Community: people, conversations, events

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Naman Shah, Director (APAC), BizEquity

Naman runs a business valuation startup at Blk71 called BizEquity that uses data from more than 400 industries to benchmark businesses against their industry peers. Naman was introduced to this US-based startup through the NUS Overseas College program (NOC) and was invited to head their office in Singapore immediately after graduating. In this interview, Naman shares his impression of the Singapore market and explains why he considers Blk71 an ideal place to work, network, and grow his business.

Tell us about BizEquity.

Bizequity is a cloud-based software for valuating businesses. Business owners can go online, add some information about their business, and find out what their business is worth. It is a business intelligence enterprise software which launched in the United States four years ago, and I have been introducing it to the Singapore market for about a year. Business valuation is historically very expensive. It might cost $6,000 bucks on average to go to an accountant and get it done. We make the process more efficient.

What have you learned about the Singapore market?

In the USA, we do a lot of our sales through online demos, but people in Singapore prefer touch and face-to-face when you are selling anything beyond a couple of thousand dollars. Few people will make a decision from seeing it online.

However, people in Singapore know their technology quite well. They are inquisitive about it, so it is pretty fast to get a meeting. People want to know what’s out there in the market — it’s part of the culture to want to make sure you are not losing out.

If a competitor is using BizEquity, they’ll definitely want to meet me. The nice thing is that Singapore is pretty small so I can take a 10 minute cab ride anytime to meet a client in Raffles Place, but in the USA I might not be able to fly down to meet a $5,000 client. This is fantastic.

Who are your clients?

We do not sell so much to business owners; we sell to people who are around the business owners: the accountants, consultants, financing people, vendors, bankers, insurance people — people who want to know more about the business owner so they can provide better advice, financing, and insurance.

Why did you choose to work at Blk71?

There are a lot of events here, and when you attend the events, you meet more people. For example, they rented space to a couple of banks for their fin-tech launches. I had already met the Chief Digital Officer of UBS at another event, but we lost touch. When this event was happening, I dropped by to say hi. Nothing happened, but it was a chance to reconnect with the team.

Do you enjoy working in a hot-desk environment?

I like meeting other startups. For example, I met the co-founder of Carousell — Marcus. It was good to understand where they are in the company and what they are doing. We can discuss why we are using “x” or “y” strategy for our business and connect with our different networks.

Some of the entrepreneurs are more experienced, such as Amit, and give a wider perspective. Sometimes you get impatient when things aren’t going as well as you want, but he has been doing this for a while, so chatting with him keeps you feeling levelled.

It sounds like the social atmosphere is quite relaxed.

It’s good to be part of the community. You meet a lot of startups through NOC, and when you start working here, you have double that impact! A lot of guys from NOC started their own companies and work at Blk71: Carousell founders, Darius from 99.co, one of the guys from Shopback, and it’s good to see them expand so rapidly. So it’s all these small things: it wasn’t a particular colossal thing that impacted me, but the small pieces everywhere that matter: people, conversations, events, and sense of community.

Thank you, Naman, for the wonderful interview!

Curious about BizEquity? Explore more on https://www.bizequity.com.

BizEquity is based at NUS Enterprise@Blk71, #02–01

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