How coming to Valley fast forwarded us 10x

Noida/India, March 2015:

Typical startup scene. Cash running out, existing product not scaling fast enough to excite Series A investors and the worse part, need to let go some awesome employees who believed in our vision & promises. For a few nights I couldn’t sleep properly in the hope of getting that “one” idea which could give us a new direction and the enthusiasm to keep going.

During all this time what fuelled me was the support of my co-founder & the core team, blessings of family & friends and most importantly, my mentor & a few friends who I could call anytime to discuss all of my silly ideas. Finally, one day, after tons of calls and brainstorming sessions, it happened! The idea of the new product was finally clear in my head, so clear that I could visualise it. Even though it was 3AM, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up, made myself a cup of cappuccino and started drawing the wireframes. I was done by 4AM but still could not sleep. The thought of discussing the new direction with the team and wondering what their reaction would be, made my brain explode with excitement!

Fast forward 2 weeks, the team had loved the idea and started working on the first MVP (for non startup folks that means minimum viable product)). The idea was to build a curated YouTube videos app with the possibility of creating memes and doodles to help discover the best online videos. We launched the MVP on Android and got fairly good user traction, keeping us excited about the opportunity-

Growth chart for our first MVP

Apr 2015:

Though the investors were excited about our new idea, the hitch was users were not sticking to the app (see the downward trend on graph). We knew that the video space is promising but somehow the trigger to use our app everyday was not strong enough. We had two options at that point- keep pursuing the investors and burning money in acquiring new users or go back to the whiteboard (again) and build something which users would truly love. We didn’t have much cash left and since investors were showing interest it was hard to let go & get back to the drawing board.

However after an internal discussion we decided that we would build again. It was a difficult decision given that ‘getting funded’ sounds a lot sexier than ‘let’s take a crack again’. But for us the choice was easy, because we always wanted to build something which millions of people would want to use everyday. So I went back to my mentors & they helped us quickly raise a small round from some awesome investors. That gave us enough bandwidth to focus on building the right product.

This is how a “Vid” looks like. It also plays a 10 sec voiceover.Back to the whiteboards. Back to basics. We spent lot of time discussing how can we really solve video discovery problem. I also read Nir Eyal’s “Hooked” and we built the product chapter by chapter, brainstorming on key concepts like “Trigger, Action, Reward and Investment”. By June 15th we had an iOS version ready, I felt that the trigger to open the app everyday was still kind of weak but in the process we had invented a new way to quickly discover videos, we called our invention a “Vid”. The app looked neat and concept of Vid gave the app a visually attractive & differentiated feel. With the new app I started meeting friends who could give us feedback.

Jun 2015:

I met Ashish Tulsian of Posist who had visited Valley recently and showed him the product. He loved the concept but he advised me to visit valley and try to get early adopters there. We both knew that for social products & apps, India is a “follower” market. Although there are few exceptions like Whatsapp but in a price sensitive country where SMS/MMS were not free, Whatsapp came in as a Messiah and gave unlimited messaging for free (or at least at a fraction of cost). So for us the logical thing was to try finding influencers in Valley rather than trying to ride against the tide in India.

The decision was made. I was coming to Silicon Valley. Thanks to Wipro (my only employer till date) I had a Business Visa ready & was ready to fly any day. If it was not that meeting with Ashish, I might have still been procrastinating the US trip.

San Francisco (Bay area), 20th June 2015:

When I came to valley I literally had nothing apart from my old iPhone 5 and one among many apps installed in it, named “Vidzy” (that’s our app). Two of the other important apps were “Meetup” and “Eventbrite”. My first concern was to check if people here will find the idea unique and useful. What if they say, “Oh we use this and this app for this. Why should I use Vidzy”?

But that did not happen. In fact people loved the concept and started giving me their email IDs (because the app was still in beta and not live on App store). In a month I collected about 100 email IDs. I started going to more events and started meeting lot more people, one such event was at InMobi’s office (the unicorn startup from India). Guys at InMobi loved the app and asked us to present as a potential partner in their Miip launch event.

There you go, within a month of coming to US, I was talking about Vidzy at Fort Mason center (the same place where Facebook’s F8 developer conference happened) among hundreds of industry veterans from mobile and advertising industry. I couldn’t have thought about all this exposure within a month, if I was not in Silicon Valley.

Presenting Vidzy at Fort Mason during Miip Launch event

July/Aug 2015:

We started getting interest from some investors (some of who got in touch after the InMobi event), but for us key was to find out the right product market fit. We still did not have a strong trigger remember? Our beta users loved the concept but not so much the use case- few of them got back to me saying, “when will you enable personal video sharing?”. I was not sure about personal video sharing because we still believed that YouTube video discovery is a big enough problem to solve.

One day during some event I got an opportunity to pitch to Rick Marini. I had only 2 minutes. Rick being a pioneer in social consumer startups who has invested in companies like Reditt and Snapchat, his point of view mattered a lot. His reaction- “well the app and concept is good, but building on top of YouTube means they can shut you down any day and also this to me looks like a Vitamin not a Pain killer”. Those words got stuck in my head. I knew that something has to change, but what was that? How can we make this a pain killer?

August 2015:

After my meeting with Rick, I started looking for answers and connecting dots. Is personal video sharing a bigger problem? I starting thinking about it from the perspective of someone who record lot of videos everyday. Who is that user? And suddenly it occur to me that my brother makes lot of videos (of his daughter) and sends them over Whatsapp everyday. I decided to speak to him about the new use case.

To give a little background my brother is not a heavy app user, he owns a Windows phone and keeps a low profile on Facebook. The only way for him to share his daughter’s video is Whatsapp and that too reaches a limited list of his friends and family members. When I asked him whether he would like to use an app where he could share his daughter’s video with anyone who would like to watch, he immediately said “Yes”.

This gave me a huge boost, I called up my co-founders in India and we had a good 2 hour discussion on the use-case. We all agreed that it made lot of sense. We were still not too sure whether it was “the” pain which needed a pain killer. There was only one way to find it out- ask people! I started checking out important events on Meetup that week and found a “mobile innovation” related event in Mountain View. I still did not have the app with the feature built but the concept was there with YouTube videos, I decided to test the new hypothesis.

I showed the app to the first guy I met in the event, and told him the use case. He started staring at me and stared at me for good 10 seconds, I felt as if I had stolen his idea (that’s typical valley, I thought). It turned out that indeed I had stolen his idea, but he was glad that a solution for his problem was now out there. This guy said he has tons of videos of his kid but couldn’t find a decent app which could take those videos to interested people. Suddenly I felt like I was dreaming, for me that was like being closest to see a “product market fit”. During next half hour of the event, I didn’t talk about my product, instead that gentleman did all the talking on my behalf 😀.

Past few weeks:

Once the idea sank in, we discussed the opportunity and realised that the potential was huge. One key insight that emerged from these discussions was that the people could relate to the problem of videos sitting in the gallery and later getting deleted because of low storage space. We did a simple math: 1 Billion smartphones= at least a billion videos waiting to come out, multiply that by videos which will be recorded in future! Does it sound like a billion dollar opportunity? Hell ya 😍!

We got so excited that by 3rd week of August the test app was ready (we had to add the “record+upload” feature). Now an important decision was whether to keep both YouTube and personal videos in the app or focus sorely on the personal video space. We discussed & chose to avoid ambiguity about the core objective of the app & removed YouTube video sharing.

I’m staying at an Airbnb place in Valley, so I get to meet new visitors every other day. I used the opportunity and got some of them as beta users. They immediately related to our new proposition of sharing personal videos. All of them had a couple videos sitting on their phones that they had not done anything about and they promptly uploaded & shared them via Vidzy. This was a big confidence boost. Their reaction told us that maybe we finally had the ‘Pain Killer’ we had been wanting to make.

House where I stayed during first two months in Valley- Foundersbase

Surprisingly, no one owns the “video” trigger yet. YouTube is for professionals, Facebook/Twitter focus on brand/viral videos (to make money) while Instagram and Vine videos are too short to appeal to consumers beyond professional bloggers & artists. We realised that with our app we can own that trigger- i) Record/upload and share videos instantly (main trigger).

ii) Make video sharing fun through “Vid” concept (external trigger).

iii) Capture & share a video instead of a photo because, well… now you can! (ability).

To understand above terminologies do check out Nir Eyal’s awesome Slidesharedeck.

What next?

Our app went live last week and some of my friends and our beta users have started uploading and sharing their videos. Our idea is to grow the app organically through word of mouth and see if the network effect kicks in. We are working on few ideas like launching it on Product Hunt, showing it to the tech community during Techcrunch disrupt (21st Sep) and an offline event for students at UC, Berkeley. The idea is to meet our first 100 users face to face and learn from each other during these activities. Will keep on updating the results and learnings on Medium (please follow me if you are interested).

How Vidzy App looks (GIF)

For startups outside valley (be in US, India or elsewhere) who are contemplating their visit to valley, I would like to share a few pointers:

  1. If you have a global consumer product, don’t even think twice. Come as soon as possible. The learnings which I got here in 2 months, are worth more than my whole startup life’s experience (3 years). In addition to tech savvy consumers, the other thing which helps is extremely high living cost which pushes you out of your comfort zone 🙂 There is no option here, but to move fast or… die!
  2. Do not worry about leads or network. If you have a good product, people are more than willing to listen. DO NOT come without a prototype as people are bored of listening to ideas (every Tom, Dick and Harry here claims to be an entrepreneur). You need something to differentiate yourself, jump the queue and get noticed.
  3. Getting investors just on the basis of an idea and product is next to impossible. This is a mature market and an innovator’s market, so you can not really say that we are “Uber or Airbnb for India 😛”. To raise funds you must show a real product-market fit with real traction unless you have a well connected network (which I’m assuming you won’t have if you are reading this).

I will keep on writing more stuff as things progress, including our app experiment results, user response & off course funding status 😀.. You can ask me any specific questions on the comment section (if you have). I will try to answer them.

You can find Vidzy on AppStore. If you are interested in reaching out to me, please email rabi(at)vidzy.io.

How SignEasy got featured in an Apple campaign (and almost screwed it up!)

SignEasy was a two person operation in 2010, the year we launched. And bootstrapping meant a lot of pressure first on gaining and then on maintaining traction; there was, and still is, no safety jacket. If we have no money to pay salaries and run operations, there is no company or product, period. But we have been lucky, and successful enough to be profitable.

