Sunday, April 4, 2010

Axience Raises Series One Investment

I have not blogged since 2008 on Axience blog and to say the least we at Axience have been busy fighting bravely the markets, the competition as well as everything else a small company faces. Last three years have been the most difficult, exciting and challenging years of my life and at no moment I have regretted the decision of turning an entrepreneur even though I have been frustrated at times. I am happy that the toughest times are probably over for us as a company and for global markets. Perhaps it is prudent to say that Axience has survived and now looking to grow significantly. The struggle is not over but we are happy that our clients, network and contacts have realized our staying power, our quality consciousness and our client servicing and I am thankful to our clients and the support system I have. Below I have pasted a press release which I came out with when we signed up with our first external investor at the beginning of the year. For an entrepreneur, there is no better endorsement than someone putting in his/her own personal money in the business.

Axience raises Series I investment, strengthens Board
Mr. Tarek Walid Tawfik has joined Axience as a member of the Board of Director and an Investor. Axience is an India-based specialist business services firm providing investment research, business intelligence, financial modeling, analytics and desktop research services to the financial services industry, including both buy and sell-side firms, other corporate institutions and consultancies.

Mr. Tawfik invests in the business when Axience is poised for rapid growth and is strengthening its brand as a global provider of research and analytics services. “I am very pleased on Tarek’s investment in Axience. Investment from an experienced and market savvy individual such as him is the best endorsement we could have for our business model. In addition, the timing is perfect as we see early sign of global economic revival.” said Hemant Jain, CEO of Axience. In spite of starting Axience at a time coinciding with the subprime crisis and global recession, Axience has successfully created a reputed team of management, board
members and advisors and continues to create an ever-widening satisfied client list.

The Axience Board also includes Mr. Alex Carre de Malberg, Head of Investment Banking at InvestAD and Mr. Nitin Mehta, Managing Director of CFA Institute in the EMEA. In addition, Axience has recently added Mr. Ganesh Mani as an advisor and liaison person in the United States. “I am glad to be associated with Axience and am confident of Axience’s value proposition to global clients in general and clients in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in particular where investors and businesses are seeking high-quality research and analysis. We regard the year 2010 as an opportunity to position ourselves as a leading research and analytics outsourcing player. There are no targets that cannot be reached, if set within realistic and reasonable limit and we hope to achieve our goals.” said Mr. Tawfik.

Mr. Tawfik has more than 13 years of experience in the financial services industry with expertise in wealth management, investment management and treasury. As an individual investor, he invests in upcoming as well as established small businesses and real estate. He has been the Head of Private Wealth Management at Deutsche Bank in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and managed a portfolio of ultra high net worth clients. Prior to this, he worked as the Family Investment Manager for the Abdul Rahman Saad Al-Rashid (ARTAR) Group from 2000 to 2007. Prior to that, he worked in the brokerage division of the Banque Saudi Fransi. He did his Bachelor of Arts in Financial Management from the King Saudi University, Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia and is fluent in Arabic, English and German.

About Axience

Axience was established in early 2007 with the goal of becoming a leading business services firm providing knowledge-based consulting services. Currently, it provides financial analysis and valuation services to corporate finance and private equity businesses; investment research to brokerage and asset management firms as well as hedge funds; securitization modeling and monitoring to investment banks, issuers and investors; and a variety of other services including market intelligence, peer reviews, client and competition mapping services to the financial services industry. Axience also supports consulting firms, government agencies and corporate institutions in conducting bespoke business research, market research and analytics.

Hemant Jain, CEO, Axience –
Tarek Tawfik, Director, Axience –

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Indian Angel Network Invest in Legal KPO

LPO seems to be the flavor these days and there have been significant news in the market related to LPO industry investments and expansion. In addition to IAN funding TechLit Solution as mentioned in the news below Infosys entered LPO Industry at the end of 2007 and various BPO/KPO firms are speculating an entry in the market. I know about another LPO firm based in Bangalore and US looking for about 3m USD investment.

In addition to LPO industry, I believe that Corporate Law industry in India has a significant potential and in recent times multinational firms have increased India related activity significantly. Firms like AZB have been able to attract young lawyers working for big 4 in UK to move to India.

Axience ( recently participated in producing a research report to assess impact of Liberalization of Legal Industry on Indian GDP and our findings were interesting and we consider legal services market as very high growth potential market in the services segment.

