Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consultancy but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kapil Nagpal, Owner of Gravitas Consulting, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Gravitas is a Toronto-based consulting firm founded in 2021. We focus on strategy, operations, and technology. Gravitas Consulting helps clients across industries, leveraging cross-industry best practices, opportunities, and outcomes. We have deep experience in the retail, consumer packaged goods, and quick service restaurant industries spanning small businesses to global iconic brands.
Our Laminar program management service is a PMO as-a-service offering with in-built best practices of Fortune 500 clients. We offer a complete solution to manage the 3Ps - portfolios, programs, and projects. Laminar is a pure plug-and-play solution that can be configured in less than a week and sits atop the client's current project management tools - purposefully designed to be low-maintenance and fully automated so that clients can focus on running the business.
We provide the people, processes, and technology to help clients establish, mature, and run the project management office (PMO) like clockwork. To learn more, visit us at www.gravitasconsulting.com/laminar.
Tell us about yourself
I am Kapil Nagpal, and I have the great privilege of leading Gravitas Consulting. With deep expertise in digital transformation, supply chain, and CIO advisory, I have led high-performing consulting teams, program offices (PMO), and impactful client engagements. As a strategy and operations consultant, I have advised C-suite executives in the restaurant, retail, higher education, and pharma industries to drive digital transformation, governance, cost optimization, process improvements, and organizational effectiveness.
Our story began with the deep desire to drive tangible, visible, and measurable outcomes for our clients. With that as our guiding beacon, we set out on the journey with Gravitas Consulting. After spending a decade consulting with firms such as Accenture, IBM, A.T. Kearney, and Slalom in the US, I moved to Canada and founded Gravitas. At Gravitas, we flex, we strive, and we deliver results. That is our biggest motivator. We celebrate our success as a team, stay grounded, and continue to grow intellectually – delivering excellence consistently.
We leverage technology to enable client outcomes. Being a passionate engineer in my past work life, I have a keen eye for technology-enabled service offerings to solve the problems our clients face. Over the years, I observed that traditional PMOs can be heavy touch and can slow down the flow of work. To solve that problem, Gravitas launched Laminar, a PMO as-a-service offering with in-built best practices of Fortune 500 clients. It can be configured in less than a week and sits atop the client's current project management tools - purposefully designed to be low-maintenance and fully automated so that clients can focus on running the business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
At Gravitas, we pride ourselves on delivering successful, transparent, and pragmatic outcomes for our clients. We use our small footprint to our advantage. We are a small yet diverse and global team. We flex, we strive, and we deliver results. Our biggest accomplishment has been to deliver positive outcomes for clients such as Newman's Own, Melissa & Doug, and ShipBob. In addition, we've been able to help students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prepare for consulting careers.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The ability to scale is one of the hardest things for a business owner. Every successful startup/business owner must establish the product or service fit within its target market. Next comes the ability to scale while maintaining the same brand quality, which determines long-term success. Scaling requires carefully balancing multiple levers like ensuring product-market fit, identifying the right time to scale, building the team and supporting team structure, drafting a sound strategy to acquire new clients, building a sustainable demand, honing on the value proposition, determining product pricing, and defining and understanding cash flow.
Having the right foundation to scale is reflected in our operations, hiring, and growth strategy. We are cognizant of what we build today and how it will scale for tomorrow. For example, our Laminar product offering is low maintenance, pure plug-and-play PMO solution that can be configured in less than a week. It has been built to sit atop clients' current project management tools and is scalable across industries, geographies, and client sizes.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create Differentiation – differentiate your product or service offering from the competition and identify and clearly define your target customer profile. Our differentiation lies in the ability to drive successful outcomes. We don't have a McKinsey's pedigree nor a Gartner's research prowess. We strive to get results. That helps us keep clients and grow our base. For our Laminar offering, we target small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and not larger corporations. As SMEs do not have the budget to build in-house solutions and are in most need of an affordable and smart governance tool that can assist them in not only running effectively but also growing hassle-free.
- Learn to delegate – As a business owner, you are required to wear multiple hats. However, learning when and where to delegate will not only help the business but also your growth as a leader. Don't forget to recognize and appreciate your team. Groom them as future leaders.
- Start - It's cliched, but the biggest barrier between you and a successful business is yourself. Make a start and follow through – every time there is a blocker, there must be a way out – all you need to do is, start the journey.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Corporate Social Responsibility is engrained in our culture. Despite our size, we believe in giving back to society. Gravitas engages with university students demystifying entrepreneurship. Gravitas consulting also offered its Laminar PMO platform free of cost to schools, colleges, universities, and non-profits during the beta phase of the tool. In addition, in the post-pandemic world, we offer a remote internship program to talented and diverse individuals looking for real-world exposure.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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