“All our products have been developed with customers as the subject matter experts” – By, Mr. Nityananda Rao,CEO Actouch Technology

  1. Nityananda Rao,CEO Actouch TechnologyHow has 2018 been & what were the major challenges faced??

Last calendar year was good for us. Because previous to that year, we took a bold decision to focus to acquire more customers from Manufacturing segments as they need more user licenses and we found a GAP in the market. To gain the confidence and market share we invested heavily on the problems that were faced by manufacturing segments and tried to address them. There are few problems that are known to all, but no one is spending efforts or money to solve it. We focused on this segment to win few customers and that helped us to gain more customers. We focussed on end users usability and how to simplify the data entry process by studying end users behaviours.

Our focused approach helped us to gain manufacturing customers in OEM Suppliers, large Machine manufacturers, Switch Gears and PVC Pipe manufacturers, Injection Moulding Companies etc. Mainly we focused on Discrete manufacturing segment and we achieved a lot with few key logo wins here.

Few areas we focussed are as below that gave tremendous value to our customers.

  1. Product costing (Activity Based Costing- ABC)
  2. Simplified process of materials movement across Production, Stores and Inventory sections.
  3. Bill of Materials with By-products. How to handle them and ensure costing is affected?
  4. Handling of Work order, Routing, Subcontracting operations from ONE SCREEN with management status.
  5. Planning module that helps to manage day today production plan and issuance of materials.

Personally, we saw a good growth in 2018.

2. What are the company’s top notch ERP offerings?

All our products have been developed with customers as the subject matter experts. We believe that their feedback is the key to opening innovative and new dimensions in product development that essentially leads to simplifying the process.

We have built product features like Sales, Quotes, Billing, Inventory, Payments and Receipts, Manufacturing module with Planning, Work Order, Bill of materials, Subcontracting, Finance, Interface to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay etc and all the financial MIS reports.

How are we different? We focused on the following and built customer TRUST on us.

  1. Solution in Progress (SIP) – These features list are same like many of the existing ERPs like handling of Invoicing, Billing, Payments, Receipts and Financials etc. However, we focussed on the end users usability and how to simplify the process by studying end users behaviours.
  2. Identified problems – These are the problems that are known in the existing products, but no one spending efforts or money to change it. We focused on this segment to win few customers and that helped us to gain more customers.

3. Who are your competitors in the Indian Market?  

Let me give some statistics and this would give an idea of the software penetration in SME market. There are total 68 Million SMEs in India (as per Govt statistics of 2016).

Based on our market research, we believe, only 35% of Indian SMEs have an access to computer & software and rest do not have any (This is around 40M SMEs). I think only Tally Software could able to reach more than 5 Million Customers (based on public domain data between 2012 to 2016). This means till now not one software company could able to take over the SME market with more than 15% market share in India.

This means Indian SME market is very large and we can have 10 more large companies and everyone still has business. The challenge in the market is how to reach out to these SMEs (distribution) in an economic way?

This is the challenge that AcTouch.com is addressing now. We are working on a solution to reach out this segment.

When we started our business we competed against Tally Software, Busy and other customised software. Today 80% of our customer base came from Tally Software users.Even though AcTouch.com is 100% GST and other tax compliant solution, we couldn’t replace Tally and other software because CA and Auditors still preferred it for their work to complete.

So we co-existed with Tally Software. We built an interface to Tally software such that invoice and bills that are generated in AcTouch.com could be easily migrated to Tally for the CA and Auditor to complete their process and compliance activities.

It is win-win situation for all.

Today we compete against SAP B1, Ramco systems, Oracle ERPs and other customised ERPs on Price factors, Simplified complex features and Zero maintenance costs. Being an easy to use application, we score better on end user training and application adaptability.

  1. In your opinion, what do you think will 2019 bring in this space?

In last 2 years, due to GST rules, the interest in the Cloud ERP has been more. The business owners have realised that following the rule is much better than not to follow. The taxes are reduced in some segments, GST returns are simplified and it’s expected to simplify more. In summary Government is rewarding the business people who follow the rules.

Today, we see a situation where Customers are well informed and they prepare before they come for the discussion. They understand their needs and the focus is clear. They are looking around and asking questions like

  1. Why we are not using CRM tools?
  2. Why can not we use MobileApps for the Sales and Dealers network?
  3. How can we reduce the duplicate work and streamline process?
  4. How can I use my existing accounting system, while my rest of the business can be on Cloud?

So we see a new business opportunities coming out from newer Business Owners segment, who are not Tech Savvy and can’t afford / Don’t want to invest in a Computer etc. But they want a Mobile based application as its easy to use, its data charges are nearly free etc. Personally I am very much excited about 2019.

  1. In 5 years time, where do you put India globally, when it comes to the adoption of the technology?

I think from Year 2000, India is the forerunner in adopting new technologies compared to other countries in the world. We may be little hesitant initially, but we use it more once we see the business values. We found many ways to use the technology and make it beneficial to us. For example today our business communities use WhatsApp for sending and receiving Quotes, Orders, Receipt and Payment copies etc. They use Face Book to give free ads. During demonetisation time, some people used PayTM to pay Electricity, Water bills etc. for others and collected service charges on it.

Personally based on our discussion with our Customers and prospects, I feel, many of business owners are investing in Sales and lead generation mechanisms, they are investing in website and online portals. Few have invested in Bar codes and RFID etc. It seems they have realised that to grow the business ahead of competition they have to use technology and follow the process. Because traditional business methods don’t give any competitive edges as information is freely available and Customer has become smart.

@Technuter.com News Service

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