of 55 developers.
Maulik did this all without any external investment and the business is sustained purely from its operations, but Maulik was keen to help others achieve their business dreams too and this was the idea behind Innovify. The company is a start-up incubator, which offers end to end product management handling the entire product development lifecycle, using a very unique model of incubation to generate success. And the successes have been rolling on over the last few years, with funding secured for a host of businesses from property rental to mobile apps and international trading platforms.
Here Maulik tells us a little more about his business and how it came about:
“During my MBA year, I was the ideator for my IED project. However, I failed to launch the product mainly because of missing technical co-founder. It is very difficult to find good CTOs and they are an expensive hire. This is a common problem that entrepreneurs face in London, who end up either spending a lot of money or give up too much equity for prototype creation. Also, most of these start-ups don’t really need an in-house CTO, but need someone to give them the technical solution that they need.”
Innovify’s unique approach means that they take on the role of ‘Chief Product Officers’, enabling the founders to focus on the user problems and needs.
“We define the most effective solution to the problem and take all responsibility to deliver those as per the start-up business plan. Having a fully managed team in the offshore location not only reduces the cost of failures by 50%, but also provides start-up with expertise that would be difficult to hire. Thus we mitigate the start-up risks to a greater extent than a CTO. In return we propose convertible equity debt options to the start-up on flexible terms thus enabling investors to have confidence in the start-up as well as Innovify.”
The company has already proved its worth and helped fellow Business School alumni and MBA classmate, John Goodall, launch this business Landbay earlier this year. And Maulik has ambitious ideas for this company with a ten year plan aiming to “assist 100 start-ups, set up 10 incubation centres across the world and manage a start-up portfolio of at least £100M in valuation”.
The journey to get to where he is today however has not been an easy one and has involved considerable investment in time and effort. It started with his MBA in 2010. “During the MBA year, I learnt the venture creation process, how the venture capital works and acquired knowledge that I didn’t have before. I was also the President of the Entrepreneurs’ Interactive Society, through which I networked a lot to identify contacts. I have found that having the Imperial MBA degree does add a lot of credibility, which enables potential clients to trust me and my team to deliver the results.I have found that having the Imperial MBA degree does add a lot of credibility towards my persona, which enables potential clients to trust me and my team to deliver the results.”
After finishing at the Business School Maulik embarked on a challenging journey to see his business come to fruition. “I started as a lone entrepreneur and then after a year I convinced two of my very old friends to join the business. Within a year we grown from 3 to 60 and in the process enabled a number of entrepreneurs to launch their products.”
So having been there, done that and got the clients to prove it, what advice would Maulik give other entrepreneurs?
The most common mistake start-ups do is to form an incorrect founding team. Your founding team should only contain the people without which you cannot develop your USP.
The most common mistake start-ups do is to form an incorrect founding team. Your founding team should only contain the people without which you cannot develop your USP. Just think, do Starbucks, Costa, and other coffee chains have coffee farmers or roasters as their co-founders? The answer is no, because just having a good coffee is not their USP. Their USP is much more than that. As long as they can source the right kind of coffee, they don’t need them as their co-founders. Same thing applies to you as well, you don’t always need CMO, CTO, CFOs, etc in your founding team. Also, always believe in yourself no matter what people say. There are a lot of unknowns on your journey and the best way to overcome those is by ‘Failing fast and Learning quickly’ i.e. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate. Also, being an entrepreneur is difficult and most of time lonely. You need a good people around you, who would be with you when you fail.”
So think you have got what it takes to launch a success business idea? Want to know how to attract investment? Maulik shares his tips: “I have worked with a wide range of start-ups from dating app to FinTech and everything in-between. What I really want from the entrepreneurs is to know the end user and customer for your product/service. What do they really want? Would they pay for it? How much would they pay? Can you sell your solution to them? If the answers are yes, I will put our team of 60 developers behind you.”
As Maulik focuses on the future and forges ahead with this business focusing his sights on global influence, it is clear he has not lost sight of the importance of each individual client: “Each such launch is rewarding as we are not only building a product but also realising someone’s dream and empowering them to be the winners in life.”
You can learn more about Innovify on their website. Remember whatever stage of your career or business development you are at, alumni of the Business School can always contact the Careers team for help and advice.