Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ERP Solutions are cost effective for SMB: Sudheer Nair

eresource Infotech founded by Sudheer Nair, CEO, eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd. provide services in the ERP field to the SMB sector. With the cost of solution is high on pockets for the medium size companies, it becomes almost impossible for the small players to opt for the ERP solutions. However, breaking this myth, Sudheer has introduce Software-as-a-Service (Saas) model which provides the client only what they required instead of burdening them with the full package. In an exclusive chat with Sudheer Nair, Bhawna Satsangi finds out more about the revenue model of ERP Solutions.
Please throw light on the web based ERP Solutions that you are providing to the Indian Market?
Eresource is an affordable, flexible, reliable and user-friendly web-based ERP system developed by eresource Infotech Pvt. Ltd., Thane, Maharashtra. Web-based eresource ERP solution simplifies back-office process automation. It provides real-time information about finance, order management, purchase, inventory, employee management, e-commerce and much more. With eresource ERP solution, companies can accelerate business cycles, improve productivity and reliability and provide higher levels of service to customers, suppliers and partners.
What are the major challenges as a service provider you are facing?
It is not challenges but competition in the market that we have to tackle in a successful manner. There are many ERP products and vendors in the market today. Some of them are large players they normally focus on big firms. Though eresource system is capable of handling any volume of business process, we have fenced our business arena to Small and Medium Size businesses in every major industrial verticals.  
What is the network of channel partners you carry forward and what strategy do you develop in taking the practice forward?
We have our channel partners in different parts of the country and some Middle Eastern states whose business operations and functionalities are closely knitted and monitored by our corporate office in Thane, Maharashtra. We also encourage IT firms or other solution providers to be part of our network setup that could fetch good business opportunities and reap rich dividends.
Who all are your clients and how the ERP solutions are beneficial to them?
We have hundreds of clients that are spread over across the country. A complete client list can be found on our website.
What is the revenue model?
There are many small and medium sized companies in India that cannot afford to implement a conventional ERP system, which demands a huge capital investment. Taking this matter into account and overcome this hurdle, eresource has introduced an innovative plan which will enable every organizations, irrespective of their size or budget, to implement an ERP system. The prime objective of this SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model is to provide the client ONLY what they required instead of burdening them with the full package.
We have categorized our Saas model into three packages. These are eresource ERP-Lite, eresource ERP-Pro, eresource ERP-Enterprises. These models are available out of the shelf. As eresource SaaS model is a scalable solution, organizations can further extend or curtail the modules as per the requirement.
What kind of services are you providing to the SMB market?
You may be aware that ERP implementation is a costly affair therefore it may not be possible for every organization to implement the system. However, Web-based or Cloud-based or SaaS Model ERP system that are economically reasonable enabled the Small and Medium-Sized Businesses to go for this facility, which ultimately helped their business process.  Web-based eresource ERP system can cover a wide range of functions and integrate them into one unified database. For instance, functions such as Human Resources, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relations Management, Financials, Manufacturing functions and Warehouse Management functions were all once stand alone software applications, usually housed with their own database and network, can now fit under one umbrella. This kind of functionality helps all organizations, including the Sibs a lot.
Please throw light on the ERP training session?
ERP training holds a considerable importance in the success of an ERP system. While organizations spend whopping amounts on ERP software and its implementation, training of employees who are assigned to run the system is getting neglected or not provided adequately. This act amounts to improper handling of the ERP system which ultimately results in sub-optimal performance of the system or in some cases failed implementations. Eresource has its own trailing method to overcome this issue. Apart from our normal training that is provided to users at their working place during the implementation and after implementation, we have an exclusive ERP training centre for anyone who would like to take up this special training. The training centre known as eresource Academy is becoming very helpful for software trainees as well as other corporate who would like to get a deep knowledge on functioning of an ERP system.
Can you explain how ERP solutions helpful do for the SMB Market?
Globalization and IT sophistication are forcing even small businesses to automate processes and integrate applications to facilitate stronger communication, data collection and analysis. ERP software systems are integrated business solutions intended for the planning, managing, controlling and accounting for all of a company's resources.
It is the administrative and operational requirements, not the size of the company that determines if an ERP solution is required or not. Even small companies require most of the same basic ERP functions needed by larger companies.
eresource's cost-effective, web-based ERP solution, combined with eresource's flexible and affordable pricing structures, provides SMBs with a technology solution having all of the functionality and benefits of a "big company" ERP system - but with minimal investment and risk.
What are the strategies/steps involved while applying ERP solutions in SMB sector?
Our implementation strategies are identical for large, small and medium sized businesses.  It starts with our consultants and the company representatives meet together and prepare a work plan. This plan details each and every activity that needs to be carried out and when they should be carried out. Our consultant team would lead the process of the work plan preparation, because they have the experience of implementing the same package in similar conditions.
The in-house team from the company should point out the issues that are specific to them and help our constants in creating a realistic work plan. The work plan forms the basis for project tracking and monitoring. The project plan contains numerous activities, the man-hours required to complete them and the resources need perform the tasks.
Usually the project plan is built using a project management package that permits one to focus on planned activities from various perspectives - the chronological sequence or timetable, specific activities and who is responsible for them. Preparing the project plan using such a tool helps in improving the quality of the plan and it easier for us to make changes and adjustments. Once the project is underway the plan can be updated on a regular basis and the planned vs. actual reports can be produced in varying detail and in varying formats including graphical formats.

