Founding a business enterprise is a tough job, however making it a sustainable success is definitely tougher. This statement clearly signifies the magnitude of effort that any organization needs to dedicate to make a business idea work. Fully aware of the challenges ahead of them, in late 2013,Supraja Subburaj and PrashanthPoovaiah, two ambitious entrepreneurs decided to build a company that helps tackle the business challenges often faced by start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs. Their vision was to support businesses struggling with the challenges associated with setting up, managing and growing in a competitive landscape.Thus, they introduced Talking Totem Consulting & Business Services, an organization that extends specialised consulting solutions for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small &medium businesses.The company provides a wide range of consulting services focusing on the four core areas of any business; People, Process, Systems and Technology.
With a forward looking approach and expertise brought in by the founders, Talking Totemhas grown manifold since its inception in 2013. Within ashort span of two years, the team has built a venerable list of satisfied clients in five of the seven continents across the globe.Thecompany’s major services are strategy and business planning, market research, operations management, performance optimization and growth consulting.Detailing the service portfolio, Supraja Subburaj, Partner, Talking Totem says,“We do strategic planning and implementation for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Besides, we work with start-ups and entrepreneurs to help them develop their business models.We also work in the areas of business process reengineering, strategic performance management, operations and project management apart from learning & development and providing interim leadership.”
“Determination determines your destination.” This quote rightly defines the company’s approach towards work. The founding team had envisioned a lean and virtual organization with a global footprint. With a virtual team present across global markets, the company has clients inWestern Europe, United States, Australia and Western Africa as well.“Our team is lean &completely virtual and is located across the globe” says PrashanthPoovaiah, partner. Speaking about why the company chose to work with start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs, Prashanth adds,“In the last 3-4 years, we’ve seen many entrepreneurs,start-ups and SMEs ready themselves to take the next big step towards growing their business. What we realized was that most of these business owners did not always have the necessary resources or direction to setup, expand and grow in a sustainable manner. They usually face one of these issues:
•Growth – they had grown to a certain extent and were unable to capitalize on their growth to further expand their businesses either by way of establishing new footprints, diversifying into new products and services, acquiring new customers, or retaining their existing customers. Their business and operational models
needed revisiting, repurposing or pivoting.
•Transitioning from ideation to execution – they had a business idea, but were unaware of how / if that business idea was feasible and if it was, how an organization could be built based on that idea.
•Optimization – they had a working business, but had high operating costs associated with business processes, systems and tools that weren’t streamlined, leading to higher costs, lower revenues or both.
•Talent and Performance Management – a lot of them had a running business, but it lacked an organizational structure, effectiveness, efficiency and quality measurement system. They did not have the right people in the right positions, or the right tools to evaluate their performance.
•Leadership – they had a business, but did not have the strategic and tactical leadership to continue delivering value.
We are able to apply “big business” approaches to solve small business problems and we have seen this approach work very well with all our clients. Our solutions are pragmatic, our recommendations are grounded in reality and we don’t believe in cookie cutter solutions.”
Talking Totem has made a mark in the industry by dealing with its clients’ challenges and delivering apt solutions to their business problems. The team has served over 25 start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs across geographies in the past two years and that has been a great booster for the company to keep going in the years ahead. It has served numerous businesses including Alexander House Financial Services, Hello Innovation, A’asInc, Box Pilot, Signwritersand a leading African Bank among others. In the coming year, the organization aims to focus on providing technology solutions to entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs.The company has also developedERP, CRM, mobility and e-Commerce solutions specifically with the start-up and SME demographic in mind. Besides, it aims to contribute to the start-up ecosystem in various capacities in the years to come.