As we close the 2018 chapter this holiday season and reflect on the last 12 months at Savage & Palmer, Mihir and I would like to thank you for being a part of this eventful journey. We’ve had an absolute blast spending this year with you’ll as employees, customers, suppliers, affiliate partners, and well-wishers and look forward to strengthening our bond as we sail into 2019. Here’s a look at the year that’s gone by and an overview of what lies ahead –
As 2018 kicked-in, we were excited to join forces with Themis Consult and strengthen our service offering. We spent the early months until March integrating our teams and clientele and getting everyone familiar with SavPalm systems, processes, and way of operating. As entrepreneurs, we’d expect people to adapt to change overnight, but the slightest of matters such as a half hour shift in work-timings or a due-date brought forward to tighten operations would be met with a lot of interesting feedback and resistance which had to be handled delicately.
In April, we graduated from our MBA program at ISB, Hyderabad and moved back to Mumbai raring to go. No more early morning classes and homework assignments; instead, a 50 member team to motivate and 75 customers to delight. We spent the next few months setting up departments within Savage & Palmer to ensure sustainability
To begin with, since our focus was customer centricity, we set-up a full-fledged Customer Service team to oversee our regular monthly compliances across Accounts Managers and multiple clients. Additionally, we also created an On-Boarding Team to set up operations for new customers. As the first few months of a new accounting relationship are the trickiest, the On-Boarding team, comprising CAs with 10+ years of experience ensured a smooth transition from the old to the new.
Our routine Customer Feedback surveys gave us more insights into the likes and dislikes of our clients. Owing to the people dependency of this industry, we launched a Handover Team that ensured a smooth handover between our employees, in the event of the team changing. This delighted our customers as their operations did not suffer at critical times.
Our HR processes also became more robust during this phase – we increased our induction period from 3 to 15 days and included a practical examination, thus ensuring that our new hires, were fully trained, confident and can practically deliver their work before they took up our client’s accounts.
As the operations stabilized, it was then time to put the foot down on Sales and Marketing. To fulfill our vision of creating a reliable accounting services company for small and medium business owners, we could not rely solely on word of mouth. Thus, we began our digital marketing campaigns and hired a 5 member Sales team. The Sales and Marketing team has helped SavPalm grow to a level of serving 180 clients as of today with a team strength of 150 people.
In the last few months of 2018, we realized the need to impart a more detailed training module to our new hires. As we began servicing customers from different industries, we learned the nitty-gritty of 25 different sectors. This practical training led us to launch a full-fledged Accounts Training program for college graduates as well as working professionals. We’re proud to announce our first batch with 12 students commenced earlier this month. Over the next quarter, these young minds will go through a rigorous program of theoretical and practical training in accounting, tax compliances, and financial reporting. Thereafter, the brightest will be absorbed into the SavPalm fold to service our customers better.
We’re excited to announce a few new offerings in the pipeline that will be out in 2019. We’re developing a technology platform to automate our monthly client reports, thus making key financial information available in more detail and 24×7, for business owners to make better decisions. We’re also launching our Internal Audit practice to help large companies maintain routine checks and balances within their Accounts and Finance department.
With the sun setting on 2018, we couldn’t be more grateful to everyone around us who have helped make the above a reality. Here’s wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year and all the very best for 2019!