Pharma cos must change their business processes

Pharmaceutical - specific ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system is the most effective way to identify and track every single raw material from receipt through processing, packaging and shipping, to the exact customer location. If that is the case then what prevents from many small and medium Indian enterprises keeping away from implementing this effective tool.

What we ask our friends from the pharmaceutical industry is, are you continuously changing your business processes? We further emphasis here that, to survive in this highly competitive business environment, pharmaceutical organizations must change their business processes and it is no secret that to sustain in this competitive world an ERP system helps a lot.

It is not a surprise that pharmaceutical industry require the right ERP system support to produce enhanced pharmaceutical products. The right ERP system streamlines procurement of raw materials, reduces procurement and delivery cycle times, tracks receivable and payments to suppliers for managing credit facilities.

ERP helps a company to oversee every area of its business without the necessity for separate software packages or expensive customization. The prime benefits of ERP system is it reduces operational costs and saves time. Thus it is a decision support tool for management analysis and a collaborative portal for supply chain management.

As the enterprise resource planning software became a key component for pharmaceutical companies to integrate their entire business processes, we have developed an affordable and effective system to suit the need of small and medium sized companies in the sector. In the pharmaceutical sector, the present regulatory requirements focus on better product and process understanding as well as elimination of risks critical to patients and consumers. These challenges are efficiently addressed by integrated approaches offered by eresource ERP system which not only provide better control over their business processes, but also help them in manufacturing products as per cGMP requirements.

The advantage of ERP software for pharmaceutical manufacturers are that it can effortlessly track lot properties while optimizing and improving other business processes like batch production, sales functions, inventory control, purchasing, quality assurance, accounting and financials, regulatory reporting etc.

It has been proved beyond doubt that implementation of ERP systems not only gives more transparency to business processes but also it allows  business to operate more efficiently, predictably and more profitably.

Implementing an industry-compatible ERP system will not only meet the traceability requirements, but also seamlessly link all departments, resulting in streamlined operations, maximized productivity, and increased profitability. ERP is designed with operational efficiency in mind. Operational efficiency requires a system that addresses every aspect of your business. It helps to cut costs, enables quick market presence of the product, improve customer relation and comply with regulations.

The web-based eresource ERP system for pharmaceutical is a big hit among the big as well as medium and small scale companies in this sector alike. eresource ERP systems integrate and automate the main functionality of an organization thereby facilitating the flow of information among the different functions of an enterprise. The system also permits information sharing across the whole organization.

Web-based ERP system has been developed to support all major pharmaceutical and health care business operations. The system has been incorporated with many advanced individual modules that could take care of functioning of every department efficiently.

While choosing an ERP system, a company should consider both its ability to track every raw material from receipt through finished product delivery, and its adaptability to the company’s unique manufacturing process.

Quality Management must be the top priority of a pharmaceutical company. Quality tops the priority list as far as any pharmaceutical company is concerned. Keeping this in mind, eresource ERP has been designed in unique style. Quality Control department with its integrated sophisticated Quality Control Module which not only monitors quality by control plans in purchasing and production but also provides real-time process capability index for quick review.

Implementation method also plays an important role in success of eresource ERP for pharmaceutical industry. Successful implementation requires a structured methodology. The method should be people and process-focused. This is the best way to manage the risk effectively. A good methodology of ERP implementation process covers all the bases. Therefore if there is anything unexpected pops up the user will be able to handle these problems without any negative consequences.

ERP is the future and it has become essential in the business world especially in the sectors like pharmaceuticals. This is because ERP brings information classified and simplified to those who have to make decisions. And that itself makes the difference. We would also like to remind our potential customers that Web-based eresource ERP system for pharmaceuticals is a more flexible, affordable and reliable ERP system available in India today.

An ERP system is designed to give end-users access to specific information, data that can come from both internal systems or from other data sources, and is designed to allow customers, suppliers and employees, access to role specific records.

ERP software solution provides a compelling gateway of information to users who need to carry out their jobs more effectively and assist them with decision support. It make use of a personalization paradigm to allow each user's experience to be tailored to their specific role by filtering out information overload.

Real-time access to data and an easy to use interface make ERP solutions an integral part of business strategy by providing a collaborative environment. Information is available to all stakeholders, from employees to customers and suppliers, enabling smoother transactions, a higher velocity in decisions and faster turnarounds.

ERP: Putting The Pieces Together

SMEs are faced with difficult decisions every day. Decision making is entwined with time. It is no secret that one of the biggest constraints of SMEs is time. They take tough decisions in a number of areas in a short span and a single bad decision could negatively impact their long-term success. ERP solutions allow them to work efficiently minimising the time and effort required in processes.
An organisation runs best when there is a sense of coordination between different departments. In an ordinary, traditional setup, each department maintains its own database and undergoes its own functioning. In short, there is a communication lapse. The introduction of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) helped in joining all departments into single juncture so that every department is updated about the functioning of the others. Large companies have reaped business benefits from implementing ERP solutions, and SME are looking to mimic the same.
“Despite their high enthusiasm and inherent capabilities to grow, SMEs in India face a number of challenges like sub-optimal scale of operation, technological obsolescence, supply chain inefficiencies, increasing domestic and global competition, cash crunch and uncertain market conditions. Therefore, to survive and compete with large and global enterprises calls for adopting innovative approaches in their operations and technology,” says Pravin Agarwala, VP-Business ByDesign, SAP Labs.
An ERP system promises big gains, helping a firm to grow revenue, increase productivity, improve efficiency throughout the enterprise and manage costs. Today more and more small and mid-sized companies are looking to replace their outdated systems.
A recent research survey says that in the SMB segment, which continues to outgrow the overall market, companies are buying ERP systems in response to new customer requirements.
ERP’s Growing Demand in SMEs
According to Gartner, Inc., “Indian manufacturers and natural resources companies will spend Rs 40,800 crore on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of 9.1 per cent over 2012 revenue of Rs 37,400 crore.” This forecast includes spending by manufacturers and natural resource companies on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications. The telecommunications category remains the biggest spending category overall in the manufacturing and natural resources industry, and it is forecast to reach Rs 13,200 crore in 2013. Meanwhile, software is achieving the highest growth rate amongst the top level IT spending categories – forecast to exceed 15 per cent in 2013, with especially strong growth forecast for ERP, desktop software and manufacturing-specific applications.
TechNavio’s analysts say that almost all major global players of ERP are serving the Indian market  with SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Ramco Systems and PeopleSoft topping the chart. The ERP software market in India to grow at a CAGR of 22.2 per cent over the period 2011-2015. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the growing demand of ERP solutions among SMBs.

