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With warmer winters and cool summers, climate change concerns loom. Although adapting to mitigate this change can seem daunting, we can rely on and learn from bright minds and dedicated individuals making a difference. 

Design2Occupancy (D2O) has been at the forefront of pioneering energy solutions. Specializing in optimizing utility costs and reducing carbon emissions, D2O has revolutionized energy management for architects, business owners, and facility managers across India. With an impressive 11-year track record of success, innovation, and matching industry standards with the LEED BOMA certification, learn how Kishan Khatri, Kushagra Juneja, and Ashu Gupta dreamed up D2O and mastered the art of energy efficiency and are setting the benchmark for sustainable operations within the industry. 

Let’s dive into D2O’s strategic expansion into the Canadian market with the support of BHive, detailing how this visionary company leverages international opportunities to drive global change and scales solutions that align with the world’s escalating environmental needs.

Background

When Design2Occupancy first started out, they wanted to create something that would make an impact on more than just their bank accounts. It was a purpose-driven project with the goal of revolutionizing the energy management industry. D2O started its journey in the heart of India with a modest team that rapidly grew to 150 dedicated individuals and experts, all committed to making a difference. 

During their time in India, Khatri, Juneja, and Gupta had already set their sights beyond domestic borders. North America quickly proved to be a promising market, suggesting that they would have similar success and quick market adoption as they did in India.

BHive's Role

BHive’s Global Entrepreneur Incubation Program (GEIP) played a crucial role in D2O’s successful expansion. One of the early struggles D2O faced as they began to think of expanding their operations in Canada was that of establishing trust and credibility in a new market. At BHive, we’ve designed a specialized approach to assisting international entrepreneurs in navigating the North American ecosystem. We looked for resources and introduced mentors who would help Khatri, Juneja, and Gupta understand the complexities of the Canadian market. Our program helped D2O gain access to a trustworthy marketing foundation and structure, better understand local business customs, and successfully market their services across Canada.

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Support and Resources Provided

Our BHive program managers recognized D2O’s need for support, mentoring, and assistance in the early stages. Our Startup Resources that made the biggest impact included:

New Market Expansion Support: BHive provided D2O with the tools and support needed for Kishan & Co. to settle their business and families in Canada.

Mentorship and Networking Opportunities: BHive provided D2O with the space and connections to build a strong business community of seasoned industry professionals through valuable networking events.  

Marketing and Cultural Adaptation: Our program also assisted D2O in streamlining their product interfaces to conform to regional standards, creating thorough training documents, and improving their marketing tactics and collateral to appeal to the North American market.

BHive’s GEIP provided crucial support to Khatri, Juneja, and Gupta. The program’s resources and tools accelerated D2O’s trajectory, helping them land new clients quickly and outperform their annual projected revenue in just five months. 

With the skills and insights they gained from this program, D2O secured eight major clients, four in Canada and four in the U.S. BHive’s coaching, go-to-market strategy, and strategic advice went hand in hand with their expedited success.

White and blue cake that is celebrating D20's 1st year in Canada

D2O’s Expansion into North America

Before expanding to North America, D2O had built a strong financial basis with an annual revenue of CAD 3 million. The decision to launch their business in Canada resulted in D2O’s exceptional growth and a rapid revenue increase by CAD 100,000 in a matter of months.

Through BHive’s GEIP network and connections, D2O met with Brampton Venture Zone, one of our Innovation District partners, which led to them receiving a grant from TMU. The success did not stop there – D2O has since 

successfully secured contracts in Toronto, Halifax, and Vancouver, and they are exploring opportunities in Calgary, wider Ontario, and Quebec. The effect was felt back home, too – the Indian National Government recognized D2O’s team for exceptional energy efficiency. 

D2O’s exploration of various marketplaces has improved its operational expertise and expanded its comprehension of global business dynamics. Because of this improved viewpoint, D2O has been able to better coordinate with local clients, better adapt its products, and build more robust connections with customers from all over the world.

Their growth isn’t just about the numbers – it’s a shining example of how their solutions meet market and environmental needs. It’s more than just a financial win; it’s a testament to their appeal and effectiveness.

Moving to Canada

The Canadian Government’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 sparked Khatri and Co. to expand their company to North America with the help of BHive’s program. Their journey is one to keep an eye on. In conversation, Khatri shared his appreciation for the natural beauty, tranquility, and high quality of life in Canada, all aspects he is deeply thankful for. He found Brampton to be a lovely community, lively and brimming with opportunities.

He continues to feel as passionately about building a sustainable future as he did 11 years ago. His advice for other international entrepreneurs thinking about expanding their startups into the North American market? Have an open mind and be receptive to the wealth of possibilities in cleantech in Brampton.

“Cleantech is essential. For humanity’s future and the future of life on our planet, cleantech is crucial. Believing in the combined future of humanity means believing in the future of cleantech.”

If you are a founder looking for a similar blueprint for your company’s future, read more about the BHive program here.

"Cleantech is essential. For humanity's future and the future of life on our planet, cleantech is crucial. Believing in the combined future of humanity means believing in the future of cleantech."

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