Transcript of Efficiencies Expert Jason Helfenbaum On How To Increase Your ROI Through Training And Efficiencies
Hemu Javeri, One Of India's Most Respected CEOs, Shares Powerful Strategies For Success In Business And Life

[00:00:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.

At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.

Hemu Javeri is a new age investor, entrepreneur, board member, and formally you, one of India's most respected CEOs with a proven track record. Hemu's strengths are diverse consumer businesses, D2C tech, mobile and digital technology, and innovation.

Hemu contributes significant shareholder value by building new businesses and transforming large companies. Hemu has created and built world-class consumer brands, leveraged disruptive technology and innovation, built a large omnichannel distribution, including complex retail networks, and inspired, nurtured, and built passionate teams.

Hemu has pioneered innovation in mobile and internet businesses and created one of India's first PE fund managers with a hands-on value-adding and investment philosophy that delivered substantial returns by innovative exits.

In earlier professional roles Hemu was President of Madeira Garments, India's largest lifestyle apparel company, and Country, Head of Nike India. Current board roles for Hemu include being the Chairman and CEO of the First Cricket Company, Founder and Chairman of Zeven Sports, and Co-founder and Managing Director of Forum Synergies PE Fund Manager.

Hemu is a member of YPO and is the Founder and Managing Trustee of Hasmukh Kala Foundation which helps to transform the lives of women through music and the performing arts.

Hemu enjoys golf and scuba diving and is trained in Hindustani classical music.

Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I have a real treat for all of our listeners today. We have Hemu with us who is incredibly experienced and successful, and we are going to hear today stories from the trenches that you can take back and put into your own businesses and apply some strategies to help take you to the next level.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. So, Haman, firstly, welcome to The Sell My Business Podcast. I'm so, excited to have you with us today. Why don't we start with the story behind the story? How did you get to where you are today?

[00:03:44] Hemu Javeri: First and foremost, Jeffrey, thanks a ton. It's a pleasure to be on this podcast. And I hope I can make the next several minutes worthwhile to all the listeners. My experience has been very unusual in different ways, but I have a very unique experience of being a professional though. I was from a family background I come from a business family. And the only son so, to speak, but I opted to move into creating my own future or career if I was to call it that. And so, I became professional. I spent the first, almost 20 odd years of my professional career as a professional. And that's what really grounded me into understanding business, how international companies run business.

How do you run a business at scale? And more importantly, because I had the value system of not working for a competing company. I got exposure to many different kinds of businesses. But then at some point, you realize I was in my mid-forties and I said, you know, I've already done some of the best jobs in India and this part of the world.

I'd been the CEO of Nike in South Asia. I'd run India's largest apparel retailer. And then I was thinking, I need to reinvent myself. And so, in my mid-forties, I became an entrepreneur, and that entrepreneurship journey really began when me and a few other really well-known friends and very highly competent professionals started our own private equity fund manager.

We were actually among the first fund managers who came from professional backgrounds and who were able to impact and contribute to businesses in a real way, rather than only in an investment way and help them transform themselves and create value. So, that is really a little bit about myself.

[00:05:48] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, thank you for that. And for our listeners, Hemu who is quite the modest fellow. What you should know is that he's one of India's most respected CEOs, and he did that with a proven track record. And we'll talk a little bit about that. But it's interesting how you went from what some people would call a hired gun or a CEO coming in to take a company to the next level.

And then in your forties, you said, hey, let me change things up in your words, you want to reinvent yourself. And then you became an entrepreneur. Was there something specific for you that had you make that decision?

[00:06:24] Hemu Javeri: Jeffrey, those of the listeners who have been professionals will know that there is no greater comfort than a fat salary check coming at the end of every month. But like many of us, I think you reach a stage in your life when you say, okay, I've done well in my professional career, I've got a reasonable financial security. I'm in my mid-forties.

What do I do? I can't visualize myself doing this for the next 30, 40 years. So, you have to find for yourself, what is that optimal time when you choose to reinvent yourself? And I think for me, that came for me in my mid-forties, I think it's important and I'm sure you will agree. You've done it in yourself. Unless you reinvent yourself, unless you keep yourself relevant to the new age, to the new trends that are happening. Unless you are future-ready if I was to call it that. I don't think businessmen entrepreneurs, professionals will survive in the medium and long-term, if you look at corporate history, if you look at, all the successful business families, all of them have reinvented themselves.