According to a report by Panorama Consulting 2012, SAP occupies 22 per cent market share worldwide, followed by 15 per cent by Oracle, 10 per cent by Microsoft Dynamics and 53 per cent by other players. In India, SAP has been holding two-thirds of the market share in the ERP space.
ERP market in India is projected to grow by 13 per cent this year. Apart from the major ERP software vendors,  there are emerging local players who are catering to SMEs. Amongst the regional brands, Tally. ERP 9 Series, launched in 2010, is specifically designed for the Indian SME sector while Eresource Infotech, SSA Global, Invensys, Applane and Sage Accpac are few other listed names.
ERP was looked upon as business solution only for large organisations, however, this is no longer the case now. ERP is a must for companies of any size and number. As SMEs in all sectors are facing greater competition than ever, success depends on having the ability to keep pace with rapidly changing customer and industry demand. The ability to quickly seize new opportunities and the flexibility to achieve sustainable business growth is another success factor for the mid-sized enterprises.
However, for the SME sector, the challenge is bigger than larger players as the larger players have    economies of scale. SMEs have no choice but to be efficient in managing business activities. Right from sales to deliveries to HR and accounts, processes are backbone for departments to perform. An ERP can help in bringing the right process and also in managing them.
When asked about to elaborate on SAP’s ERP solutions for SMEs, Agarwala says, “SAP’s Business All-in-One and Business ByDesign helps innovation and automates the core processes. This comprehensive, industry-specific ERP solution for fast-growing small or medium enterprises (SMEs) can help manage every aspect of a business – from financials and HR to sales and procurement. These affordable solutions are designed to fit SME current and future needs.”
 One such case in point is that of Rajshree Industries. Rajshree had aggressive growth plan but was finding it difficult to support the expansion of its operation with existing manual management system. Due to improper integration of legacy system and poor correlation often suffered disruption in work processes or produced difficulties in maintaining the statutory requirements. Lack of co-ordination also contributed to unusual problems that affected the smooth functioning between manufacturing processes and other various departments.
ERP proved to be the best solution that streamlined the challenges faced by the company. With the implementation of ERP, a niche was created for a single point functioning application, which improved efficiency of work with centralised functioning. The management now has visibility of all strategic information at one central screen. This has also helped customer gain Operational Excellence.
Shoaib Ahmed, President, Tally Solutions, talks about the efficiency of installing Tally ERP in the SME sector, “Powerful connectivity makes information available with your staff, CA and other professionals, round-the-clock in any place. It is also quick to install and allows incremental implementation – a novel capability that lets you activate just as many of its functions when required, even across locations.”
Requisite Changes in ERP Installation
When a new system is introduced, there are always some changes that must be expected in firm’s working or processing methods, and there will be transition period allowing changes to take effect. This transition period from the traditional system or manual processing to ERP can be difficult as new skills have to be learned; new procedures and processes have to be followed and so on. Many employees think that ERP will add more work, make the work more difficult and will force unnecessary procedures. However, if the management and implementation team do their job properly, ensuring that the employees are told what to expect and given proper training, then the transition can be smooth. Once the employees get used to the new system, they will understand the potential benefits and the effort saved through automation of talks and jobs.
“Implementing an ERP in organisation is always a challenge. People will resist changes and they will not like to come out of their comfort zone. The best way for a smoother transition is educating employees and winning them by explaining that how their life will become easier after the software become functional,” Yogesh Agrawal, CEO, Applane.
The theory of implementation cannot be generalised. Sudheer Nair, CEO, Eresource Infotech, says, “There are cases where we have implemented the system in 45 days and there are also cases that have taken even nine months.  This all depends on the readiness of audit result, case study, available strength supporting manpower, strength from the management side, volume of business, relevance of ERP at various units and the budget.”
Making Implementation Easy
The other side of the coin entails undergoing an on-demand or Saas model of implementation as it requires substantially less efforts than an on premise/traditional ERP. “The hosting challenge is managed by vendor and also solution can be functional from day one. Rest of the complexities of implementation will depend on the amount of changes required in the software and how flexible is the software itself. Applane is a metadata driven architecture, which means that incorporating any changes is quick and we have been able to successfully get the product running in less than a week’s time,” adds Agarwal.
“One of the core benefits of ERP is the standardisation of processes across the organisation and enhancement in internal processes. ERP solutions also ensure timely business information and a cost-effective supply chain that helps strengthen the business of the SMEs,” says Agarwala.
Ashish Interbuild Pvt Ltd has seen exceptional growth after ERP implementation. They have their presence in all leading cities of the country and are specialists in executing interiors of restaurants, hotels and offices. The company has started using ERP software to thoroughly consolidate their operations and make information flow seamlessly from the project sites, wherever they may be, across the country, to their offices, which provide them immediate support and guidance, besides adding transparency.

