You have been pivotal in bringing Tally to this level. How has been your journey?
We have been in the business for more than 26 years now. We started this more as a requirement for our in-house business. After starting, we realised that many businesses are struggling with the same issues and problems. And that is where the thought got seeded of taking it to the market rather than an in-house product. Today, we are addressing much larger scope of the typical business faces. In the initial stages there were some versions and then elementary got added, then some newer versions came with new features. In 2005-06 VAT regime came in and statuary compliance became very important. That was the time when we got compliance as part of the integrated product. It was a challenge. Each state has their own format. Government industries were learning and we were facing challenge in developing our product. This was the when chances of your return get refused and you can’t take that.
Please shed light on your key projects of Tally and its relevance in Indian context?
We are focussing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In any developing economy SMEs fuel the growth. They are the biggest employers in any country. India is home to over 80-lakh SMEs, which contribute almost 40 percent to industrial output. These are the potential customers we are targeting for our growth. We are looking at almost doubling our turnover in this fiscal. The main drivers of our growth would be the growing SMEs, large mobile subscriber base and an emerging retail sector. The company is expecting a 300 percent YoY growth.
Having said that this doesn’t mean that large organisations don’t use Tally. I am sure large enterprises are already using Tally accounting solutions but want them to migrate to our enterprise versions. We are very confident about bagging a huge chunk of marketshare even among the large enterprises and government customers. A lot of government departments have started to use Tally without any hesitation. Our pricing strategy is such that it should be affordable and available to the common man.
Within the company, we have the belief thatif the customers buy our software, they should be able to operate it without any training. The person who is using my software should find it easy to use. He need not to have any business training to use the software and this goes for the government sector also. Software must be flexible enough to imbibe what the government departments require. In the last couple of years, governance has become much more effective with the use of such softwares.
What benefits Tally.ERP 9 offers over other solutions?
Tally, the Indian business accounting and inventory management software, popular with small and medium corporates, is growing beyond national boundaries into neighboring geographies. This initiative has created a talent pool of business software professionals with expertise in Tally.ERP 9, not just in India but across the Middle- East, Africa, China & Asia- Pacific. This software helps companies access information remotely either through the Internet or a mobile phone even as it seeks to minimise maintenance costs. The product is more efficient and easy to access. Here we need to type our query and SMS to the required centre, which will revert with all details.
It is estimated that India alone needs some 1.3 million business software trained manpower annually to serve over 8 million IT–fuelled SMB units. The tremendous potential that Tally products have generated across industries has helped to empoweran upwardly- mobile SMB segment with aptly-skilled manpower.
It has lead to creation of highly-skilled and comprehensive business software professionals for the SMB sectors in India and overseas.
Government organisations have adopted Tally.ERP 9 in flagship programmes like NRHM and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and more, what has been your experience with them?
In National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) they had already solutions, but it was not working. They get fund but the money was unutilised and underutilised. The problem was compounded by untrained work force, poor infrastructure and electricity. We have worked with district, block and PHC level. We are progressing layer by layer. We are proud to say that NRHM is most effective run department in India.
Please share your solutions for diversified stake holders like government and educational institute?
Over a period of time, we have identified that, there are three niche areas where we need to work, they are money, material and men. Funding is related to money. A lot of inventry is to be handled i.e. material part. We should contribute towards improving governance capability of the nation. We approach them as a solution provider. We are helping government to improve the governance. In return, it gives to understand the behaviour of the government. Second is skill development. Last year, we trained 50, 000 students.
There is huge requirement of Tally-trained people in the country. We have 20,000 partners. There is another in-house demand which requires trained people. India is one of the youngest countries, so we need to repair and prepare.
What are your future plans?
We have the youngest population; it can be boon or bane. If it is skilled they are asset, if not they become a huge liability. In India, Below Poverty Line (BPL) family are huge. Today, we’ll built capacity with the help of product partners, service partners, and education partners. In totality there are 20,000 partners with Tally. They help in government requirement and industry requirements.
The company is banking on repeating the success it had with Tally ERP Gold in the SME segment. As we have our legacy solutions, we understanding what an Indian enterprise needs and so shall integrate CRM, SCM into our future Tally ERP software editions.
What are the challenges you have been facing while bridging
the digital divide?
We don’t look challenges as challenges. We look it as opportunities. We feel that we have still long way to go. India is huge place to operate. Last year, we worked in north east with ministry of skill development. It’s like learning and delivering at the same time. Technology penetration and net access is improving. We have long way to go in terms of infrastructure.