Are you a startup looking for an ally to support your financial needs? Intuit Circles helps startups grow their businesses by providing them access to a personal ecosystem of mentors, a thriving community of peers, investors and partners like co-working spaces, incubators and accountants. Intuit Circles is helping startups become financially successful through financial management training and access to Intuit’s flagship financial management software for small businesses - QuickBooks Online. The programme also enables tech startups to partner with Intuit to collaboratively develop solutions for the 4.5 million global customers of QuickBooks Online by integrating their product on its platform. inGO Electric is one such startup that’s using QuickBooks Online to easily track their financial processes.
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Redefining urban personal mobility
Founded in 2018, inGO Electric is an innovative company that designs vehicles which are portable, connected, reliable and stylish to integrate with and complement public transport. “We are all about electrifying and redefining urban personal mobility for the future," says Nikhil Gonsalves, Founder and CEO.
After almost 16 years in the corporate world, Nikhil decided to venture into entrepreneurship, when during a visit to Paris, he found someone riding a portable electric scooter as it was a quicker and more cost-effective way to reach his destination. Even owning the cheapest car would mean bearing additional expenses including insurance, driver's licence and other expenses. Seeing the dependencies on fossil fuel vehicles and the resultant pollution, Nikhil understood that electric vehicles were the smart way to go. "Seeing how one's commute is mainly within a 2-3 km radius, I decided to build a vehicle specifically for that." When he came back to India, he met with the former president of Bosch R&D Automobiles, Manjunath Panthangi, and they joined hands to start inGO Electric.
They hired someone who had invented a new tire technology, where the shock absorbers were built within the vehicle. As a result, they didn’t need any external shock absorbers, and the vehicle was much lighter. They also found that the style enhanced the vehicle mileage by 12 percent, so they could have a completely different business model.
Their product inGO Tron, is an electric scooter that comes with custom lighting on the stem and back wheel. It has a sleek stroller foldable design that makes it easy to carry. Other features include airless puncture-resistant tires with in-wheel suspension, IP-rated battery and motor for enhanced durability. It can be integrated with your mobile app with GPS, for remote locking and routing analytics.
So far, they have developed eight prototypes, and have tested them within a 11 km radius. They are working on eliminating several issues one could face when riding on these roads, by making the vehicle more robust to handle this terrain.
According to Nikhil, one of the key challenges comes from Chinese competitors who have invested heavily in the electric vehicles space for decades and are much ahead of Indian players. "We plan to stay ahead by truly customising our vehicle for the end user's needs," he says.
Going forward, inGO Electric wants to focus on service, support and user experience before they actually start selling in large numbers.
Simplifying invoicing from months to minutes
Financial management is key for inGO Electric, given that they have vendors to work with and tracking things personally is not feasible. "When I was focusing on product development, there was something else on the back of my mind, and that was the maintaining of our accounts, tracking invoices manually, tracking whether the customer has paid or not, etc," says Nikhil.
As part of their incubation programme with IIM-B NSRCEL, they had the chance to meet with the Intuit team who took them through a demo of the QuickBooks Online software. They immediately realised that everything they were doing manually, which was taking them hours and days, was readily available in QuickBooks Online. The dashboard which shows the status of invoices and whether money is collected or not, is something that used to take them at least a month to reconcile. "Having this plugin with QuickBooks Online saved us a lot of time. For a startup, time is critical, it’s all about what you're able to do in how much time," he says.
Intuit Circles is specifically helping inGO Electric solve three problems. First is their monthly profit and loss. While companies find it easy to calculate the business cost, customer acquisition cost and profit at the product level, it’s very difficult to calculate at the company level. With the help of QuickBooks Online, they were able to observe all other non-product related expenses and accordingly factor in the true cost of running the business and charging the customer appropriately.
Second, it helped them eliminate the time-consuming task of handling quotes, customer data management, invoices, GST and delivery challans. “If not for an end-to-end solution, we would waste several man hours matching customer records with previous purchases, location, etc. and finally dispatching goods. Now that we have a one-stop solution, it’s much simpler and easy to audit, trace and track shipments, payments and deliveries," he says.
And finally, QuickBooks Online helps them with Level 1 ERP. It allows them to record their inventory and alerts them as they run out of stock. This helps them plan their stock keeping and inventory so that they have a better cash balance at all times.
They also found that templates for GST invoicing were readily available. "We just have to plug in our product items and immediately we would have a quote and invoice, and we could progress from one to the other in no time at all. Tracking was never an issue thereafter," says Nikhil. This has made the entire financial process simple, saved them the cost of hiring extra people, and has brought down activities from weeks or months to a couple of minutes or an hour at the most.
Following their association with Intuit Circles, Nikhil says that the QuickBooks Online bank account features integration and summation has saved him a ton of work, and he hopes that the payment gateways open up soon. He recommends that other startups join Intuit Circles as "you can expect to save Rs 10,000 to 15,000 a month. The financials are simple, easy and effective."
Watch how Intuit Circles helped inGO Electric leverage QuickBooks Online to reduce the time to invoice customers by a large margin.
Like inGO Electric, you too can scale your business quickly with the help of Intuit Circles. If you are a startup looking to get financially successful or have a product solution that can integrate with QuickBooks Online, click here to apply for the programme.