Mr. Sudheer Nair, CEO, Eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd.

The CEO Insights:From doing odd jobs to starting your company “Eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd”, would you mind share your journey?
Sudheer Nair: I was born in a middle class family with no business background. I lost my father when I was schooling. Life ahead was difficult for us. Responsibility of supporting my family fell on my shoulder at an early age. Although my mother has helped me and my two sisters to complete schooling and pursue further studies, I could not complete my graduation due to financial conditions. I have started looking for jobs. And after doing many odd jobs, I landed working with a computer consultant, typing Software Programs. Gradually I started generating software codes independently for my company. Thereafter, understanding the user’s requirement started designing their software requirements. Creating tables and databases, coding, compiling the codes, testing the application, training and implementation all have become my routine job. It was then that I developed bunch of software applications, including accounting package called “Quick Accounts” and some others.
My second major job was with Afternoon Despatch and Courier, then a leading evening daily in Mumbai, edited by late Mr. Behram Contractor popularly known as Busybee. It was a tabloid publication. I was the only programmer and when I joined the company had only one computer, an IBM PC AT XT. As non-air-conditioned area was considered to be unavoidable for computers and the only air-conditioned place in the whole office was CEO Mrs. Farzana Contractor’s cabin, I was forced to use a corner of her cabin as my work place.
The company had all manual working system, Advertisement scheduler used to schedule advertisement in a manual register. After the ad was released, billing department used to create manual handwritten bill, bill was submitted to the accounts, accounts was maintaining more than 20 different registers, chief accountant used to make manual entries in the respective ledgers of the invoices, expenses. Generating Balance sheet, Balance sheet and P&L used to take at least 30 days.

Circulation billing was done manually. Since nobody there knew programming concept, I had the full freedom to start from wherever I wish to. I started with Advertisement Scheduling System. It took about 3 months for me to complete. The Advertisement scheduler was trained and since then the scheduling was computerized. Immediately upon completion of Scheduling System, I took Billing department project. Within a month I have completed Billing and went live. I think, among all the publications then, ADC was the first one to come up with computerized billing. Billing was integrated with Advertisement schedule. Third project was the Circulation department and integrated Circulation with Billing Module.
My fourth mission was to code on Accounts department, I knew accounting because I was a main programmer while developing Quick Accounts accounting software for the Computer Consultant (my first IT job). Accounting was integrated with Billing module. After completion of Accounts Department project, the only department left out was HR and Payroll, I created an attendance system. Attendance system was placed in the reception area and all employees would capture the LOG-IN time and LOG-OUT time. Then, I created a Payroll system, integrated attendance with Payroll and payroll with Accounts.
The appreciation that got from the Afternoon management also helped me a lot in my further endeavour. I have realized that just developing a program is not going to help. The program must be networked.
My third job was with Liyod Finance Ltd, a public listed company. There I have developed a completely integrated system on Oracle. It has also given me ample opportunity to learn a lot within a limited period.
Planet Optical Disc FZCO in Dubai was my last job, in the term of an outside company I have worked with. It was a 400-million-dollar company. I was working there as an Enterprise Manager. My job profile included looking overall implementation of ERP. Working on Enterprise solution, you learn a lot. Yes, I did.
The urge to do things on my own was getting on my head and that feeling has forced me to quit the job and returned to India. As ERP concept was getting its ground in India and I thought of diverting my drive on that path. With the little money that I could save from my Dubai stint helped me to start a small set up called Eresource Infotech, a software firm that developed ERP software for mid Sized Companies. It was just a beginning.
The CEO Insights: Please tell us about your first encounter with entrepreneurship and how this has changed your life
Sudheer Nair: I was not born with silver spoon, I am just an ordinary person who progressed to CEO. I will say it is more appropriate to call me as COO, Chief Operating Officer, rather than a CEO. Still all business operations in my organizations go through my table. I have a look at every single activity before that are being executed. It is the team work that has brought us into today’s position. Vivek Jingade, my friend and also my Partner today has been my great support right from the inception. Vivek heads Sales and Marketing operations in eresource. In the beginning we used to approach companies that are known to us or some of my friends who are working there. Establishing a product is not that easy unless you have big resources. Eresource was a genuine product and I know with the little resource I have in my hand there is only one option ahead that is sheer hard work. I just followed it. Hard work pays handsomely. That’s what life has taught me.
The CEO Insights: How do you feel being awarded "SE 3B" rating from well-known business reporting agency by NSIC-CRISIL? Also Udyog Rattan Award along with Business Excellence Award, 2008 followed by the Business Leadership Award conferred by Institute of Industrial Development, New Delhi??
Sudheer Nair: Ratings and awards are true recognitions and we understand its value and really happy to receive them. Apart from these awards what makes us more confident and inspirational is the feedback we get from our customers. Therefore awards make us more responsible towards our customers and commitment towards the product’s success.

