Vinod Subramanian: Coding the Future – Empowering SMEs with Affordable Digital Solutions

Vinod Subramanian: Coding the Future – Empowering SMEs with Affordable Digital Solutions

Vinod Subramanian: Coding the Future – Empowering SMEs with Affordable Digital Solutions

Logo Infosoft entered the Indian market with a goal to streamline the financial and accounting tasks of SMEs and catalyse their growth.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are integral to modernization, industrial growth, employment creation, and play a critical role in social cohesion. While financial management is essential to the prosperity of a small business, some SMEs fail on this front due to weak or no accounting records. They do not maintain their books of account, because they consider it a worthless exercise. In today's competitive market, an accurate book of account is a necessity for every small business. Financial accounting and reporting have undergone a tremendous technological shift in a short time. Driven by technology evolution and increasing customer demands, businesses are turning to modern software, connected devices, and the web to manage the sensitive data of their customers, investors, and employees.

Founded in 2016, Logo Infosoft aims at helping SMEs to improve their operations through technological intervention. Its parent company, Logo is headquartered in Turkey and is known for its software for billing, accounting, financial reporting, and GST for the past 35+ years. Logo is a publicly listed company and the largest ISV from South Eastern Europe. Its majority stocks are held by public and institutional investors.

Logo Infosoft's solutions constitute a customizable and mutually complementary product family. Its offerings include enterprise resource management for automating and optimising distribution networks at scale, Billing and Accounting solution for SMEs and Micro SMEs, and a set of solutions for automating GST reporting, eReconciliation and integrating seamlessly to eInvoices, eWay Bills, etc.

The Genius behind Logo Infosoft

Logo Infosoft has brought in proven technology to India market, winning customer recognition. The company owes its vision and leadership to Vinod Subramanian, the company CEO. Vinod brings 25 years of IT industry expertise to Logo. Previously, he played various leadership roles at Oracle, Ernst and Young (EY), and HCL Infosystems. Armed with the knowledge of ERP, Cloud, evolution of GST automation, and adoption of digital technologies by SMEs, he helps Logo's customers to innovate and establish scalable and sustainable businesses.

An Agricultural Engineer from IIT Kharagpur, during his first five years at HCL Infosystems, Vinod learnt the art of sales and hardware infrastructure fundamentals. Later, he joined Oracle when it started its ERP business in India. In his fifteen years at Oracle, Vinod led the company's Asia Pacific team mandated to bring cloud solutions and launched a series of initiatives to build Oracle's mid-market business in India while meeting growth targets. Later, at EY, he advised a number of corporates in India and abroad.  His relationship with Logo started during his tenure at EY in an advisory role.

Vinod recently sat down with our editorial team to share more about Logo Infosoft and his professional journey. Excerpts of the conversation:

Kindly brief us about Logo Infosoft.

Logo has three products in India: Jugnu ERP, VIRA DNMS, and Vyapari.

JUGNU ERP: The latest generation comprehensive ERP for SMEs integrating their business processes with partners, suppliers and customers–end-to-end.

VIRA DNMS: VIRA helps companies across sectors automate and optimise their distribution networks. It covers the full chain of operations from ordering to inventory to billing to reporting.

VYAPARI: VYAPARI automates billing, accounting, and GST filing for SMEs cost-effectively. From invoices and purchase orders to inventory and receipts, Vyapari assists SMEs to manage their business processes and provide error-free, accurate, and timely data to their CAs for tax filings—in a few clicks.

What is Logo's USPs?

Logo brings advanced technology that works in real life and at a scale. We have proven solutions where we continue to innovate. We observe the trends in the economy and try to think a few years ahead. We bring competence and learning from other markets, thus, delivering software on the cloud, at affordable pricing to Indian SMEs.

There are many companies globally that provide Billing, Accounting, ERP, and others that provide GST solutions. But Logo provides both.

Tell us about Logo Infosoft's genesis.

