Supporting an ambitious Peterborough-based online retail start-up

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We spoke with Manishkant (Manish) Shukla, Managing Director and Founder of Peterborough-based, GICS Enterprise Limited to find out about how the Start and Grow programme has been able to help his business

Having worked in technology & finance domain in the corporate world for the 12 years, and gained exposure of the global marketplace by working for businesses of varying nature & sizes, in 2022, Manish decided it was the right time to take a step forward into entrepreneurship and set up his own business.

GICS Enterprise is an online retail business based on a B2C model, similar to the likes of retail giant, Ocado.  The primary offering will be FMCG products. In the initial phase of operation, the business will be focusing mainly on grocery items, packaged dry foods & other daily household essentials. Geographically, the target consumer market will be focused on UK Mainland & Scotland during the initial few months of operation. Thereafter, the aim is to scale and expand the services to other regions across Europe & Northern Ireland.

Luckily for Manish, the start of his business coincided with the launch of the CPCA Growth Hub’s Start and Grow programme. Manish came across the programme when he was researching available government support for new & established businesses.

Manish says “The fact that the ‘Start and Grow’ programme was funded by the UK government was one of the key motivators to me for joining. I hoped it would help give me that required push to get started on my entrepreneurship journey.”

Manish was interested in the Start and Grow programme as it offered the opportunity to gain the financial and planning support he needed to start and to make the business operational.  He worked with a Start and Grow business advisor to first develop a robust business strategy and plan, and then gained help in his successful application for grant funding.

Manish says “So far, I have managed to get the required financial & planning support to start & make the business operational. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Start and Grow team to further develop my plans to scale up the business”.

With an ambitious growth plan for the business, GICS Enterprise aims to provide long-term benefits to direct consumers, its staff and also to the local economy. Manish explains how he will gain a real sense of satisfaction knowing that his business is benefiting society and in particular, local people, by generating job opportunities, at the same time as fulfilling the real need of consumers.  In next 5 years Manish’s vision is for the company to be amongst the top 10 online retail business in the UK.

We asked Manish any advice we would give to others thinking of starting a business.  He says that one of the most important things is from the outset to have a clear purpose for the business. He also advises on investing a good amount of time and effort in planning & research at the start, and in defining target milestones at every 6 months, and aligning all your business action plans towards those milestones.

Finally, his last words about the Start and Grow programme are “The ‘Start and Grow’ programme will provide the perfect combination of guardian and teacher to any entrepreneur or business thinking of engaging with them”.

GICS 1 Manish 2


How you can get support for your business


You can get 121 support from a business advisor, who can also help you with a grant application.  It is all completely free as part of the Start and Grow ProgrammeClick here to find out more or fill in our really simple form to register your interest and one of advisors will be in touch to see how we can help.  The programme runs until the end of June – so make sure you get the boost your business needs.

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Plunkett UK Grants

Plunkett UK Grants

With funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Plunkett is currently able to offer early-stage community businesses free advice and support on how to get their business off the ground, including guidance on community engagement, legal structures, business planning and raising the funds to do it.