As we bid farewell to our second pandemic year in a row, it is time to assess the things that went wrong, the steps that could have been taken to avoid things going wrong, and the measures that need to be taken to plan for a more secure future. Corporate organisations that failed to innovate fared a sad fate, with many downsizing on a large scale and some even shutting their doors for good.

Fortunately, for those that are still struggling, a solution is at hand with the services of GreyB. Founded by Deepak Syal and Chakshu Kalra in 2008, it was launched in the peak of the global recession at a time when companies were collapsing with a domino effect. One major aspect that the founders observed while studying the companies around them was the fact that those who did not innovate shut shop during the collapse.

“This made us confident about launching GreyB, as we were working in the domain of innovation. We started with a vision to build a platform so that any company can use the knowledge present in their patents and increase innovation within their company,” explain the founders.

They witnessed the fruits of their labour when they were awarded a number of professional awards, such as the Edison award for creating a solution enabling small and medium size organizations to become more innovative, and the recognition as Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists in the world by IAM. The founders’ entrepreneurial journey has also been featured in the book ‘No Shortcuts’ which became a bestseller on Amazon.

Essentially, GreyB works in the field of innovation, concentrating on three areas—helping companies generate money from their innovations, more specifically their patents; helping companies identify future technology areas where there is huge scope for innovation; and helping companies defend themselves in patent related legal cases.

“Though there are companies that provide similar offerings, at GreyB our aim was not to end up becoming a vending machine for our clients, which would mean giving the same output to all clients irrespective of what they really needed. We work with them like partners to make sure that they get what really solves their problem. This approach has helped us separate ourselves from our competitors and become an attractive option for companies,” explains Kalra.

To spread the word about their work, they began by meeting decision makers in industry conferences. Though it was tough to convince them at first, they started getting traction from certain individuals who were far-sighted and saw the value of what they offered. With happy clients, they were able to sign on more people through word of mouth. Now they are considered one of the top players in the high-end patent consulting space.

However, their journey has been marked with challenges. These included convincing people in 2008 to build their career in a non-software domain; and removing the tag of low-cost provider for their overseas clients who felt all Indian businesses fall under that category. They have fortunately overcome both problems over the years and gone on to record a few truly rewarding moments. Syal shares, “I remember a case where a SME from Israel who wanted to sell their 12 patents came to us. We worked on their patents which helped them get an offer of US$ 24 million for those 12 patents.”

“Our most rewarding moment was the cheque of Rs 5,000 received for the first work that we delivered to a client. The second most rewarding moment was seeing that people from premier institutes wanted to work with GreyB. Next was receiving the Edison award along with other delegates like the CEO of IBM in New York. The last would be seeing incoming requests from companies with Trillion Dollar market cap showing interest in working with us,” adds Kalra.

In a competitive business environment, the ability to innovate new ideas is severely limited due to lack of exposure. Having a database similar to Google to look for innovative solutions for specific corporate issues is the ideal way to overcome this problem. “Imagine the kind of impact this may bring to your problem-solving skills!” say the founders, signing off.

The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog She can be reached on [email protected]

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