In conversation with Mukund Mudras – CEO and Co-Founder of Heckyl – winners of the UKTI ‘India’s Most Innovative Companies To Work With The Best of UK’ 2013.
A brief about the company –
Heckyl is a real time data analytics company that brings news, price and fundamental analytics through a single platform called FIND (Financial in News and Data).
FIND can be used by a researcher, trader and an analyst for actionable insight from the universe of data.The platform brings real-time news, information and market data from companies, businesses and global markets along with brokers and analysts recommendations from around the world.
Founded in December 2010, Heckyl recognizes that mining information from Social Media and Open Data sources presents great insight and opportunity for investors, traders, researchers and analysts.
FIND is engineered in connecting these dots with its revolutionary technology in sentiment-tagging, news-clustering and discovery engine that present ready-to-use, actionable intelligence in a fast-moving market.
Why did you decide to set up base in the UK?
Heckyl was planning to grow its customer base to the higher end of the user spectrum, such as hedge funds and PE funds, whose presence in UK and the European markets is very high.
It was a strategic decision to establish an office in UK – the most sought after financial hub of the world.
What are your experiences in setting up the UK operations?
Setting up in UK was a good experience for us. We had won the coveted title of the “UKTI Calling India’s Most Innovative Companies To Work With The Best of UK” contest
– a competition organised by the UKTI, in association with British Airways and Yourstory.
The win provided us with the privilege of being backed by the UKTI, London. Under that, we were guided for registration and legal affairs of setting up business. We received a privileged office space at the famous Level 39, in the tech city of UK.
How has your business benefitted from setting up base in the UK?
UK, being the financial hub of the world, opened up the doors of opportunity – whether it was networking with mentors, incubators and accelerators who have seen-it-all, or the proximity earned, to the financial sectors such as banks, brokerage houses or the hedge funds /PE funds – there is a lot to cater to in this market.
The UK proves to be a good fit for our business , as there is a lot of demand for smart analytics around open data and social media, in the financial domain such as ours, and that businesses in these parts are open to exploring something new. As such, we have recently won the responsibility of being the news and information analytics provider, for a leading data management company popular in the European markets.
The validation received from the UK business eco-system becomes a success story to share for potential markets in the rest of the world.
What assistance did you get from UKTI, and what advice would you give to companies considering a move to UK?
They guided us and helped hasten the process of registration, something which every entrepreneur knows can be a hurdle. We got an office space in Canary Wharf at Level 39. The address is a prestigious one, as most of the well renowned start-ups and accelerators are known to set up base there.
In the days of setting-up, we were shown around and introduced to the well-established mentors who showed us the way businesses are built in the UK. We were able to network with top investors and incubators of the region.
Our Advise to companies moving to UK would be to “Be Prepared to Move Very Fast”
What are some of the challenges that companies from India should keep in mind while considering a move to another country?
Connect with the accelerators and incubators who would be able to support and guide your way around setting up abroad.
Stay in touch for funding wherever possible. There could be resources from start-up platforms and communities that maybe used – such as legal contacts, office space co-ordinators etc.
Challenges are mostly common to any business and are not restricted to India. The critical points are – understanding the tax structure and registration rules and liabilities of the foreign country, decide accordingly where to register the business. An added point is of learning how to manage expenses and save money as much as possible.
Invest in a suitable and feasible human resources agency/platform to build a local team. You may choose to invest in learning the language of the city you are headed to. Network with mentors and peers in the industry, as much as you can.