At 26, Biju Seth is an entrepreneur. From helping his father’s business grow, to starting a business in the Chhattisgarh state, he has worked to train and skill the youth of the hinterland. He also run a Digital Marketing business in Bengaluru but building his team in Chhattisgarh. Stars of Startups talked to him on his story, growth and future.
Stars of Startups: What is your vision as an entrepreneur?
Biju Seth: I am working in Heavy Groups of Companies. It has three arms – Industrial, Social and Digital. Each business has its own vision. I am heading Digital Arm, Industrial Arm is headed by my father, and Social Arm is headed by Vivek Das.
SOS: What does the name ‘Heavy’ mean?
Biju Seth: The word ‘Heavy’ means ‘weighty’. The name came from our original business. We run a heavy machine tools manufacturing company. We are a registered vendor for Bhilai Steel Plant, Indian Railways, Progress Rail Services USA, Jindal Steel, GE India, Industrial CAT USA and ISSGAC to name a few in industrial business.
I believe in co-branding of all my businesses. Hence the name ‘heavy’ for my business. All our brands are linked.
SOS: In a crowded digital marketing business, how do you plan to differentiate?
Biju Seth: Heavy Group focuses on the segment – NGOs, NPOs and Small Businesses. In India, for 1st phase we are researching on tools and technologies (under the brand called Digitals Expert). We will offer SAAS based Digital Marketing Packages to empower NGOs, NPOs and small business in India.
SOS: What is your plan for your social business?
Biju Seth: We promote skills based entrepreneurship in India with the help of Government based and CSR based projects. In Government based projects, we are connecting skill-education with entrepreneurship. This we do by giving a single point solution, where beneficiaries can come, gain skill, network and get funded by Mudra Yojna up to Rs 3 lacs.
We have tied up with National Urban Livelihood Mission, Chhattisgarh State Skills Development Agencies, and Mudra Yojna. In CSR based Projects we have applied for 80G and 12A under MCA for getting tax rebate.
SOS: How many people have been benefited by the skill training so far?
Biju Seth: We have helped 120 beneficiaries, out of whom 20 have become skilled based entrepreneurs. Two case studies have been published in National Urban Livelihood Mission. The Honourable Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh state, Dr Raman Singh has felicitated us for promoting the entrepreneurship in the state, and we are the first to receive such an honour.
SOS: Can you talk about Start-up Association of India (SAI)?
Biju Seth: SAI is my dream project. SAI is a part of Entrepreneurship Foundation.
SOS: What does SAI do? And also talk about Entrepreneurship foundation?
Biju Seth: Through SAI, we are developing a forum for people to connect with researchers, mentors investors, academicians and volunteers. Entrepreneurs can come together and benefit from each other.
It has 3 parts. SAI Community – Bringing the start-up community on one single platform to share knowledge, issues and source support in their respective business. SAI Mentorship – Bring entrepreneurs, mentor, researchers and speakers to interact with the community & provide guidance. SAI Forum – Developing forums, conferences, events and skill based training programs for start-up communities.
SOS: Can you describe Bankhelpline? How does it fit into your overall plan?
Biju Seth: Bankhelpline is a Fintech product of Heavy Digitals. It is having 2 products – Rural Banking and Financial Products marketplace, Loans Insurance and Mutual Funds.
SOS: How will it benefit a rural entrepreneur?
Biju Seth: It will have kiosk for entrepreneurs where Mudra Yojna and Financial Products will be shared. Our source of revenue will be sales and assisting commission.
SOS: How does Government help in all your schemes?
Biju Seth: We support only those who are covered under our skills programme. In these scheme, we get approval to send beneficiaries directly to banks and get them Rs 50000 initially and start their business under Sishu scheme.If it matures to the next level, we have Tarun scheme upto Rs. 5 lakhs till we assist.
SOS: Who are your mentors? How does mentorship help you?
Biju Seth: My mentors are my Father, Prof. Ranganathan sir, Shridhar sir and K.J David.
I will tell about my evolution as an entrepreneur. When I was in 12th standard, I wanted to go for graduate education and was planning to opt for BCA. I dreamt of becoming a business tycoon. My father helped me to decide on choosing BBM. That was the first advice I got.
In college, I was doing random stuff, while all my classmates were preparing for exam. During my first semester, I got connected with Professor Ranganathan Krishna Rao, who was the director of the Entrepreneurship cell. I was very raw and fresh, and it was Prof who taught me what entrepreneurship was all about. I spent more than half of my college time with him in developing my business plan. At that time, I had only our pattern manufacturing business- which was my family business. I developed business plan for that and eventually developed plans for all my present companies. I remember making a business plan to raise Rs 15 lacs from a bank under Professor’s guidance. He also helped me in learning branding and legal aspects of the business. I have been also guided by him for diversifying and how one business can help while other is not doing well.
SOS: What are the plans for the coming year?
Biju Seth: Our Industrial Division is having an established growth plan where we are going to focus on keeping up with the numbers. In Social Division, we have plans for developing organisational development, product development and increase the size of the business.
We wish Biju Seth all success in his endeavours
From Team – Stars of Startups