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With ARR of ₹12.7 million, Inkxpert India’s global Y-o-Y revenue jumps by 400% amid COVID in FY21

In early March 2020, Inkxpert India CEO Akhilesh Panigrahi had two big reasons to exude childlike excitement. First, the content marketing startup had completely transformed into an IT writing brand for Indian and US-based SMEs in two years. Second, the venture had grown six times in 12 months. From Rs.20 lakh of operational revenue in FY19, Inkxpert India was set to cross Rs.1.7 crore a year later. “We were quite excited to enter the new financial year,” recalls Akhilesh, co-founder of Inkxpert, which raised around Rs.10 crore last January, making it the biggest funding round for an internet-first marketing company in India.
Then came the pandemic, lockdowns, and a twist in the tale. “We thought our dream run was coming to an end,” says Akhilesh. “The pandemic was fast turning into a monster,” chips in the co-founder. There was widespread uncertainty, businessed shut down and operations came to a halt. The first silver lining, though, emerged after a few days. Technical writing, and other segments, were included among essential IT marketing tools for COVID communication. As the co-founders started taking baby steps towards restarting operations, the big question was: Can Inkxpert survive the pandemic? The couple, along with the team, started hunting for growth triggers.
Almost a year later, growth seems to have come in style, with operational revenue almost trebling in nine months over the previous 12 months—from Rs.20 lakhs in FY20 to Rs.1.8 crore in December. By mid-February, Inkxpert had a top line of Rs. 2 crore. The icing on the cake has been the bottom line. From a loss of Rs.1 crore last fiscal, the brand is set to post its maiden profit. Akhilesh decodes the magic. The inspiration to fight the pandemic beast, he lets on, came from Formula One legend Ayrton Senna. ‘You can’t overtake 15 cars in sunny weather, but you can when it’s raining’, the Brazilian racing ace once remarked. The pandemic was like rain for Inkxpert India.
During the early months of the lockdown, when offices remained shuttered across the country, IT companies had no choice but to WFH. A quick adoption to the digital way of life meant two things for the direct-to-client brand. First, the less-cluttered online space gave it a head-start over its offline rivals who were still grappling to put together an ecommerce strategy. Second, a massive surge of new buyers started coming from SMEs and beyond.
This called for an urgent need to recalibrate the offline strategy. Akhilesh stepped on the gas from last July. From an offline footprint of some 3,00-odd clients, the brand ramped up its presence to over 800+ clients. A simultaneous move to aggressively increase the headcount complemented the offline strategy. From over 100 employees last May, Inkxpert India now has over 250 on its rolls. “We gave increments, performance bonus and kept hiring,” says Akhilesh Panigrahi

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