The poster boy of consumer electronics and durables, Rajeev Karwal, has charted a new role for himself after moving out of Reliance Retail as CEO-Consumer Durables vertical. Karwal has just announced plans for his new innings with the setting up of Milagrow Business & Knowledge Solutions, which would work with the objective of business partnering SMEs to achieve global benchmarks. Milagrow officially takes off on April 1, 2007.
Karwal dubs his venture as “beyond consultancy”. He elaborated, “This is a unique concept and probably the first time in India where we will handhold SMEs which we believe do not lack in ideas or even funding in many cases. But they suffer from a lack of management bandwidth and excellence in execution and that is where we will step in.”
On what prompted this unique enterprise, Karwal said, “I have been contemplating of starting something of my own for a while. After being at the helm of sales and marketing of some of the biggest brands, I was looking at moving beyond just being someone’s employee. I see this as an answer to my inner call where this initiative will help in nation building exercise too.”
Karwal threw some staggering numbers related to the SME sector. The industry estimates the strength of SMEs to be 1.2 crore-strong. While SMEs contribute 40 per cent to India’s total exports, it adds 67 per cent to industrial value added. Yet, 18 per cent or one-fifth of SMEs have been declared sick in India.
Karwal added, “Against this backdrop, the SME sector is in urgent need of best in class management solutions to improve their brands, organizations and cost-competitiveness.”
Milagrow will address the concerns of SMEs, including skilled management, skilled labour and their retention, competitively priced inputs and strengthening market information among others.
Dr Jagdish Sheth, a renowned scholar and world authority in the field of marketing, and Prof Anil Gupta, an IIM Ahmedabad don who will be a Value Ombudsman, will advise Karwal in his new venture.
The revenue model for Milagrow includes upfront fees, stock options and milestone based fees. Milagrow already has three clients and is operating out of Gurgaon. It aims to open 20 offices across the country in the next two years.