Start-ups revolutionised entrepreneurship in India: Shristi Banks, Banka CFO

Unlike traditional corporate businesses, Banka CFO intends to focus on maximising gains in social satisfaction and creating a positive social impact to boost the overall start-up ecosystem of the nation, says Shristi Banka, Founder Partner and CEO of Banka and Banka CFO Services LLP, in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).

Tell us about Banka CFO and its services.

Banka CFO is a firm constituting of young, social entrepreneurs who have recognised immediate social problems and seek to understand the broader context of an issue that crosses disciplines, fields, and theories. We, as young entrepreneurs want the modern businesses to devote their precious time only on core business activities and trust our services for the remaining business needs.

We have structured consulting services so that our clients get exemplary accounting and financial services, and maximise the return in their venture by having a specialised expert look after their professional services’ needs.

We do this through serving as a value-added chief financial officer (“CFO”), finding hidden revenues, and bringing out best from businesses so that they can have a better market value. A CFO comes in all shape and sizes, precisely: The Accountant, the Deal Maker and The Advisor.

At different points in a company, a need arises for each of these skill sets. We, at Banka CFO excel in all these areas. We want our clients to have an adequate commercial support coupled with new ideas, top notch communication skills, leadership abilities, reliability and varied forms of support. 

Our primary goal as a trusted advisor is to be readily available and to provide insightful advice to enable our clients to make informed financial decisions through proper planning and money management. We work with a diversified group of professionals having expertise in diverse fields so as to enable us to cater to our clients’ needs help them grow in ever changing business environment and promote budding startups. We provide a “one window solution to all their commercial needs.”

We provide a broad array of services to startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (“MSMEs”) from their incorporation stage to ongoing operational support to regular evaluation of business, ensuring compliances with various applicable laws and regulations along with providing advisory services on a case to case basis. 

For incorporation, we provide services including but not limited to registration of MSMEs and start-ups with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, registration under the Goods and Service Tax (“GST”), drafting and registration of incorporation documents like partnership deeds, MoA, AoA etc., formation of companies.

Under our operational support umbrella, we provide services such as designing of standardised operating procedures for your businesses, book-keeping, cash flow analysis, payroll management, cost management while under our business evaluation area, we provide services of profitability analysis, preparation of budgets, forecasting, internal control audits, periodic MIS reports for executives. 

We even provide services to ensure your business is statutorily compliant such as filing of timely income tax returns, liasoning with auditors for statutory audits, filing of GST returns like GSTR-1, GSTR 3B, GSTR 4A, GSTR 9/ GSTR 9C, filing of TDS returns and correction statements thereto, secretarial support like RoC, RBI and Labour Laws related compliances respectively along with reporting on International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) and Indian Accounting Standards. 

The ambit of our advisory services includes services in relation to corporate restructuring, raising capital, arranging working capital finance, raising project loans and debt, IPO services, securities law regulations, conducting due diligence, facilitating M&A transactions, corporate law advisory and we even offer several litigation support services.

Thus, it can be said that we aim to provide a one stop solution to every need related to commerce and finance which leads to ease of doing business in commercial environment and to be a pioneer in this space. We have a target of catering to 500 start ups and building a team of 100 young, motivated individuals.

Why are start-ups important? How is Banka CFO helping the start-ups?

Start-ups are those disruptive forces of businesses that usher in a new era of technology to facilitate unprecedented prosperity, growth, convenience and health. Start-ups actively provide new educational, financial and work opportunities. The word start-up is said to be synonymous with innovation since it involves the use of technology to generate increased economic opportunities. Start-ups are fuelled by change-making entrepreneurs that make their vision a reality which often leads to a disruption in business, on a national and global scale respectively. In many ways, start-ups are the future of our work due to their solutions-oriented approach.

Unlike traditional corporate businesses, Banka CFO, our social entrepreneurship venture intends to focus on maximising gains in social satisfaction and creating a positive social impact to boost the overall start-up ecosystem of the nation. We take pride in being a service provider exclusively for start-ups. We help startups recognise and avail many incentives applicable to them, offered to them by the Government of India.

We provide affordable financial solutions to start ups that lack access to reliable accounting, legal, taxation and commercial sources and also help organisations gain access to loan facilities and debt syndication requirements.

What are your views on government-led initiatives for start-ups? How are they boosting the growth of new entrepreneurs?

Over the past few years, the Government of India (“GoI”) has been making relentless efforts to change the face of start-up ecosystem of our nation. Our ex-finance minister, Respected Late Arun Jaitley had said, “Startups represent the changing social profile of India, and the mindsets of Indians”. Accordingly, in January 2016, Prime Minister of India launched the “Start-up India Initiative”. It changed the definition of a start-up in terms of the scale and the horizon and its idea is to increase wealth and employability through increasing entrepreneurial spirit.

The GoI has taken various initiatives to help uplift the start-ups including but not limited to a hassle-free registration through mobile applications; self-certification regime; no labour inspections for initial three years; funding support worth INR 10,000 crore through Fund of Funds; credit guarantee fund for start-ups; eighty percent rebate on patent applications; income tax relief for first three years; exemption from capital gains tax; easy exit with the help of proposed bankruptcy code; incubation centres to support start-ups across the country. These initiatives will help in increasing employment, reducing poverty and improving innovation across India. Further, Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (“MUDRA”) Bank has been created to enhance credit facility to boost the growth of small business in rural areas. Additionally, the Atal Innovation Mission was established to provide innovation promotional platform involving academicians, and drawing upon national and international experiences to foster a culture of innovation, research, and development.

Recently, the GoI has announced that it plans to set up 20 technology centres, in addition to 10 such existing centres, across the country to help MSMEs. These centres support MSMEs by giving them access to advanced manufacturing technologies, skilling manpower and providing technical and business advisory support. To rightly quote the present Finance Minister of India, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, “Start-up India is an initiative to facilitate budding entrepreneurs”.

Why is it pivotal to take assistance on financial decisions through proper planning and money management?

Proper financial planning helps businesses achieve short and long-term financial goals and create a balanced plan to meet those goals. The main objective behind financial planning and money management is that sufficient funds should be available in the organisation for different purposes at different points of time such as purchasing of long-term assets, meeting day-to- day expenses, etc. The success or failure of production and distribution function of business depends upon the financial decisions as right decision ensures smooth flow of finance and smooth operation of production and distribution.

Finance is the life blood of business. So financial planning is an integral part of the corporate planning of business. All business plans depend upon the soundness of financial planning. The importance of financial decisions in business is evident, since many of the factors that contribute to failure can be managed properly with strategies and financial decisions that drive growth and the organisation’s objectives.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any department of the Government of India.

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