And if you don't reinvent yourselves, I personally feel that it's a matter of time before you will become either inconsequential. You can continue to do what you want and, make a certain amount of money and so, on and so, forth. But in a general sense, I think you will become inconsequential and potentially irrelevant.

So, for me, the trigger was, what is the point? Do I have something to do that really excites me? And I was fortunate that I had some dear friends who are competent and, stars in their own right. And we agreed and decided to form this firm, which was a private equity fund manager. Which of course is the context with which we are here today.

[00:08:23] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. And before we talk about the private equity fund management company that you had created, and even this incredible exit that you had, you know, for our listeners, I want to circle back on something that you can enlighten them on. In the Deep Wealth Experience. One of our steps, step number two, X-Factors. These are things that really help take a business to the next level.

And the challenge for most business owners is that the business doesn't run without them. And so, before you start a liquidity event, it's absolutely essential that you have a CEO or president and a management team to run the company. And so, for most business owners Hemu the concept of bringing an outsider in to run the business.

It may not be something that a business owner has experience with. So, you came from the corporate world first. It would be terrific to hear some of your insights as a business owner on what should I be doing to attract the world's top talent to my business. Not only to attract them and hire them to run the company but to keep them in the seat, engaged and excited.

What worked for you when you're on the corporate side?

[00:09:33] Hemu Javeri: So, that's a great question, Jeffrey. And obviously, there's no short or easy answer. They are different situations and obviously different contexts will prevail for each of the listeners here. But I would say a few principles like you rightly said earlier. The few principles are common. So, first and foremost, there has to be a commitment, a long-term commitment on the part of the owner to delegate and empower. Unless the owner of the business says that, hey either this business has outgrown me or I am the reason why this business is not doing as well as it can. And therefore, I need to change the leadership. I don't think anything else can happen. So, I would say the most important factor in that process is for the owner to say it is imperative that I need to find a competent professional, CEO, COO. But that is important to me. And without that my company, the value of my ownership is going to get eroded. That is the first step. If you cross that step in a genuine form, many people will say, yeah, I want to do it only if these conditions are met, there is no perfect world.

So, with that, then the person has to say that, okay, hey, these are the kinds of qualities I want in my CEO or COO. Obviously, a lot of this comes from the question of trust. Is that person going to be trustworthy to me? Will he, or she cheat me? Can I trust that person? Is that person as competent as me? In reality, that person actually, maybe more competent than the owner, but these are all difficult questions that the owners have to answer.

And I will tell you one thing from my experience as a professional and also as an owner. That while there is no easy answer or there is no guarantee that the first person you identify will fit your bill. I can assure you that unless an ownership team, which is optimally not performing or is performing at sub-optimal levels. Unless you find the right professional CEO, COO you are destroying value in your business. And the sooner you recognize that the sooner you fix it is better for you as owners. And it is at that time, that one has to have the ability to keep egos aside. To keep self-images aside and have the ability to gradually build trust. There are ways to protect yourself, obviously. And we'll come to that in a little bit.

[00:12:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some terrific advice and Hemu you bring up a point that many business owners tend to overlook. Number one, when they decide to bring a professional in to run the business, a CEO or COO. And when they decide to have a liquidity event. And that is time because what you said is so, true as a business owner when I hire somebody.

Hopefully, it's the right person and there's a fit, but there may not be. And so, if you don't give yourself enough time, you hire somebody because you know you're going to be selling in the business. And there's not a lot of runway in front of you. You're going to have an issue if the person that you hired to run the business, isn't the right person.

And that's why preparation as early as possible in advance of your liquidity event is really the way to go. And so, let me ask you something now. And I'd like to focus in on the private equity side of things. Why don't you tell us what was it that your company was doing on the private equity fund that you had created?

What kinds of activities were you doing?