My journey with Logo began with a phone call in January 2016. Afzal Modak, a GE veteran of 30 years, called from the US ixntroducing me to Logo. It was an exploratory conversation. He shared his experiences of how small companies can create a powerful impact. Logo had fantastic software, strong balance sheet, and proven differentiated technology. But practically, no one knew about it outside its home-market. I had been in the industry for 20 years and yet never heard of them. With each conversation, my excitement grew. I could see the opportunity at scale. It was surprising that it took an Indian to uncover the hidden gem of a Southeast European company. Now it has been a three-year association. I am closer to development and product strategies. With every passing quarter, my excitement has increased. Many from the leadership team have expanded their view of the global markets. My role has evolved from that of an external advisor and catalyst to launching products and establishing and growing the business.

How do you work on your long-term relationship with your clients?

Corporates with distribution networks find our offerings unique. Enterprises with large supplier-bases find our solutions flexible. Regulators see the depth and richness of our solution and visualise the future they aspire for India in our software. SMEs, the core users, find our solution affordable and easy to use. As long as you have a GSTIN number, you can try our products.

When we tell entrepreneurs they can automate their entire billing to GSTR operations in a few clicks with Vyapari, they don't believe us. But when they try it out and it works, there is a smile on their faces. Vyapari helps them forget accounting, GST rules, or filing requirements—they can simply focus on their core business.

Large enterprises bear a high hidden cost of compliance. They have teams just to clean up data and report, half the time of their sales and support teams is spent on internal reporting. When they see how our software can address these issues, they take notice. We work closely with them on adoption and usage, mostly in their extended enterprise—distributors, retailers, and vendors.

Which business problems does your company solve for customers?

We enable "Live Commerce". SMEs trust us to make their life easy. SMEs have limited manpower and time. They want to spend maximum time with customers and not in managing internal operations. They cannot hire consultants to teach them GST laws or analyse business processes. They want data on their mobile and laptop—be it about orders, shipments, stock, or cash position. They don't have IT staff to maintain, update and patch software. They need something that simply works, and is accessible anytime, anywhere. Vyapari meets all these requirements.

How do you drive innovation?

I can talk about Vyapari. It will also tell you about our business model. In its early days, we discussed and agreed on six design criteria for Vyapari. First, it had to be accessible 24×7 from anywhere, anytime. Cloud and Mobile-first development, leveraging Amazon (AWS) was the other decision. Since it's important to provide special access to CAs and Tax practitioners, we created a single login for access, review, update, and auditing. Clean data is another challenge; so we brought in master data from GSTN itself and pre-populated critical masters like PIN codes, state and city names, HSN and SAC lists, and Bank IFSC codes. Customers see their own data in the system on Day 1 can pick from a list, thus, eliminating data entry errors.

As customers need multi-channel access, we integrated Vyapari with devices like POS and payment devices for credit cards and billing software. Reconciling bank data with invoices was a challenge; so we talked to banks to leverage open banking initiatives. SMEs often avail of finance options such as sales bill discounting. So we started integrating Vyapari with banks, NBFCs and the platforms like TReDS. Thus, we turned every customer challenge into an innovation opportunity.

What technologies and trends will drive the major changes in your industry?

Affordable smartphones and data access with increased Wi-Fi and fibre connectivity will drive inclusive growth. Voice can bring in disruptions, breaking language barriers quickly. Regulatory changes will be another key driver.

Which Awards and Recognitions have you received?

Logo received the coveted "Big Star" award in "Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program in 2018". We were ranked 71st in the "Top 100 Brands in Turkey"—and #1 in the technology category. Within two years of entering the India market, a reputed magazine recognised us as amongst "India's 20 promising ERP solution providers". Recently, GSTN selected Vyapari as a recommended offering for MSMEs.

What are your future plans?

We will bring in AI and ML to improve user experience. We will work closely with regulatory bodies on the eInvoices front, with fintechs and on open banking front to simplify SME lending. We will work with academia to build technology skills.

What advice will you give aspirants who want to start in the same domain?

Billing, Accounting and ERP are businesses with high entry- and exit-barriers. They provide an environment of continuous learning because of their depth (functional processes), breadth (across industries), and regulatory reporting needs (e.g. GST). After gaining a broader perspective, look for areas you want to specialise in and learn from experiences from around the globe.

What is your leadership mantra?

Authenticity, Honesty, and Individuality beat everything else. One of my closest friends told me that my speed and detailing are intimidating. I realised that I needed to carry the team along and slow down. The youngest of the team members may know more than you; so remain humble, and be willing to listen.

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