FloBiz is India's first neo-business platform for small and medium businesses across India. FloBiz aims to accelerate the growth of SMBs business enterprises through their technology support.
Rahul Raj is the co-founder & CEO of FloBiz. He aspires to unlock the potential of MSMEs by solving their crucial problems through its technology-backed platform.
In an interview with Outlook Business, Rahul Raj speaks about his plans for enhancing the MSMEs’ potential for building Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
1. How successful do you think the ‘Rebooting India’s Small Businesses’ has been successful since the pandemic?
We would say that there is clearly a silver lining when we talk about Indian small businesses bouncing back from the dark clouds of the pandemic. In a recent survey conducted by a fintech company, 52% of Indian MSMEs saw a positive impact post pandemic with online sales and cross border business transactions becoming easier.
Government initiatives like extending Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and Make in India are great efforts and the start-up ecosystem is also helping digitize SMBs and contributing by easing the access to credit. MSME registrations on Udyam registration portal are increasing to take benefit of the government initiatives. While these are initial good signs, we need to tread cautiously and need to continuously invest in technology. MSMEs contribute to 30% of India's GDP, employ more than 11 Cr people and have 50% share in the country's exports. We need to take the contribution higher to 40% of GDP in order to have more immunity towards global macroeconomic triggers and to become Atmanirbhar in true sense.
2. How do you see the MSMEs now after the Pandemic has nearly ended and the economy is going back to normal?
We have seen healthy adoption of technology and willingness to invest in digitisation. myBillBook’s customer base stands at 65 lakh and we have seen an exponential growth in our usage from the early stages to the current stage of pandemic. The positive momentum in our subscription purchase gives us a lot of confidence and insight into how MSMEs have accepted that they need to invest in technology to sustain and grow their business. We have seen the trade values increasing on myBillBook with more and more businesses spreading out their sales boundaries.
3. What were your thoughts when you decided to come up with the idea of MSME Anthem - Tum Kamaal Ho?
Our first principle while ideating was that our MSME day campaign should touch the hearts of MSMEs and all Indians at large, hence doing awards or webinar or regular brand advertisement was out of the picture. We wanted our communication to be a part of everyday life with repeated consumption and to become a part of conversations. With a clear goal of creating something memorable, shareable and interesting, we zeroed down on MSME Anthem. No other brand or institute working for the cause of MSMEs has ever done this, and the anthem will not just help myBillBook own the MSME Day 2022 but also set itself as the champion for this sector.
4.What challenges do businesses in small towns and kirana stores face and how do digital platforms like FloBiz help resolve them?
The two biggest pain points for small businesses are - low efficiency and almost no access to formal credit. Through myBillBook which is the flagship SaaS product by FloBiz, we are already solving the pain point of reduced efficiency. Users can create GST compliant invoices, manage their inventory, collect payments through Smart Collect, reconcile payments automatically, manage account payables & receivables, set low stock reminders, improve cash inflow cycle and use 25 intelligent reports available for smart business decisions on the go. myBillBook is available on android, iOS, desktop and web. By digitizing all these operations, businesses can reduce errors, save time and improve efficiency. Our roadmap has the next steps of foraying into neobanking space for SMBs which will solve their second pain point of access to credit.
5.What does FloBiz have in hand for its SMBs and MSMEs customers in the near future? What are your plans that can attract more customers?
We are continually adding more features to our flagship SaaS product myBillBook. In the last 6 months we have rolled out a POS billing software suite to attract retail and franchise businesses and Smart Collect through which customers can collect payments online without the need to manually reconcile against the invoices. We will very soon publicly announce another addition which is helping a lot of businesses after certain new regulations which have come from the government. We will continue to invest in technology and consumer research to make our product more powerful and relevant for multiple businesses and industries.