[Tech50] Leading designers Masaba Gupta, Anamika Khanna, Gaurav Gupta are turning to this trio’s startup for workflow management

YourStory's Tech50 2021 startup Pretture has built a simple, user-friendly and affordable cloud-based ERP solution to help SME manufacturers manage their end-to-end workflow.
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A day in a founder's life is no cakewalk. Managing a business, particularly one focused on manufacturing or distribution, is a daunting task. Founders often find themselves juggling multiple functionalities like procurement, production planning, raw material or product inventory management, costings and orders placements.

With technological advancements, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have taken on the juggling mandate to a large extent. They have become a necessity today for companies to oversee, customise and automate time-consuming daily activities.

However, the ERP implementation somehow remains limited to large enterprises owing to their expensive rollout and need for dedicated experts, with small businesses continuing to rely on either manual processes or locally designed softwares that are neither cooperative nor provide cross-platform convenience that an ERP software dispenses.

Targeting this middle market, Mumbai-based couple Krishna Tiwari and Vanchha Tiwari along with Kajal Jatakia have designed a smart cloud app based ERP called Pretture, for SMEs (small and medium enterprises), startups, manufacturers and retailers in fashion apparel, jewellery, footwear, accessories as well as home décor segments to help them manage their end-to-end workflow in the most simplified manner as per their business.

Incepted in 2018, the SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform, which is among YourStory's Tech50 list of most promising early stage startups, has gained immense popularity among fashion labels and designer houses with leading names such as the House of Masaba, Anamika Khanna, Gaurav Gupta and Papa Don't Preach as their clients.

Addressing the ‘small’ need of the hour

The name Pretture comes from a mashup of ‘pret’, meaning ready-to-wear, and ‘couture’ which stands for made-to-measure. Together, the term rightly reflects the design theory behind the product, says Vanchha, who holds prior experience as a software developer but feels like she always had her calling in marketing and sales.

Vanchha credits her husband and co-founder Krishna for building the proprietary solution from scratch. Krishna holds a Master’s in Geoinformatics from IIT Bombay, coupled with several years of industry experience as a senior software developer and CTO.

The seeds of the startup were sown in Krishna’s head during his CTO stint at Bizos Software, where he was building ERPs for big enterprises. The husband-wife duo left their respective jobs in 2015 to pursue entrepreneurship and started with their market research. They were soon joined by their former colleague Kajal Jatakia as a partner. Kajal holds about 15 years of experience in the ERP domain and in the international market and heads the tech team at Pretture.

The trio went into the market with smaller products and modules like customer sentiments and analysis while continuing to build on a larger solution behind the scenes. At that point in time, Vanchha came in contact with hosts of people in the manufacturing and design industry and started understanding their need for a dedicated single ERP solution.

“There are about 15 million manufacturers and over 30 million retailers in India. About 5-10 percent of loss of business takes place annually because of age-old overburdening and unsecure local softwares that hampers their efficiency. The other options available in the market are for big enterprises and extremely expensive and impractical for smaller businesses,” she says.

In 2018, the B2B (business-to-business) startup, operated by KAVworks Technologies Pvt Ltd, officially launched their product and onboarded their first big client, Fabindia. This gave them a deeper insight into the sector and helped them add more modules as per the business and workflow needs and eventually come up with a better and a bigger solution.

“We refrain from using the term ERP because smaller manufactures or unorganised segments run away from complex softwares. We have designed our solution in the most simple manner and can even be operated on a mobile phone on a real-time basis.”

The power of simplicity

The SaaS platform allows businesses to organise and keep track of their entire workflow across orders, production, material and finished goods inventory, and mobile POS (point-of-sale) along with synchronising in-premise and online inventory blocking on receiving orders from one's website or stores. This also includes T&A (time and action) planning, GST complaint billing, and calculating taxes along with proactive smart alerts.

Manufacturers can easily know what and how much material is to be purchased, daily sales and purchases, where in-house or outsourced production is stuck, what is the cost of that production and so on. Similarly retailers can get easy access to information with real time POS and real time sync of online and offline inventory.

The smart cloud software has developed various modules that can be chosen by the clients as per their budgets and requirements. For instance, the product module shows real-time product inventory tracking, stockists and franchisee movement, alongside other important information like managing consignments and returns with image displays.

The USP (unique selling point) of Pretture lies in its simplicity, user-friendly features and real-time tracking that fits well with small manufacturers and retailers.

It allows clients to customize the product to their use and set their own tracking stages besides easy implementation with external platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, Tally and WhatsApp.

“One of our brands was mere two days away from their big launch when they came in contact with us. What could have taken months in implementation, was done in 48 hours. That's the power of simplicity that we bring to the table.”

Revenue and traction

The bootstrapped startup has an annual subscription-based revenue model. Additionally it has ‘top up’ revenue sources for additional locations, integrations etc.

The startup has served over 100 clients in 18 Indian cities. Some of the its prominent clients include fashion labels such as House of Masaba, Shweta Bachchan’s MxS, D2C brand DailyObjects, Luxury Couture brand Anamika Khanna, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Gaurav Gupta, Shivan and Narresh, Raw Mango, Papa Don't Preach, and Outhouse. It also counts International Woolmark winners such as Rahul Mishra, Suket Dhir and Bodice among its clients.

It has also recently onboarded a jewellery brand in the UK and is slowly making inroads into the international market. The startup has completed its R&D phase and has spread its onground team across 20 cities. Its annual recurring revenue (ARR) stands at $100,000 (around Rs 75 lakh) and is valued at $8 million, according to the startup.

Pretture believes it has gained the first mover’s advantage in building an affordable and flexible ERP solution for small businesses. Of course, there are a host of existing big players in the market that offer individual modules/softwares as a single product such as Zoho’s Inventory Management Software, ecommerce unicorn Zilingo Factory’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software, among others. However, both Zoho and Zilingo’s products are focussed more towards enterprises than SMEs. But it would be unfair and incorrect to say that the SME space is untouched when it comes to ERPs. Global companies such as SAP (Business One ERP), Epicor and Sage Software, as well as Indian companies including Tally Solutions (Tally ERP) and ITAakash Strategic Software (Strategic ERP), have designed dedicated solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises.

However, Pretture believes it holds an advantage of offering an all-in-one standardised platform with multiple modules for clients to choose from as per their budget and requirement. It cuts through the clutter and offers a much simplified and easy-to-use solution for every stakeholder, the founders insist.

By 2023, the startup aims to hit an ARR of $50 million, and touch $150 million by 2025. The founders are also looking at a potential fundraise in the upcoming quarter.

“We have managed to gain a first mover’s advantage in our target market, especially manufacturers. Our direct detailed onground domain research along with offering simplicity in operation is the major reason for a wide acceptance that Pretture is enjoying.”

Direct-to-Customer (D2C) brands in India have seen significant growth, especially in the fashion and lifestyle segment. This naturally gives Pretture a pretty solid footing with promising opportunities in the market.

Overall, the global cloud ERP market size is expected to grow from $45.3 billion in 2020 to $101.1 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4 percent during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets estimates. The major factors driving this growth are the growing demand among businesses to improve operational efficiency and streamline business processes, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasing adoption of cloud-based solutions.

Edited by Ramarko Sengupta

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