Featured Consultant | Interview With Ajit Joshi


Ajit is a strategist, cross border operations expert and start up specialist with more than twenty nine years of experience in Finance, operations, and technology in emerging markets and emerging technologies. 

He is now working in the start up  / SME eco space under the name of startupdirexions. He along with his free lancer team works on various assignments in the area of  CFO, Digital Marketing, Legal support, Strategy, International operations, due diligence, business plan build up and M & A. He works with entrepreneurs  as sounding board for vision and strategy.

The Feelancer team had a chance to catch up with Ajit Joshi for a discussion on his consulting practice.

Please provide a brief about your profile profile.

I have more than 29 years’ of experience in corporate world including last decade in start up world. He has worked in organizations like Bombay Dyeing, Colgate, Raymond, Enercon Gmbh, Efkon AG. Prior to starting up Startupdirexions he was a CFO and Head of operations at What’s on India Media, a start up funded by Intel, Sequoia which was sold to a US multinational.

Please provide a brief overview of your service(s).

Startupdirexions provides three basic services:

  1. Think tank services – More towards strategic issues like expansion, Risk management, International ops, deployment of growth capital, Due diligence, financial modeling for fund raise.
  2. CFO services – P & L management and cost controls, HR and Legal
  3. Digital and On line marketing

What inspired you to start your practice/ start offering the above product or service?

After living through the journey of start up for more than decade, wanted to share and help my experience and knowledge with other startups and SME.  Every start up wants to be a success but how does one get it. Only idea won’t do the trick but the execution is the key. It goes through the transition of stages which require different techniques, adaptability, flexibility and motivation to continue irrespective of situations. A startup is bound to make mistakes and lose out on valuable time, money and efforts. We steer the company to avoid these mistakes and still stay on course. We provide strategic inputs while taking the crucial decisions. 

What is your target market? Who are the clients whom you think can immensely benefit from the services your firm provides?

Young startups who have already received the angel funding and ready with POC. We would also look at the near matured startups looking to raise or have raised series A, B funds and in the mode of execution. Mere idea is not the key but execution is the key.

What has been the most challenging part of your journey till now?

The most challenging part was to step out of CFO hat and get in to entrepreneur hat. The most challenging part was to give up the existing business model and do a compete pivot to steer clear company out of woods.

What has been your biggest achievement?

The biggest achievement was in the previous start up wherein I could do a complete pivot and take the company international and successfully setting up operations in multiple countries. This finally led to being noticed in world and could translate the successful exit for owners and VC’s.

What are your future plans? What should clients look for in future from you in next few years?

We would continue to work in start up and SME eco-system in future. My idea is to work with multiple but select entrepreneurs and be a part of their journey. I will personally be involved with clients and work together with them.

If you have to share one tip for success, what would that be?

“Be flexible, open to pivot, adaptable and believe in quick response to a situation. Speed in any start up is an essence. “

What is the one mistake that you feel individuals must avoid?

Don’t be rigid on your own ideas and be open to experiment and never shy away from innovation.

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