Today we have grown into a 15 member team, and SignEasy is now among the most successful apps on iOS and Android.

As more and more paperwork moves to the cloud, we are extremely well placed to help individuals and SMBs use eSignatures, and in turn, save paper and a lot of time and money in the process.

What we think about a lot

Innovation and customer happiness, that’s our mantra. An app like SignEasy is passing through a quality check every time a customer uses it. Which means any and all feedback is in real time, giving us the data we need to keep innovating and to keep the customer happy.

Our almost continuous updates and fixes to leverage Apple’s iOS strengths (such as our iOS extension and Touch-ID support), and to bring more capabilities to customers is due to this ruthless focus on user experience.

The mail from Apple

These priorities are what I believe got us noticed by Apple.

Early April this year, something popped up in my inbox. It was a mail from Apple’s marketing agency about featuring SignEasy on their upcoming iPad summer campaign. Needless to say, we were overjoyed. Though branding with an Apple ad was one reason for our excitement, there was a significant business angle as well — iOS accounts for 85% of our paying users, and Apple’s early adopters, the people who appreciate a well designed product, had always been our own champions. Apple wanted secrecy, they specified that no major changes should be introduced to the UI and product screens throughout the campaign, which would have made the ad rendering dated.

We agreed, and complied within a 48 hour window. We couldn’t control our excitement. After all, this was the ecosystem we had been nurturing for some time. This recognition was the ultimate feather in our cap. It was all about that important word we kept hearing about in startup conferences and funding events all around the world — validation. Then we went back to our work mode with fingers crossed, looking forward to hear back from them in the near future.

Until it all went wrong.

It was the 4th of May. A routine update for iOS went wrong and our users were unable to sign documents. We were devastated. We apologized to our customers immediately, and by May 6, had expedited a fix that went live that very night, restoring full service back to our users. It had taken a day and a night of non-stop work, but we had fixed the issue, and we heaved a sigh of relief.

SignEasy1

Several users were happy with the way we handled this

1-mbRylRTFH7QTzref6TIGKg

Little did our users know that we were running against time, as May 7 was the day the iPad campaign went live. A lot of interest would be heading in our direction and needless to say, it wouldn’t have been very impressive if the app had been down on that very day.

Behind the scenes

The point I want to make here is that this experience again underlined to us the uniqueness of the lean, nimble startup model that we follow, despite being a five year old bootstrapped company. Our users have never had a reason not to trust us, and neither did Apple. As partners and owners of the ecosystem we are part of, it was imperative not to disappoint them, and we are proud we did not. The work that we put in to get the app working for our users again, the small colors and buttons we test and change to enhance usability, the late night frustrations with pizza delivery — these are things our users will never see, and that is by design.

It makes us proud that all this behind the scenes work reflects on the little screen in our users’ hands, and that they enjoy it enough to say that they love it.

Head over to this Youtube video where SignEasy’s ease of eSignature is being showcased by Apple

and other apps listed in the small business section by Apple:www.apple.com/ipad/change-everything/.

1-PIQFLWGxQ3VOu82GyIdFkQPart 2 of this post will talk about the actual gains that we had by being part of the Apple campaign. There are going to be metrics, and a lot of takeaways for app store citizens like us. So stay tuned!

Guest Post by Sunil Patro, Founder & CEO, SignEasy

Should experts be limited to an organization?

Expert01

 I am a great fan of analogy, and one of the things I have been pondering for past year or so is comparing our software industry with that of medical and film industry.

In this post, I plan to share some thoughts on how our software industry can consider the evolution of medical and film industry, and probably evolve in that direction.

Expert0 Expert2

In Medical industry, the ecosystem contains Doctors, Surgeons, Physicians, Specialists, Hospitals, Clinics, Life Science companies, research labs and further other associated entities to serve the patients.

In film industry, the ecosystem is made up of producers, directors, actors, cameraman, music director, editor, choreographer, stunt master,other specialized technicians.

Similarly in our software industry, the ecosystem is made up of VCs, founders, techies, designers, product managers, and sales/marketing folks.

Specialization

Expert3

One of the striking aspects of the whole evolution is the Specialization part, where medical industry has evolved and recognized the need for deep specialization, and doctors and the ecosystem surrounding have focused on specialization. While you still see some general physicians, we all know who are in more demand – the specialist.

In the film industry, specialization has become very key. Whether you are a screen play writer of dramas, you are specializing in romantic comedies, you are an action director etc. Offcourse there are few folks who are versatile especially in acting, but every film needs a bunch of specialist.

Similarly in our industry, specialization has taken off and it’s a great sign of the industry maturing. We see specialists in design, Ux vs backend techies, architects, B2B vs B2C product managers, industry experts such banking, government, healthcare who bridge industry knowledge with technology, we see further more big data, cloud, database, IoT, mobile etc experts.

 

Should Specialist be limited to an organization or department?

With the above background, the key thought I had for writing this post is how our industry can evolve to leverage the specialist expertise, to go beyond just one organization.

Take the case of medical industry, an important attribute is that the specialist are usually not associated to one hospital but consult in multiple different places. There also exists several communities where specialist come together to discuss the challenges, problems, solutions and experiences in their area of specialization. We have seen several doctors consult with others to get second opinions. The ecosystem is well setup in such a way that its not just honorary service, but it’s a win win for everyone, and takes care of “what’s in it for me ?” very well

In case of film industry, most of the people work independently and come together for a specific film. Over the period of time, many work together in multiple such film projects over several years. There are specialist and actors (not the main heros) who work on multiple projects. Its left to the potential, interest and capability of individual on how much he or she can leverage their time, how they want to pace their career, and how they really are on the toes to differentiate or find their winning formula, as individual or as a team. One of the nice talk you should watch to understand it is when our versatile actor Kamal Hassan spoke at NASSCHOM event, sharing some of the interesting aspects of film industry.

The above 2 industry are a great example for us to consider as we evolve our industry. We have several experts and specialist out there in our industry, but their talents are often not leveraged to full potential for lack of the right setup – they are bound by their employment contracts, or merely don’t have avenues to share, engage, contribute and gain. Most of the folks in our industry land up into mundane jobs, standard career path, leading to becoming some people managers or stop reinventing ourselves.

The boundary laid out for experts is not just being able to do with multiple projects outside, but even within the company many of the experts do not have an opportunity to showcase their potential as they are bound by their departments and hierarchies.

Here are my thoughts on how our industry can evolve around better leveraging specialist:

  • Expert clubs that can bring together specialist by different areas of specialization e.g. by specific functional areas, deployment expertise, industry expertise, cultural expertise, skills – product management /design/architecture, GTM expertise etc.
  • Answering the ‘whats in it for me ?’ question – not to expect specialist to come and engage always for free
  • Employment contracts have clauses that allows experts to do other pursuits beyond their employment e.g. like a doctor who can consult beyond the hospital he is assigned to, experts should be able to consult for other products /projects
  • Creating an environment where its safe for experts to be sharing and working independently to take risks
  • Entrepreneurs to recognize the need for experts /specialization for rolling out products that excel, instead of relying on do it all jack of all – this will drive towards the products that excel
  • An environment or community that facilitates experts to be easily accessible and able to work on a product/project for a given time, including possibility for them to engage in multiple projects based on their appetite …think of the movie analogy here
  • Crowd sourcing for expert skills would be a great way to enable experts to be fully engaged, leverage potential and create more products
  • Mentor programs are a stepping stone in this direction for many experts, we see lot of mentor programs already run…but this needs to get to the next level where these experts contribute more rigorously

 

List of Experts that we would like to see in our product industry being part of expert club, not exhaustive:

  • Ux Designers – Interation /visual design
  • Mobile designers
  • Internet Security experts
  • Product Managers for B2C
  • Product Managers for B2B
  • Product marketers
  • Industry Specialist
  • SaaS Pricing experts
  • Growth Hacking experts
  • Technical writers /Product Documentation writers
  • Intellectual Property Experts
  • Social Media Marketers
  • Solution Architects
  • Performance Optimization Experts
  • Scalability Experts

What are your views on this… can our software industry switch gears to enable experts to contribute more…and get awesome products that excel  …working beyond organization boundaries like a doctor or cinema artiste ?

CanvasFlip – The fastest and most awesome way to design an interactive prototype for Mobile Apps

We got to hangout with Vipul Mishra, Co-Founder of CanvasFlip – the fastest and most awesome way to design an interactive prototype. If you are a business that needs to design an app, read on…

What prompted the idea for CanvasFlip and who is your main target audience?

As a start up in the user experience domain, we get many requests inquiring about the standard practice in mobile app UX. Most queries relate to challenges faced in visualizing application flow among product managers, app designers and app developers. To address this challenge, CanvasFlip, a SaaS based mobile apps prototyping platform that aids in the designing process and allows multiple stakeholders to collaborate, was conceived. Our TG is any business that needs to design an app that gives an awesome experience to their customers.

Tell us about the main team at CanvasFlip and what keeps you all motivated and inspired to improvise and innovate?

CanvasFlip is ​our most recent venture which I co-founded with Manish. Manish takes care of the product development and operation, while I take responsibilities of business development and marketing. ​Me and Manish started our professional career together at Mahindra Satyam ​​and launched Yougle.in, FbViralVideos, Slurrp and few mobile games as a hobby projec​​t​s.

In earlier days, our motivation was to challenge ourselves if (and how efficiently) we can solve a particular problem. If there was something that could be done better, we took at shot at it. But now, feeling of making life easier for our clients while building a sustainable and profitable business is what keeps us improving and innovating.

How does CanvasFlip’s subscription work? Is it a free app? What are the available subscription plans?

We offer a 30 day trial period at the end of which users are given the option to subscribe to a monthly or annual plan. As a practice we don’t charge subscribers for a normal overage usage, charges are levied when the overage is consistent.

Describe the features of the app? How does it work? What sets it apart from the competition?

The very reason we founded CanvasFlip was to enable Mobile UX Flow visualization for all the stakeholders (Product Managers, App Designers and Dev team) rather than focusing only on app designers.To realize our vision we introduced few unique and disruptive offerings:

Automatic UX Sitemap generation
(When you create the prototype of your mobile app, a UX site map is created enabling a top level view of your project)

Canvasflip1

 

Real time Collaboration with team
(You can communicate with your team in real time. Suggest changes and track them)

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How has the journey been so far? What have been the best rewards? What have been the major challenges? What is the biggest learning you got so far?

