Mficient is an enterprise mobility platform that helps companies improve productivity and cut down costs by enabling employees to access business processes and data on their mobile phones anytime, anywhere.
Gyan Tiwari, who managed a key account at Capillary Technologies, saw a huge potential in the comprehensive mobility platform in the course of his work. At Capillary, every time after meeting a customer, he would have to raise a ticket to the internal teams for client requests. Gyan says that he would either sit in a cafe, open his laptop, and raise the ticket or request someone else to raise one on his behalf.
Building an enterprise mobility app
“The entire process was quite cumbersome and time-consuming. I discussed the problem with my colleagues, who were going through the same ordeal. Having an app to raise tickets seemed to be a very obvious option,” says Gyan.
He, however, realised the enormous challenges of building an enterprise app, especially in terms of data security and infrastructure. It was then that he came across the idea of enterprise mobility.
After doing market research and studying the mobility landscape in Asian markets, Gyan figured that almost every company with a field force was facing the same challenge, and that there was huge potential for a comprehensive mobility platform. So, in 2014, Gyan decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
Working on the nuances
Gyan started Mficient, a mobility platform-as-a-service. The platform helps companies improve productivity and cut down costs by enabling employees to access business processes and data on their mobile phones anytime, anywhere.
However, getting the initial team onboard, especially with no esops, proved to be a major challenge. Gyan soon realised that he would need to pay huge amounts to get the tech talent. He was able to overcome this after raising investment from a few US investors.
While scaling up initially, the team reached out to big companies with a large field force. However, these companies were already in talks with IBMs and SAPs of the world. Says Gyan,
“What SMEs needed was more of a plug-and-play solution, rather than a DIY platform. So we pivoted and started offering plug-and-play solutions built on our platform.”
Building the team
While working on the platform, Gyan met Santanu Biswas at an NITK alumni meet. Santanu had worked with Tata Motors and Schneider Electric in the technology domain. He had also worked on a startup before, and was looking for an exciting opportunity.
One thing that connected the two immediately was their mutual interest in the B2B space. They met a couple of times, discussed the business model, and met a few customers, and soon, Santanu joined in as the co-founder.
Gyan says that Mficient follows a create, connect, consume, and control approach towards enterprise mobility. The platform has three parts to it that are tightly integrated. Organisations can either choose to build their own applications on the platform (DIY) or allow the servicing team to build it for them. “We also offer plug-and-play pre-built solutions for mid-market customers,” says Gyan. The platform offers:
1) Rapid app development platform (RADP): It facilitates app development without the need to write any code. It has a web-based drag-and-drop module that allows the user to create apps without writing any code. Apps built on RADP are platform-agnostic and work on both Android and iOS.
2) Mobile backend as a service (MBASS): This allows organisations to integrate the apps built on RADP with their backend database. With MBASS, organisations can integrate the apps with any kind of backend database, without the need to code any middleware.
3) Mobile application management (MAM): It allows organisations to control the applications used by their employees and assign privileges. Organisations can also take back all the rights from the employee on a single click once he leaves the organisation.
“We are funded by individual investors based out of India, the US, and the UK. Some of the founders of Delhivery have also invested in an individual capacity. We have raised $1 million so far,” says Gyan.
The enterprise mobility space
While the number of smartphone users is high, the technology penetration in the global workforce, which is at three billion, is only 20 percent. There is, no doubt, a growing demand for enterprise mobility across the world. A report suggests that enterprises across the world spend close to $500 billion on enterprise software that is used by over 600 million workers.
There are already several startups operating within the space. One prominent example is SignEasy, which is used in over 150 countries, and enables document authorisation on the go. There is also Mindtickle’s mobile-first sales enablement solution, which makes it easier for sales professionals to have the necessary information at their fingertips.
Vymo, meanwhile, creates a mobile-powered virtual assistant for employees in the field. Freshdesk’s Hotline offering allows support professionals to resolve their customers’ complaints on mobile apps. BroEx offers mobile apps for real estate professionals to manage their businesses.
Revenue and future
Mficient, however, focuses on a tightly integrated suite of products that allows organisations to go live within hours. Gyan adds that companies don’t need to hire developers with sophisticated skills to implement mobility, and even the most complicated applications can be built without writing any code. Thus, it significantly cuts down the implementation cost and time.
Mficient follows a licence-based, pay-as-you-go revenue model. The customer pays a monthly fee based on the number of licences bought. The team claims to be doing a monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of Rs 5 lakh from customers such as Axis Bank, Dalmia Cement, Hindalco, Aditya Birla Group, and Delhivery. More than 5,000 people are using the platform every day for their routine professional activities.
“We are focusing on building channel partners for our platform. From our past experience of working with channel partners, we realised that Mficient is the perfect solution for ERP and CRM companies that are looking to add value to their existing offerings and increase revenues. Also, we will be strengthening our presence in West and South India,” says Gyan.