Nityananda Rao acquired significant experience in software industry before entering the world of SaaS. He was involved in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Banking and Treasury Software products for almost twenty years before founding his own venture. As CEO and founder of AcTouch Technologies Pvt. Ltd. he is responsible for product planning and acts as a true leader. He believes in learning, listening and focuses on realizing customer needs first.
AcTouch Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is the result of his vast exposure and grit to attain success in the world of software. The company helps MSMEs save money and targets Singapore, Malaysia, India and rest of Asia. Read more about this tech entrepreneur.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
We have a SaaS application for MSMEs that helps the business owner to run his entire business on Cloud starting from Invoicing, Purchasing, Inventory, Quotation and Production etc without anyones help. We help the Business owners to run and grow his business with our product. Our second business model is bookkeeping services for the business owners where we provide our application access to the Owners while our team enters their Bills and Invoice etc.
“We found a Blue Ocean in the RED Ocean business.”
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Today ERP and its related services been considered as a Red Ocean in the investment market and to top-up, there are many ERP project failures. However, today’s Business Owners have money, but no time and they don’t get resources like before. They want information on their fingertip to make a decision. But these softwares are neither scalable nor mobile. I started thinking, “Why a Business Owner has to license our product, in turn we make him an “IT Expert” to manage OUR software, take OUR database backup on his HARDWARE rather than RUN his Business for which he bought OUR software”. So we developed a cloud solution, AcTouch.com, where customer has an option to use the product while we manage all software upgrades, regular DB backups and make sure that he runs his business without any problems.
What is your life mantra?
Keep it simple and no friction.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Gaining Business owner’s confidence is the biggest challenge that we faced till now.
As I said before there are many ERP “horror” stories that’s been told or experienced by many business owners. The moment, we speak about “ERP”, they see a picture of loosing lot of money, buying large servers and loosing the controls etc. Today there are many off the shelf ERP / Accounting software’s available. So business owners buy the same based on a recommendation either from a close associate or from an accountant or someone else. They spend money before they even test and see whether it fits or not? This leads to frustration.
Now enters “certified trainers” or someone comes with a price tag, who really doesn’t understand the business, but claims that he can resolve the issues at a price. In this chaos customer looses the faith on software as it starts affecting his business.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We could able to overcome the hurdles by constantly engaging with BOs, understand their problems and providing the right solutions. We simulated their entire business on AcTouch.com and allowed them to see their actual business on Cloud.
- This first process helped us to gain customer confidence on us.
- The next process that we followed is to provide a good post implementation Support. We provide support to customers from 7 AM to 12 mid night everyday including Sundays.
Today we have more than 600 customers registered with AcTouch.com and many are converted to payment mode.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
At present, we have 2 angel investors from Singapore. We are discussing with a third angel investor from Malaysia now and expected to close by Sep 2015. Founders contributed the rest.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
From beginning, we were clear about the kind of people that we need on board. So we always make an attempt to hire “A” players. So we have a stringent selection process that validates their technical skills, Adaptability, out of the box thinking etc. Once a member is on board, we help him to learn our technologies and give an opportunity to make a mistake and fail quickly. We appreciate a member, if he says he doesn’t know. This helps us to help him so that we make a progress.
We encourage our developers to go and meet our Customers to discuss and understand the real business. This gives them an opportunity to improve their communication skills, Presentation skills etc.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
1. Believe in yourself, but no overconfidence.
2. Quick Learning and learn to accept the reality.
3. Networking skills.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
2. WhatApp – As most of our customers interacts with us through this.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
“Customer Delight” is our company’s DNA around which all our activities are planned and executed. This helps me to be more energetic and productive.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Before write a single line of code, I would like to go to customer and collect the details and understand the entire requirements.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Listen more and Talk less.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Customer is always right
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We launched our SaaS application for MSME market. But now we have received multiple business orders to develop industry specific business verticals on Cloud using our AcTouch.com as a platform. This shows our customer confidence on our technical ability and skill sets We will add new features, simplify the Accounting process for end users, help the Customer to be more mobile and run their business virtually from anywhere. We see a huge opportunity in marketplaces, industry vertical solutions that’s not addressed by anyone. In next 3 years, we want to have a 15,000 customer registrations and grow with our Customers.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would have started this business earlier.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
1. Bali, Indonesia
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Everyone gets 24 hours a day, not a second more or less.”