Technology for MSMEs: The shift towards adoption of digital technology solutions among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has been apparent with startups digitising almost every part of the business viz., lending, bookkeeping, procurement of goods, selling goods and services, sales and marketing, recruitment, and more across multiple sectors. The opportunity, hence, in digitising small businesses is expanding — around $85 billion by 2024 from around $30 billion in 2019, according to a Zinnov report. The growth is also because startups are increasingly turning into a one-stop shop or an end-to-end provider of technology solutions instead of specialising in one aspect.
For instance, Bengaluru-based Getafix Technologies, primarily a product development company, offers around seven other solutions including custom software development, product development, UX/UI design, DevOps implementation, workforce digitisation, artificial intelligence (AI)-backed customer service bots, HR management software, and more. The company was launched in 2017 by Asif Bhat who earlier managed the Kuwait-based loans and insurance platform FinFirst Capital’s offshore development centre in India.
“I was developing apps for their customers for around a year leading a local team of around 15 people before it struck me that I should be doing it for the local market and support MSMEs and other businesses in the country. So, I started by building a software services company developing mobile apps that solved critical business process issues. I quickly expanded to the product side as well, but Covid impacted our growth as we couldn’t get new clients,” Bhat told Financial Express Online. From 10 clients in 2020, the company, however, has been able to scale to 18 so far including MPower Financing, CAMSDATA, Alchemy, Finch, and others across the UK, US, Australia, Germany, and India, Bhat noted.
Getafix Technologies caters to the fintech, retail, banking, and e-commerce sectors to ideate, design, test, and release solutions for its clients. The company had earlier this week launched an AI-powered data mapping solution Scanroid to automate the tedious and error-prone process of manual document digitisation. The solution can scan and convert data from forms, documents, and images into text-based digital data. Getafix said the solution can parse documents in more than 200 languages and reduces errors by 52 per cent and manual document processing costs by 35 per cent.
“Let’s say if the document is a resume, our solution can extract phone number, email, candidate’s qualification, last company, calculate total years of experience. The solution can scan other documents like the I-20 form for a student visa in the US, GST invoice format, etc,” added Bhat.
However, almost the entire SME customer base of the company, which makes up 40 per cent of the latter’s total customers, has sought mobile app or web app development only to digitise their business processes.
“We are a one-stop-shop for MSMEs’ to build their mobile apps, web applications, and websites; test them and make them live. However, digital penetration in the MSME sector is restricted. There is almost zero penetration in small manufacturing businesses. For instance, MSMEs building railroad tracks or water tankers don’t use mobile apps. However, to manage finances or to receive payments, make payments, bookkeeping etc., they are open to using apps,” said Bhat.
Getafix Technologies has priced its solutions, particularly for MSMEs, lower than the market price to make technology more accessible to them and attract more customers. “For example, to create an app for a kirana store owner, there are various templates available in the market. You simply have to change the colour and work on the UI a bit. If the kirana store owner doesn’t seek any major change in the template, then it would not cost more than Rs 1 lakh for the app vis-a-vis standard market price of Rs 3-3.5 lakh,” noted Bhat.
The company is now looking to grow 60-80 per cent year-on-year in customer count and expecting similar growth in revenues from Rs 3 crore currently to nearly Rs 5 crore in the current financial year. Also, the 25-member team is expected to grow to around 70 members. Bootstrapped so far, Getafix Technologies is now looking for equity funding to expand to new markets.