[00:13:46] Hemu Javeri: We were the first private equity fund manager in this part of the world. Asia really but mainly south Asia. People always associated finance background people as being the only people who could create valuable private equity fund managers. We were a few guys from YPO Bangalore forum mates if some of, the concept of forum in YPO and YPO is a great global organization. And my YPO Bangalore forum is a great group of guys. So, some of us got together and said that can we create a group of people who can add value to businesses in India? And therefore, help small and medium businesses become world leaders or even if they don't become world leaders can we create disruptive value in a reasonable period of time?

So, we were actually CEOs, professionals who have done exceedingly well, very strong track record. Me and my partner so, his background is engineering manufacturing.

My background is consumer businesses, technology, consumer-facing businesses, branding, retail, that kind of stuff. So, we said together, it could be a very important combination, but how can we create a model which offers small and mid-size businesses, not just a check, but value-added support at every stage of the business cycle.

And when we were interviewing investees, Jeffrey. I would use the phrase. If you want only a check, then we are the wrong people. We are not going to just sign a check and give it to you. We will be interfering, but we will be interfering on matters that we will agree before we invest so, that you know what to expect, and we know what to expect.

And if that doesn't suit you then that's fine. We don't need to invest. We don't want to waste our time doing things on which we don't have competence. We don't want to second guess you, we don't want to out-think the promoter because don't forget. I have the deepest respect and regard for entrepreneurs and family-run businesses who have run businesses for years. Successfully.

Entrepreneurs who have run businesses and created valuable businesses for 5, 10, 15 years. I don't know anything about their business. I can't pretend to know more about their business in a few months than they do for 10, 15, 20, maybe a hundred years. So, we have to respect that I respect that.

But the reality is that as the world has changed, have you changed enough with it? Have you changed your thinking? Have you changed the fundamental principles of your business? Have you changed what I call the key factors of success in your business? Some people have not. So, our ability as a fund manager and private equity is to show that to the entrepreneur, to the promoter, to the family business owner and say, hey, this is our thesis with your business.

You have A, B, C, D E, which is fantastic, but you have G H I J K, which needs to be modified. With needs to change. Otherwise, you are going to become irrelevant. And that model is really resonating and which is actually not only resonated with investees and entrepreneurs but more importantly has proven to be successful.

And we've had some really great exits but more importantly, each of the businesses that we have been involved in has actually created value for its shareholders, for sure, but also for the stakeholders in and around in that ecosystem.

[00:18:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: That's terrific. And there's a lot there that you're shared. And for our listeners, I'd like you to listen really carefully to this next part, because as a business owner, part of your mission and in the Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap, step number three, your future buyer. And we talk a lot about that.

Your mission in your liquidity event as a business owner is to really understand who your future buyer is going to be. What the outlook is, what the concerns are, what problem you're solving for your future buyer. And so, what I'd be interested in and for our listeners Hemu is when you're looking at various companies to invest in.

Let's start on the flip side for just a moment. You must have seen common mistakes, independent of the industry and the business just common mistakes that most business owners are making. Can you share with our listeners, perhaps the top two or three mistakes that you saw continually when you were doing your due diligence on companies that you were thinking about investing in?

[00:19:05] Hemu Javeri: You're putting me in a spot here, Jeffrey. But let me take a stab at it. I think the first thing I wouldn't call it a mistake, but I would call it an error in judgment. An entrepreneur, like all of us, is typically extremely optimistic.

I think that is the first error in judgment. We don't have all the answers, we may know our business, but we don't know the environment. We don't know how the environment would change. Even God could not have predicted COVID but it happened. So, there are so, many, imponderables so, many uncertainties outside the entrepreneur's control, which he, or she doesn't have to anticipate each and every one.

But I think the important error in judgment is that am I aware of what could happen? But most importantly, am I ready with the response? And the ability to respond to a dynamic environment and the ability to respond to something that external environment factors sometimes even in internal factors to me is the first gray area if I was to call it that or what you are calling a mistake, I would call error in judgment. We do not have all the answers and we should not pretend that we have the answers. And I always love entrepreneurs who say, I don't know, I am not sure. These are golden words. This is music to my ears.