The CEO Insights: How do your failures influence you? Why are they important?
Sudheer Nair: What I believe is life is not a path of roses. As I said earlier, from the childhood I had to face many challenges. It is my urge to achieve what I want or what I aim that has helped me to reach where I am now. I know there is a long way ahead before I can rest. There may be failures but I give importance to the successes that come in way rather than the failures that I had to face. When success brings happiness failure teaches you a lesson. Therefore it is always in a balanced mode. No regrets.
The CEO Insights: Given that understanding clients need is overwhelmingly important, you recently introduced special ERP training section?
Sudheer Nair: When it comes to ERP system, there must be a thorough knowledge of what it meant or how it is going to help a company. We tell our clients that ERP is not a magic wand. ERP must be used in an appropriate manner to get the desired result. For that not only the users of the system but also the decision makers, executives and everyone in the organization must know how an ERP system must be used successfully after the implementation. It is a misconception that once ERP is implemented it will take care of everything. We have realized that a proper ERP training is necessary to overcome any shortcomings in this area. Eresource Academy was the result of this thinking, where anyone can get a proper ERP training in a very professional manner.
The CEO Insights: How did you created a strong space as an exclusive web-based ERP solution company for Indian complex market?
Sudheer Nair: Quality product, intelligent marketing, dedicated employees and sheer hard work - all these elements contributed equally to the success of eresource ERP. You know there are many other ERP products in the market and directly competing with the large players in the market won’t be sensible. We have identified our area in the SMB sector that have deprived of this marvelous technology due to the cost factor. Making a huge investment for an ERP deployment was simply out of their reach.  As a web-based hosted solution, eresource ERP significantly reduces your overhead expenses. There is no software to install, no hardware to purchase and maintain, and no up-gradation requiring complex re-implementation over time. Our team of IT professionals manages your maintenance, support, and up-gradation at our world-class data center. As a result, companies can focus on running their business, while our web-based ERP solution takes care of their business plans with the backend software. This method has turned out to be a huge relief for Small and Medium sized businesses in India and eresource ERP has been accepted by most of the companies in this sector as a ideal solution for their business operations.
The CEO Insights: Isn't this also a good time to invest in technologies that bring companies closer to their customers?
Sudheer Nair: In this changing world of IT era anytime is a better time investment in IT infrastructure. Having said that what I would like to remind our potential ERP customers are that business competitions are increasing day by day and any delay in the deployment of a technology that could boost your business can only brings setbacks in your business strategies. Therefore, do it today what you are planning to do tomorrow.
The CEO Insights: Where is SaaS relevant in the Indian context? Where is it not?
Sudheer Nair: The cloud-based eresource SaaS ERP solution is completely a modular-based system. With Software-as-a-Service (Saas) model, companies will able to work on a highly efficient ERP system, without the huge investment. The SaaS model gives lot of advantages. No extra hardware requirement, no maintenance hassles, no investment and no need of an IT team to run the system. Over and above, this model allows the companies to choose the only modules they required with per user payment option. Being a subscription module another advantage with eresource SaaS model is it is also scalable.
The CEO Insights: ERP has taken time to take off in Indian market, was that a major challenge to your business?

Sudheer Nair: Comparatively Indian IT market is a slow-paced one. However what is significant about Indian market is, it is a very firm market. A successfully established product can find an easy way though provided the product maintains its quality and reliability. Success of eresource is attributed to this fact. In any business, challenges are normal affairs and we don’t underestimate any challenges and counter them all in an effective manner with our own way of functioning and marketing.
The CEO Insights: What portion of your sales comes from new products?
Sudheer Nair: Eresource is an ERP software application and not a commodity product. Therefore the tag of new products doesn’t arise. We are concentrating on upgrading the ERP system as per the customer requirement and market demands. Our research and development department is updated with every hour development on technology front and constantly on the action to develop the system with latest requirement in the market.

The CEO Insights: As an enterprise that uses IT internally, can you talk about some best practices and processes you use?
Sudheer Nair: As an ERP vendor and development firm that deployed an ERP system of its own for our internal use that has been named as e-Parivartan, we have deep-rooted understanding of the best practice method followed in every major industrial verticals  and that has been fully adhered while developing our system to help our customers.
The goal of e-parivartan is to increase efficiency by making the project development cycle more transparent for all those who are involved in a project. Each member of a team is typically provided with their own personal view, allowing them to track the specific tasks they are working on, and team members may be given access to other members' assigned task lists, so they can have a better understanding of how far into the development process the project has progressed. By creating a more transparent flow of information between project managers and team members, project management software aims to keep people on task and up-to-date on a project's progress.
As you may be aware that one of the definitions of ERP is "the amalgamation of world-class (best) practices together".  It is said that, if ERP is implemented successfully, the company automatically becomes world class in terms of its practices. This statement is absolutely true when it comes to eresource ERP.
Right from the industrial revolution and even further, we can see the efforts put in to improve existing practices. Typically, the classical industrial engineering principle says: there is always a better method available than the existing. Here the 'better' ultimately means improved efficiency, effectiveness and economics. In fact, this principle clearly supports the view that nothing is the best forever.
In this context, let us see what the best practice in ERP environment is. ERP assumes the fundamental set-ups as "Pillars of ERP". The best practice in ERP then can be defined as the utilization of these set-ups to the maximum possible to produce the desired performance in terms of customer focus, zero waste of all the resources, and value creation. Tangibly, it leads to increase in quality and service, and reduction of cost and response time.
The CEO Insights: How has the use of IT in BFSI changed in India, and what have driven these changes?
Sudheer Nair: I think answer to this question is known to everyone because the Banking, Financial and Insurance sector has been witnessing rapid changes in its working method due to the influence information technology.
Information technology is one of the most important facilitators for the transformation of the Indian banking industry in terms of its transactions processing as well as for various other internal systems and processes. The various technological platforms used by banks for the conduct of their day to day operations, their manner of reporting and the way in which interbank transactions and clearing is affected has evolved substantially over the years.
The CEO Insights: Talking about segmentation, how do you target different market segment?
Sudheer Nair: We have a largely enough marketing department that takes care of each segment separately under the intelligent leadership of Mr. Vivek Jingade. He is well-versed with the pulse of ERP market. Therefore an efficient team under his shoulder can handle this issue very well. This is also one of the prime reasons of our success.

