How Imprezz is using tech solutions to help MSMEs adapt to the digital world
The micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) form the backbone of the Indian economy. In the wake of the pandemic, the sector has realised the importance of leveraging digital tools in order to survive and thrive.
According to Cisco India SMB Digital Maturity Study 2020, digital adoption will enable SMEs to add around $158 billion to $216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024.
Apart from financing, MSMEs also face the challenge of finding a single solution for their different needs such as accounting, generating GST reports, and more. This is something Bengaluru-basedis trying to solve.
Imprezz is the Indian vertical of Germany-based data service company Buhl Group, which was founded in 1995 by Waldemar Buhl. Imprezz was launched in 2019, and provides various services such as generating invoices, accounting solutions, payments, and more.
Some of the other companies in the market that are helping MSMEs to adapt to digital means include Recordent, Brego, and more.
This week, SMBStory spoke to Amit Mundra, CEO and Country Manager of Buhl Data Service, on how Imprezz differentiates itself, the workings, and its plans in the coming months.
According to Amit, the core of Imprezz is to become a “backbone for MSMEs” and build a platform that caters to all their needs. The billing and accounting software of Imprezz is available for free. However, it has several add-on features, which costs between Rs 999 and Rs 1,499.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory [SMBS]: There are numerous models catering to MSMEs. What’s your differentiation?
Amit Mundra [AM]: Our focus is currently on MSMEs. We are not competing with any other products in the market. We are usually compared to a lot of invoicing and accounting tools, but we have been trying to say from the beginning that we are not just an invoicing tool.
Our idea is to become the backbone of a business wherein we are not just providing software or accounting solutions, but become a one-stop shop for all needs of MSMEs with one single ID.
This would also help in analysing data and MIS reporting. If you see our journey, we have been developing products according to the industry needs -- whether it is the mobile application or the website.
SMBS: You claim that by using the platform, 60 percent of the time gets saved. How is that possible?
AM: Traditionally, customer quotation takes a lot of back and forth. If the customer uses Imprezz, he or she can directly input the customer, product details, and more, and send it via email or even copy-paste the URL. The person on the other end can accept the quotation with the click of a button without having to call back or reply. After the quotation has been accepted, an invoice can be generated, sent back, and the person can get his payment within an hour or so.
We have automated the verification and the payment steps to an extent that the time taken to carry out the entire transaction is reduced by 60 percent using Imprezz.
SMBS: Imprezz has 22,000 customers. How are they spread across in different sectors?
AM: We have identified different categories of customers we serve. This includes startup founders, small and medium businesses, digital marketing agencies, consultants, etc. We are also getting a lot of traction from retailers because one of the USPs of the entire mobile point of sale system is the automation part. You have to simply download the app and log into the application. We already have 1.2 million articles as SKUs. The retailers have to scan the barcode, finalise the billing and the mode of payment. The receipt can be sent via SMS or WhatsApp. So again, we have reduced this entire process drastically.
SMBS: You claim that Rs 600 crore invoices have been uploaded on your platform. Do you also track how much of these dues have been paid?
AM: This is the overall value of the invoices that have been created using Imprezz, and this has been reached in close to about 24 to 26 months, including the pandemic phase. We launched in the last quarter of 2019, and then the pandemic happened. But we have had a successful run with the invoicing product. Moreover, we later made this product free to enable the larger audience to reap the benefits.
The impact has been that people have been using the platform to generate invoices for larger amounts as well as for something as low as Rs 100 or Rs 200.
To be honest, we don’t track the worth of invoices that have been paid or not paid because a lot of it depends on the kind of product being sold or the relationship between the buyer and the seller. The invoices within the MSME sector sometimes gets paid in six days and sometimes it takes six months.
SMBS: What are your plans in the next 12-18 months?
AM: We are coming up with a new module in which you can download GST reports and also file GST through the system itself. We have an inventory module in place but we are further working on it to help it suit the needs of traders, retailers, and manufacturers. We have already partnered with Razorpay for payments, but in the coming times, we plan to collaborate with firms that can support us with CRM, HR, and payroll modules.