Saurabh Agarwal, Director, Kamdhenu Group, in conversation with Faiz Askari for BWDisrupt.
Kamdhenu Limited is a success story in terms of Indian steel and paint industry and we have seen a great SME becoming an even greater SME in last few years. Thank you Mr. Saurabh for giving time.
How IT has contributed in your business in last few years when you have become such a brand name?
See IT has a very important role in our business. Some businesses are so difficult to manage that without IT we cannot even think how to manage them. In older times, there were people who were having lot of different factories at different locations and data collection and compilation was very difficult. Similarly in our paint industry, we have factories at different locations, depots at different locations, we have more than 10000 SKUs at different locations, so the data collection and compilation of all these locations is just impossible without IT. Without the IT industry, it wouldn’t have been possible for us to run the paint industry.
You have been a success story by yourself. What role does IT has played in your business journey so far?
When we have started our company, we had linked our depots and our factories with the help of IT. After 3 years of business, we had collected such a large amount of data that it was really difficult for us to decide as to which dealer was good for and which was not. At that time we realised that we must make changes in our IT. Then we introduced ERP Solutions which made our life very easy. With the help of ERP, we are able to keep a track of all the painters and dealers engaged in our company, which wouldn’t have been possible earlier.
What are the key parameters you would like to suggest that an SME should actually consider while selecting an IT partner?
Selecting a right IT partner is the most important part. Looking at the cost constraint, most of the new startup SMEs become partner with any of the new IT partner. But these new IT partners might not be able to sustain for a long time. So the IT partner with which an SME is engaging must be trusted one and it must have a reputation in the market. Implementation is the most important part of an IT solution. And if you don’t have the right IT partner, then implementation is very difficult and then the whole system will collapse. Secondly, the right amount should be spared for the IT solution.
What message would you like to give to the SMEs who are on the threshold of next level growth in terms of IT eruption?
This is a common thought among people that with the development of IT, there will be less opportunities or jobs. But I don’t agree with these things. The development of IT has created a lot of opportunities and vacancies for people. The time is changing and it will keep on changing. If you do not change yourself with time, you will lose the opportunity and someone else would come forward to take that opportunity. Let me give you a small example- Banks are closing down their branches. And people are thinking that they will lose their job because of the shut down of the branch. But its not true. With the close down of the branches, more opportunities are coming up at the back end part. Banking sector has grown a lot in recent years and this would not have been possible without IT.
Thank you very much sir. This is a very important and a very strong message for the SME segment. And the role of IT is very well defined in the business success story by you. Thank you very much for giving us time.