The CEO Insights: As your business grows exponentially, how do you deal with scalability issues?
Sudheer Nair: Eresource is a process driven company, we have great process, we have great people. We innovate our process every other day. It is a great product and a fast growing company. The process system in eresource is scalable and can adapt business dynamics easily. The goal is to plan and keep building it with the potential of reaching a massive market that would allow eresource the growth and expansion.
The CEO Insights: What do you consider to be your motto?
Sudheer Nair: I am convinced that the only thing that keeps me going is the great work that we at eresource is doing. We have a good product and we love great products. Our motto is to make more great products that we would be proud of selling and implementing and our customers would be proud of referring to their customers and their vendor partners.
The CEO Insights: What are your views on outsourcing technology? How do you view Indian companies that are turning to outsourcing IT to create greater efficiency?
Sudheer Nair: The way to look at outsourcing is to consider the theories of Ronald H. Coase, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. Coase said that when the cost of a transaction in the marketplace becomes lower than the cost of the transaction in-house, then, like it or not, you have to outsource. Otherwise you won't be able to compete. This is a good algorithm to determine what should be outsourced.
In my opinion, Outsourcing saves money & increases efficiency. Aside from saving money, outsourcing, in the long-run can provide benefits such as control in capital costs, increase in efficiency, reduce labor costs, starting new projects quickly, and reduce risk. Outsourcing has been an accepted practice in India. Business people are starting to look for ways where they can make a positive impact on the people and the environment that surrounds them.

The CEO Insights: Can you tell us your CEO perspective on how you keep people engaged and motivated?
Sudheer Nair: I still consider as a team leader more than a CEO. In my view a CEO should be a good team leader who leads from the front. Like I said earlier, I get involved in almost all the activities of the company including the development part. Though I never interfere in their work, I get involved with them and help them to find finer solutions whenever necessary. Rather than a strict employer-employee relation I would like to maintain a friendly relationship with my employee that ultimately becomes a confidence building measure from the management part.
The CEO Insights: You have been very actively blogging, what's your take on the rise of social media?
Sudheer Nair: I would like to write a more the same way I would like to read. But most of the time I am left with no time to concentrate on my writing activities. Therefore my blogs intervals are getting little longer that I wanted to minimize now. With the advent of social media everyone gets a platform to express their views and the scope is infinite. That’s a good thing.
The CEO Insights: What are your favorite book, movie, and/or play?
Sudheer Nair: I love to read; I find technology and gadgets completely irresistible, I have always been a reader as long as I can remember. Reading is an almost magical thing and to be honest, I find it quite enjoyable as well as relaxing. Currently I am reading “Out of the Box Thinking”. By Mr. A R K Sharma, a Gold medalist in Science and Electronics and Telecom Engineering, When I am not working or reading; I love to spend time with my family watching movies are making an outing.
The CEO Insights: What gets you excited about waking up each morning & put your best?
Sudheer Nair: Every day is a new day for me. Prays to the God to give me enough strength to put my best foot forward on every decision plus guide me to lead my business on the right path in a successful manner. Once I step out of my home only business is in my mind.

The CEO Insights: How did it help being supported by Vivek Jingade from day one?
Sudheer Nair: Vivek is with eresource since the inception of the company. We keep a brotherly relationship that makes the bond more stronger. Without him we could not have achieved what we are today.
The CEO Insights: What advice do you have for today's managers?
Sudheer Nair: Be honest, hardworking and think intelligently with your brains not with your laptops. Success will follow.