So, to me, that is one. Second, I think is the other mistake or error in judgment most entrepreneurs make in my view is I don't think they resource themselves adequately. And in my judgment, I may be wrong. There are only two resources, Jeffrey that matter. One is people and the other is money.

Technology, all those other things can be acquired with either of the two. And unless you are adequately resourced on these two key parameters, I think you are always exposing yourself to risk. The risk could be small. The risk could be high. This could be short-term risks could be long-term, but we as entrepreneurs or family businesses, which have been run so, successfully for hundreds of years, or entrepreneurs will run businesses for 15, 20 years.

They're doing well, they're profitable, but you don't know. Are you resourced on people and money? Not for today but for tomorrow, and that is the other error in judgment in my view that I think most of us should be prepared for. And there is no easy answer because the resource is relevant to the business, the scale of the business, the competitive context and so, on.

So, I think the important thing in this is the owner of the business or the owners of the business have to keep asking themselves, am I resourced adequately? Not for today, but for tomorrow. And unfortunately, most of us tend to think that we are when, in reality, we are not.

[00:22:37] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some terrific insights. And for our listeners, I hope you picked up on this because of what Hemu was sharing. And it's not just Hemu who's sharing this many buyers that have shared this as well. They're not looking for a business owner who is a know it all. There's much more comfort when you're vulnerable.

Yes, being vulnerable is actually being strong. It takes a strong person to say, you know what? I don't know the answer to that. Or we tried this and it didn't work out. Here's why it didn't work out. Maybe you can make a difference in this area. So, it's interesting Hemu that as an investor, looking at various companies, you're talking about people and money and really a mindset of the business owner of being open and adaptable to change.

And if I can go back to one of your words, which I love or a term disruptive value. And I am curious about this because for me when I look at entrepreneurship when I look at business is all about what problem are you solving today? The problem that you solved yesterday, perhaps that made you successful.

But if you stop there, success can be the pathway to failure. And so, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Hemu on why it's important for a business owner to not rest on what we did yesterday. But continually to look for new painful problems that can be solved to create a disruption in the marketplace and the best way to do that.

[00:24:00] Hemu Javeri: Yeah. And Jeffrey, you said it really well. So, I'm going to take a cue from that. I think the reality that the consumer, the businesses today are changing so, rapidly. The rate of change of almost everything in today's world is faster by hours and days, and months and years. It's all being shrunk into shorter periods of time.

So, if you, as an entrepreneur or business owner part thought that I was making the best, let's say ceramics in the United States and that worked for a hundred years, but today ceramics as a technology or as a use case has changed so, dramatically. So, how am I disrupting myself? Can I disrupt myself?

And I think that is the question that each one of us should ask ourselves. Can I compete against myself and disrupt the industry that I am in rather than waiting for somebody else to do it to me? And I think that's what I mean by disruptive value. If I am as an entrepreneur or even a family business owner if I can find what is it that my customer is today getting that somebody else can do better for him or her.

And what are the tools or the technologies that I can create because I know this business better than him or her and my family is doing it for 50 years or a hundred years? Why should somebody else be smarter than me about knowing my customer? So, that means I don't really know my customer, not for today, but am I helping my customer grow, evolve?

But more importantly, am I in tune with my customer's aspirations and needs for the future? If I can do that, then I can create disruptive value for myself. And that is to me, a sort of a summarization. I hope I've explained it enough for some people to understand. But I think I'm taking more of a cue from where you started Jeffrey.

[00:26:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: Hemu I absolutely love that. And for our listeners, what you heard is pure gold, because when you think about it, the mission of every business owner should be to put yourself out of business. When you put yourself out of business and you're going on to create something that's bigger and better. Better that'd be from you than from your competition or someone else.

And so, you're spot on in saying, where can I put myself out of business? How can I do that so, I can continue to grow, help people solve the painful problems, and move forward. Now, Hemu, speaking of growth, as an investor, as a private equity fund manager, when you were looking at companies, I would imagine that some companies stood out more than others.

What would be some of the success factors that attracted you to want to invest in one company over another company?