It’s been great and with CanvasFlip being judged as the winner of the first edition of Hot100 Technology Awards, 2014, I can say it has been rewarding as well. Shortage of skilled people is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs in this field face. Finding people with above par programming skills was a major hurdle. Everyday has been a learning experience for us. Some of the most important things that we’ve learnt in the process of setting up canvas Flip are – commitment is the main differentiator between dreamers and achievers; overcoming the fear of taking risks is important for success and achieving your vision; and most importantly your product must add value to the client, otherwise it is of no use.

What are the future plans for CanvasFlip? How do you envision the company taking shape in the coming years? Are there any new offerings that customers should be looking forward to?

We started to make life easier for all stakeholders in an app development process and I believe we have just scratched the surface. We interview 20-25 Product Managers, designers and app developers every week to identify the user behavior. Based on their feedback and usage pattern, we are constantly improving to offer the best in class experience of prototyping and collaboration.

We are soon coming up with ready-to-use App UX templates in various category to save hours of research time for ​budding entrepreneurs​.​ ​Also, very soon users will be able to change their flow directly from UX Site maps/flow-charts. Every Sunday, we make a minor release ​and ​new features ​are ​communicated over the email​. So, register at CanvasFlip.com and we’ll keep you posted about new updates.​​

After the interview with Vishal, we just wished we were hired and paid well by a company to create apps. We would be rocking the scene !! On a serious note, it is heartening to note that we are racing ahead, pace by pace, to be the ‘product nation’ of the world. And the ‘wind beneath our wings’ is disruption and innovation. And the team at CanvasFlip seemed to have aced that.

Wishing them luck…

With inputs from Ritika Singh

Business Software Discovery made easier by SoftwareSuggest.com!

SoftwareSuggest.com is India’s leading business software discovery and recommendation platform. Product Nation interviewed Ankit Dudhwewala, co-founder and CEO of the company to understand their journey thus far. Read on…

SoftwaresuggestHow did you hit upon the idea of SoftwareSuggest?

The idea of providing a software discovery platform came about on account of my own prior experiences. In my earlier stint at a mid-sized pharma company, we spent close to about 3 years and multiple iterations to finalize the right ERP software for our firm. The entire process drained us out on all fronts, and at the end, we still did not have the right software solution that met our needs. This experience of mine made me understand that lakhs of similar buyers in India face the same problems that I faced. I sensed that there was no single place where a buyer would be able to reliably understand the software offering, compare different vendor solutions and get feedback/input on best practices of deploying software solutions. On the sellers’ end too, I figured out that such a platform would help them build their sales pipeline and gain credibility in the marketplace. Hence, we started SoftwareSuggest.com in 2014.

What has been your learning thus far? What worked well for you, and what did not?

In terms of positives, our hunch that there is an unmet need related to listing, reviewing and selection of software solutions both from the buyer and the vendor side was very quickly validated. Within 2 months, we had enough traction that helped us in validation of our idea. As more and more queries came from both buyers and vendors, we were able to scale up and provide a categorized listing, review and consulting option for both parties. This has resulted in us listing over 2000 software solutions from various vendors, across business functions, and over 1500 customers using the platform to review their software needs on this platform.

I think this scale and acceptance of the platform has been achieved primarily because we have been very conscious of quality of solution offering while on boarding our vendors and at the same time, have a good customer service mechanism for prospective buyers evaluating a software solution buy. In just about a year, we have good working partnerships with key SME software vendors, for whom we have been valuable in generating qualified leads, resulting in quicker sales of their software offerings. For the customer, our free consulting services, coupled with a converged list of qualified vendors implies that overall time and effort spent in evaluation, purchase and deployment of software solution is greatly reduced. This has been the key factors aiding our success thus far.

As regards to areas we could have done better, I think during our initial months of operation, we did not do a good job in advising a few of our prospective buyers, not to proceed forward in search for a software solution. These set of prospective buyers were just trying to mimic other colleagues in their line of business, but did not fully understand how to use software solutions to their benefit. We spent enormous amount of time to make these set of customers realize that they were not yet ready for software adoption. Looking back, I now feel that we could have dealt with them better.

There are global players who offer such software discovery platform elsewhere. What do you do differently from them, and why?

I agree that there are a few known names who offer similar kind of platform in the developed countries. However, one needs to understand that what works there will not necessarily work as is, in the Indian scenario. While at a macro level, our platform and other existing platforms may appear to provide the same functionality, the differentiation is in the level of details.

India, as an emerging economy has its own nuances. The variety of small businesses in the country, the diverse range of awareness of small business owners in understanding the value of software, the approach of evaluation of vendors, and so many other aspects are very unique and different in India. Since we understand these nuances more intimately than any other existing vendor, we are able to cater to these needs, and hence get better satisfaction levels from buyers as well as sellers, who use our platform.

Great insights! As a last question, can you share with us top three things that you have learnt working with Indian customers, that other fellow product entrepreneurs could benefit from?

I cannot say if this is true for all products/services targeting Indian customers, but, in our case, we have been very clear that our business model should not look at charging the customers, when they come to evaluate different software options. All of our revenue come from our partnerships with vendors, as of now. It is our firm belief that the more and more we enable our buyers, our platform will get further strengthened and be of more value.

Secondly, I think there are lots of opportunities, similar to ours, where in many challenges faced by Indian customers can be alleviated to an extent – by streamlining the processes via platforms. We just are solving the pain points of software discovery and evaluation for the Indian customers. I believe there is scope for other product entrepreneurs to look at areas where ease of doing business can be enhanced.

Lastly, just the sheer size of the Indian market and the demographics make it worthwhile for product entrepreneurs to look at India as a market to offer products that solve local needs. There are already a few success stories here, but I believe these are just the tip of the iceberg. There is unlimited opportunity for the product entrepreneurs to make a difference!

Product Nation thanks Ankit for his time and wishes him many more successes in their venture!

List of ISVs (Individual Software Vendor) for Hotel Industry from India

The Hospitality Industry is marked by intense competition. Hospitality industry provides intangible services that attract customers and prompt them to provide feedback and recommend it to others. To ensure flawless guest experience, the latest technology upgrades that keeps track of visitor room booking, banquet services, reservation, bill processing, and inventory management, comes in handy.

Below are some of the hotel management software (in no particular order)that helps hoteliers to manage their hotels efficiently and thus enhancing their hotel operations & customer experience.

hotel management software from india

HotelSimply

HotelSimply is a SaaS based software by Bitla solutions (Bangalore based company) that provides complete software application to cover all needs of a hotel from front office to POS operations. It helps hoteliers to access their hotel functions from anywhere at any time and on any device. It simplifies the operations and manage the hotel very effectively and efficiently.

Innkey PMS

Innkey PMS is a leading Saas-based software by Innkey Infosystems Pvt. Ltd. located at Ahmedabad. It is an integrated software that includes reservation, POS, front desk, housekeeping, store & inventory that supports multiple currencies manageable from multiple locations.

Mycloud Hospitality

Mycloud hospitality is a cloud based hotel management software by Prologic First. It is easy to configure with little or no training and offers 24*7 online support.Its key features include rooms and rate management, web booking engine,reservations,channel management, front desk, housekeeping, night audit and report management.The price starts around Rs 6000 per month.

DLS PMS

DLS PMS is powerful and full featured software by Innosoft DataLinks Pvt. Ltd. It incorporates friendly graphical user interfaces and integrates all key departments in the industry. It comes up with needful features of data security, scalable architecture, flexibility and affordability.

Ezee Front-desk

Ezee Front-desk hotel reservation software is an installation based software which is extremely easy to use. It is a modern solution that provides a whole range of integrated modules to cover every aspect of hotel management.

MCubic PMS

MCS PMS is a multi-faceted software by Mcubic Software Pvt. Ltd. It includes various modules that integrates all the services that a customer look for from hoteliers. Its key features include integrated payroll management system, multi-featured menu screens, interface to POS terminals, multi-currency support and mobile POS.

CogHMS

CogHMSis a web based HMS software consisting various modules covering almost every aspect of hotel management. Some of its important modules are Hotel reception, hotel reservation and hotel accounting. Application design is quite user friendly that helps in gaining expertise hands in very less time.

Athithi

Athithi is a full-featured software for hotel management developed by Ryancom Infotech Pvt. Ltd. located at Bangalore since 1999. It is an integrated business process automation for hotel industry that integrates various modules of front office, reservation, F&B Management, housekeeping & laundry management, sales & catering management and more. A complete reservation module is designed in a way that guest can use it on their own phone.

QuantumR Hotel Management Software

QuantumR is a fully integrated with front office management. It is user-friendly with GUI interface that manages all rooms and their operations such as room service, guest search, laundry etc. With the help of this software hotel staff can quickly see their task and will be able to do it effectively.

WINHMS Enterprise

WINHMS is an installation based hotel management software by Winsar Infosoft located at Chennai. It is helpful for large chain hotels to manage sales, bookings, inventory and payroll. It is highly configurable system that comes up with various in-built modules for front office, POS, House Keeping, inventory, Payroll, Purchase and banquet. It support multi-property and consequently be hosted centrally at various areas.

True Hotel

True Hotel provides a complete hotel management software solution to hoteliers. It can be used at multi locations & multi segments such as hotels, resorts, motels, and large chain hotels. It is an installation based software that contains number of modules of front office, F & B management, housekeeping, payroll, banquet, inventory, back office, report, and special billing service management.

FortuneNext 6i

FortuneNext 6i is an all-in-one hotel PMS software by IDS Next Ltd.With its centralized data integration, it provides complete solution for front office, sales & marketing, point-of-sale, F & B management, SMS alerts and much more. It is easier to use and provides efficient property management to increase hotel’s productivity & performance.

Lucid PMS

Lucid PMS Suite offers is located at Bangalore. Its key features include centralised data integration, highly configurable, reliable and secured system. It is robust and built on latest technology that make it simple and easier to use. Along with its several features it is also cost effective and claims to provide “value for money” to its potential customers.

Shawman PMS

Shawman PMS is an efficient tool to manage rooms, guest preferences and front office management. Its PMS reservations are linked to online base central system. Its room blocking feature helps in billing and housekeeping operations.

