A pioneering visionary and entrepreneur, Vivek Kulkarni, the founder of Brickwork group of companies, started his career as an IAS officer and worked in government for 22 years. As an IT Secretary, Government of Karnataka, Vivek pioneered many path-breaking initiatives to aggressively promote Bangalore as a preferred destination for global companies to set-up their offices and captive centers. It was under his tenure, that Bangalore, became popularly known as the 'Silicon Valley' of India.
In 2004, Vivek took an early retirement from government and started his entrepreneurial journey. He co-founded B2K Corp by acquiring a division of Talisma, a large CRM company. B2K provided technical support services for large global companies and also healthcare and data analytics services.
In early 2005, Vivek & his wife Sangeeta co-founded Brickwork India with an idea to provide the benefits of outsourcing available to individuals and small to mid-sized companies (SME's), by providing simple to complex business assistance, at an affordable price. To make this idea a reality, they pioneered the unique concept of Remote Executive Assistance (REATM) with a two-fold mission. One to enable large enterprises optimize their executive's time by freeing them up from routine and non-core tasks, by providing customized and personalized services. And two, set-up a platform for all global SME's and entrepreneurs to leverage their access to diverse services for on-going as well as ad-hoc tasks.
This unique concept of providing customized and personalized services through its team of Remote Executive Assistants (REATM) gained instant worldwide recognition and media attention. Thomas Friedman wrote about Brickwork in his 2005 New York Times best seller 'The World is Flat'. Since then more than 100 print and broadcasting media companies have profiled Brickwork. Another New York Times best seller, 'The 4 Hour Workweek', written by Tim Ferriss, described how Brickwork helps busy professionals to become more productive by re-purposing their time. Knowledge@Wharton also published an article on Brickwork.
From its first project on market research for Credit Suisse, till date, Brickwork has supported clientele across 116 countries and delivered more than 20,000 plus projects. Its clientele ranges from Fortune 500 companies, SME's and start-ups to innovative entrepreneurs and busy CXOs across 40 plus industries. Some of the clients who have leveraged REA support include well known industrialists, senators, media celebrities, Sr. Consultants, Wall Street firms, advisor to US president and CXO's from large enterprises.
Today, Brickwork has evolved into a boutique firm, offering niche and specialized support service offerings under admin, knowledge and technical portfolio. Brickwork understands their customer's unique needs and has crafted specialized services for large enterprises as well as for small business.
The diversity of the projects delivered include, partnering with University of Pennsylvania, IIM Bangalore and St. Johns hospital for Bill and Melinda Gates foundation sponsored study, writing speech on outsourcing for US Senator, providing sourcing services across India for world's second largest metal producer and being the India representative for Fairfax county.
To understand how the concept of REA works, several prominent personalities, international university delegations and foreign government delegations visited Brickwork office in Bangalore. Visitors included, Diplomatic delegations from Germany, Mexico, France, China. College of William & Mary, Virginia, USA and Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Students from Harvard, UPENN and Chile have also done their internships from Brickwork, etc.
For a business that is highly complex, diverse and demanding the entrepreneurial journey has been very tough and challenging for both Vivek and Sangeeta. They steered the organization through uncertain market conditions by leveraging their strengths, being persistent, ethical and focused on their vision and mission. The brand identity has been an outgrowth of their vision to evolve an organization on the tenets of time tested values, innovation, strong governance, quality, client focused delivery and employee empowerment and well-being. They have also successfully enabled a technology enabled organisation and created a framework that measures efficiency, transparency, accountability of each REA across the organisation. There is a constant push to raise the customer experience standards and also to provide a wider range of services. Brickwork corporate values are instilled in all the REAs, who display commitment through sincerity, integrity and accountability in all their actions.
Brickwork group has grown significantly within a decade. The group companies include, Brickwork Ratings, India's 5th credit rating agency, Brickwork Finance Academy (BFA), which offers weekend program in Finance and also Brickwork Pragathi Foundation, which is the CSR arm of the group.