[00:27:14] Hemu Javeri: Obviously you need to know how good the business is just in terms of the financials and how are all the key cohorts speaking. For example, what are the revenues? What is the bottom line? What is the cost of customer acquisition?

What is the retention rate of customers? It's obviously business by business, but I'm summarizing it under the bucket of financial metrics or cohorts as some of us got. So, that is obviously the first one. The other part is really about the future. Almost every investor is not looking as much at the past but at the future.

And I think that is the thing that many entrepreneurs forget. Nobody cares if you've done something great for a hundred years, right? Yes. If with that, you can build a future for another 20 years or 10 years, even that is incredibly well. But if you got stuck in the hundred-year-old past, or the 20 or past that's no use.

So, the second part of what we look for is how future-ready are you? How ambitious are you? How growth-oriented are you? How do you have the appetite to grow? And yet balance risk. And I'm summarizing it in the context of future-ready? How future-ready is the entrepreneur and the business?

Sometimes the entrepreneur may be ahead of what the business can really do because the business may be stuck in the past. The entrepreneur may be very passionate and modern, and sometimes I've seen this across the world where particularly in family-run businesses, the young generation is itching to change and transform, but because of their family structure and I'm not being disrespectful to the family structure, it has tremendous value and great advantages.

But this young person in the third, fourth, fifth generation is itching to change, but sometimes cannot because of risk. So, is the business and the leadership, and the ownership future-ready? I would say that is the second thing we look for. And then the third thing I personally attach a lot of value to is what I would loosely call values, principles, and ethics.

And I spend a lot of time with people before we invest. On what are their aspirations? What are their values? Is it money at any cost? How do you treat people? How do you treat your customers? How do you treat your vendors? What is it that your value systems are? What are the principles with which you run your business?

Is it sustainability? How do these things matter to you? And therefore, I'm just summarizing it. At least we look a lot at values, principles, ethics, and so, on. Now different investors look at different parameters. And then obviously the fourth one is by doing this, how much money am I going to make in what period of time?

And therefore, in that, the question that comes up is how exitable is this business? And when I say exitable it means that my stake in the company, how easy will it be for me to sell? And with me, if the entrepreneur or the promoter wants to sell a portion or all of it, I need to know that up front. Some entrepreneurs tell us I never want to leave this business, which is fine.

We don't mind that. Some entrepreneurs tell us yes. When you exit. It's not necessarily our first choice. But at the right price at the right terms. And so, long as my business goes into safe hands, we are willing to evaluate an exit. So, the exit discussion we do even before we invest.

[00:31:37] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some wonderful insights there. And for listeners I want you to see the map that Hemu is building for us. And we really start with understanding who your future buyer is. And Hemu you very eloquently said that, and I'm going to use my own words here. Most business owners are selfish. They're selfish because it's all about them and not about the future buyer and that can't be the case, your future buyer doesn't want to hear. Hey, I took out every last penny from this business. If you're saying that your future buyer is going to look elsewhere, your future buyer wants to hear there's a lot of upside here that I haven't been able to tap into.

Hemu to your point perhaps I haven't had the people, perhaps I have not had the resources, but future buyer, you do, and this is what's waiting for you when you do that. And then that also ties back into the vulnerability that we spoke about a few moments back, whereas a business owner, if you can share with your future buyer, here's why we haven't been able to grow the company, but perhaps you can with your experience and your resources.

And so, I really want you to take away for our listeners. It's all about the future. Hemu who knows what you did yesterday. He knows what you did today. What he really wants to know is what are you going to do for him as an investor, as a buyer tomorrow? And the right answer will make it an easy decision for him to say, yes, let's look to either invest in your company or buy your company.

So, some very powerful strategies. Thank you for sharing. Now speaking of a liquidity event or an exit, let's look at what you have done because congratulations, firstly, you had a very successful exit and I'm curious, what were some things that worked really well, to help you achieve your exit?

[00:33:21] Hemu Javeri: So, first and foremost, in my view is that the entrepreneur or the promoters have to be as convinced about the need and timing of the exit. You know, you can never have a reluctant bride in an exit process. So, it's extremely important the starting point in all the exits I've done has always been to make sure that the seller first and foremost, sellers stroke sellers, are ready. And therefore, I spend a lot of time with the sellers of the company, which we have a stake in saying, okay, what is it that you want? And what is it that you don't want?

