Arjun Natarajan, a global citizen who has lived and travelled to many parts of the world, from East to West, with a strong background in Management Consulting and Investment, founded his brainchild venture, A&J Consulting International with a vision to bridge the business gap between China and India.
The visionary, during his travels in China, saw many opportunities between these 2 large Asian nations and the lack of deep understanding & a huge amount of information asymmetry. Largely, businesses between China and India have been on the periphery, and A&J aims to mainstream the business ecosystem.
A&J Consulting International primarily deals with cross-border business expansion, entry to new markets, right-sourcing of suitable partnership firms, product sourcing, crisis management, government relations, etc.
They offer structured and innovative solutions to their clientele and network, confronting the challenges and complexities of the global economy with expertise in regional business sensitivities, government relations, legal compliance, and regulations involved.
The company aims to provide a “One-Stop Service” to help enterprises solve business expansion, company operation, crisis management, and investment issues.
In an exclusive conversation with The CEO Magazine, Arjun shared about various aspects of his business. Edited excerpts:
Arjun: I have worked in China, New York, and India in the consulting field which helped me gain a lot of experience in understanding cross-border business development and global markets. Before the consulting industry, I had worked in logistics & transportation, the telecom industry, and my family business.
The Management Consulting Business is a service industry with low capital intensity. In short, this business aims to improve the effectiveness of a company’s business strategy, organization performance, and operational processes both internally and externally. The Management Consulting industry has a market size of 253 billion USD in 2021, and it continues to expand.
I founded A&J Consulting International in Hangzhou, China in June 2019. We incorporated our independent Indian entity “Arjun & Jenny Consulting International LLP” in August 2020. Our company’s Chinese name “华竺国际咨询（杭州）有限公司” means “Sino-Indian International Consulting”. Today, we have 2 offices in China (Zhejiang & Fujian), 1 office in India (Tamil Nadu), and multiple partner offices across the globe in 5+ countries and 10+ cities. Currently, we are looking to open our 3rd office in Shenzhen, China.
Arjun: We try to have a multi-faceted approach to adding value to our clientele, network, and business partners. Our goal is to provide a “One-Stop-Service” to help enterprises solve various business & investment risks caused by information asymmetry to build a safe and reliable service bridge. Here we try to curate a single-window facilitation service for their requirements.
We work with the mindset “Think Global, Act Local” as there is no one-size-fits-all solution for our clients. Our professional team has a deep understanding of cultural and business sensitivities to advise our network best, keeping the regional business nuances and etiquettes in mind. We are proud to say that we are one of a few advisory firms that provide a “Hand-Holding Service” to all our clients.
Our founding members have a dual national background of China and India with a combined experience of 20+ years in the field of entrepreneurship, cross-border business development, new market entry, real estate risk advisory, financial & investment advisory. We deliver all our services with the same consistency and an uncompromising mindset.
Arjun: To us, “challenges mean opportunities.” Our mindset is to face the challenges, solve them and turn them into a strong experience. We have an international team, transnational resources, and various domestic and cross-border information acquisition channels.
The biggest challenge was navigating the firm’s growth during the pandemic and the recent Sino - India geopolitical tensions. Our primary business model was China outbound and India inbound (help businesses expand out of China into India), but with the pandemic and recent events, we have also diverted a significant portion of our resources to take up domestic projects in India and China.
However, sitting there, worrying, and procrastinating will not help. We had to find ways to navigate these uncertain times. If we did not know, we had to create one. I believe the steps A&J has taken to navigate and sustain the pandemic recession has set a precedent in our ability to think beyond and adapt to uncertain geopolitical tensions and the rapidly changing environment.
Arjun: Our “100% Hand-Holding Approach,” where we partner with some of our clients combined with our “Under the One-Roof-Solution” model, is one of our Unique Selling Points in the Sino-Indian markets.
Hard Power: With multiple offices in China and India, we try to reach out to our target audience more locally. We have fully opened up comprehensive resource channels of the 2 countries and are fully prepared to connect the business needs of the western powers with developing countries.
Soft Power: With a local team in India and China, we can easily facilitate many discussions between the Chinese and Indian teams. Our team is equipped with a deep understanding of national hot spots and economic trends.
The deep-rooted knowledge of various countries with a combined experience of 20+ years in the field of cross-border business development, financial and investment advisory, risk analysis, national policy change is a unique advantage we have in our competitive market.
We are a trusted consultant and partner for many firms across the globe. We work with our clients to solve their hardest and most challenging problems.
Our deep market experience and leadership mindset helps us to engage and address issues more dynamically. Our long-lasting client relationships are founded on “Absolute Trust,” which helps us represent our clients and customers in any part of the world with the same consistency and uncompromising mindset.
Arjun: We built a diverse and young team with an average age of 31 years, with people who can share our vision and trust in our leadership through passion to bridge nations. I think almost all our team members have a strong affinity towards the Indian and Chinese cultures.
I think the most important thing is to clarify the team’s goals. So, from time to time, we do team lunches/ dinners. To show our appreciation, we sometimes sponsor their personal/ higher education expenditure. We call ourselves the “A&J Family.”
We also share the reward we get from completing a big successful project. Our team responds to the care and trust we show in them. During the rough patch of 2020, team members volunteered to work for free. Fortunately, we were able to pay all our employees; but this gesture shows how our team members share our vision and trust our leadership. Simply put, we try to make them see value in what we do and why we do it.
Arjun: These are some of the many laurels that A&J has received:
· A&J had been Special Invitees to the Huzhou International FDI Summit.
· A&J was invited for an official visit to ZASC – Zhejiang Africa Service Center to explore and increase the business lines in Africa.
· A&J was featured on the American news website in “ProactiveInvestors.com” for our collaboration with “Equal Genius Foundation” and “Dalrada Corporation” in Global Accessibility Awareness.
Arjun: With the primary goal to increase and improve brand influence by 2023, we are looking forward to acquiring larger clients and more resource channels across multiple business verticals. At this stage, we are focused on reaching the milestone of 500 million INR in comprehensive revenue by the end of 2026 from all offices.
From 2025 onwards, we plan to focus more on the investment side of the business, maintenance of key customer projects, and create multinational promotion cases for the A&J brand & its services. We want to lay a solid foundation for developing global companies as customers in the company's future.