The app makes business management a breeze, the founders say
In mid-2016 Shubham Agarwal (CTO), Sumit Agarwal (CEO), and Ruqiya Irum (CMO) quit their jobs and started developing a mobile app that would help shopkeepers write invoices, issue quotations and update inventory directly from their phone. They got on to this mission because one of Sumit’s relatives had asked him a few months earlier to suggest an app that could help manage his small business. Very recently, the trio received Rs 35 crore in Series-A investment from e-commerce giant Indiamart for its startup venture which has developed this app, aptly called Vyapar.
Irum, co-founder and CMO at Vyapar Tech Solutions, spoke to Sourcing Hardware, to explain why Vyapar is the most suited business solution for traders and small entrepreneurs.
“We looked around for nearly three months for a software solution that could help Sumit’s uncle organise his business. The only solution we found was Book Keeper and felt that we could vastly improve upon it. By June of 2016 we had our beta version ready and started witnessing decent traction from early users,” she says.
Vyapar is a mobile-first app that enables users to create GST compliant invoices, update inventory and maintain accounts on the go. The mobile version, with all its features, is available as a free service. The premium version comes with monthly and annual subscription plans, and features such as multiple devices syncing (including desktop) and invoice personalisation. Both versions can be used in offline mode.
Irum says that today no enterprise is untouched by the advent of GST. “The market is getting streamlined, and the need for being GST and tax compliant is forcing everyone to digitise their operations. Therefore we believe that Vyapar is the right tool for being compliant and more organised in business.”
Commenting on the usability of the app in the building and construction sector, she asserts that it would be most suitable since most of the traders are small and medium-sized, and often not very conversant with GST laws. “The building products industry is really vast and heavily dependent on retail operations. Our solution is just apt for the channel partners, who are usually operating as proprietorships or partnerships.”
She adds that on a management level as well, Vyapar helps owners get an overview of their business in terms of sales, inventory, payments etc. “They get a clear view of their business. This is something that they could not have done earlier without investing in expensive software like Tally.”
Tally is a desktop-based software that can take up to four months to master and has an entry price of Rs 10,000 for a single user, while subscription-based Zoho costs around Rs 4,00 per year. Vyapar, on the other hand, is mobile-based and simple to comprehend and use. Listing another virtue of the app, Irum quips, “We believe we are converting people from using pen and paper to digital.” However, she adds that the Vyapar team is working on enabling the app to integrate with Tally and broaden its usability seamlessly.
The injection of funds will enable Vyapar’s team to develop more products and add new features to the existing software. “We are developing a version that will have the balance sheet feature. It will be suited to manufacturers and chartered accountants.”
On customer acquisition, Irum says, “Our marketing and customer acquisition strategy is going to be entirely digital, as we find this approach more cost-effective.”