Verified Expert in Finance
Management Consulting Expert
Pala is an award-winning entrepreneur who founded three tech companies, growing one to 250+ people and leading another to an exit that generated a 16x return. He serves on the boards for startup and growth-stage eCommerce, market research, job pairing, and analytics companies. Pala has expertise in business strategy, financial models, marketing, customer, competition research and analytics, go-to-market and pricing strategies, and growth consulting.
Board Advisor and Fractional CFO
EMI Research Solutions
- Served as a fractional CFO and helped with financial models, forecasting, profitability analysis, churn and retention modeling, compensation models, and gross margin improvements.
- Built a five-year financial forecast, analyzing churn and revenue attributable to new and returning customers to uncover opportunities to drive a sustainable 15% revenue growth per annum.
- Advised the company on a new DIY market research product to expand business among price-sensitive customers while protecting margins on full-service product lines. This new product will contribute about 15% of the total revenues by 2022.
- Worked with the CEO to review and revise the sales compensation structure, optimizing the sales commissions to focus on gross margins ensuring that the sales team delivered profitable growth.
Consultant and Advisor
- Consulted for a wide range of clients in technology services, eCommerce, data products, retail, and consumer goods. Clients ranged from startups to growth stage to multi-billion dollar global organizations.
- Handled the product strategy, digital strategy, pricing strategy, go-to-market strategy, and retention strategy. Managed hands-on data analytics for pricing, profitability, churn management, cost control, budgeting, and forecasting.
- Developed pricing strategy and incorporated a freemium pricing model for a data/reports company. Consolidated and simplified the product portfolio from 30+ products to about 12 products. Implemented various pricing techniques for revenue growth.
- Developed digital transformation strategy for a $26 billion food corporation alongside their innovation team. Built models to assess the value creation of digital CRM initiatives, metrics to measure success, and execution plans for sample products.
- Worked with the innovation team of a $110 billion corporation to perform opportunity discovery for a technology platform, conducted a market study and internal assessment, and delivered an opportunity analysis report.
Revenue Conduit by Unific
- Built forecasting models with the founders to project product revenues and expenses that improved visibility and reduced cash burn.
- Developed financial review mechanisms, tying projections from the forecasting models with actual reports from the Xero accounting platform.
- Performed quarterly financial reviews and cash burn analysis. Identified opportunities to control burn and ensured the company was financially sound through subsequent funding.
- Participated in product pricing discussions and built a what-if scenario analysis for various price points to identify optimal pricing for the product variants.
- Involved in the buy-side due diligence process and conducted due diligence interviews aiding in investment decisions.
Investor and Fractional CFO
Stone Meadow Enterprises
- Served as the fractional CFO, developing investment strategies, acquisitions, and sales of real estate properties, including retail, commercial, entertainment, apartments, and multifamily properties.
- Analyzed and led investments in residential real estate, commercial, and recreational properties, such as apartment blocks and condominiums, retail centers, and campground resorts.
- Developed a business plan and raised investments for the construction of a 150-site resort in Hocking Hills, Ohio.
- Created 3.2x returns on equity and personally generated a net worth in excess of $10 million over a period of seven years.
Consultant and Advisor
- Conducted the opportunity assessment for a new technology that the company had developed. Identified primary and secondary markets and estimated their sizes in terms of TAM, SAM, and SOM.
- Developed pitch deck slides for the internal stakeholders to secure funding for the initiative that provided NPV, risk-adjusted NPV models, estimates, and revenue projections for various scenarios.
- Reviewed secondary data from the market, primary research data, and expert interviews to identify opportunities, headwinds, and tailwinds and also worked on a path to $100 million revenue generation with the new technology.
- Assessed the market for a software product and conducted product and market research involving internal stakeholders, competition, and customers.
- Developed a financial model for assessing NPV, IRR, and the overall financial viability of the product.
- Provided recommendations for the go-to-market strategy based on market assessment and identified the opportunity zones.
BizMiner Research Guides
- Analyzed the market and competition and arrived at a product pricing matrix.
- Analyzed existing product offerings and pricing and identified opportunities for consolidating the products and simplifying the pricing options.
- Developed a pricing strategy and a pricing model in conjunction with the overall product strategy to improve revenue and profitability.
Advisor and Consultant
- Created annual budgets and review mechanisms for an offshore development facility based in India. Effectively implemented the financial plan to generate over 40% EBITDA margins.
