Adopting right tech for business in India with Vyapar

Even today, 70 per cent SMEs in India still create bills on paper.

Vyapar is a free Business Accounting Software made for Indian Small Businessmen to deal with invoicing, inventory, accounting needs, and much more! Their goal is to make a businessman’s daily routine less tiring and let them focus more on growing their business, less on paperwork.

Even today, 70 per cent SMEs in India still create bills on paper. Being that, most of their productive time is consumed in making manual entries and calculations. When small things go wrong, the entire business goes down, simply because there is no place to fall back. Not having the resources can really wear out the business owner driving them away from doing what matters most. Small Business Accounting needs a Digital Upgrade. And that is why, Vyapar are trying to bring in a simpler solution that works for them.

To understand more about Vyapar, we interviewed Mr. Sumit Agarwal Founder & CEO of Vyapar.

DC: Tell us something about Vyapar, and its Journey in India.

Mr. Sumit: Vyapar is simplest to use business accounting solution designed for micro and small segment of the Indian business community. It is claimed to be world's simplest business management solution which anyone, even a 10th grad pass running the business, can use to manage the complete business easily. MSMEs can manage their sales, purchases, inventory, GST etc., everything required for an MSME in one place and in a super simple way.

Our vision is to digitize every business in India to help them become efficient and grow their business. I had seen how tedious and unhealthy the life of a typical businessman in India was. My father and brothers spent their weekends tallying their accounts and realizing their losses only month’s later. One day, they asked me to help find a simple mobile application to manage their business. I spent a lot of time searching and did not find a single solution which a layman could use. So I decided to build an easy-to-use business accounting solution. For me, the most critical criteria was that any business person, even a 10th grade pass, should be able to use it. My Co-founder Shubham Agrawal also coming from business family could relate to the problem and joined me from day one. So we started to learn Android app development and started writing the first few lines of code. The only resources we had were our laptops and our passion to simplify life of businessmen in India.

Vyapar was first developed in our spare time, which was usually at night or on weekends. Soon, MSMEs started showing interest in the app and we started getting organic downloads. We then quit our jobs to do this full-time. We were later joined by another co-founder, RuqiyaIrum, and started as a three-person organization.

For the first six months, Vyapar had less than five employees and I was paying salaries from my savings of Rs 8 lakh. In the next one year, the company grew and became self-sustaining.

When growth stagnated and we needed capital, it was hard to convince investors to fund us in an unorganized market. But our current investors, IQ, Axilor and Bloom (Nitin) were different and believed in our convictions. Now Vyapar is 50 member team and on fast track growth with already 1 Million+ proud users.

DC: Can you talk about IT adoption and decision making dynamics among the SMB Space?

Mr. Sumit: The market that Vyapar is solving for is primarily Micro and Small business segment. This is the largest business segment in the country with 96 per cent market of total MSME space. Jio, demonetization, whatsapp and facebook are the evolutions in my opinion. These are the key reasons why IT adoption in India has shooted up drastically in the last 3-4 years. Jio gave power of internet in every hand, demonetization forced huge segment of MSMEs to explore and taste digital payments, whatsapp and facebook have helped them to do very smooth transition and on boarding to the world of apps. All these factors have played a major role in Indian transition journey. There's still a long way to go, but it has started well.

In the MSME space, all the decisions are being made by the owner only, and these are becoming used to technology day by day due to the environment, the adoption of solutions like Vyapar has grown much more now compared to it was earlier when we started. Business Owners have started realizing the importance of technology and how it can help their business, this is motivating them to adopt the solutions like vyapar and become digital.

DC: Vyapar is trying to establish its foothold among the MSME Space – what is the unique value proposition that this product offers especially post GST implementation?

Mr. Sumit: Vyapar is the simplest to use business accounting solution for MSMEs with availability on both mobile and desktop. Most critical value prop for MSMEs is that it is extremely simple to learn and use, so learning curve is very small. Even the salesmen in their shops and their employees can easily use it. They don't have to depend on accountants for anything. They can create GST bills, manage inventory as per GST norms and give the required data to their CA for filing the returns. They can even file the returns on their own as the GST reports generated by Vyapar are in the same format as required by government. This helps them reduce the compliance cost and be in control of their business.

Vyapar is perfect solution for an MSME in this GST era as this helps them be compliant in very simple and cost effective way and also reduces time of managing business. This not only saves money but also helps them be on top of their business to grow.

DC: How customized is Vyapar app to the needs of the SMBs in particular?

Mr. Sumit: Vyapar is designed keeping the needs of variety of business in mind. In India, there are so many varieties of businesses vertical wise and also many horizontal layers like medical, hardware etc. as verticals, stockist, super stockist, wholesellers, and retailers etc as horizontals. Vyapar is designed in super flexible way for all these types of business which can be configured based on their needs. It's a perfect billing solution, inventory management solution, CRM, GST solution etc. all in one for all needs of MSMEs. We have huge number of customers from different verticals and horizontals using very comfortably.

Businesses like medical can use expiry date and batch number, garments can use brand, color and size, Kirana can use MRP and manufacturing dates etc to manage their inventory in very granular way. We also provide more than 10 invoice themes with lot of customization of the print format from settings for different types of businesses.

DC: The primary intent of GST was to improve the ease of doing business. But the SMB community seems to suggest that business has become more painful for them given the levels of compliance and frequency involved. What’s your view?

Mr. Sumit: We are promoter and supporter of business community as we are one of them. We strongly believe in what community is saying. GST has improved compliance process only for the business selling across states, but for the remaining which is the majority of the business, it has definitely increased the burden of compliance process. The number of yearly returns are much higher, CAs and accountants have increased the fees due to more compliance work, more data and documentation to be maintained by SMEs etc. and every such pain eventually boils down to SME either costing lot of time or increasing the compliance cost.

Having said that, we still believe this was the right thing to do but implementation was not smooth which has caused and is causing lot of pain for MSMEs. Though government is realizing these problems and continuously working to improve this. So I believe this pain with reduce over the next 2 years once the processes have become smoother.

DC: What are your future plans, and what new do we see from Vyapar, for the SMB community?

Mr. Sumit: We will continue working with MSMEs till the time every business in India has become digital.

In future, we will be providing regional language app as majority people run the business in their local language. We already support hindi in mobile app and will be adding other languages soon. We will also provide more marketing solutions for SMEs along with fulfilling their capital needs.

Vyapar will continue to improve and become simpler and easier with all the capabilities required by MSMEs solving for all different types of business verticals and horizontals.

We also launched a simple Udharkhata app called VCredit, primarily for the smaller business who want to manage only the receivable payable on phone and completely free of cost with support of 3 languages. We will be adding more languages to this very soon.

There are many more things in pipe line for the long term and everything completely focused on MSMEs segment.

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