Apart from price, price is the obvious but sometimes for example, and Jeffrey, you know this better than me, but sometimes when you sell your stakes as promoters, not as investors, you have certain reps, warranties, indemnifications, et cetera. Now, some promoters want to sell the company and say, hey, the day I sell this company, I don't want to have any liability or responsibility.

No buyer is going to do that. If a dead rat shows up one year later, you have to be willing to own up to that. In some entrepreneurs’ cases, before we invested their mindset was that, hey, I don't want to have anything to do with this. And I'm so, thankful to do the way we structure ourselves that we asked these questions before investing.

And in some ways, if you don't know the answer to that, you will land up three years, five years, eight years into the investment. And there is complete disalignment of exit. Remember one thing an investor, at least that's the way we position it. An investor enters the company, looking at the door to get out.

The entrepreneur is not looking at it that way. The entrepreneur expects that the investor will stay with him or her till the cows come home. It's not going to be like that. An investor is investing for a definite period of time, a finite period of time with the return expectation. So, unless the entrepreneur understands that from day one, there is going to be a misalignment of objectives, which can only cause friction, which can only cross this trust, which can only cause pain and therefore disaster.

[00:36:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. There's a lot there and some wonderful takeaways. And what's interesting Hemu is the first thing that you're talking about it in terms of the business owner being excited firstly, about having some kind of liquidity event, but knowing what's wanted, and what's not wanted. In the Deep Wealth Experience, we call that defining your deal points of what must absolutely be in the deal.

Otherwise, you're not doing it and you're no-fly zones. So, these are things that cannot be in the deal at any point whatsoever. And if they are, you're not going to be doing the deal, you're going to be looking elsewhere or having a deal with another buyer. So, that kind of clarity is absolutely crucial.

And then it's interesting for our listeners. Once again, Hemu having been on all sides of the table here could not have said it any clearer. The liquidity event for you. That's your Exit. But to attract the absolute best buyer to get the best deal there has to be the exit after the exit for your new investor or your new buyer.

That if that's not exciting there, isn't going to be a deal for you. So, Hemu, in your particular exit, how did you ensure that your future investor or buyer was very aware of those two things?

[00:37:18] Hemu Javeri: Once again, before I say that, I think Jeff, you said it very well, the way you put it. So, in our case, in this particular case, this is a software product company. It is the leader in India and emerging markets. So, it has a reasonably strong global play in Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, et cetera. Tech company, software product company, very strong in SaaS solutions, cloud solutions, and this entire new dispensation, if I was to call it that. I think it was important to find a strategic fit for the buyer and this company for one plus one to be equal to three or four or five. And it took us a lot of time. We've used, i-bankers, who were extremely important in this process, but more importantly, the promoters, the founders, they spent a lot of time putting together their strategic vision.

Which of course we at Forum Synergies did our best to add value to and correct it and modify and enhance it and course correct it. But I think the important thing was can this combination of the seller and the buyer where one plus one is equal to three, four or five, it took time. It took some trial and error.

We, in fact, before we sold to the company, which eventually bought us and the merger is about to happen, there was another buyer in the pipeline, where there was a strategic fit. But for various reasons, which were primarily around alignment of how the future together would be that the deal did not happen.

We were fortunate as investors that because of the way we looked at it, we had the ability to reach out to another investor at short notice. Actually, an even better investor. Where the company has actually now gone into better hands. The strategic fit is even more enhanced. I think the important thing Jeffrey, I would like to share with the listeners is, and there's just one phrase that I would put is unless there is a win-win for buyer and seller, it cannot work.

And if I was to put it in financial terms, in my view, it should not be only about value maximization or price maximization, but it should be about value optimization and price optimization. Because if the buyer feels he's paying more than it deserves at the last minute, he can pull the plug. If the seller feels that he or she is being shortchanged at the last minute, he or she will pull the plug and the deal will not happen.

