We Digitise MSMEs' Business Operations Through Technology: Rahul Raj, Co-founder & CEO, FloBiz

He believes that despite being a significant contributor to the nation’s economy, MSMEs are deprived of growth opportunities, advancements, and encouragement and they have immense potential to grow, flourish, expand and sustain.

FloBiz is a neobank for small & medium businesses that aims to accelerate the growth of their enterprises through technology. The startup is chasing the mission of digitisation to contribute to the building of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat by solving the most pressing problems of the Indian SMB sector. 

Rahul Raj is the co-founder & CEO of FloBiz that he started with - Aditya Naik & Rakesh Yadav in 2019. He believes that despite being a significant contributor to the nation’s economy, MSMEs are deprived of growth opportunities, advancements, and encouragement and they have immense potential to grow, flourish, expand and sustain.

In an interview with BW Disrupt, Raj’s talks about MSME industry and more

How has FloBiz helped in reaching out to the Tier 2 and 3 customers and how are you educating the lesser educated population about the use of FloBiz for their SMBs?
Our customer base is a healthy mix from metros, Tier 1,2 and 3 and hence we have adopted multiple product, communication and operations strategies to cater to all our customers

We have designed the app in a way that it is devoid of any technical jargon and someone with very basic financial knowledge can as well operate the application 

The app is as available in four languages English, Hindi, Gujarati & Tamil and we have plan to roll out the app in six more languages very soon

We provide 24x7 multi-lingual call and chat support

There is an extended on-ground team which gives demo and is available to assist customers

We are also creating a knowledge repository in very easy to understand language on our YouTube channel 

Could you elaborate on a few success stories of helping MSMEs graduate to a digitized business and reap benefits
We have plenty. The fact that myBillBook has been trusted by more than 65 lakh businesses across India is a testament to the fact that our customers are able to see value in our product. Two major benefits of digitising business operations through myBillBook are -  reduction in errors and improvement in efficiency. A common answer we hear from our customers is that they have been able to save almost 2-2.5 hours per day by reducing the need for manual invoicing and inventory management. The payment cycles have improved as well due to automated reminders and Smart Collect feature. They were able to focus more on business growth activities like serving more customers and expanding to other cities.

Apart from the ‘Tum Kamal Ho’ campaign, what other marketing campaigns do you intend to take to reach your business to the last mile?
We launched our maiden brand campaign ‘Business ko le seriously’ starring our brand ambassador Mr Manoj Bajpyee back in September 2021 followed by our recent campaign ‘Business ka achha time shuru’ which is a succession to the narrative set in the first campaign. This time in addition to digital outreach and mass media like OOH advertising, we also undertook an extensive offline branding exercise. This helped us create hyperlocal visibility and cater to the requirement of raising brand awareness in business hotspots which are frequented by our end users. We will continue our integrated marketing efforts on the thematic ‘Business ka accha time shuru’. Content marketing, especially by creating a knowledge repository on YouTube will be a core focus area for the coming quarter.  

Everybody is discussing the supply chain and its effect on the SMBs since it is more or less the theme of this year's MSME Day. What are your thoughts on the same?
We should look at this in two ways. First, how similar to a big business, even the SMBs have faced the brunt of disrupted global supply chain due to the macroeconomic and geopolitical situations. And second, how SMBs themselves can play a pivotal role in improvising the supply chain for the country.

On to the first point, inflation has resulted in shooting up the raw material costs and has burdened the SMB segment further after the hit they got due to the pandemic and lockdowns. Margins have shrunk and getting finished goods ready has become costlier. 

In view of the second point, we feel SMBs have shown tremendous spirit in fighting back from the pandemic situation and have started embracing technology and digitisation to not just survive, but also to improve business efficiency and grow their business. Indian SMBs form the bedrock of the entire value chain for a lot of industries and big companies. They are responsible for creating diverse products & services ranging from intermediary to finished stages.  With the right set of technological assistance and government and private sector initiatives providing credit assistance, SMBs can play a crucial part in reviving our supply chain.

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