- Designed forecasting models for service revenues, workforce costs, overhead, and sales expenses. Worked with the senior management team to implement decisions supported by the financial model.
- Offered consulting services in the areas of pricing, product, financial, and growth strategies.
- Built models and strategies to track and manage critical value drivers for the services business, including average revenue per employee (ARPE) and the average cost per employee (ACPE).
- Developed pricing strategies and converted ad-hoc project engagements to long-term services contracts.
- Led fundraising discussions with prominent venture capital firms, including Battery Ventures, Norwest Partners, Inventus Capital, and Sequoia Capital, and negotiated a term sheet with Battery Ventures.
Financial Expert | BI Consultant
- Built cohort retention models, analyzing retention across cohorts and linking user activities to identify churn and revenue leakage predictors.
- Correlated Net Promoter Score surveys with support activity, determining the correlation of the two with churn and revenue growth. Identified opportunities for churn control and worked with the product team to deliver improved retention.
- Performed revenue analysis and calculated the customer lifetime value, annual revenue per user, and average lifetime value by customer tier.
Founder and CEO
- Created the bootstrap budget for early-stage product development and market validation. Successfully developed the minimum viable product (MVP) on time and budget.
- Developed the financial model and investor presentations for external fundraising. Led the fundraising discussions with two private investors and three venture capital firms; successfully secured private angel funding.
- Developed revenue models and identified several monetization channels to generate revenue via clicks, insights, and partners.
- Performed customer acquisition cost (CAC) and lifetime value analysis (LTV) for mobile users. Actively monitored daily and monthly average user metrics to assess growth and engagement.
- Built user analytics and shopper insights reports for prospective clients tracking mobile-influenced shopping trends.
- Leveraged the growth of smartphones in its early stages to expand into Fortune 500 accounts as an emerging player in the market research Industry,.
- Prioritized projects and product development, balancing group and divisional objectives. Negotiated with peer corporate leaders to ensure that the mobile research division achieved maximum growth.
- Reviewed monthly geographic and product P&Ls and implemented cost control mechanisms including reducing member acquisition costs.
- Managed a $2.0 million expense budget and $1.5 million capital budget for the division, achieving profit margins of 15%.
- Built and managed business against key performance indicators, including user acquisition costs, lifetime value, and retention. Prepared monthly reports for the president and the board of directors.
- Handled vendors, worked with group sales teams, and participated in proposals for prestigious clients such as Facebook, Google, and Nielsen.
Founder and CEO
- Pioneered a mobile survey platform in the early stages of the smartphone era and acquired prestigious clients including P&G, General Mills, Philips, 3M, Best Buy, Bass Pro Shops, and Sanofi.
- Built the company to $100,000 in revenues within 12 months of product launch and was on track for over $800,000 in revenue in the second year of operations.
- Negotiated with two industry leaders and successfully led the sale of iPinion to e-Rewards, achieving a 16x return for investors in two years.
- Led sell-side due diligence, including negotiating contracts and deal terms; developing earnout models; and creating the finance, product, legal, human resource, and sales documents requested by the buyer.
- Developed business plans based on extensive market research, competition analysis, and early-stage budget for product development, validation, launch, and marketing.
- Prepared investor presentations and led fundraising discussions with multiple angel investors and venture capitalists; negotiated the term sheet with TechColumbus.
Founder and CEO
Dexterity Business Analysts
- Established Indian-based IT services delivery operations and scaled to 250+ person team in nine years, servicing clients in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Built delivery teams across IT, analytics, and market research.
- Built the organization, establishing the reporting structure as well as recruitment and training processes to support growth that ranged from 56% to 130% per annum for several years. Received Hewitt's Best Employer Award in 2006.
- Led the company in the attainment of process and quality certifications, including ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and CMM Level 4, all of which assisted with client acquisition.
- Grew revenue to $5 million in IT and analytics services, putting the company among the fastest growing technology companies in India and Asia.
- Established subsidiaries in Germany, Sweden, and the United States to support global client growth and client servicing.
- Oversaw profitability and growth and developed mechanisms to review and manage key profitability drivers, including average revenue and cost per resource.
Postgraduate Diploma in General Management and Financial Management
Indian Institute of Management - Indore, India
Bachelor's Degree in Engineering
Government College of Technology - Coimbatore, India
Data Science and Big Data Analytics: Making Data-Driven Decisions
The Data Scientist's Toolbox
Johns Hopkins University