SMEs most aggressive adopters of ERP

Over the last decade or so, information technology has taken some giant steps and this exponential growth has changed the way we live and interact with the world. No wonder information technology has enabled many small and medium businesses to carve a niche for themselves. Indeed, IT has triggered the growth of many SMEs and SMBs. And now, Indian SMEs are coming forward and adopting ERP solution like never before to improve their output. When it comes to implementing the latest technology for their business needs, a lot of Indian SMEs are on par with their western counterparts. Slowly but surely, Indian SMEs are willing to invest in Information Technology to improve their output and efficiency. Over the last couple of years, Indian SMEs have been adopting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), clubbing it with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and sometimes even with Supply Chain Management (SCM). These small and medium enterprises have realised that to maximise the potential of available information technology, ERP solution must be implemented in tandem. The way ERP system was used by organizations is now changing rapidly. Initially, an ERP solution was mostly preferred by manufacturing industry and that too for the Finance and Accounting, Sales and Distribution and Materials Management/Purchase process. Lately, they have included Plant Maintenance, HR, Transportation and Service modules for easy operational process. Today every industry is looking for an ERP solution to run their business smoothly. Like the manufacturing industry, process industry also has benefited handsomely from implementation of eresource ERP system. Fleet Management, Construction, Chemical, Automotive and Trading Industries all are finding eresource ERP system as an effective business solution to overcome the market challenges. Apart from the above industries other industrial sectors like cement sector, power sector, and food sector are going for eresource ERP solution. Many construction and project companies have also implemented eresource ERP solution for an effective business process. The SME segment in India has been one of the most aggressive adopters of eresource ERP software. In fact almost 60 per cent companies in our client list are from the SME segment. This increase in the penetration level in the SME segment is attributed to the introduction of low cost eresource ERP solution. The implementation of eresource ERP helped the SMEs to get aid in smooth inventory management, timely scheduling of production cycles and shipment of goods, managing human resources and online data communication. The emerging trend in the ERP market shows a steady increase in the implementation of ERP system in every industrial sector. As a result, these industrial sectors have witnessed tangible quantitative benefits in the post-ERP implementation period. While Indian SMEs usually overlook the benefits of ERP citing ERP software being beyond their budgets as the reason, it is beyond doubt that ERP implementation can improve a company's performance manifold. Despite the fact that usage of IT in SMEs is much below its potential, they are now slowly waking up to the importance of adoption of ERP in their operations and are realising the necessity of setting up intra- and inter-office networks. Considering the current market realities, SMEs today need to understand that with ERP software they can not only systematically arrange and assimilate all systems of entering data and processes, but also understand and adapt to retailers' business requirements and thus respond faster and frequently to product orders from retailers. Adapting to changes in the multilateral trading system, and for the management to know what is happening in the organization is of utmost importance and ERP implementation can help businesses achieve cost control and low working capital as also integrate latest technologies to remain competitive for survival. Through proper ERP integration, businesses can expect far-reaching results like reduced working capital requirements and improved customer service. They can also reduce purchase costs considerably and bring in more clarity and accountability throughout the organization.Implementation of ERP in businesses will not only act as a complete business software solution, but will also help companies to expand their reach of business quickly. The companies who implemented the ERP system must realize that most of the time all the benefits are difficult to prove on statistical grounds as soft benefits like comfort in work life, maturity in planning, attitude changes, transparency, visibility etc are either practically impossible to measure or correlate such improvements to ERP implementation. For the real effect of ERP system, companies are supposed to set their objectives prior to implementation followed by measuring of the achievements after implementation, and only then should they conclude about the effects of ERP. We must also remember that as the Indian market seems to be filled with many ERP solutions, companies must pay extra attention while choosing the right ERP system. Apart from operational efficiency, successful implementation also holds the key for an ERP system. The structured implementation programmes such as eresource ERP's Guaranteed On-Time implementation, can speed up system deployment and return on investment. (Mr. Sudheer Nair is the CEO of eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd., one of the leading enterprise solution companies in India. Eresource provides end-to-end solutions that leverage technology-enabling customers to grow their business. Eresource serves many client in India and abroad and as one of the pioneers of Web-based ERP solution.

Sudheer Nair, CEO eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd

Sudheer Nair, CEO eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd, started his journey as a helper and turned out to be a successful businessman without having any business background. He then became a Foxpro Programmer and later joined JD Edwards in London as a consultant followed by Planet Optical Disc Ltd in Dubai.  In 2006, he established eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd. Nair was supported by Vivek Jingade in starting this firm.

Eresource Infotech Pvt Ltd provides end-to-end solutions that leverage technology-enabling customers to grow their business. Eresource serves many client in India and abroad and as one of the pioneers of Web-based ERP solution. The company has been recently rated by NSIC-CRISIL and awarded SE 3B. This rating has been carried out under the scheme for Rating of Small-Scale Industries, formulated and subsidized by the National Small Industries Corporation Ltd., New Delhi (NSIC). Over the years eresource has been pocketed many prestigious industrial awards. eresource  Infotech is the only ERP organization in India, which has been awarded the Udyog Rattan Award along with Business Excellence Award for the year 2008 followed by the Business Leadership Award conferred by Institute of Industrial Development, New Delhi.

Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Sudheer Nair says, "Eresource business model is a collaboration of our industry specific products across three different model, On-the-Premises and On-the-Cloud and Saas Model."

You had humble beginnings. Walk us through your early years and what got you interested in software programming?
I was born in a middle class family with no business background. I lost my father when I was schooling. Life ahead was difficult for us. Responsibility of supporting my family fell on my shoulder at an early age. Although my mother has helped me and my two sisters to complete schooling and pursue further studies, I could not complete my graduation due to financial conditions. I started looking for jobs. And after doing many odd jobs, I landed working with a computer consultant, typing Software Programs. Gradually after typing programs for a Software consultant on a daily basis, I started generating software codes independently for my company. Thereafter, understanding the user’s requirement, designing the requirements, creating tables and databases, coding, compiling the codes, testing application, training and implementation was my routine job. I developed a bunch of software applications, including accounting package called "Quick Accounts" and some others.

My second job was with Afternoon Despatch and Courier, an evening daily in Mumbai. The company had all manual working system. Over the years, I managed to automate most of the systems from advertisement scheduler to Circulation billing. Accounting was integrated with Billing module. I successfully integrated attendance with Payroll and payroll with Accounts.

My third job was with Llyods Finance Ltd, a public listed company where I have developed a completely integrated system on Oracle.   Planet Optical Disc FZCO in Dubai was my last job. My job profile included looking overall implementation of ERP. Working on Enterprise solution, you learn a lot. Yes, I did.

I wanted to do things on my own. That inclination forced me to quit the job and return to India. ERP concept was getting its ground in India and I thought of diverting my drive on that path. With the little money that I could save from my Dubai stint, I started Eresource Infotech, a software firm that developed ERP software for mid Sized Companies.  

