SRKay Consulting Group, an Indian company that focuses on investing in and accelerating promising tech startups, has set up its Nordic headquarters and R&D unit in Helsinki. Helsinki Business Hub hosted SRKay’s introductory visits to Finland, acquainting the company with the Finnish technology and R&D ecosystem. SRKay plans to use its Helsinki base to access other European markets and is looking forward to investing in Finnish startups.
SRKay Consulting Group was founded in 2016 but its roots go back 53 years, when its parent company SRK Exports was founded. SRKay Consulting Group focuses on investing in and accelerating seed and pre-seed stage technology startups, nurturing them until they become profitable. It also offers business advisory services to startups and established organizations. The company and its ventures currently employ more than 300 people globally, and the number is expected to exceed 800 by the end of 2019. SRKay has offices in India, US, UK, and now Finland.
“In today’s world where technology has blurred political boundaries, it is essential for a business like ours to be open to every market. Our strength comes from the countries we operate in. India brings us excellent technology and cost advantage, the US and UK present great markets, while Finland offers top talent for R&D,” says CEO Alok Kumar from SRKay.
“Our startups work on technology solutions, and we strongly believe that ICT holds the future of every company. The focus of our ventures, however, is not technology in itself but using it to solve problems.”
Helsinki offers a valuable innovation ecosystem
Alok Kumar’s first impressions of Finland come from a family trip. Later, a Finnish company Tieto became SRKay’s first customer, and the partnership brought Kumar to Finland again. Thanks to these visits, Finland became a very familiar country and place of business for him. An important link between SRKay and Finland was another Indian company, PrEver Consulting, which collaborates with Helsinki Business Hub to seek Indian companies that might find Finland an ideal location for their European business.
“PrEver Consulting showed us how the Finnish government schemes could support us if we set up a unit here. While that was the initial motivation, the real motivation came when Helsinki Business Hub showcased the opportunities of the Finnish technology, research and innovation ecosystem. Finland offers excellent business opportunities but beyond those, it is the innovation ecosystem that we can combine with Indian technology and low costs to create true value for our startups,” Kumar says.
“Setting up the Finnish unit has been very smooth, and Helsinki Business Hub has offered us excellent support. Investing in a distant country like Finland would have been a challenge, had it not been for Helsinki Business Hub. They showed us Finland’s strengths and opportunities and helped us make highly useful connections. They were also instrumental in setting us up with Arctic Startup and the Arctic15 event, which we then co-sponsored to announce our launch in Finland and which turned out to be very useful.”
A global company with Finland in a key role
The Finnish SRKay Consulting Oy is now ready to start running its business operations. The company is building its R&D, business development and consulting teams and will soon start hiring.
“We are planning to hire tech R&D people as well as consulting sales team members, who will support the ventures that we have already invested in. Our current plan is to hire ten to twelve people in the next year, but the numbers will certainly grow as our ventures get more business opportunities in the region. We will also be working closely with local partners and we are scanning the startup landscape here for our future plans of investing in Finnish startups,” Alok Kumar explains.
“We will target other European countries through the Helsinki unit, both in the Nordic region and the rest of the continent. Helsinki will be our European business hub, complemented by our UK and Indian units. Our teams in Finland and India will be able to service customers together.”
SRKay has ambitious plans for the future. Its goal is to reach a value of one billion US dollars for its startups in five years.
“We see SRKay as a global company with Finland as a strategic location. Our global vision is to be one of the most successful private equity and acceleration firms, generating a high success rate for every venture we accelerate, anywhere in the world. Finland will play a key role as a unique hub of innovation and R&D as well as in developing our business in the Nordic region,” Kumar says.