Sunil Prabhakar, Frappant Technologies - On providing ERP solutions for industries such as discrete manufacturing and Travel/Leisure
What is Frappant Technologies?
Frappant Technologies is an IT startup based out of Bangalore. We provide simple, concise and affordable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to small and medium scale organizations. We are currently catering to industries such as Discrete Manufacturing and Travel/Leisure and are constantly on the lookout to cater to the lesser-served industries and develop ERP products for those industries.
What is your market differentiator?
We employ a highly innovative tool named OpenERP to cater to diverse requirements of our clients across industries. Our differentiation is in terms of our revenue model. User licenses of OpenERP do not attract any cost, which means the solutions costs the same irrespective of whether the client is a five employee small scale firm or a medium enterprise with a strength of over five hundred. The overheads involved in acquiring the solution are only in terms of customization and support. Further, the technologies used to build OpenERP are open-source and they do not incur any cost. Hence, the total cost of acquisition is much lower as compared to the costs involved in acquiring solutions of similar magnitude. At times, the difference is as high as 50%!
Whats the story behind Frappant? How much capital was required to implement the idea?
My prior work experience has been in the ERP domain. I was introduced to OpenERP while I was pursuing higher education in the field of Business Management. After my initial groundwork about OpenERP, I was firmly of the opinion that the solution aligns extremely well with ERP requirements of SMEs in India. SMEs here primarily look for simple/straight-forward systems that are affordable and one which their employees can use with minimal effort. And OpenERP fits the bill perfectly!
We started operations in October 2010 with an initial investment of 2.75 lakhs INR, which was primarily diverted towards setting up the required infrastructure and satisfying our initial working capital requirements.
Tell us about your background.
I am a Computer Science engineer with a post-graduate diploma from T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal with a specialization in Systems. I was employed with Tech Mahindra Limited, Pune for a period of over two years, prior to pursuing higher education.
Let us know about the tie-ups that you have.
We have a strategic tie-up with a Bangalore based organization named Softapps IT Solutions in the capacity of a Technology Partner and it is working extremely well for us. Our solutions have been well accepted because of the differentiation they offer. And this is proven by the fact that our clients have chosen our solution after meticulously exploring solutions offered by established players such as Microsoft & SAP.Where do you see your start up five years from now?
Five years from now, we see ourselves as an ERP product organization catering to the lesser served industries. We are constantly working towards our objective and we are glad that our initial endeavor of building a world-class product for the highly dynamic Travel/Leisure industry is shaping up well. We hope to take the product to the market by August 2011.
What is your revenue model?
Frappant Technologies is a self-funded firm. Our revenue model is simple – we provide ERP solutions and that is what our source of revenue is. As discussed earlier, we bill our customers only for the efforts involved in customizing the solution to their requirements & support. The product is absolutely free of cost! The costs, however, may differ based on the delivery model – we also deliver our solutions on cloud apart from the traditional delivery on premise.
How big is your team? Tell us a little bit about your team?
Our six member team is a great mix of management and technology professionals with rich experience on the technologies that we work on. While our management team handles sales, marketing, product development and functional aspects of software development, our technical team ensures flawless conversion of business requirements into robust IT solutions. We are passionate about the work we do and that helps us maintain a vibrant atmosphere at our workplace.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
Our current expansion plans are mainly in terms of increasing our team strength. We are looking to double our team size in the next three months to work on our upcoming projects in the Manufacturing & Travel industries. We are working towards associations with travel organizations in India in order to build further on our ERP product.
Anything else that you want to share with us?
Our focus in the manufacturing sector is on organizations with annual revenues ranging between 10 crores INR and 500 crores INR. With such a target segment, we are looking at an estimated figure of over 65000 organizations in India. Our solution for the travel industry is aimed at medium and large scale tour operators in India with a minimum annual turnover of over 5 crores INR. We are aiming for a turnover between 90 lakhs INR and 1 crore INR for the financial year 2011-12.