Kaustubh Kulkarni, Founder, Reevolv

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | April 27, 2014 14:09 IST

Kaustubh Kulkarni, Founder, Reevolv, He Has more than 9 years of experience in operations and management consulting. He is the founder of Reevolv and leads the consulting vertical. He has hands on experience in business strategy, marketing and sales, process design and management, purchasing & supply chain management, inventory management and capital productivity. Has worked across sectors – Auto-components, Tyres, Bus-Body building, Industrial valves, Machine building, Electronic measuring instruments, Fabrication, Education, Facility management, Car Rental to name a few. Prior to Reevolv, he has worked with Savoir Faire Management Services where he was part of the operations practice. In Savoir, he lead various consulting assignments in manufacturing sectors wherein he implemented an array of lean management tools and techniques. Prior to Savoir Faire, he was part of a German Auto component major wherein he was part of core team for lean implementation. He is an Engineer ( B.E Mech), MBA in General Management and a Six Sigma Black Belt. 


Reevolv is a boutique consulting company offering a “One Stop Shop” in the areas of business strategy, financial advisory and operations consulting to corporates and private equity funds. Leveraging on the expertise in various domains, Reevolv has also ventured into Research to cater to demand of quality research reports on the broader consumer segment. Reevolv Research is a research initiative, with an objective to cover sun rise sectors. By and large the sunrise sectors constitute various consumer products and services that are often fragmented, unorganized and localized in nature. We believe that there are various avenues for investment and growth. However the availability of quality information or the data points is a challenge. Reevolv Research through its proprietary research reports bridges these gaps, by covering specific sectors within broader consumer space. The research reports typically covers market sizing, industry dynamics, key challenges, critical success factors, player profiles with financials, private equity deals and valuations.


Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Kaustubh Kulkarni says, “Consulting and Research are the main verticals. Currently consulting has higher share, however we believe Research will contribute more in the next few years.”


What kind of research do you undertake? Is it a standalone offering or supplements other offerings?


Reevolv Research can be categorized as under-


a. Industry Reports: These reports give an overview of the industry, the market size of around 50 cities in India and the growth drivers. It also talks about business dynamics like what are the various business models prevalent in the Industry and which ones have done well and which ones have not done so well. We also give global benchmarks in certain cases. We also cover all the major players in India and talk about their presence and performance over the past few years.


b. Valuation and Deal Multiples: This is a pioneering effort from Reevolv. In these reports, specific private equity transactions are covered in detail. It talks about background of the Company, its financial performance over the years and the valuation it got from the private equity investor. Also, each number has a back-up.  It is extremely useful to all stake holders. For example a player who wants to sell his healthcare business. If he buys this report he comes to know, what is the fair value of his business. Similarly someone looking to buy a business will know how much to pay and how to negotiate.


c. Market Sizing: Market Sizing is snippet which details on market size of the industry under consideration. The reports deep dives on various aspects of market sizing across various sections such as All India, State Wise, City Wise, Urban / Rural etc. , giving significant insights on the industry potential. This report is helpful for companies planning to enter a new segment or launch a new product or an investor who wants to invest in a company operating in a particular segment etc.


d. Consumer Insights: Consumer research forms an integral and vital part of research offerings. The need of the hour for companies to be successful is to align themselves towards consumer needs. The only way to find out is through consumer surveys. Reevolv while researching on any industry or a product category; includes various forms of consumer survey to get a 360 degree consumer perspective. The various types of surveys include individual interviews,  focused group interviews, online / offline surveys, test marketing for new products etc. to name a few. The findings of the consumer research are often different from the established mindset and highlights certain gaps in the industry that consumer perceive, thereby helping companies to address these needs and creating value.


e. Customized Research: Reevolv caters to the market where companies, individuals, investors etc. need specific research insights. Reevolv through its strong research base, develops and executes a structured research to meet the specific requirements. This type of research is typically for industries / products on which substantial data is not available, but one needs a sound data and research to take critical business decisions.


For example if a foreign health are player wants to enter the Indian Market for certain equipment we would actually go and visit hospitals; speak to various stakeholders etc. based on our research we would give a complete roadmap/plan to the foreign player on how he could enter the Indian market keeping in mind his strengths and challenges


Explain to us your business model.


a. Research:

Reevolv Research is a vertical of Reevolv, addressing research needs of the consumer industry. Reevolv Research can  be  divided in  two  broader segments as  published research and customized research. The published research covers various reports which Reevolv releases on a regular basis. These reports include Industry Reports, Market Sizing Reports, Marketing insights, Consumer Surveys, Valuation and Deal multiples etc.


The  reports are available for our clients who purchase these reports for research insights on various industries. Customized research addresses specific client needs for research. For example a client wishes to bring in a new international cuisine to Mumbai or Bangalore etc. Reevolv would do all the necessary research and how this plan can be executed.


b. Consulting:


Consulting is an extension of our Research vertical. Strong research background helps us bring fantastic results for our clients. Reevolv’s theme has always been implementation based, ensuring value maximization for the clients.


A typical consulting assignment starts with a diagnostic study of the company spanning 3 -4 days, with inputs from top management. Based on the objective of the assignment, consultants from Reevolv study the internal processes (Value creation) of the company and their internal and external linkages.