Winceron

Winceron hotel management software manages the daily operations of restaurant,pub etc. It is beneficial with its easy accounting, uniform pricing, customizable bills etc. Its key feature is KOT billing facility and Peg System. It is multi user and makes its operation efficient that is simple to use and more user friendly.

Checkin

Checkin is a user friendly software that can be used on Stand-Alone or by multi user. It tracks the working of the entire hotel staff. It is simple to use and generates multiple reports to ensure productivity. It operates systematically and help in reducing the work load of every department.

WBS PMS

WBS PMS is a SaaS based PMS software. A very simple and easy to use software for hotels. It is a rich system that improves reservation management efficiencies and increase real time online bookings via seamless channel management integration.

Experts IN HMS

Experts in HMS is an installation based software developed by Experts Solutions. It includes various modules like Reception, front desk, housekeeping, inventory, room service that seamlessly integrates to suit the needs of hoteliers.

Oyasys HMS

Oyasys HMS is a web based application that provides an ERP solution for hotel management. It includes features like hotel reservation, automatic/manually bill generation, searching and sorting facility,multi user access level and many more.

Fiesta

Fiesta Hotel management software includes various modules to make POS, hotel reservation system, front desk operations, housekeeping, material management, finance and accounting, sales and marketing, report management etc. The financial module is the heart of Fiesta. It generates multiple reports with summaries and detailed formats.

Know Cloud

Know Cloud is a web based hotel management software that helps as a tool to enhance guest experience. It is globally used by big hotels. It includes various suite of products that improvise the guest services and enhances team productivity by its effective management.

IManageMyHotel

IManageMyHotel is a Saas-based multiple hotel management software developed by Crystal planet solutions. It includes modules like front office, restaurant management system, central reservations, online payment gateway integration, inventory and travel agency management. It costs Rs 25000 for license upto 3 hotels.

Cloud18 HMS

Cloud18 HMS is an installation based software that integrates various modules to cover every aspect of property management. It is easier to install, configure and comes with user friendly interface. The important optional modules include laundry management, payroll, housekeeping, banquet management and guest relationship management.

Binix Guest Plus

Binix Guest Plus is a comprehensive system that empowers and improve productivity and entire performance for hotel operations. It integrates the entire operations using contemporary & modern technologies.

MGH World PMS

MGH World is a cloud based hotel management software that enables hoteliers to manage their entire operations online from anywhere. It includes reservation system, inventory manager, point of sales, complete rate control, accounting solution, employee activity tracker and more using just one login. It is simple, user friendly and easy to use.

Hotel Manager

Hotel manager is an installation based application by Menson. It helps in day to day operations of hotel right from room bookings, reservations, check-in and checkout. It is easier to use and helps operator to track all checkin check out status only in just one click.

Champagne:

Champagne provides end-to-end features of hospitality management into a single seamless comprehensive system. It is completely user friendly with graphical user interface that allows users to work quickly and efficiently. It can be customized with scalability and openness feature that is mainly designed for client/server architecture.

The article has been created with Hotel Management system analyst at SoftwareSuggest. The list is not comprehensive and you can mention as comments the software missed by us.

The software eco-system in India is still influenced by the services model. Product companies require a completely different mindset, especially when it comes to the programming workforce.

Infinite Analytics is a predictive marketing and analytics company set up in 2012, by two MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) graduates, Akash Bhatia and Purushotham Botla. The company has built a real-time personalization platform that learns and predicts by utilizing all available data to match a customer to a product or service. In an interview with ProductNation.com, co-founder Akash Bhatia talks about his innovative offering and predicts “there will be a big shake out in the data analytics space”. 

Tell us about Infinite Analytics. How and when it was started and its mission?

logo-1The mission of Infinite Analytics is to “Make Sense of Data”. Infinite Analytics was started by my co-founder, Puru Botla and I, at MIT, in a class taught by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. We were working on one of the best projects in the class, and we decided to take it from a class project to a startup.

After graduating in 2012 we pursued this earnestly. Puru left his day job at Fidelity to focus full time on the start up, and I never took up a job or went back to my earlier start up – KyaZoonga.

Infinite Analytics has now evolved from our beach-head market of e-commerce to even offline retail. We are only an 11 people strong company – lean, efficient, and extremely committed to our mission. We have a very strong advisory team in Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Deb Roy – Chief Media Scientist at Twitter and Erik Brynjolfsson, the guru of Big Data Analytics.

What are the emerging trends in big data and social data analytics worldwide, and in India?

Analytics is going to drive decision-making in every organization and function. With so much data being generated every single day, organizations are already beginning to understand the enormity of being able to use this data effectively – to use clustering, predictive analytics and even AI to improve CRM, increase revenues, optimize supply chain and inventory planning, etc. And this is just in retail/e-commerce. We haven’t even begun talking about how big data analytics is being useful in healthcare applications.

There will be a big shake out in the data analytics space. Companies that pretend to be Big Data Analytics firms, but in reality are nothing more than listening tools are in for a reality check.

“Startup of the Year” at the etales 2015 awards in partnership with Ernst & Young

Infinite Analytics recently won the “Startup of the Year” Award at the eTales 2015, which was organized by eTailing India.

This award recognizes innovative start-ups which offer an innovative product or service, or those that are using an exciting new approach to improving or disrupt a traditional market. The jury included the Managing Director of Facebook India and CMOs of eminent firms in Retail & e-Commerce.

About Social Data Analytics, much has been said about its usefulness. Eventually, that’s one place online where a lot of people let down their guards and interact with people. If you consider traditional market research, surveys are generally the way research is done. A sample set of people are asked a bunch of questions and their responses are then extrapolated to reflect a larger audience.

Akash-Bhatia_profile_picAlso, in a country like India, how can a small sample set represent the vast and diverse nation that we are? And it’s only now that this data exists digitally. Social Data Analytics is the ability to analyze this data, both at a macro and micro level, to uncover trends and patterns that traditional market research does not. But that does not mean just listening to conversations in social media constitutes Social Data Analytics. Just using packaged sentiment analysis toolkits to understand positive or negative conversations does not constitute Social Data Analytics.

Infinite Analytics is at the cutting edge of analyzing social data, amongst other data sources. We use the latest NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) techniques, Semantic Technologies and Predictive Modeling to come up with various inferences about consumers.

Using predictive analytics, how effectively does this help transform e-commerce business performance?

For example, if you can understand what colors the user likes, what patterns the user prefers, or what her / his spending potential is –imagine what that knowledge in real time can unleash for you as an e-commerce site. You will be able to personalize the experience for each and every consumer, allowing them to discover products or even nudging them to products they might like, just like someone at a shop might be able to do.

Predictive Analytics does just that. It helps e-commerce sites unleash the power of their customer data to increase Average Order Value, Conversions, improve product discovery and even get back lost customers.

What are the core features of your analytics offering? Do you offer it as a software product or service?

Our product is more like Predictive Analytics-as-a-service. The core features of our analytics offering are:

  • Semantic Ontology –The Infinite Analytics team has developed a proprietary semantic ontology that allows us to understand relationships between various data points. We are able to process Product Catalogs where none exist, to come up with relationships between products.
  • Predictive Analytics – Our predictive algorithms are constantly updated with newer and newer models, as and when we update new data sources. This allows constantly refreshing and relooking the way we predict and optimize our models.
  • Data Sources – We are data hogs. We consume data like a Hummer consumes Gasoline. We will take in data from any intelligent source. For example, we will use Macroeconomic data, Stock Indexes, Social Data, Electoral Rolls, along with the traditional sources of data like transactional data and clickstream data to predict and personalize the user experience for both, an online user and also an offline customer
  • Extensibility – Our product is extremely extensible.

For media and content – Let’s take the example of Netflix. Netflix first started using customer media habits to recommend top movies and shows. That led them to declare that almost 70% of their revenues came from these recommendations.

For travel – Uber and its Surge Pricing is an example of how predictive analytics can be used to effectively price a service according to supply and demand, in real time, thus increasing profitability of the company.

For enterprise businesses – If using macro economic data along with user behavior, businesses are able to predict buying patterns; they will be able to better manage their inventory. For example, in most businesses, there is a 80/20 rule – 20% of products do 80% of their business.

What kind of investment have you made so far and how was your project funded?

We were semi-finalists in the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, the most coveted business plan competition in the world; a part of the inaugural MIT Founders’ Skills Accelerator (now GFSA), and even Startup Chile. We were able to get some funds from these accelerators to keep pushing product development.

Then in 2014, we raised a seed round of $1.1 Million from various investors across Australia, Taiwan, India, US and the UK.

What are the market opportunities for you in India?

India is a growing market, and the data revolution is just beginning here. Our product puts us in a very unique position vis-à-vis competitors. We are the only company to actually bridge online and offline retail. We have competitors doing solely online or offline work – no one does both. Hence, it won’t be an apple-to-apple comparison.

Have you attained profitability yet? If not, when do you hope to?

We have not achieved profitability yet, but with our current run rate and burn rate, we should be expecting to break even in the next couple of years.

How would you describe the eco-system for software product development in India? 

The software eco-system in India is still influenced by the services model. Product companies require a completely different mindset, especially when it comes to the programming workforce. 

Any plans to sell out or go public?

We have been really focused on building the company and the product, and haven’t focused on the exit. At the same time, we have had companies approach us for buying us out. We continue to keep our options open. 

Tell us about some of your customers in India and internationally.

Our clients in India include Croma Retail, a Tata Company, Trendin – an Aditya Birla Group company; Indianroots, an NDTV company and the Future Group, the world’s biggest media company, and one of USA’s largest retail giant are our customers.

What advice would you give to others about what you did right?

Perseverance and Just Do It. If you do not persevere through the storms, you will never be an entrepreneur. You will forever be a Wantrepeneur.

#MadeinIndia Personal Finance Software

Personal finance software helps understand your spending and saving patterns and take appropriate decisions to optimize them. However, choosing the right personal finance software can be a difficult and confusing task.

madeininda personal finance software - ProductNation

Our team has done an extensive research on the subject and here we list below some of the most popular Personal Finance software from India (in no particular order):

MProfit

MProfit is a leading portfolio management and accounting management software for investors, advisors, traders, corporates, family offices and CAs to manage the stocks, MFs & other assets. It manages multiple individual and group portfolios, simplifies integrated accounting and import contract notes, mutual fund statements from over 900 sources. It is an installation based software which cost starts from Rs 2500.

