Bhavani Balasubramaniam was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Women in Finance Markets Choice Awards.
What follows is a lightly edited transcript of a January 8 interview.
Markets Media: Describe your role at COSI Consulting.
Bhavani Balasubramaniam: I founded COSI ten years ago, in 2006. We started it as a consulting firm targeting financial services and focused on enterprise content management solutions. We have since transformed into a technology company and have built a product and we no longer just do consulting services. We license our product to clients and work on the services in and around the product. The product is used by a lot of leading banks, banks who are top ten in the league tables of investment banking. The product simplifies the content management process when they are creating pitch books in investment banking and/or creating/publishing research reports and analyst materials.
MM: What did you achieve in 2015?
BB: Last year was a transformative year for us. We became a technology company in 2012. Our product stabilized in 2013; 2014 was the proof of concept year, as we had sold it to three large organizations and needed to see how the product scaled and functioned. Last year was significant for us because six of our Fortune 500 companies went live on an enterprise scale. We had almost 250% growth, and we consolidated our team here in the U.S. as well as our development team in Kiev, Ukraine. We are now expanding into cloud and mobile technologies — that’s going to be our focus in the first and second quarters of this year.
We have redefined ourselves especially with the changes and the consolidation happening in the marketplace.
MM: What is your perspective on being a successful woman in finance, i.e. what has been your experience as a woman in a field that at least historically has been dominated by men? What is your advice for young women who aspire to a career similar to yours?
BB: I think as a woman and especially as a minority woman, it is definitely challenging. I’m a believer in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist where he says, “When you really want something, the entire world will conspire to make it happen.”
A lot of people have helped us in our venture — managers, friends, colleagues, and organizations like yourself – and for that I’m extremely grateful. When the intent and hard work is there, the recognition comes and the path is open.
I would encourage every woman to consider entrepreneurship. It gives freedom and it takes us away from the ‘blame game’. You can roll up your sleeves and really do something. It has been an exciting journey!
Featured image by vacant/Dollar Photo Club