News about IAN investment in TechLit

Members of the Delhi-based Indian Angel Network (IAN) has acquired a 20 percent stake in US-based legal process outsourcing (LPO) venture TechLit Solutions for $1 million, valuing the start-up at $5 million. Techlit was started in January 2008 by Neal Gupta (who is also a member of IAN) along with the co-founders of Aptara, a US headquartered firm which offers composition and publication services to publishers of books and journals.

IAN is a Delhi based angel investing forum formed by a group of individuals investors which includes, among others, serial entrepreneur Rohit Chand (Axis IT&T, IIS Infotech), besides Rajan Anandan, former Dell chief in India and currently Microsoft MD in India, Avinash Singh (CEO & MD of Excel Ventures), Ajay Garg (founder of Equirus Capital) and Alok Mittal, Managing Director, Canaan Partners.

TechLit provides litigation support services to law firms and corporate general counsels in the US in the form of electronic data. It currently has an office in Seattle and its business model includes capturing, preserving and managing data for clients by leveraging technology and offshore resources. The funds raised will help TechLit expand its services in the US, while setting up an offshore technology operation in India.

The company plans to hit the market with a public float in the next three years.IAN, which has close to 80 members, have made 16 investments in the last two years in sectors like information technology, intellectual property, hospitality, mobile, education and internet

PE Firm Picks UP Stake in Outsourcing Firm

Recently announce deals and some other related news seems to indicate few things:
  • UK Private Equity Firms are increasing activity in India. Recently two leading UK based private Equity Firms opened shop in India
  • Outsourcing and business services sector is not passe and there are still deals to be done

Greater Pacific Capital (GPC), a London-based private equity firm, has acquired 38 per cent stake in Ahmadabad-based outsourcing firm Azure Knowledge Corporation Pvt Ltd for $32.5 million. GPC will pick up 26.4 per cent stake for $11.8 million in the first phase of the deal. The stake has been picked up at a price of Rs 576 per share, reports Business Standard. The balance will be invested by 2010 depending on the performance of Azure.

The company is a third party KPO specialising in financial services and knowledge-based customer interaction services. Azure plans to deploy $15 million of the funds raised for acquisitions and has already initiated talks with several domestic and overseas players. Azure had picked up 49 per cent stake in US based Citizens Financial Mortgage, Inc. in April 2008. Azure had a revenue orf $8 million in FY08 and is targeting a revenue of $ 14 million in the upcoming fiscal year.Azure Knowledge Corporation was formed in 1991 by Dushyant Joshi and Jay Ruparel, who will continue to hold majority stake in the company post the deal. It has over 2,200 employees based out of its centers in Ahmedabad, Pune, Guangzhou and Philadelphia. “We have been growing at more than 200% over the last two years and to sustain this growth rate and help us with our inorganic growth plans, we were looking for capital infusion from an investor that would add strategic and intellectual value along with financial investment,” said Dushyant Joshi, the founder and CEO of Azure in a release. Joe Sealy, Co-Founder-Promoter of GPC and along with Pradeep Udhas, Managing Director GPC, India, will join the board of Azure.

Greater Pacific Capital, a fund set up by former Goldman Sachs bankers, aims to capture the opportunity of high growth in the Indian and Chinese economies. The firm has $1 billion that it has raised through two funds. The fund already has two investments in India - a 14.9 per cent stake in software company Mascon which it bought in March for $27 million, and a 20 per cent stake in broking firm Edelweiss Capital.

It's been long!

No matter how much I promise myself that I will blog as often as possible and inform my audience about various things including Axience, general business environment, global financial services, outsourcing and some fun stuff, it always becomes a promise far from being kept. Let's try again!


We have been doing well, getting enough attention amongst potential clients, partners and potential employees. The fact that securitization industry initially, then global financial system and now entire economy is going throuh a rough patch does make things difficult for us albeit it gives us an experience which will be very useful in better markets. Over last few months we have increased breadth and depth of our service offerings and clients. Our initial clients are satisfied and have put faith in us by giving repeat work and renewing contracts. We have expanded into areas such as investor mapping, client and market intelligence, investment research, pitch books, bespoke reports for government sector. Our clients now come from UK, France, India, Germany, Netherlands and last but not the least India where we are doing some very interesting work for global as well as Indian clients.

