Going digital: Srividya's Avaali Solutions helps corporates with new business modelsVishal Krishna
IT spending is going to be $3.5 trillion in 2017, and Avaali wants to show its clients why going digital is about efficient outcomes.
The IT industry in India is worth over $110 billion in exports. But its digital narrative is yet to gather steam, and media reports are ripe with large IT companies struggling with innovation.
In 2013, after working in the IT industry for two decades in companies like SAP, Oracle, and Wipro, senior executive Srividya Kannan decided to start up on her own in 2013. “The reason I started up on my own was to ensure that digital transformation was real for organisations. When an organisation goes digital there should be no paper-based collaboration,” she explains, adding that everyone thinks IT is technology when it actually has to be about improving business solutions.
Indeed, the biggest problem the industry is facing is that its digital narrative is shaped by the technology implemented and not by business outcomes. This is where Srividya wanted to make a difference with Avaali Solutions.
The early days
Avaali Solutions has helped over 45 clients so far along their journey of digital transition. But the beginning was anything but easy. It took the initial five-member team almost a year to crack the first account. It was only in May 2014, when she clinched a deal with a major infrastructure company, that Srividya's business fortunes changed. The deal was to organise the information and make it available at the click of a button. Avaali followed a business model of charging a fixed price along with payments for time and material. By the end of 2014, they had over 30 clients on board and worked in transformation projects in the area of shared service transformation, document management and other digital projects.
Srividya says that Avaali has, today, become a preferred consultant for various enterprises that wanted to explore transformation in mobility, data analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT). Using Avaali’s expertise, clients have managed to implement customer service management tools and have all employees connected on a common platform. “We specialise in enterprise information management services,” adds Srividya.
Today, a company's real-time enterprise resource planning (ERP) component needs to have the following things in place before it goes digital:
- Procure to pay: Where all invoices are scanned and captured by the ERP of the organisation.
- Order to cash: The entire sales process has to go digital to ensure traceability and accountability.
- Financial close management
- HR management: Employee receipts and contracts should be digital.
- Enterprise content management: All documents should be captured in the ERP.
- Customer management: Managing all social media and other customer engagement data on one platform.
“The process of going digital is to create information governance and compliance,” adds Srividya.
The company has worked with the likes of Arvind, Wockhardt, and Vedanta Group. Its revenues are close to a $1 million and it now has a 50-member team. The company invested less than Rs 50 lakh on inception.
According to Gartner Inc., driven by growth in software and IT services revenue, the worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9 percent from the estimated spending of 2016 at $3.4 trillion. The bright spot for the IT industry has been the software and IT services segments. Software spending was projected to grow six percent in 2016, and it will grow another 7.2 percent in 2017, to $357 billion. IT services spending is on pace to have grown 3.9 percent in 2016 to reach $900 billion, and increase 4.8 percent in 2017 to reach $943 billion.
With several Indian companies grappling with the new wave of IT, it is an opportunity for companies like Avaali Solutions to capture the market with their consulting and IT services experience.
“When you sit with an organisation’s business team you need to completely understand their objectives and the willingness to go digital. Most companies that understand their customers already know how important digital transformation is,” says Srividya.
IT services as an offering has undergone a massive transformation. It is no longer about just projects to test and develop applications. Today, most IT organisations want to be part of the transformative journey of their clients. “IT is giving way to automation and is looking at bringing in a bunch of individuals to manage the digital transformation of companies. This changes the business model of the industry,” says Mohandas Pai, MD of Aarin Capital.
Time will tell us how big an organisation will Avaali turn out to be. At least for now, it has the right leader guiding it towards success.