Recently, at an event in Delhi, Google CEO Sunder Pichai spoke at length about the digital transformation that is underway in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India.
With the impending growth, the SMBs that connect to the internet are expected to see their businesses grow five times faster than offline businesses, observes Pichai.
34-year-old Vaibhav Arren has been observing the digital growth in small businesses for the past few years. He noticed that as a business grows, it faces difficulty in internal finance processes.
Throughout his career in auditing and fund-raising firms, he witnessed companies struggling with the manual processes of their accounts. Even after setting up full-fledged accounting teams, accounts were never updated or reconciled and were not able to yield relevant business reports. This would result in delays in auditing and many other issues. This gave him the idea of employing technology to solve the problem.
In October this year, Vaibhav launched Manage My Finance, a fintech platform that automates internal finance processes to generate real-time financial statements and business reports.
He is an MBA graduate from Indian School of Business, and is also a Chartered Accountant. He had worked for five years with big four accounting firms. He has also worked with investment bank advising firms.
“We are offering a B2B-focused platform that aims to automate the finance functions of a business. It extracts data by integrating into client systems or by using other business documents. Once the data is uploaded onto the platform, it automatically generates all accounting entries and prepares financial statements and business and statutory reports. The product works on the philosophy that neither the client nor our team should need to manually enter any data,” explains Vaibhav.
He adds that automation, real-time integration and cloud-based application are some of the ways through which Manage My Finance is providing solutions to businesses.
According to Vaibhav, with the automation of the entire bookkeeping process, businesses need not manage linear ever-growing accounting teams. Real-time integration between CRM, accounting, payroll and business analysis will eliminate the duplication of data entry or reconciliation efforts. And a cloud-based solution cuts down on the need for any upfront installation, saving the client substantial effort and cost.
Speaking on the product USP and relevance, he claims that it is a comprehensive solution. Most of the other automated solutions only solve a part of the problem, such as tracking expenses or analysing revenue. None of them provide a complete accounting solution. On the other hand, the existing accounting softwares require the user to enter the data and then manually reconcile and prepare MIS (Management Information System). Manage My Finance is the only platform that has integrated technology to give a completely automated solution to a company’s internal finance functions.
The platform has already begun receiving recognition from investors and clients, and has been able to raise seed funding of $100,000 from HNIs.
To date, the platform claims to have processed more than 100,000 transactions, with 95 percent being completely automated. They have also got clients across businesses — online sellers, companies and some small businesses.
Manage My Finance follows a SaaS-based business model, where it charges clients based on the number of transactions. Its charges start from Rs 1,000 per month. Vaibhav says that, nine months into business, he expects to end FY17 with an annual recurring revenue of Rs 50 lakh.
The SME sector, which numbers around 50 million units across the country, is expected to become the world’s largest in the coming years, and is in need of automated finance management solutions.
According to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the Indian software market is likely to see a steady growth of over 10 percent from 2016 owing to investments coming in from the government, manufacturing and retail.
The growth was driven by major projects kick-started by the government, including Digital India, Make in India and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The report noted that the small and medium enterprises (SME) segment is “the new sweet spot for most of the vendors, who are trying to push their software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings among SMEs through their various partnerships”.
One among the solution providers, Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is a business and financial management software for small businesses in India. It aims to help small businesses manage their finances by providing insights for quick and informed decisions.
Exclusife, a CRM-based startup for SME retailers, is another player for small businesses and enterprises.
According to Vaibhav, with more SME players coming online, they are becoming aware of their statutory obligations and are looking for automated solutions to manage finance. He believes that the sellers should be focusing on business and automating tracking, so that they get timely data to take better business decisions and ensure that they are fulfilling their statutory obligations.