Other significant development include appointment of Mr. Nitin Mehta as a Director at Axience. Nitin currently runs CFA Institute in EMEA and has about 20 years of work experience. His profile is available at

We are constantly looking for clients who we strive to create significant value for and if you are one of them then feel free to call me at 3 AM in the morning (well if you really want to do that you may want to check out the time zone I am in given the travel I have been doing these days ;).

We are also looking for partners as well as investors. Please feel free to seek more information.
Most importantly we are always looking for top of the class professionals.

Securitization industry

Last 12 months have been unheard and unseen for financial services industry and most people blame securitization industry for that. Securitization is a process of pooling receivables of varied types and doing magic on them so that they become capital markets tradable products ie securities of some form. I personally belive that there is no issue with the financial engineering behind securitization and it will come back soon. I may be reiterating the wishful thinking which I observed during Global ABS 2008 conference in Cannes among various participants but fact remains that there is little chance we can (and we should not) do away with such an important and until recently widely used funding, capital relief and arbitrage tool. Another interesting thing which I noted during conference at Cannes was number of law firms and army they came with. Some people are cerainly laughing their way to bank in this market. Overall conference was amazing, weather was finest possible in spite of rains and shower warnings and I would like to express my gratitude to IMN organizers and one of our precious client for inviting me and my colleague to the conference. Possibly we will have our own booth there next year.

Yes stock market is down, money seems to be drying up, there are rumours of banks as well as offshoring firms laying of but the country seems to be on its' own adrenalin and there are no lack of opportunity. I will start posting some intersting news regularly (good and bad) to give readers some ideas of what is happening in India.


In last six months I have done professional travel to several places and have been more in the air than on ground (well okay its a bit of exaggeration). I have put my feet to some new countries and have made at least one trip to London and Paris every month, got to see the blue lagoon in Iceland, did Middle East, went to various cities in Germany, US as well as to Budapest and Prague. Most of it for business but after all its enriches the experience. With all the travels I do get some good stories to tell and some not so good ones such as missing flights bagages and once even passport in Paris. As a result I now have an Indian passport made in Paris which was given to me in record six hours time. Salut!


Lots of them - mostly in flight - watched 21 which is an interesting story of MIT Kids beating las vegas casino system and outsourced which is (surprisingly) well done satire on outsourcing. And Singh is King and Jane Tu...


Red the recent book from the author of Kiterunner - a thousand sins - and the book made me realize the while I was growing up in rather safe and secure environment Laila was going through the extreme circumstance a human being can experience. It was shocking to think that all this happened in last 25 years! Amazing book! hits hard!

Till next time.. hopefully sooner this time else I will outsource my blog to a Robot in "Second Life" - what is the exchange rate between Linden dollar and USD? visit

Hemant Jain
CEO, Axience
+91 98671 60611
+44 7515 641 602
+33 6 14 06 46 93

Friday, October 5, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Website is up

Finally the first version of Axience website is up. I am loving this experience of being an entrepreneur, it teaches you something new everyday and you have something to look forward to the next day.

It's been seven and half months already and it looks like that I started the business a week back. I pondered over decision of quiting my job for several months as the Country Head of my previous firm and finally called my boss one day on August 1st 2006 to break the good news (for me). At that time I had not planned what I wanted to do - take up a job in India or elsewhere or start up somethin etc or travel around the world. I decided that I will take up three months break, travel around and then will see what to do but travelling couldn't happen as I ended up serving notice period of 4 months instead of 1 - mainly to ensure my previous office runs well after I have left and does not sink.

And then since January, it has been really good. Hundred's of meeting, networking, client relationships, pitching, contracts and travelling several time between India and Europe. I am glad with the progress so far and the type and amount of business we have generated. I am also pleased with the kind of people I have hired and can only look forward to creating a really good team. I am very serious about it being in the people business and after seeing how the Goliaths in my business have let the quality slip. I know it's easier said than done but I am focused on creating a team of smart, hardworking and funloving individuals.

Last few weeks have been very hectic and stressful and I can only expect the intensity to grow. The next goal is much higher, timeline is short and it's a fight of one David versus several Goliath. But surely it's going to be an interesting ride.

I have been thinking of monitoring certain parts of Financial Services industry on this blog since long time and do hope that I will start doing that very soon.

Cheers, H