CEO Mastery

Read time: 3 minutes.

Selling Tejora Technologies has been pivotal in my entrepreneurial journey.

In this edition, I will share the process and my key insights. These could be valuable whether you’re considering an exit or want to build a more robust business.

Let’s dive in.

The Decision to Sell

In 2017, after my husband Nitin’s sudden passing, I found myself overwhelmed. But I dived headlong, taking control of all areas of the business. 

In the next two years, I worked around the clock to make Tejora as strong as possible. We implemented processes and systems. They freed me from day-to-day operations to focus on growth. By 2019, we had grown to a 200-strong team, serving the BFSI sector with two solid Fintech products. 

One day, a friend casually asked if I’d considered selling Tejora. 

That was the first time it ever crossed my mind. 

After four months of soul-searching and deliberation, I decided to sell. I was excited as well as apprehensive—could I let go of the company we’d built from the ground up?

Finding the Right Broker

My first broker was a disaster. 

They promised a sky-high valuation and a quick sale with a “perfect” acquirer. But it was all smoke and mirrors. I fired them.

Lesson learned: Don’t fall for unrealistic promises. Find a broker who genuinely understands your business and is aligned with your exit goals.

Positioning the Business

My initial pitch was naïve. I was overly passionate. 

Potential acquirers were more interested in hard numbers than emotional attachment. I had to learn to present Tejora dispassionately.

To strengthen our position:

  • I hired a costing accountant
  • We identified and fixed all financial leakages
  • I prepared myself for a longer notice period

Remember: What attracts acquirers isn’t just your passion but the cold, hard facts of your business’s performance and potential.

The Ideal Buyer

In total, I received 5 offers:

  • 3 were earn-outs (part of the sale price attached to future performance)
  • 1 was from a financial investor offering more money but planning to break up the company
  • 1 was from a strategic buyer that seemed like a good fit

The strategic buyer from the US with India offices understood our industry and valued our people. They had completed a similar acquisition the previous year and saw Tejora as a key to further growth.

Just what I needed!

Sealing the Deal

Negotiations were intense. Besides money, structuring such a deal is an art in itself. 

Key points included:

  • My agreement to a one-year stay
  • Commitment to not fire employees but reskill if needed
  • Detailed plans for integrating our products and teams
  • Agreements on handling existing client contracts and relationships

The next crucial step was due diligence. 

For 60 days, the buyer’s team meticulously examined every aspect of Tejora:

  • Legal documents and contracts
  • Financial statements and projections
  • Compliance records and risk assessment
  • Intellectual property and technology stack
  • Operational processes and efficiency
  • Customer relationships and pipeline

This process was grueling but necessary. It validated our company’s value. Satisfied with our records, the buyer reduced my stay to just 3 months, showing their confidence in our team and systems.

With due diligence complete, we moved swiftly. All transfers were done in one shot, making the process smooth and efficient. It was a whirlwind of activity, but our preparation paid off in a seamless transition.

What Worked in Our Favor

Learning from my previous company, Elixir’s sale, I was committed to building value in Tejora. 

We had, 

  • Clean records
  • Healthy cash flow 
  • Competitive advantage
  • A strong customer base 
  • Impeccable company culture
  • Predictable & recurring future revenue
  • High-value IP in the form of 2 fintech products
  • A loyal and competent leadership team to continue

This was no coincidence. It was a result of smart strategies and meticulous planning.

Pro Tip: When you intentionally work towards increasing business value, you build a predictable, robust, and resilient business that drives and sustains growth. It also becomes attractive to investors and buyers (if the need arises).

The journey of selling Tejora has significantly strengthened my business acumen. 

It taught me what business is fundamentally about – creating and unlocking value.

I hope this gave you some insights into the acquisition process.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you had experience with selling a business? What challenges did you face? Reply to this email.

Stay tuned!

To your mastery,

Surabhi

P.S. If you found this valuable, please forward it to a fellow entrepreneur who might benefit!

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