The evening of, March 24th 2020 came as a shock to 1.366 billion Indians bringing to them, the announcement of Lockdown amid the Corona Virus pandemic. Many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) came to a standstill. In the commercial capital of India lives, Mr. Kartik Iyer a Carpet Dealer whose business revolved around years of book-keeping and frequent visits to his Accountant. The 47-year-old was now looking for an app that would help him manage his orders and payments better than the old ledger books to keep up with the Work from Home culture due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“When I got a call from a customer asking about an order or outstanding amount, I had to tell them I would get back to them later since the records were with my accountant who is now miles away from me. So I went to Google Play store and searched for an app that would let me do accounting from my phone by myself. ,” says Mr Iyer.
He downloaded a new app called ‘Vyapar’ and found it served his purpose. Now every shipment that goes out from Kartik Iyer’s Infinity Display Carpets is entered digitally. “This also helps me do my GST return filing regularly.” he says excited, “When our Hon’ Prime Minister said about becoming Atmanirbhar (self-reliance), this is definitely one of its kind!”
What is VYAPAR?
Vyapar (also the Hindi translation of trade) is the only Business Accounting, Invoicing & Inventory app made for small Indian Business, that lets you manage, invoices/receipts, estimates, payments, inventory and clients. An ideal solution fulfilling all your Business Accounting needs. It is also a GST app. Works perfectly OFFLINE.
Why was VYAPAR developed?
Tally and Excel are the dominant accounting software for Small Businesses in India. People who were not equipped with these software, had to hire accountants. Businessmen with low turnovers would have to spend lakhs on these transactions and taxation services.
Experiencing such difficulties themselves the founders of this application- Sumit Agarwal and Shubham Agrawal who worked at US software giant Intuit put their ideas into action. The QuickBooks product developed by the US software was meant to make life easier for small businesses. But they felt a Mobile app would serve the needs of small traders and manufacturers in India better than a software which requires heavy training and a knowledge in accountancy.
What does VYAPAR do?
Sumit Agarwal says Vyapar’s value comes from being the first mobile app that is used and operated by owners of small businesses, rather than their accountants. “We removed the complexity of traditional accounting software and made it easy to use with minimal entries,” he says.
The aim is to help small businesses go digital in everything from accounts to inventory management, from credit management to GST filings. “In India, 80-85% of proprietors use paper to manage their business. It’s guesswork when you ask them about inventory, profit and so on,” says Sumit. Even a trader without the knowledge of journal entries and sections of GST can open the application fill in the details of transactions and the in-built programming, act as the Virtual Accountants and Tax Assistants.
Is VYAPAR really a necessity?
The need for applications such as Vyapar comes from small businesses requiring to comply with GST after since 2014 in India. Digitization is unavoidable as more data has to be kept in records, right from the time of sending out an invoice till it reaches the consumers. “The load of compliance is no longer just a chartered accountant’s headache. It is seeping into the daily workflow,” says Asutosh Upadhyay, an early investor in Vyapar, in an online YouTube live of his. “How many businesses can afford a full-time accountant?”
Data Privacy with VYAPAR- How safe is my data with this app?
Mr. Karti Iyer admits he was doubtful at first at the thought of an app accessing his khata (account book). But the benefits are many: Customers are notified instantly when an order is shipped or a payment received. Bills carry details of outstanding payments as a reminder. “Earlier I had to meet a customer to reconcile our accounts. But now it’s easy to stay updated and send an account statement at any time.” He elaborates.
The Data Ownership of their application reads- The User owns the content created or stored by his/her as we respect his/her right to ownership of content created or stored by them. The Users use of the Services does grant Vyapar the license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish or distribute the content created by them or stored in the user’s account for Vyapar internal purpose. Vyapar tries keeping Users data safe but holds zero responsibility in case of data leaks.
Like any other app they face two main issues- Being secretive about accounts or maintaining two books, only one of which is disclosed, is so ingrained that it will take time to change- fully online product would be hard to use in India, given the patchy internet in tier-2+ towns as well as security concerns.
But the founders have a positive outlook towards their invention since it is an indigenous app contributing to the ‘Make in India’ concept and are happy to help local businessmen get more vocal with Vyapar.