ManageMe        

ManageMe is an easy to use personal finance software that can track and categorize all your transactions and also manage your personal budget. With scores of intelligent features, it fulfills all your money management requirements and take care of your finance 24/7. It is very simple to use, safe, affordable and have logical interface.

MyUniverse

MyUniverse is a cloud based personal finance software of Aditya Birla Money. With Myuniverse all your financial information is stored safely. It is designed to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of your personal information during storage and transmission of your information. MyUniverse is a smarter, easier and quicker way to make your financial universe at one place.

ClearTax

ClearTax is a personal finance & tax management software built by ClearSharp technology pvt ltd. It is the easiest and simpler way to e-file your income tax returns. With Cleartax individual can prepare and file their income tax returns in very less time along with maximizing their tax deductions. It is simple and accurate to use that provides fantastic support 24*7. Beside all this amazing services Clear tax is free for e-filing.

Arthayantra

Arthayantra is a cloud based financial planning firm that makes unbiased,holistic and high quality financial advice accessible to everyone.It connects all aspects of financial planning and helps individuals take holistic and merit based financial decisions to achieve their life goals.

InvestPlus

InvestPlus is a cloud based personal finance management software by ideas infotech. It helps in managing all the accounting, investments, and income tax related requirements. It also helps in record keeping from basic to more complex personal and family account management needs. Its key features include daily entry, accounting reports, annual statements, asset management, investment management, income tax preparation, personal organizer etc.

Perfios

Perfios is one of the best web based personal finance software that provides a complete view of your financial status. It can compute your income tax, see your shopping, dining, store financial documents and other spending patterns. Perfios provides a 360 degree view of your personal finance by consolidating all account types like bank, credit cards, equity, loan, insurance, bonds, real estate, gold etc.

Aditi Easy Life

Easy Life Professional is by AditMicrosys Pvt Ltd located in Ahmedabad since last 20 years. It is an installation based software that provides good financial software solutions to maintain life insurance records and very easy to keep personal information like lockers, land and other assets. It helps in comprehensive financial management software for your entire family. Personal Finance enter all exchanges identified with income, expenses, non-life insurance payments, borrowed loans and so forth.

Vault

VAULT is a progressive Personal Finance Management Tool, appropriated on a Pen Drive (Hard disk version also available) that lets you maintain your personal financial details easily & securely. It joins the features of On-line portfolio management software, Accounting packages and spreadsheet analytical capabilities. Vault allows all the financial transactions to record easily without worrying about complex accounting terms or complicated data entry screens.

The article has been created with the help of Personal Finance Software analyst at SoftwareSuggest. The list is not comprehensive and you can mention as comments the software missed by us.

In conversation with Sanjoe Jose, Founder of TalView, participant in Intech50 2014.

Talview was founded as Interview Master in 2012. Starting up as an asynchronous video interview platform, in 3 years they have grown to a full-fledged Video Interaction Platform, with use cases as varied as hiring-training, telemedicine and customer engagement. In 2014, Mayfield funded them. Today, they have more than 60 large-enterprise clients, including many Fortune 100 companies.

TalViewDo you think that product companies in India have the mettle to go global? What was your experience?

In my opinion, a company’s ability to go global is defined by vision of the team. We strongly believe that every product company in India can go global if they get the right assistance. iSPIRT is doing a good job in this regard. As a company which has successfully acquired many global clients, we try and share our experience whenever possible with aspiring product companies.

Is India geared up to be a ‘product nation?’

Today, India is a services nation and I think we should be very proud of that. Service companies have tremendous capability to provide job opportunities to millions of our youth. Having said that, product companies are also great value creators and I would like to see a right mix of both.

Why did you consider participating in InTech50?

Initially, InTech50 looked like an exciting opportunity to connect directly with the decision makers of large enterprises. The scale and focus of the event was also very interesting for us when we considered applying for Intech50.

How has getting shortlisted for InTech50 helped you?

InTech50 helped us connect with many potential clients in India and the US. Some of the largest deals we closed in 2014 had their origins in Intech50. 

What advice would you give to other emerging companies as they plan their scaling up?

I think clarity and speed are very critical in building a global company. Identify the milestones; set timelines for milestones; and ensure that you have access to the resources you would require to execute your plan to reach those milestones on time.

In conversation with the Founder of RippleHire – Sudarsan Ravi, participant – @Intech50 2014.

RippleHire is a SaaS-based employee referral product.

Tell us about RippleHire – your journey so far…

We help companies automate their talent sourcing by leveraging their employee pool.

We spent our first year working with the ecosystem getting feedback and crowdsourcing problems on hiring. Only then did we begin our sales process and that too with the top global brands, so that we get the right folks to get the product experience and results right.

The journey has been challenging and exhilarating – full of the regular highs and lows that every entrepreneurial journey has, along with the crazy experiences and insights that come with building a global company.

RippleHireWhat challenges did you face during the course? Any learnings from that? 

It was initially tough for us to go after brands like Adobe, McAfee, Capgemini. Convincing them to be among your initial customers was not easy. People love social proof and we will be eternally grateful to our first set of customers who have co-created this innovation with us and helped provide the social proof.

If I were to do one thing differently, I would focus directly on global customers.

Do you think that getting access to/finding investors is difficult in India? 

I don’t think getting access to investors in India is difficult at all. We have always believed that investment is a by-product of building a good scalable business. Our focus as a team has been about building a product that adds value to our customers (the real proof came through when they paid).

I always recommend startups to not focus on building a business for investors but for customers. Do take the inputs that the investors give you on the space and the approach. Factor that in. However, build the business to add value to customers.

Our approach has meant that we have always received inbound interest from investors. So, I think getting access to investors is definitely easy if you focus on building a good business.

Why did you consider participating in InTech50? 

We wanted to get validation from Indian and Global CIO’s on our concept. It was wonderful to have multiple CIO’s stop by our booth post our presentation and share their hiring challenges.

It was a great way for us to get feedback on RippleHire. Not only that, it helped us bag customers too.

How has getting shortlisted for InTech50 helped you? 

Being recognized as one of the top 50 innovative software companies coming out of India helped us a lot from our sales standpoint. People in India, and globally, take you seriously especially when the validation for the software comes from CIO’s.

We have also grown by 10X in the past year.

Who were the people you connected with as a result of InTech50, and can you give us a few specific examples of what those introductions translated into? 

We were able to get feedback from multiple CIO’s and introductions to prospects like Happiest minds and Ascendum through this platform. Ascendum signed up RippleHire as a customer as well.

What advice would you give to other emerging companies as they plan their scaling up?

Every startup is different and has different challenges when it comes to scaling up. I think it is important to get the following right when it comes to scaling up –

  • Your customer support and product experience should be consistent. Think of a Pizza Hut. As they scale customers, it is important that the Pizza quality stays the same.
  • Scaling well is about putting the processes in place that the experience stays the same. Getting this in place requires thinking of your engineering, sales and support teams in the form of units. Once you get one unit right in your support engine, scaling is about replicating that unit.

One recommendation I would give out to the InTech50 participants this year is that – research the sectors that are of interest for you. Hiring in our case is sector agnostic. It would have helped us if we had picked three sectors and focused on attendees from that space.

The Kayako culture – Startup lessons in building organisational values

How leaving our values unclear started breaking our culture at Kayako, how we fixed it and what we learned.

In the early days, a startup’s values and culture — the essence — is very much a reflection of the founding team. These values don’t need to be documented, they usually just are.

As new people join the team, the essence will transfer by osmosis. It’s in the air. The essence will be picked up through the sheer amount of time a small team will spend working on tough things together, and will evolve as new people contribute their own ideas and styles.

As the team grows larger and as things move faster, you can no longer rely on your values being passively picked up by others.

In this post we’ll talk about:

  • The problems we faced not capturing our values sooner.
  • What makes great company values great.
  • Our first attempt at capturing values using a “Mars Group” (fail!).
  • Our second attempt at capturing values (success?).
  • How we are applying and scaling our values today.

“We were late capturing our company values and the cracks started to show”

At Kayako, there’s now 145 of us. Three offices. A large remote team. Distilling our essence and finding a way to articulate it is something we should have done a long time ago.

We started to feel the pain of not distilling our essence into a clear and repeatable format in various ways, including:

  • Inconsistencies in style and attitudes between teams. With the absence of a clear and constant articulation of our core values, teams would incubate their own traits, which would trump the company’s.
  • Speaking a different language. With these inconsistencies, we realised friction emerging in how we communicated with each other, whether that’s how feedback was given or how feedback was taken.
  • Other people hiring the wrong kind of people. Without a crystal clear definition of what our values were, we were not equipping people to be able to hire consistently for values across the company.
  • Recognitions and rewards started turning opaque. Without a crystal clear definition of what our values were, it became less clear why certain people were being recognised, rewarded or promoted.

At this stage, these issues were starting to impact our performance.

But if we left it unchecked? Our work would become less fun and less meaningful. We wouldn’t be able to attract and retain great people. We wouldn’t be able to build a great company.

We needed to get everyone back to our roots and capture the core essence of what made Kayako, Kayako. ASAP.

Values for your values: What makes great company values great

We’ve all seen company values before. Some we respect (Moz, TAGFEE). Some revolutionize something (Zappos). Some are so empty you can only laugh (guess which company’s values included the word Integrity?).

But what makes some company values effective, and others not? Why do some company values turn into a religion, but some end up as little more than wall decoration?

We spent some time researching and talking through this question with others. We found that some of the best and most effective company values had the following traits:

1: Values should be memorable and concise. If your values aren’t memorable or concise, they’re already handicapped. Values should be easy to communicate, easy to remember and will then be easy to incubate.

2: Values should be what you do, not just what you say they are. It doesn’t matter what you write down — the only values truth is in what you do, day in and day out. Not just what sounds cool or what looks good on the wall. We really like Netflix’s definition of what makes a true company value:

Actual company values, as opposed to nice sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted or let go.

Values should be lived and breathed in the literal sense.

3: Values set expectations. Values make clear who will get hired, and for what. They make clear who will get rewarded and promoted, and why. Values are like APIs for people and culture, and in that sense make communication easier. They ensure compatibility and fit, set clear expectations of each other and remain consistent as you scale.