The two or three key things that I would mention is one it has to be a win-win for today for the people today. And for tomorrow. And it has to be done in a manner where there has to be value optimization, where the sum of the parts is greater than individual parts. And I think we were able to do that in this exit and the other exits we've done as well.

[00:41:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, Congratulations on that again. That's wonderful. And for our listeners, once again, I really hope you're listening to what Hemu was sharing with. And let's take a step back for just a moment. This isn't just anybody who is sharing these nuggets of gold not even gold platinum, this wisdom that we're hearing from one of India's most respected CEOs who then went on to become one of us as a business owner, Who then as a business owner started a private equity fund. And so, Hemu has worn all these different hats. And the one thing Hemu that you shared with us that is so, powerful, and we talk a lot about this in the Deep Wealth Experience. As a business owner, my liquidity event will be the single largest, most important financial decision of my lifetime.

Yes. There are business owners who go on and they have other liquidity events, and sometimes they're bigger and they're more successful. But for most business owners, this is it. You have one opportunity you really want to make it account. And the best deal is what you want. Not any deal. And in your words, the best deal isn't always the deal that has the highest number on it.

Believe it or not, the best deal is where you have the best cultural fit. So, you find a future buyer who has the best cultural fit amongst all the other buyers. And when you do that, you'll increase your deal certainty. You'll increase your enterprise value and you do create that win-win-win.

And Hemu thank you so, much for sharing that with us and some of your insights as we round out the conversation about your exit, nothing is ever a hundred percent or perfect. Looking back at your exit would there be anything differently that you would have done or something perhaps that you did that you wouldn't have done?

[00:42:47] Hemu Javeri: Yeah, it's always easy to speak with hindsight. I think I would have created more options for exit. Obviously, once you get into the term sheet, there is an exclusivity period. So, you cannot do anything after that. But at the pre-term sheet stage, I would have created more options in terms of exit options for us and buyer options for the future of the business and the entrepreneurs, some of whom wanted to exit.

I would say that would be the first thing. Second again, the advantage of hindsight is I think I would have preferred if we had approached this with a global view and not with a primarily India, US view. When we approached the exit, we were focusing primarily on India and the United States.

Maybe there was a better buyer in Brazil. Maybe there was a better buyer in Thailand who knows. I think those were the two things I would have done differently. We normally tend to operate in our zone of comfort.

We tend to operate in an ecosystem with which we are familiar with. And if, particularly as you so, beautifully, put it, Jeffrey. If this is one of the most important financial events of your life then, maybe in preparation for this exit, maybe you need to look outside your comfort zone outside your geography, outside your immediate network.

And look at areas where perhaps a value realization can be much harder.

[00:44:33] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well said when I speak with business owners, I often hear, oh, Jeffrey, I know who my future buyer is going to be. I almost don't even need an investment banker because I know it's going to be so-and-so that's going to do this. And Hemu more to your point. And it is so, valuable and a terrific takeaway.

We should never assume who our future buyer is going to be. And chances are when you do the process properly, it'll be somebody that you never would have imagined. And so, as a business owner, it's your mission to find firstly, the right investment banker, who's going to be your advocate and not a transactional investment banker.

And at that point, you cast as wide a net, as you possibly can. You have an auction and you bring in as many possible potential buyers into that auction. You find the buyer with the best cultural fit, and then you have that optimization that Haman was Hemu about. So, some words for the wise, Hemu thank you for sharing that.

As we begin to wrap up this interview there's one question that is my favorite question. And I ask every guest on the, Sell My Business Podcast. And here's the question for you. I'd like you to think back to the movie, Back to the Future and in the movie, you have that very special car, the DeLorean car that can go back in time to any point in time.

Hemu, imagine that it's tomorrow morning, you look out your window. That DeLorean car is there. The door is open, is waiting for you to go in and you can go back to any point in your life, perhaps it's you as a young child or an adolescent or into your adult life, whatever period of time that would be.

What would you be saying to your younger self in terms of lessons learned, don't do this, or do this, or wisdom?

[00:46:20] Hemu Javeri: First and foremost, much as I am a fan of the DeLorean car, I think today it would be a Tesla. So, I am assuming that we should make that historical, correction. But fortunately, Jeffrey, I believe that it's not worth having too many regrets or too many if I had done that kind of moments in life, I personally have very few regrets in my life.