Post the diagnostic study we chalk out a detailed road map with a horizon of 3 months to a year depending on the assignment and is discussed with the management of the company. Necessary changes / suggestions are incorporated from the management and the implementation plan is finalized. The plan acts as a guiding block for the assignment and the progress / benefits are mapped based on the implementation plan. Once the plan is executed, most companies need support in form of audit, reviews to ensure new systems and processes are adhered to. To ensure sustenance of the initiatives Reevolv supports its clients on a regular basis for smoother transition.


Which are your services that bring in major revenues?

Consulting and Research are the main verticals contributing to our top line. Currently consulting has higher share, however we believe Research will contribute more in the next few years


Brief us on your financials. What is the vision for your firm?

Our company revenues grew by 56% in FY14. We believe we will grow at a faster rate in the next few years based on the response we are getting on our products.


Our vision is to be the leading Research provider for companies in broader consumer industries and its stake holders and to come out with products in unchartered territories.


Who is your typical customer? Which are the niche segments that you are targeting?


For consulting vertical we have companies across sectors as our client base. We cater to manufacturing and services sectors. Due to our process oriented and implementation based approach we are not bound by any sector or industry as such. Till date we have worked across industries such as auto components, Machine Building, Diamonds, Car Rentals, Education, Wellness, Industrial catering, Tyres etc. to name a few. We have also been working with Private Equity Funds on their portfolio companies.


In case of Research the customer base is wider which comprises of industry players, investors, financial institutions, retailers, distributors, academicians etc.


We believe all our research offerings are niche. The industry research is about sectors that are otherwise generally not covered. Examples include Eyewear, Salon , Footwear etc.


Deal multiples is a completely niche area as it required tremendous financial and legal knowledge.


You do consumer insights research for sectors that are still nascent. Who is your customer here?

The consumer space in India is still at a nascent stage, although it has been witnessing a shift towards more organized play with influx of domestic and international players. However, the availability of data and research on such industries is still a challenge. Reevolv is focused on generating 360 degree visualization of consumer industry through its research, offering insights on the nascent but high growth industries. The need for data and research is being realized by all the companies irrespective of their size. Even smaller companies appreciate the need for data and research for decision making. This shift in perspective has enabled Reevolv to reach out to companies and industry stakeholders irrespective of the size and cater to their research needs.


What are the typical charges for your reports?

The reports are priced depending on the type of the published research reports. However, the price range is between Rs. 20,000/- to Rs. 40,000/-.


Given that so many firms have in-house research too what makes you say that Gap in credible information and research services for funds/institutions as well as industry players exists?

The in – house teams are certainly capable of doing their research.


However most of our customers are either industry players or private equity funds. For them doing Research is only a small portion of their responsibilities. At the same time it is very time consuming.


Hence it makes sense for them to rely on credible players like us or Technopak or Crisil etc. However we are far more cost effective.


Tell us about your study on E-Commerce. What trends are you seeing here?

Reevolv has recently launched a report on E-Commerce space given the higher levels of interest from the investor community in the range of E-Commerce companies and the growth prospects associated with the same. The report covers 10 companies in E-Commerce Space such as Book My Show, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra etc. with company profiles, financials and deal multiples for private equity deals on these companies covering present and historic data. One can clearly understand trends of valuation from this report in the E-commerce space.


Few insights are reproduced verbatim from the report below

  •  “ A leading portal , was valued at 2.5x revenues in 2007 by a PE investor.. At that time the revenues were under Rs 10 crores. In 2012, the company crossed the 50 crores revenue mark. And the multiple it got for its next round was 5.3x revenues. This shows how valuations can multiply in this space.

  • The earlier example may seem dwarfed when we take example of another portal where the Pre Money Valuation jumped 24 times in 18 months.

  • However it is not always that things are rosy. Investors in one of the leading portals have got a valuation jump of only 2x in 5 years despite revenues growing 6 times in the same time frame.”

What is 'Deal Multiples' all about?

This is a pioneering effort from Reevolv. In these reports, specific private equity transactions are covered in detail. It talks about background of the Company, its financial performance over the years and the valuation it got from the private equity investor. The valuations and deal multiples are arrived after rigorous proprietary analysis of company data. Also, each number has a back-up.


It is extremely useful to all stake holders. For example a player who wants to sell his healthcare business.


If he buys this report he comes to know, what is the fair value of his business. Similarly someone looking to buy a business will know how much to pay and how to negotiate.


What are your expansion plans? How would they be funded?

We plan to focus more on Research, and adding more published reports to our bouquet of research reports. In near future we plan to offer subscription service for our customers to access all our reports


As of now internal accruals are supporting the growth. We may look at funding to go to different geographies.


Shareholding pattern of company? Who are initial or main investors? Any plans to sell stake?

The Company is closely held between Kaustubh Kulkarni and Shilpa Bhattar. As of now there are no plans to sell stake.


Do you aim to get listed?

We would like to grow the Company for next three years and then evaluate options


Besides work what else do you enjoy doing?

Besides work, I love playing competitive sports and enjoy traveling.


A little about your early years and why you chose this field



I am a Mechanical Engineer and was working with a consulting firm engaged in design for boilers, air heaters, heat exchangers, various process equipment’s etc. From those days I enjoyed leading challenging projects with critical applications, and not to mention stringent deadlines. Post my Masters in Management, a wide array of opportunities came across and  was  working for  auto component major and  consulting firm.  Later given my inclination for challenges an entrepreneurial streak I decided to venture into consulting and become an entrepreneur.