Values are like APIs for people and culture. They ensure compatibility and fit, set clear expectations of one another and remain consistent as you scale.

4: Values should be weaponizable. As we grow, there will be various demons any startup will face: glut, inertia and complacency. Our values should arm everyone with the weapons to fight these culture-rotting forces before they set in.

We picked up a nice anecdote from the book How Google Works about how Google’s weaponizable values are used on the ground:

[Eric Schmidt] was in an executive meeting in which they were debating the merits of a change to the advertising system, one that had the potential to be quite lucrative for the company. One of the engineering leads pounded the table and said, “We can’t do that, it would be evil.” The room suddenly went got quiet; it was like a poker game in an old Western. […] A long, sometimes contentious discussion followed and ultimately the change did not go through.

We found that some of the best company values were great levellers in this respect. Google’s “Don’t be evil” value is felt deeply by its employees, who use it to check their moral compass when making decisions, and who are empowered to call others out — no matter what their pay grade (prepare to be called out using your own values.)

Values should act as a touchstone that helps everyone keep a check on whether they are doing the right thing the right way. As Rand Fishkin from Moz puts it, “[our values are] an architecture for decision making.”

Without getting too tactical at this stage, another thing we noticed was that the best weaponizable values were written in a way that they could slot into day to day vocabulary, like in the Google anecdote above, or like our favorite example from the Atlassian values:

Don’t #@!% the Customer.

This ability to use the values verbatim increased the likelihood that they would feature on the ground, in conversations and in slide decks.

5: Values should be strong as hell. Startups grow, and hopefully grow fast. New people will join with their own quirks and cultural backgrounds. New stakeholders with their own agendas will be added. New customers will be won, bringing new demands. New priorities will be loaded onto the company’s agenda.

These are really powerful forces. Without a strong set of values to build your company culture on, these competing forces will start to chip at your company culture.

Startups will go really tough times — it’s almost a statistical certainty. When reading Ben Horowitz’s book The Hard Thing About Hard Things, it seemed like Ben’s startups had it tougher than most. But it was their strong cultural foundations and value system that saved them (and boy, did those folks’ values have to be strong.)

What makes values strong? We generally found this links back to 1: Values are what you do, not just what you say they are. Strong values come through in the company culture built on top of them. Values are strengthened by how much trust and confidence the team has in those values. Without trust or confidence, values are empty words.

6: Values should (mainly) be motivational. Great company values motivate people to go beyond, to step outside of a comfort zone and to accomplish something different, just as much as they prevent something or head off a bad force. Together, all of a company’s values differentiate you from another company.

There isn’t much point in documenting the kind of things good people will default to doing anyway. However, there are some exceptions: Google didn’t really think anyone would be evil, but acknowledged the forces of running a huge business and maximizing profit may start to compromise instinctive good values, so while “Don’t be evil” mat not necessarily be motivational, it was there to head off potentially distracting forces in the future.

Capturing our values: Attempt one

We followed a commonly held ‘best practice’ for our first attempt: form a “Mars group” and get together in room (in retrospect, we don’t feel this practice is best — read on).

With a few founding members and a new senior hire, we kicked off an exercise to paint a picture of where we would like to be in the next 1–5 years.

To capture our company values, we then asked ourselves this: What kind of traits will get us there, and what kind of traits would hold us back?

Or in other words, what does a high performance culture look like to Kayako?

We ended up with a long list of opposites: the positive traits that would help us fulfil our vision and achieve a high performance culture, as well as the antonym of those traits — the things that would hold us back.

Our thinking was that we would assess this world of traits, and draw from it a set of values to reinforce the good traits and prevent us from straying into bad ones (good traits -> ??? -> profit!).

To make sure we were being representative of the whole company, we invited a cross-section of the team (~20 people in total) to prioritize the all the traits that they felt were either most true to us today or most needed.

Surely, this would give us a fully representative true essence of Kayako today, the essence that differentiates us?

Not even close.

Acumen, ownership, embracing change, curiosity, clarity, transparency, courage and passion.

Meh. Shrug.

We couldn’t disagree with these values. They’re generally true, they’re generally positive. But they didn’t hit any of the things we had identified as what makes great company values great. They didn’t resonate. They didn’t connect. They didn’t wake us up.

We managed to create a set of flat, lifeless and generic values. But how, with so much of us put into the process?

We identified three missteps:

  • The death-by committee approach. Great company values need raw passion, focus and emotion. By its nature, a committee compromises on all of these things. It turns out the “Mars Group” approach didn’t work.
  • Focused too much on our current problems and not on our ambitions. We were too busy firefighting to really see past problems and see what could be. As a result, we were all focused on the negative things — things that needed to fixed, right now. We compromised on ambition and as a result, they weren’t motivational.
  • We got too wrapped up in arguing what we were true to today, and what we weren’t true to. We spent a lot of time debating whether we could include values we weren’t particularly true to. We weren’t 100% transparent, so could we really make “transparency” one of our values?We realised it doesn’t matter, and in fact the values should guide everyone to be the kind of company you want to build, not just how things are today.

These were obvious missteps in hindsight — we had set ourselves up for failure. Time to rethink.

Capturing our values: Attempt two

This time, we did the opposite of a committee approach. We gave one person ownership of capturing our values. This was a leadership problem and needed leadership, not a committee.

Rather than getting everything on the wall — every possible positive value we currently do or would like to exhibit and narrowing things down from there — we took the time to sit back and really observe. Observe how we worked. How we problem solved. How we faced difficult situations. How we interacted with each other. What was there when things really worked out OK.

These are the questions we looked to answer, thinking that the answers would themselves capture our values:

  1. Why do people stay with Kayako and refer their friends to us?
  2. What are the traits and values we have been looking for — even if we weren’t actively aware of it — in people when hiring?
  3. When things haven’t worked out, why and what were the traits and values that were missing?
  4. When we’ve promoted people, why those people over others?
  5. When we really nailed something, what kind of values and traits were coming through?
  6. What kind of company do we want to be in the future?

We came up with lots of answers. Whatever came to mind when specifically answering these questions (ideally with plenty of colorful adjectives), we jotted down in a Hackpad.

We ❤ Hackpad. We haven’t found a better tool for thrashing something out and iterating on raw content

This process took about three weeks; enough time for enough scenarios and milestones to come up and go by, enough time to reflect and unpick things. I’m sure that if we were a smaller team, we could have accomplished this much more quickly.

These answers became our working collateral. The full universe of traits, behaviours and adjectives which we would now funnel and distil into our core values.

We iterated on these answers, reducing the various phrases into better, more concise phrases. With each iteration, we kept asking why: why did this trait come up? Why was it so material to success and tried to dig deep into the root.

Chris Moody blogged some key questions to ask when deciding whether avalue is worth capturing (or if it is more apart of your company’s vibe):

– Is this aspect of the company important to our long-term success?
– Does this aspect need to be maintained forever and is it sustainable?
– Does this aspect apply to all areas of the company and to all employees?
– Will establishing this aspect help us make important decisions in the future?

If the answer to yes is all of the above, you might have yourself a new value. If not, you’ve probably just observed a vibe in your company.

This process needs one person — ideally a founder, someone with your company’s core values in their gut — to be an all-absorbing sponge, and to take time out alone to reflect and apply a bit of creativity.

This really is a process of staring at a bunch of phrases and adjectives for a while, until a lightbulb lights up.

We distilled this language down into what became two of our values: Make it happen and Go big or go home.

We continued to iterate, simplify and refine the language we captured in our Hackpad. Shuffling things around, bucketing different phrases and traits together, etc.

We invited some select people to comment directly on the Hackpad with their interpretation of them after reading these early drafts. This was a very different approach to what we tried originally — we were getting feedback, but we were not forming committee. We continued this process until we got a consistent interpretation, which matched our original aim with the values.

We continued this process until the values clicked with all of us.

Here is what we came up with.

The Kayako Values

For each value, we chose not just a short memorable sentence or word, but also language describing how those values might be played out in real life.

We were inspired to use this ‘real life’ documentation of values style by the beautifully simple Buffer culture deck and the Genius.com “ISM”s. We felt it was important to provide real, concrete examples like this so that these values would be delivered clearly and with our ambiguity, across languages and functions.

Check them out on Slideshare:

Launching our company values

The first thing we did was prepare a slide deck, and not just because that is what the cool kids do. We needed to deliver these to the company and they needed to be delivered to everyone who joined Kayako.

It is critical to have editorial control over how the values were documented, paced and presented (to an extent). There needs to be a sense of occasion to them, if we are in agreement that the values are one of the most important institutions in your company.

The next thing we did was dedicate a company all-hands to these values.

Kayako All Hands
145 people. More than 10 locations.

Step by step, we took the company through the mental journey we had been through to capture these. The observations that we made, the lightbulbs that went off, the ideas we threw away and the ideas that made it in, and why.

We took everyone through how we were already demonstrating these values today, and where we had work to do.

For us, the process was just as important as the output. We wanted to take everyone on the same journey (just with a few shortcuts which we discovered along the way).

Results so far? It is too early to tell. We know that everyone is excited, we are on the same page and that’s enough to get going with.

Scaling culture with our values

We don’t anticipate the fundamentals of our values changing much over time, but we are not freezing them.

There’s a reason why we put a v1.1 at the end of “Kayako Values” (probably the same reason why Buffer has a v0.4). We may iterate on the language over time, but what we are really eager to do is capture what we learn as we reach new levels of growth.

For us at Kayako, there is catch-up and a bit of a course correction to do. We can’t sprinkle values like pixie dust and say job done. The job has just started. As a founding team, we are going to put a lot of effort into coaching others about these values: getting them in to every day vocabulary, getting them into our goal setting and feedback processes. Bringing everyone back onto the same page, and ensuring our values are being consistently lived and breathed.

We would like to start capturing more of the Kayako culture and Eau de Kayako in a similar way to how Netflix did with their culture deck and how Valve did with their handbook. We think these make magical and tangible on-boarding tools.

We’ll also be looking at how we can incorporate values into our recognitions system. 7geese, a goals and feedback management tool, has an interesting take on recognition-via-values.

We are also exploring ways of really weaving in these values to our everyday surroundings. We really like the idea of creating some artwork to capture some of the values, like Facebook does. We don’t want to spoil them, though. There is a fine line between powerful and cheesy.