What is the business model of eresource Infotech? What are your offerings and which segment do you cater to?
Eresource Products focus on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), with its Web-based solution. Eresource offers more than 20 industry-specific ERP solutions and each solution with three different editions, namely Eresource ERP Light, eresource ERP Pro, eresource Enterprise. Eresource business model is a collaboration of our industry specific products across three different model, On-the-Premises and On-the-Cloud and Saas Model. All Industry Specific ERP offered by eresource is available out of the box for our customers. eresource addresses the unique core processes of number of Industries.   eresource tightly narrows its industry focus to provide targeted support for many micro-level industries. 

eresource ERP system currently serves Manufacturing, Printing & Packing, Process Industry, Project Industry and Trading & Distribution.

Who are the people who helped you start your own venture? Do they own stake in the company?
When I started this company in 2006 with handful of programmers, I had Vivek Jingade who was looking after sales and Renuka Somarajan who was managing accounts and payroll then. There were few who stayed back with eresource during its thick and thin and today they are key members of eresource. Vivek is a stake holder. As a loyalty bonus we also offloaded shares to 3 key members in eresource, out of which 1 is heading the Project Division, 1 is heading the Product Division and 1 is heading the R&D division.

Today we have about 150 staff employed with eresource and our target is to build it up to 10,000 employees in the next 10 years.

Tell us some of the major contracts you have bagged? What is the size of these orders?
Product Development took almost three years. Since 2009, we did close to 250 implementation of eresource ERP. Most of our customers are in the SME space with turnover of around 10 crore to 2000 crore. It would be incorrect if I name any contract as a major contract.

What is your current order book and by when do you expect to execute the same? What is your outlook on the orders for the coming years?
Product development took almost 3 years and since then we have been growing 30-40% consistently since last 6 years. Currently we have close to 27 ERP projects under the implementation status and close to 10 orders yet to be initiated. Turnaround time for ERP implementation is 3 to 6 months. We estimate deploying all existing projects by the end of next quarter.

We expect to implement 1000 ERP accounts in the next 3 years. There are many other new projects in the pipeline, which will be revealed in due course.

You also have a special ERP training section. What is the demand-supply gap you see?
Demand for trained ERP professionals are growing day by day and the market is not able to meet the demand due to shortage of trained professionals. Looking at this grave situation eresource introduced a training method that could meet the demand for trained ERP professionals from Indian and overseas ERP market.

eresource academy has developed program dedicated to training users in every aspect of the Integrated ERP software system. Its exclusive ERP training course gives an opportunity to the users of ERP systems and other IT professionals to get acquainted with ERP software. This course caters to the vocational needs of the students and is concurrent with the software engineering and technology syllabus covered by the major universities.
What are the growth drivers for this industry? What are the current trends here?
SaaS ERP will grow for small and mid-market. I predict SaaS integrated modules will grow tremendously for all ERP’s and companies of all sizes. Industry specific ERP as SAAS and Cloud will capture market share in 2013. Saas and Cloud in my opinion would be the two big growth drivers.
Initially we were concentrating mainly on manufacturing sector on SMB segment. Success of our system has opened gates of opportunities on many other verticals such as Pharmaceutical, Construction, Oil and Gas, Trading and Distribution Industry and Food Processing industry etc. Our aim is to help every type of industries in the SMB segment to deploy an effective ERP system that will cater to their need within their limited budget.
Do you also have business outside India?
Middle East is one of the markets we are concentrating on for the time being apart from the local market. We have done many implementations in this region mainly in the UAE. Our immediate plan is to expand our activities in other Gulf countries too.
Would you look at exiting this business if you get a good offer?
Eresource is a product that has been made from scratch by me from little investment and more hard work. Eresource has become an established product in the ERP market with its wide acceptance. Therefore as of today, exiting from this business is not in my mind. Future is always unpredictable for anyone and I will cross the bridge when it comes.
What are the key initiatives you have taken that has changed the company?
Traditionally, the ERP market has been segmented by the size of customers. The vendors targeted large enterprise vendors, midmarket vendors, and small business vendors. It was thought that the same vendors and products couldn’t serve multiple segments, but that notion has been disproved. We have big customers and are also present in the mid-segment space.
Over the years, we introduced best in the class process for Product Development, Project Management and ERP implementation. We designed an Internal Project and Time Management tool, which we named as "e-Parivartan". The goal of e-parivartan is to increase efficiency by making the project development cycle more transparent for all those who are involved in a project. Today I am proud to announce that our success ration in ERP implementation so far had been 94%. I think an effective Project Management tool was the second best initiative of eresource.
What was the biggest challenge in for you? What are some of the important lessons learnt?
Business is always a challenge especially when you are dealing with a complex Indian ERP market. Indian ERP market is a slow-paced one, however, what is significant about Indian market is it is a very firm market. A successfully established product can find an easy way though provided the product maintains its quality and reliability. In any business, challenges are a normal affairs and we don’t underestimate any challenges and counter them in an effective manner.
Give us a revenue break-up from various segments.
India is our target market which will continue to remain so. Besides India we did Implementation in the Middle East, mainly UAE. 50% of our revenue is from the Manufacturing Industry, 20% from the Process Industry, 12% from the Logistics Space, 8 % from the Trading and Distribution, 10% from the Infrastructure Industry.

The ultimate economical ERP framework in India

T o reach creation distinction, you require to have   a   constructive and well organized enterprise resource planning (ERP) framework in yo...