How these businesses are promoting health and well-being amidst COVID-19, and other top SMB Stories of the week
The COVID-19 has been an eye-opening experience for everybody, especially those who were taking their health for granted. The novel SARS – CoV-2 virus or the coronavirus — which has been touted as airborne by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has created awareness on the need for clean air and also influenced people to boost their immunity.
This week, SMBStory featured, whose air purification vertical manufactures 1,500 air purifiers a month, and , which makes over 34 Ayurvedic medicinal products.
Kartik Singhal, Director, Zeco Aircon
Gurugram-based Zeco Aircon has been a manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) management systems since 1989. Founded by Ravi Singhal, Zeco Aircon manufactures products under four verticals — air conditioning, air purification, air distribution, and insulation.
Amidst the pandemic, the company is garnering prominence for its air purification vertical that started in 2010. Zeco Aircon clocks a turnover of Rs 300 crore annually.
Zeco Aircon’s air purification vertical manufactures air purifiers in about 19 product categories that can run for four years without any maintenance or recurring cost.
Kartik Singhal, Director of Zeco Aircon, tells SMBStory that different people need different air purifiers, and Zeco Aircon’s USP lies in its bespoke air purifiers, which it customises as per the demand of the consumer.
“We assign one engineer to every customer who stays with them till the end,” Kartik says. He adds that the company has tied up with technologists in the air purification space from across the world, including the US and Europe, for driving research and development within the company.
It has also tied up with IIT Delhi to come up with an air purifier that costs as low as Rs 400.
Ankush Passi, Founder & CEO, Add Veda
Add Veda is an Ayurveda-based products company founded in 2016 with its head office in Ludhiana and corporate office in Gurugram. The company manufactures and sells over 34 products — priced between Rs 350 and Rs 2,400 — on online platforms like Amazon,, , app, and also through its website.
Add Veda is backed by Olympic gold medallist and sharpshooter Abhinav Bindra, who is also the Brand Ambassador, and Franchise India company.
Add Veda Founder and CEO Ankush Passi’s father, Jogesh Passi, is an Ayurvedic doctor in Punjab. He says that since childhood he was exposed to the industry, and was often intrigued by how people with chronic ailments were cured by this stream of medicine.
“In a way, it was always planned. I had this vision that while my father had limited reach, I will build an Ayurveda business whose reach will be much bigger and better,” Ankush says.
In 2016, he launched Add Veda’s website, and also launched a few products on Amazon. Ankush doesn’t reveal the company’s turnover but says that it sells more than 2,500 units every month, and was clocking sales worth Rs 20 lakh (monthly) in the pre-pandemic times. He shares that his long-term goal is to make Add Veda into a Rs 100 crore-brand.
Other top SMB Stories of the week:
Digital accounting software companies for MSMEs
For decades, Indian MSMEs have been following the traditional route to maintain their accounts. However, the time is now to go digital, and companies such as, QuickBooks, , Infotech are helping MSMEs adopt the digital wave.
Today, Tally is known as India’s largest company in the accounting software realm. The software major said it aims to help SMBs access critical data anywhere, anytime, with remote access technology, and wants to focus on improving the experience of the software by building multi-device access.
Not far behind is Intuit QuickBooks, which has been working in India to build financial management solutions for small businesses. Intuit QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based financial management solution for small businesses launched in 2012.
BUSY is another familiar name in the game for accounting solutions. In 1994, Dinesh Gupta and his younger brother Rajesh launched BUSY, an accounting software for MSMEs, at IT Asia ’94 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. In 1997, they started BUSY Infotech — a bootstrapped sister company — to develop and market the BUSY accounting software. Through the software, the brothers reached out to MSMEs and managed their accounts, business processes, and operational controls.
Fintech platforms helping MSMEs stock up this festive season
Cash flow is always one of the biggest challenges faced by the SMEs, especially during the festive season. Thus, time-sensitive working capital needs have to be assessed across inventory, payables, and receivables.
However, given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown that hit the small business sector severely, finding the funds to stock up is a challenge. Fintech platforms such as Indifi, , , , and are helping SMBs to stock up easily this festive season.
For instance, Indifi Technologies offers a debt-financing platform for small businesses. With credit underwriting, technology, and partners being the strong pillars, it has launched new products — early and weekend settlement to ensure timely credit to the merchants, especially during the festive season. It aims to substantially improve the experience for borrowers about credit access, as well as speed and convenience of the loan process.
Lendingkart has developed technology tools that facilitate lenders to evaluate borrowers' creditworthiness and provides other related services. The startup aims to transform small business lending by making it convenient for SMEs to access credit easily.
FlexiLoans is another online lending platform for MSMEs, which uses technology and risk models that focus on alternate/surrogate methods for scoring customers. Last year, FlexiLoans extended its partnership with Amazon.in for the second year by integrating its lending platform with Amazon Lending Marketplace.