The most important thing we have to do, though, will be letting our values dictate how we we hire, promote and let go. There is no better communication or embedding of values — everything else discussed in this section is just micro-optimization by comparison.

Key takeaways

  1. Do this sooner rather than later. You don’t have one shot at this, so create your Values 0.1 sooner rather than later. Leave it too late and people will start to fall off the same page. It is critical you hire with aligned values at all stages. The longer you leave it, the easier it is to defer, smaller issues like the odd ‘wrong hire’ will start to compound and ultimately, the harder it is to revisit.
  2. Too many cooks spoil the broth. This will vary from team to team. It seems obvious in hindsight, but for us, trying to approach our values by committee was a terrible idea. It took that collective thinking and discussion process and then time and a single owner to flesh them out creatively.
  3. Follow up and give your values some meat. Earlier, we identified that great values are what you do, not just what you say they are. Values and leadership in general won’t work if people don’t believe. The only way people will believe in our values is if we live and breath them: hire by our values, let go by our values and reward by our values. Anything else is a bullet in the head for your values.
  4. Get wordsmithing help. This is a skill that is difficult to master — if you can, get the help of an expert when it comes to the final stages of refining the language in your values.
  5. Get someone to own it. Give this to the person who believes in this the most and will find the time to make it happen. It really does need creative alone time to get it right.
  6. It doesn’t matter if you are not 100% true to your values today. Your values should be ambitious. They have to paint the picture of the kind of company you want to be in the future, just as much as how things are today. Of course, don’t call a value a value if you can’t back it up at all (see #3).
  7. Don’t muddle your values and your vibe. Chris Moody already put this brilliantly. Unfortunately we came across Chris’ post after we made the misstep of capturing too many things as values (and we struggled to narrow them down).

Resources that helped us

We cannot give enough credit to the following companies, authors and speakers that inspired us with their own cultures, values and advice.

This post was originally posted Medium. Follow the Life at Kayako series to learn more about working at Kayako, our values and our culture.

“Be Prepared to Move Very Fast” Mukund Mudras, CEO & Co-Founder of Heckyl #IfNotNowThenWhen

In conversation with Mukund Mudras – CEO and Co-Founder of Heckyl – winners of the UKTI ‘India’s Most Innovative Companies To Work With The Best of UK’ 2013. 

A brief about the company –

Heckyl is a real time data analytics company that brings news, price and fundamental analytics through a single platform called FIND (Financial in News and Data).

FIND can be used by a researcher, trader and an analyst for actionable insight from the universe of data.The platform brings real-time news, information and market data from companies, businesses and global markets along with brokers and analysts recommendations from around the world.

Founded in December 2010, Heckyl recognizes that mining information from Social Media and Open Data sources presents great insight and opportunity for investors, traders, researchers and analysts.

FIND is engineered in connecting these dots with its revolutionary technology in sentiment-tagging, news-clustering and discovery engine that present ready-to-use, actionable intelligence in a fast-moving market.

Heckyl

Why did you decide to set up base in the UK?

Heckyl was planning to grow its customer base to the higher end of the user spectrum, such as hedge funds and PE funds, whose presence in UK and the European markets is very high.

It was a strategic decision to establish an office in UK – the most sought after financial hub of the world.

What are your experiences in setting up the UK operations?

Setting up in UK was a good experience for us. We had won the coveted title of the “UKTI Calling India’s Most Innovative Companies To Work With The Best of UK” contest

– a competition organised by the UKTI, in association with British Airways and Yourstory.

The win provided us with the privilege of being backed by the UKTI, London. Under that, we were guided for registration and legal affairs of setting up business. We received a privileged office space at the famous Level 39, in the tech city of UK.

How has your business benefitted from setting up base in the UK? 

UK, being the financial hub of the world, opened up the doors of opportunity – whether it was networking with mentors, incubators and accelerators who have seen-it-all, or the proximity earned, to the financial sectors such as banks, brokerage houses or the hedge funds /PE funds – there is a lot to cater to in this market.

The UK proves to be a good fit for our business , as there is a lot of demand for smart analytics around open data and social media, in the financial domain such as ours, and that businesses in these parts are open to exploring something new. As such, we have recently won the responsibility of being the news and information analytics provider, for a leading data management company popular in the European markets.

The validation received from the UK business eco-system becomes a success story to share for potential markets in the rest of the world.

What assistance did you get from UKTI, and what advice would you give to companies considering a move to UK?

They guided us and helped hasten the process of registration, something which every entrepreneur knows can be a hurdle. We got an office space in Canary Wharf at Level 39. The address is a prestigious one, as most of the well renowned start-ups and accelerators are known to set up base there.

In the days of setting-up, we were shown around and introduced to the well-established mentors who showed us the way businesses are built in the UK. We were able to network with top investors and incubators of the region.

Our Advise to companies moving to UK would be to “Be Prepared to Move Very Fast”

What are some of the challenges that companies from India should keep in mind while considering a move to another country?

Connect with the accelerators and incubators who would be able to support and guide your way around setting up abroad.

Stay in touch for funding wherever possible. There could be resources from start-up platforms and communities that maybe used – such as legal contacts, office space co-ordinators etc.

Challenges are mostly common to any business and are not restricted to India. The critical points are – understanding the tax structure and registration rules and liabilities of the foreign country, decide accordingly where to register the business. An added point is of learning how to manage expenses and save money as much as possible.

Invest in a suitable and feasible human resources agency/platform to build a local team. You may choose to invest in learning the language of the city you are headed to. Network with mentors and peers in the industry, as much as you can.

List of 20 #Madeinindia School Management Software

Managing and handling the activities of schools manually is considered to be a painful task. Each and every department is important to be handled in order to ensure its proper functioning like a MNC. A Software technology can help you administer entire institute by providing a detailed as well as summarised reports of all students as well as staff.

madeinindia-school-mgt-software

Our team has done an extensive research on the subject and here we list below (in alphabetical order) some of the most popular School Management software in India:

Applane

Applane a simple, easy-to-use & integrated cloud-based school ERP software is committed to streamline all your institutional functions at a fraction of the cost. It is highly customizable product design, equipped with advanced modules and features like students attendance tracking via SMS/Email alerts, generate report card according to multiple patterns(including CCE),streamlined admission process etc.

ClockErp

ClockErp is a cloud based as well as installation based software integrated with android and iOS apps. Clock ERP provides solution to student, administration, financial management and other related functions. It allows user to customize ClockErp according to their needs. ClockERP is simple and have appealing user interface with secure, reliable and decently arranged modules.

Edifice

Edifice is online school management and campus automation software by Edusoft based in Kolkata. It facilitates the management of School’s Academic process, Student data, and Office management including Payroll, library and Accounts. For Edifice, no special or unusual requirements are needed. Any Standard PC with LAN, Windows OS or WAN IP based network would be sufficient.

Edsine

An online school management and administration system software developed by Idleminds technologies. Edsine provides various features like multilingual support covering more than 60 languages and any new language can be easily configured and can be made available. It provides single click power search on all modules and web, Email/SMS alerts, chat between students, teachers and parents and open connectors for customizing the software behaviour.

EduERP

EduERP is a configurable web based Institute management software solution by Accusol Technologies Pvt Ltd. It is a Complete ERP based school information system with modules like Student Management System, Front Desk Management, Campus Management System and Administration Management. It has a modular structure that integrates with RFID technology, Biometric sensors and Smart Cards.

Eduflex

Eduflex Campus Management system provides both online as well as offline based architecture within and outside Campus.  Eduflex integrates all departments, students, alumni, faculty and other stakeholders. It is simple to use with excellent web interface for student access, staff access and university access. It comes up with needful features like centralised database with single sign-on, localization support, workflow alerts, Event based alerts, comprehensive data and application security.

EduWare

Eduware is a multipurpose desktop based application on client server architecture that covers entire school activities from admission process to issuing transfer certificate to the student. It is user-friendly software with database backups and allows smooth flow of information within the school administrative department.

Fedena

Fedana by Foradian technologies is a cloud based multipurpose school management software with 40000+ users worldwide. It user-friendly dashboards with login access to all the teachers, students, parent, non-teaching staff and other management body of institution. Some of the key interesting modules of Fedena are Campus News, School Calendar management & Events management. Besides this it is also an excellent collaboration tool.

Go E School

Go E School is a complete school software provider by trendsetterz located at Lucknow. It is an open source school ERP software that helps to provide optimum management solutions to all the educational institutes around the globe. It is simple and efficient method of managing the educational records with an ultimate ease.

Govide

Govide is web as well as desktop based School ERP software. It offers 21 modules with enhanced reporting system. It is simple & easy-to-use interface that integrates the existing Bio-metric devices with the school ERP software.

HDschool

HDschool is a software to manage school, Institute and training center. HDschool software manages your students, fee structure, fee collection module, school stock, stationary management, suppliers, result management, library management, HR management, examination management etc. The license key available for a single computer is Rs 19000. The company gives 30 days free trial.

IOLITE

Iolite – a complete web based solution for students is developed by Shah Net Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a company with an experience in software development for more than a decade. IOLITE is a paperless school automation software solution that provides facility to carry out day-to-day activities of the school. It is a simple yet powerful one point integrated platform that connects all the department of an institution.

Jack Prodigy

Jack Prodigy is cloud based software by Ebullitent Info Systems, founded in 2010. Jack Prodigy helps to bridge the gap in communication at all levels of education management. It is a SaaS based application that is highly secured & confidential and provides user-friendly and attractive user interface. Jack Prodigy is customizable that has made the entire campus administration quite simpler with the technological advantage.

Pelagian School Accounting Software

Pelagian School Accounting software – a multi-user school management software solution with student’s master records, Fee management, Result management and Payroll management. A very simple to use and customizable, installation based software costing Rs 8033.

School Cube

School Cube is a web-based user friendly software by Triz Innovation Pvt. Ltd. It allows to administer your school and its related information through easy & attractive dashboards. It also provides CCE reporting structure, designed for CBSC board schools. School Cube is a supported ERP system that helps educators to manage, analyse and get reports of extensive real time data.

Schoolpro

Schoolpro by Third Eye Infotech Pvt Ltd is one of the leading School Management software provider in Rajasthan. Schoolpro is a feature-rich, multilingual, complete school content Management System as per CBSE schooling rules with various modules like Academic ,Fees, Examination, HR & Payroll System ,Library ,Time-Table etc. The software price starts from Rs 25000.

