India’s Journey of Hylobiz – Part Two

The article talks about How Hylobiz as an idea evolved in just few months, the thought process involved in shaping the product, the feedback from the industry leaders to improve and make the right-fit for the SME’s. This is Part two that talk about crafting the product experience and value driven growth. If you have missed Part one that narrated the inception, identifying the pain points and market space, you can read here.

Nailing the product experience

While “our pain-points” and “marketspace” was very clear, now came the challenge of crafting a user experience that stays with our user and fits into their mental model.

We started with knowing our users, what are their likes and dislikes? How they interact with other software? What kind of apps or web browsing they are used to?  Our aim was to build a piece of software that is rich in features but intuitive and elegant enough to pull people along.

For example, while earlier our Registration page was having details like company’s name, type of business etc we realized a mobile number is more than enough to board a customer and then simplified our registration process with fewer clicks.

Talking about the approach followed by the Product team, Anurag Rastogi, the co-founder and head of Product with Hylobiz says – The product team’s approach is to have continuous interaction with the product users and see/relate the problems from their perspective. We collect the requirements, brainstorm and put a solution, roll it out and go back to the users for further guidance and iterate again as early as possible in the product life-cycle. It’s like we are running various MVPs and getting the buy-in from the users. Once we get an acknowledgment, we immediately push them for full-fledged development. Also this process is backed with data that is helping us taking binary decisions to break complex and tedious processes into simpler steps and we are glad that the customers are happy and appreciate this.

We started with Receivables as that is the major pain area for an SME, and once the payments are streamlined that means an uptick to manage working capital, users can expand to credits, payables and other challenges.

We were keen to create an impact in the SME value chain and while there are many other challenges faced by them, the biggest of all was getting paid on time. As a common goal, all founders focussed on offering a quality core feature rather than putting hands in multiple minor features.  So the simple five steps process for our first roll-out –

  • Onboarding Users
  • Initiate collections with reference to SME’s invoice
  • Send an advice with the payment link
  • If manual collection track the payment
  • Once payment is received, update SMEs accounting engine with a reconciled status on payment received (full/partial)

Anurag Rastogi also talks about some of the features that clicked with our users were the ones that were making their business process simplified – like having a transparent ledger view between the supplier-buyer at any point, Business Dashboard with simplistic view of payables and receivables. Customized Reminders and Auto Reconciliation were some of the other features that gave us a thumbs up from our customers.

Our First Client

Finally, the moment arrived of our first POC with CEAT, our efforts, assumptions, strategy was out there in wild. It was a mixed bag of feelings!

We reached out to our first user, Skanda Tyres – one of the regional distributors of CEAT Tyres in Bangalore with a business of 1.5 to 2.0 crores every month, dealing with 200 businesses [(dealers, retailers, service centers] that leads to 1000+ invoices every month and one can imagine the perennial chase for collection of their receivables.

The show went “on quite well”. We were applauded with remarks like – this is exactly the feature we wanted. After our pilot with two of such distributors in Bangalore, we were soon invited by the CEAT headquarters to work with them at a group level.

CEAT headquarter signed us for a paid POC and then eventually to roll out pan India in a phased manner. This needed to integrate into CEAT’s Dealer management system seamlessly to make the whole process frictionless that HYLOBIZ achieved within no time.

As Vishal Gupta recreates the scene he says –  It was a feeling of being acknowledged for solving a real problem. Indeed a proud moment for the whole team with a brand like CEAT acknowledging the need of HYLOBIZ platform to be rolled across the country.

Anurag Rastogi , recalls the feedback provided by CEAT after their POC was like –

“Dashboard is like a power screen for an SME, one view for all our transactions.”

“On-Field collections has never been so transparent, thanks to tracking feature of Hylobiz “

As Vishal Gupta adds to that – The most sticky and important one that we have acted upon immediately is the micro-integrations with the SME’s existing tools and systems. For example their one or many tools around invoicing, accounting, inventory etc which all operate in silos if they could connect with HYLOBIZ seamlessly for end to end transaction digitization/automation. We have successfully rolled this with our partners/clients in India and UAE. Some of the names to highlight this evolution with our partners are CEAT, FF21, Orix in India, and Prism group, Etisalat in the UAE.

And then the next paycheck came from a long-stay accommodation for youth business called FF21, in Bangalore again. FF21 offers rental spaces and has approximately thousand plus tenants at their multiple locations. While their business heavily relies on the mobile app, CRM and accounting engine, they were keen for a system that can help them in reconciling their receivables on real-time basis and activate payables too. And Hylobiz fitted their use case perfectly. Hylobiz seamlessly integrated with its existing tools and is offering real-time collections reconciliation for FF21.

In one of the YouTube live sessions with Cofounder Ajay Nemani –our business cash flow is very crucial and with Hylo digital Payments it has helped us in collecting rents without hassle.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is indeed the mantra of any person or machine and the same goes for our product. We consider “User feedback” very seriously and even a slight glitch/click is given a thought of whether user needs it or can be made redundant.

We listen to them, learn from them respond to their feedback for both customer satisfaction but also improvising the product.

Talking about the new features being worked upon by our team our – offline data processing, live location tracking and most importantly offering unified banking with Hylobiz.

The Challenge

One of the most difficult decisions and time for us was to make a decision to build HYLOBIZ for a multi-corridor adoption right from the beginning. The reason behind that was based on our assumption, for India won’t be paying for payments or SaaS products so easily while it is one of big markets for HYLOBIZ, and building the product for multiple markets would lead to complexity and cost with little resources at hand.

The team took a call and went for building it with a global rollout capability, which took us a little longer to build, stabilize and engage partners, but today HYLOBIZ is proud to be live and present in two corridors India and UAE simultaneously with a plan to expand into MENA markets through channel partners/alliances.

With this, we end our Part-two of our journey, in part three we would be uncovering our reasons “Why we said NO to the freemium model” and how did we achieved our brand value.

Hylobiz evolved to assist every business in availing Neobanking services that help them in collecting money faster, digitizing their transactions and avail automation using our Network of ledgers feature.  To know more about us, please contact us here and if you are keen in exploring unique features of Hylobiz, register here for a free trial. 

How Hylobiz has reduced payment delays, read our case study here

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