Image Credit/ Source: Team Vanijya
When and how did you start?
“I started Software company in 2004 by the name Soncepts, later converted to a Private Limited company in 2007, we started with website development and were handling more than 500 websites at one point in time but I had more interest in developing application so we were in parallel developing many applications of which Gram Panchayat Accounting Application “ Pratyaksha” was a good success as it had more than 200 C.A. Firms as clients, later we developed lots of web portals applications for Govt. Dept. , Universities, Colleges, Overseas projects etc” ,says Mr.Gaurav Agrawal Founder and CEO: Vanijya .
How did you come up with the idea? Your inspiration moment
I always have a dream since my college days to develop application easy to use and which can be provided free of charge for businesses and other sectors to ease their work, because many such software like Tally are charging very high and operational costs are also high. One day a friend of mine who was a CA and using our application asked me if we could develop an application as easy as “Pratyaksha” for businesses as Tally and other such applications are difficult to operate and require expertise, prior training, and knowledge. That time I didn’t take it seriously as I thought that it would be difficult to establish an application in competition with Tally and such established applications. But to develop an application for businesses which is easy to operate that idea was clicking my mind and one day I decided to make such an application and we released the first desktop version of Vanijya in 2009.
Brief about the organization and founding members
Our Core Team Consists of:
Gaurav Agrawal is MCA & OCP with 15 years of experience, Founder of “Soncepts Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.”, CEO & Founder Member of Vanijya Business Automation Private Limited, he is looking after project management, innovation management etc. He has been the brain behind developing solutions for a number of verticals such as Education, Hospitality, Financial services and other ERP packages for other organizations and its successful execution.
Priti Agrawal a PG in Financial Management with 13 years of experience, the founder & Director of the company. She is having vast experience in handling marketing strategies, HR management and has worked with organizations like ICICI Bank, SBI Life and P& G.
Garima Agrawal, an MBA in Finance with 11 years’ experience, Senior Financial Consultant of the company. Has worked at a senior position in a Financial Sector and has handled Portfolio Mgmt for bank’s direct investment in Capital Markets.
Abhishek Shukla is MCA with 15 years of experience, CTO of Vanijya Business Automation Private Limited, he is into product research and development, he is looking after the technological up-gradation and use of latest technology in the fast changing scenario.
Akash Garg is a chartered accountant also having MBA degree is also a scholar in Lucknow University researching on “Tax Burden In India” with an experience of about 6 years in the field of Accounts & Taxation. He is a practicing chartered accountant in Lucknow and was previously working with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is the managing partner of Garg Akash & Co. (Chartered Accountants). He is also engaged in social welfare with some Ngo’s who are working for social & economic benefits for poor in the field of Agriculture.
MrVijai Kumar is 1971, an Engineering graduate from BITS-PILANI and a postgraduate diploma in Business Management from AIMA-new Delhi, Member Institution of Engineers and Fellow Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers. He has wide experience of more than 40 years in the field of Process automation, office automation, Consumer Electronics with Public and private sector units in the discipline of Marketing, Project Management/execution and Finance/accounts.
Image Credit/ Source: Mr.Gaurav Agrawal (Founder and CEO: Vanijya )
We had around 100 successful customers till 2011 as the application was easy to use in comparison to other such applications in the market, later I felt that my dream of developing a free & user friendly application cannot be successful through this desktop application as it needs a lot of manpower support to the users, issues of data loss etc thus costing high. So, in 2011 we decided to frame an application which resides on cloud and along with other projects we started developing the application but due to lack of sufficient funds, we had to carry on the existing projects of automation like university automation, college automation, and other govt. projects, so the pace of development of new version of vanijya and time which I could devote was less, hence we were ready with a web version of vanijya in 2015 , but by that time mobile applications were catching the market and with market review we felt that we might not be able to take up this application with the idea we had and then we decided to re-design the application to suit the mobile platform along with the web version and early 2017 we released the beta version of the application in market along with the mobile app under a new company i.e. “ Vanijya Business Automation Private Limited” and planned to release the full paid version in new Financial Year i.e. 2017-18 but that time GST was rolled out and we had to delay the full version and started working on GST implementation into the application and also got the GST Return Filing License from NSDL in Dec 2017 and finally we released the full version of the application in May 2018 with GST return filing inbuilt.
About funding, plans on growth
“The Project is self-funded till date and I have invested all my money to it, we have started promotional activities but are scarce of funds, we need to establish strong marketing strategies and plans and to execute them we need funds & will soon start approaching investors for the same”, says Mr.Gaurav Agrawal .
Challenges and Opportunities/ Marketing Strategies.
The biggest challenge is the segment we are targeting among them is lack of IT awareness and they are not very comfortable with keeping data online although it’s much safer than keeping it on the desktop, as things are going online or on the mobile app this challenge is becoming easier. There is a huge opportunity as according to govt. statics there is 20 crore MSME in India and out of them only 50 lacs are using software to manage their business activities.
We are targeting C.A. Firms, Direct customers and building marketing partners who can independently associate with us and work and earn the best revenues ever offered by any of the services or products that too till lifetime of the customer they have added. We aim at providing the best of services with revenues which are sufficient to manage the affairs and no intent to earn from this venture.
Future plans and funding.
To bring the solution for all the challenges faced by the business, professionals, and education and nonprofit sector through automation, Web presence, digitization of transactions, and promotion of their product or service under a single platform. We are looking for investors to expand and penetrate into the market at a very fast speed.
A quote from the founder on the journey, or dealing with the challenge, or any inspiring moment.
“Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success”.
Very well said by Sir A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Our Journey was interesting with lots of difficulties and experiences dealing with the technology changes, Govt. Rules and regulations and it was really a big challenge to re-work on a just-released app due to a big Tax reform as now customers will not buy an application without that reform, still we geared up and slowly released the GST Enabled version in Oct 2017 and then finally with a GST return filing in-built version with full release in May 2018.
EXCLUSIVE: Founder’s advice to budding entrepreneurs
My advice to the budding entrepreneurs is that:
a. Start your venture or business only in the field of your interest.
b. Start with minimum capital if possible from your home taking help of your family members.
c. Don’t get into a burden of investing Big Capex and also Opex as it will shift your focus on arranging of funds rather than maturing your idea or business, try if you can get founders or partners who can invest their time for the sake of venture.
Provide some statistics like revenues or Clients acquisitions
We have approx. 1000 registered users, as it was under the free trial of 1 year so we have few paid clients as of now. So no tangible revenue to disclose still we have good potential as we reach out to the market and let businesses know about our application.