School Time

School time is both web based and installation based software that provides most user friendly school management system. User get features like electronic payment integrations, GPS tracking, SMS/Emails alerts, digital library, exam management and much more.

SchoolSAAS

SchoolSAAS by IFW Techno Creations Pvt Ltd located in Udaipur is a web based school management software application that runs on SaaS model. It is more cost-effective and customized as it nullifies the need to spend money on expensive servers and also additional staff for its maintenance is not required. Features like SMS/Email alerts, Bio-metric attendance machine, and mobile apps to manage whole process on fingertips helps to go a step ahead in School management system.

Web-School ERP

Web-School is an open-source ERP-software developed by Gescis technologies located in Kerala. It runs on Cloud-based system and also on demand it facilitates an offline version. It helps to monitor the overall working of your whole institution and have a control over its day-to day activities. The price are exceptionally adaptable that practically anybody can make utilization of this product.

WinEr

WinEr is a complete end-to-end school management software solution for all kinds of educational institutions. It is an integrated management system that avoids duplication of work and results into time & cost savings. It comes up with needful feature of SMS/Email alerts to parents, admission management, high security and user access control options for teachers/staff and much more.

The article has been created with the help of School Management Software analyst at SoftwareSuggest. The list is not comprehensive and you can mention as comments the software missed by us.

#MadeinIndia Restaurant Management Software

Restaurants have busy nights almost everyday. Here, no tables are empty and more often than not, customers are in the waiting room. Waiters are busy serving and clearing tables, no cylinders are ideal and everything is on fire. Managers are on the edge of capacity to avoid mistakes. But suddenly the smoothness breaks and it becomes a flop show with one mistake of the chef or a serviceman. This can washout the whole reputation of a restaurant. A better way to save your customers would be paying a nominal amount for the restaurant management software to get order in place.

Here we list some popular #MadeinIndia Restaurant Management software

madeinindia restaurant management software

Touché POS

Touché POS by Prologic First is as functionally powerful an F&B retail POS as any available internationally. It is designed for quick service in fast food outlets, for customer care in fine dining and for flexibility in food courts & industrial catering. Special features include the option of dual display terminals & kitchen display for QSRs, a unique repeat diner profiler for fine dining and stored value account handling for food courts & institutional catering units.

InnkeyPOS

InnkeyPOS by Innkey Infosystem Pvt. Ltd. provides the complete software application to cover all needs of the restaurant business life cycle from stocks to payroll management. It is a cloud based restaurant management software for any level of restaurant operation like QSR, fine dine or chain of outlets.

Posist

An online browser based Restaurant POS Software to manage your restaurants operation efficiently and effectively. User can work even when internet is down so that removes fear of losing connectivity. The web based application requires no installation and no particular hardware support. User get features like effective theft control, inventory control & wastage control at just INR 1000/month.

HDPOS

HyperDrive Infotech is an leading restaurant business software provider located in Bangalore founded on June 15, 2005. HDPOS restaurant software is simple, easy to use, lightweight billing software with fast and simple UI/UX. It allows users to completely manage financial accounting. It comes up with very needful feature of SMS & Email Management, unlimited reporting, recipe management & much more.

GoFrugal

GoFrugal technologies is restaurant business technologies provider since 2004. It offers both online as well as offline based billing, inventory, kitchen order taking solution for any type of food & Beverage business in starting price of around INR 12,000. Additional features like SMS/Email alerts, web based reporting tool, process automation tools and Servjoy (Mobile app to manage whole process on an fingertip) helps to go step ahead in restaurant service providing.

Marg

With an industry experience of over 20+ years Marg Compusoft Pvt. Ltd. is provides in depth restaurant software solution with almost every features from KOT to reporting. A very simple to use, installation based software costing around Rs 10,000.

eLitePOS

eLitePOS is a complete touch based restaurant management software by Accusol Technologies Pvt. Ltd. for every type of food service provider from QSR to fine dine restaurant. This reliable, fully featured & user friendly POS Software can automate the entire restaurant from front desk pos to KOT to deliveries. The software price starts from 12,900.

eZee Burrp

eZee Burrp is both online as well as offline touch screen & desktop based  restaurant pos software with payroll management, KOT, loyalty gifts & promotion management, recipe management and many more modules to make restaurant management simpler & effective. Restaurant owners can manage menu items, inventory, new orders & see reports anytime anywhere. The company gives 30 days free trial.

HyperKOT

It is a complete restaurant management system to maximize productivity and increase customer service of restaurant, with enhanced modules provided in it such as kitchen production, inventory management, reporting & analytics.

Lucid POS

Lucid POS is an integrated restaurant ERP software solution by a bangalore based company Lucid IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd. with an industry experience of around 13 years. It provides a smart inventory management, membership & customer loyalty management,  F&B costing, eCRM and much more starting from just INR 39,000. It is advanced easy to use, robust & Secured software solution with 24 x 7 technical support.

CozyPOS

Cozy POS is a restaurant management software with desktop, mobile and tablet support. It also provides easy integration with multiple other softwares such as payment gateways, payroll software, accounting software & SMS Gateways. User can also design Table layout & POS ordering screen as per their restaurants requirement. The software is by Gopal Systems Pvt. Ltd., a leading retail store management software solution provider established in 2001 with its headquarters at Hyderabad.

IDS NEXT RMS

IDS NEXT by IDS Software Pvt. Ltd. is a software with 600+ users spread across India, middle east & Africa. It enables every type of restaurants to streamline the operations & increase efficiency by reducing revenue leakages & increasing customer satisfaction. The software comes up with 4 key modules POS, Accounting, Material management & Food & Beverages costing.

DyneCC

Mumbai based Dytel Technology Group provides an reliable and flexible software for restaurant industry. With it’s large software user base & 25 years of experience it has been one of the pioneer in software technology for food industry. DyneCC is a module based software which helps  restaurant owners pay only for features they needed.

The article has been created with the help of  restaurant management software analyst at SoftwareSuggest. The list is not comprehensive and you can mention as comments the software missed by us.

#madeinindia eCommerce Platforms to Build Your Own Online Store

eCommerce platforms are becoming increasing popular for small & medium retail business wanting to sell online. There is no hassle of developing a website or integrating it with other tools and software. It manages everything from building ecommerce website to order fulfilment. Here we list below some popular #madeinindia eCommerce platforms in no particular order.

madeinindia ecommerce platform

KartRocket

Kartrocket is India’s only platform to provide end-to-end Ecommerce services. Starting from pre-build website templates, Kartrocket provides payment gateway to collect payment in any currency, automated shipping with multiple courier companies, automated affiliate listing, marketplace integrations, Android and Iphone mobile app for shopping as well as store management. Its seamless automated shipping, which is used by more than 3,000 retailers in India, has always been able to earn extra brownie points for the customers. Kartrocket has recently launched a free plan under the name of studio. It aims to minimize the risk and investment worries of small scale businesses by giving them a website with zero rental. KartRockets other rental plans includes Starter, Professional and Unlimited which are priced at Rs 1500, Rs 3000 and Rs 7000 per month respectively.

freKart

freKart is a good solution for companies which want to start wholesale website for B2B or a retail website for customer B2C, all under one single plan. One can also setup with a marketplace plan with vendor management. freKart also include mative mobile app & Facebook store. One can control the product you wish to sell on Mobile or Facebook with different pricing for different store.

freKart has pre-defined SEO rules and the entire system is Excel Friendly. One can also plan sales and schedule the store to change product with promotion price for specific intervals. The same scheduling and planning of sales can also be done for mobile app and Facebook store. It claims to have more than 350+ features. Pricing starting from 1110 INR.

BuildaBazaar

“BuildaBazaar is DIY e-commerce platform with more than 25000 merchants. The robust platform was launched in 2011 by Infibeam.com – one of the leading online marketplaces in India. It offers end-to-end solution like the platform infrastructure, payment gateway, logistics and also provides marketing support. BuildaBazaar powers brands like Airtel, Crossword, VIP Bags, etc. The SaaS based platform provider has forayed into International market with giant retailers like Aixom Telecom and Jumbo Electronics. The platform has also won “”The Game Changing Idea of The Year”” award by ET Retail.

PowerStores

PowerStores is an e-commerce and website platform that allows anyone to create a mobile-friendly website and sell to customers all over the world. With beautiful, professional themes to start from, PowerStores easy-to-use tools allow you to customize the colours and content of your site and is as easily as setting up your Facebook page. They have a team of web experts who will set up your website for you and train you on the platform. Pricing as low as Rs. 700 per month. 15-day free trial is also available.

Shop2Grab

Shop2grab offers you to build your own ecommerce website in almost no time. Along with all basic features  it also provide online marketing tools such as SEO, SEM, GoogleAdwords to drive traffic for your online store.  It allows your online store to seamlessly integrate with ebay & amazon to fetch product and order data. If you are a retailer and you want to sell online, Shop2Grab will also provide an POS System to keep your inventory match your tallies. Pricing starting from just 500 per month.

MartJack

Martjack by Reasoning Global eApplications Pvt Ltd established in 2007 provides an eCommerce platform solutions to retail businesses across india and other emerging countries. It provides a seamless multi channel customer experience from mobile friendly web design to order fulfilment. SaaS based software application with cutting edge technology is leading the industry with 30+ payment partners, 10+ logistics partners, 70+ service partners and multiple Apps to boost your ecommerce business (email marketing, loyalty program & many more).

StoreHippo

It is an ecommerce platform for retailers to sell their products and services in online marketplace. It works on latest and fastest technologies, providing themes for every retail segment. It is powered by a truly mobile supported system to provide the best selling experience.

Zepo

Zepo founded in 2011 is providing the online store with more than 70 themes for to create ecommerce website. One can create a fully Customized ecommerce platform to match the brand image.

BoostMySale

BoostMySale is an award winning ecommerce platform by Navigators software with experience of over more than 16 years. It is a SaaS based application to take care of your entire eCommerce ecosystem starting from product cataloging to warehouse management & delivery. It allows you to sell product on leading marketplaces such as amazon & ebay as well as you can create facebook store.

The article has been created with the help of  eCommerce platform Analyst at SoftwareSuggest. The list is not comprehensive and you can mention as comments the software missed by us.