I've made lots of choices, many have worked, many have not. But I have accepted those choices and the consequences head-on. But I would say largely I've been very blessed and fortunate in the outcome of those. And I strongly believe in the fact that, while most of us believe that most of our life is in our control.

Yes. Most of it is, but there are many pieces of that, which are not in your control and what is not in your control there's no point banging your head against that or wishing that you know, I was talking to somebody yesterday, who's 65 years old and he says, I've lost two years of my life because of COVID.

Now at 65, 2 years of your life is a lot of time. But what can you do about it? It's not in your control. But in a more commercial or business sense, I would say that I think I would've liked it if I had been more aggressive in what I would loosely call, speeding up things. I should have been more aggressive on timelines.

I should've pushed timelines faster, harder, et cetera. Because I had the view that look, not everything is in my control and what is not in my control I don't want to get frustrated with it was a choice. Maybe if I had pushed myself in my forties, fortunately, I did so, well in my professional career.

I beat all my timelines. I had wanted to be a CEO at 40 and as a YPO member, you will know at that time it was a big deal, but I became a CEO at 37. I became the head of Nike in India, the age of 37. It was a big deal. Similarly, if I had set myself more aggressive financial goals with more aggressive timelines, I think we could have achieved some faster financial results.

But I think why I have no regret is because I made a choice that I don't want to get grief by something, which I don't control. So, I think because of that paradoxical choice I would say I'm relatively at peace on that count.

[00:49:01] Jeffrey Feldberg: What a terrific outlook to have and some wonderful life advice. And thank you for sharing with us all of those insights. So, Hemu as we begin to wrap up this podcast, and I will put this information in the show notes for any of the listeners who would like to reach out to you online, what would be the best way and place to do that?

[00:49:21] Hemu Javeri: Sure. I'm happy to, you have my email ID. I'm happy to share. With your listeners, if any of them have something they'd like to reach out to me to clarify or to, seek some insights. I don't have all the answers, I must say. But being, part of the Deep Wealth Experience, I'll be happy more than happy to engage on an email.

And then if. We could do a phone call or a WhatsApp call or, something like that as well. Happy to help anybody who thinks I have some way to contribute and add value to that.

[00:49:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: Thank you for that. We will put that in the show notes and, don't let Hemu's modesty throw you off there. You are hearing from an incredibly successful, smart, and talented business person. And Hemu, I want to thank you so, much for taking part of your day and sharing it with us in the Deep Wealth community.

And as we close out this podcast, I'm going to ask that you please stay healthy and safe.

[00:50:18] Hemu Javeri: Thanks very much. Jeffrey. It's been a pleasure. I hope I can contribute in some small way to the lives and businesses of your listeners. And looking forward to hearing more and keeping in touch with all the great work that Deep Wealth is doing.

[00:50:34] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.

[00:50:37] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.

[00:50:47] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity

[00:50:52] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.

[00:50:59] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so, many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.

[00:51:14] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So, it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.

[00:51:36] Sharon S.: There was so, much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so, much for the energy that was expended.

[00:51:47] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.

[00:52:00] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.

[00:52:18] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so, different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.

It's five-star, A-plus.

[00:52:45] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.

Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.

[00:53:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

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 As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe. 

This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, 90% of deals fail. Of the successful deals, business owners leave millions of dollars on the deal table.

Who are we and how do we know? We're the 9-figure exit guys. We said "no" to a 7-figure offer based on 3-times, EBITDA. Two years later, we said "yes" to a 9-figure offer based on 13-times EBITDA.  In the process we increased the value of our company 10X.

During our liquidity event journey, we created a 9-step preparation process. It's the quality and depth of your preparation that increases your business value.

After our 9-figure exit we committed ourselves to leveling the playing field. The Deep Wealth Experience helps you create a launch plan in 90-days. Our solution is resilient, relentless, and gets results. Enjoy the certainty that you'll capture the maximum value on your liquidity event.
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Hemu Javeri, One Of India's Most Respected CEOs, Shares Powerful Strategies For Success In Business And Life